This was an FA Cup extra-preliminary qualifying round match between Cobham FC, who play at Step 5 as part of the Combined Counties League Premier Division South and Sevenoaks Town who play at Step 4 as part of the Isthmian League South East Division. The stadium announcer reminded the fans that it is only 14 games before Wembley!
The Cobham ground, known as the Reg Madgwick stadium, after a previous player and fundraiser holds currently 2000 with two covered seated stands and a covered standing area behind the goal. The ground has a clubhouse with changing facilities, bar and refreshment stand and I was able to find pay and display car parking opposite the main entrance on Downside Bridge Road.
Cobham came into this game with just one competitive match, resulting in a 1-1 draw with Croydon Athletic. Sevenoaks had no league matches before this fixture, but had played a tough friendly fixture with a Tonbridge Angels XI the previous week, winning 1-0.
The opening twenty minutes was all Sevenoaks, with a series of corners and one chance striking the bar. There were no goals to show for it, as Cobham’s defence fought with tenacity.
The match started to have some bad feeling in it, as some tough tackles went in. In the 23rd minute Sevenoak’s Collins was booked for reckless play, jumping in a challenge with his elbows out. The referee had a tough time keeping the game flowing and keeping both sides calm.
Against the run of play Cobham broke away on 51 minutes and scored the opening goal with Monty Everett, finishing clinically.
After a period of continued Cobham pressure, where Sevenoaks really seemed to be hanging on, they managed to force an equaliser with a headed goal by Louis Collins, from a corner on 68 minutes. Wright for Sevenoaks, ran to celebrate in the face of a Cobham spectator, who had been taunting him throughout the half.
After more pressure on 83 minutes another corner led to Sevenoaks taking the lead 1-2, when Louis Collins pushed the ball home for his second, after a headed chance fell to him.
On 89 minutes the referee sent the Cobham number ten Jonathan Hood, off for dissent.
With tempers fraying and another altercation erupting, Cobham got a free kick on the edge of the Sevenoaks box in the last minute. After some delay it was taken and Cobham’s Craig Lewington, curled a beauty past the keeper, from what seemed an impossible angle.
The final whistle blew seconds later and the teams will replay back at Sevenoaks. The Sevenoaks manager kept his team on the pitch for ten minutes after the whistle and could be heard berating them for a lack of concentration as this was tie they had surely won, before their last minute lapse.