Steel yourselves folks – United are heading to Sevenoaks

Sevenoaks Town vs Hastings United – Isthmian League – Saturday 11th September

Get ready for one of the most eagerly anticipated games of the season. United vs Sevenoaks tends to attract a big crowd and draw the best out of both teams.

Latest ‘U’s News

Three league games in and United have won one (2 – 0 at home to Whitehawk), drawn one (1 – 1 at home to Herne Bay) and lost one (2 – 3 away to Ramsgate). A steady start to a long campaign.

Meanwhile the ‘U’s have made relatively light work of their FA Cup ties, dispatching both Beckenham Town (3 – 0) and Harefield United (4 – 0) without conceding a goal. A second qualifying round tie away (again) to Broadfields United is their reward.

Sam Hasler has settled in nicely and already has four goals to his name. Ben Pope meanwhile followed up his first goal of the season against Whitehawk with a further brace in the win at Harefield. As Pope has shown before, once he gets going, he tends to go on a scoring run. Last but not least, it’s great to see Lanre Azeez back in United colours.

Who are you?

Sevenoaks Town FC are nicknamed The Oaks and play their home games at The Bourne Stadium. The ground has a capacity of 1,150 (with 150 seats) and has had a 3G pitch installed since 2017.

Sevenoaks have played three league games and just like United they’ve won one (2 – 1 win at Whitstable), drawn one (2 – 2 away to Three Bridges) and lost one (going down 1 – 2 at home to Haywards Heath Town).

They also remain in the FA Cup, though are doing so the long way round. Their extra-preliminary round against Cobham required a replay, as did their preliminary round versus Erith Town. Then lo and behold in their first qualifying round last Saturday they drew with Redhill and will host the replay on Wednesday evening. Update: Despite leading 3 – 0 at half-time and with 30 minutes remaining, Sevenoaks somehow contrived to lose 3 – 4 with Redhill scoring the winner in the 90th minute. The definition of a game of two halves!

Any recent previous meetings?

Oh yes indeed! And each of them a treat. Last season we visited Sevenoaks in late October and the weather was cold, windy and very very wet. It rained and rained, and then it rained a bit more. To borrow a phrase, we were all ‘wetter than a haddock’s bathing costume’. But did we mind? Not one bit. Why? Because we headed home with all three points courtesy of Ryan Worrall, who loves a spectacular goal against Sevenoaks, thundering home an unstoppable 25-yarder. The only goal of the game and what a humdinger. It made us all forget how wet and cold we were.

The teams also met twice the previous season in two enthralling games. Early October in the league at the Pilot Field, United won 3-1 but left it very late. Ryan Worrall scoring a stunner in the 87th minute before Daniel Ajakaiye wrapped it up. The reverse fixture in January saw Sevenoaks ahead with two excellent goals and less than ten minutes remaining. Enter Kenny Pogue to pull a goal back and with time up, Sevenoaks conceded a penalty for handball. With the last kick of the game, in the 98th minute, Ben Pope powered home to rescue a point.

Bottom line

We can expect a lot of crowd noise and tackles flying in. It will be a surprise if Saturday is anything less than a closely fought and highly competitive game, with the result up in the air until the final whistle.

Match information

Saturday 11th September, 3pm kick off at The Bourne Stadium (Mill Lane, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN14 5BX).

The clubhouse will be open from 1pm and the gates will open at 2pm.

Advanced tickets can be purchased at a discount price via Eventbrite: Adults £9, Concessions £4 (over 60’s), U18’s £1.

Otherwise a ticket can be purchased on match day at the gate by card or cash: Adults £10, Concessions £5 (over 60’s), U18’s £1.

Can’t attend? You can follow live game updates via Twitter: @hastingsufc

Bob Quinn
Twitter: @BobJQuinn