Hawkenbury FC v Halls AFC Reserves – Friday 7th April 2023 – Green Court Sports Ground

My first visit to the Green Court Sports Ground at Swanley was on Good Friday for the 2023 final of the Senior Sevenoaks Charity Cup. This fixture was between Hawkenbury FC of the Sevenoaks & District Football League Premier Division and Halls AFC Reserves, who play in the Kent County League Division 3 (West).

Matchday Programme

Green Court Sports Ground was once the home of Orpington FC, back in their Southern Counties East Football League days, before they moved to play at Goddington Park. The ground benefits from a good sized main stand and a large, attractive clubhouse.

Green Court Sports Ground
League Table
– Courtesy of http://www.fulltime.thefa.com

Hawkenbury’s goals this season have come largely from the prolific Julius Walker, who has fifteen goals from fifteen games, ably supported by Daniel Vitler, with seven goals from thirteen games. Hawkenbury sit in 5th place in the league this season.

League Table
– Courtesy of http://www.fulltime.thefa.com

Halls AFC Reserves play in the Kent County League Division 3 West. They have had a good season and sit in second place but with a game in hand and just three points behind the leaders, AMG Ballerz. Goals have flowed this season with George Hunter plundering sixteen goals from eighteen games, Nathaniel Oni-Okeke bagging fourteen in twenty one games and Harry Amaechi scoring eleven goals in just nine games.

Match Squads – Courtesy of Match Programme
Halls AFC warm up prior to kick off.
Hawkenbury FC warm up, prior to kick off.
Handshakes at kick off. Hawkenbury in yellow and black shirts and yellow and black shorts. Halls AFC in yellow and blue shirts and blue shorts.

The game started with a bang, which caught me out, Halls AFC went 1-0 up in the first minute, when Frankie White scored with a fine half volley, finishing from the left hand side of the box.

Celebrations at 1-0

In the eleventh minute Frankie White became provider teeing up the ball from a free kick, for George Booker to finish, with a well placed header. At this stage the excitement of what was still to come seemed very unlikely, as it looked as if Hawkenbury were in for a pasting.


On the quarter hour it was 1-2 when Hawkenbury’s number seven, broke free and fired home past the Halls AFC keeper. This reignited hope in the away team and they clearly began to believe they could compete with their opponents, despite the two league difference.


In the 41st minute the scores were all level. Hawkenbury bundled the ball over the line after a brief melee from a corner on the left hand side, to perform an unlikely first half come back from 0-2 down to 2-2.


The second half opened in bright sunshine, and with it came a much more considered and cautious period of play from both sides. In the 70th minute, Hawkenbury turned it around to make it 3-2, as Jason Hinkson slid in to finish, giving them the lead for the first time in the game.


Just five minutes later, pressure put on Hawkenbury’s defence forced an error and a headed own goal to pull the scores level at 3-3.


At the full time whistle, there was nothing to separate the two teams and the game went into extra time. It was Halls AFC who took the advantage, with the number 20 grabbing the team’s fourth goal with a neatly timed shot at distance, past the approaching Hawkenbury keeper.


In the 110th minute, Halls AFC’s number 6 was sent off for raising a hand, after a tense altercation with a Hawkenbury player.

Halls AFC Player leaves pitch.

Hawkenbury applied pressure but just couldn’t make use of the extra player. With a minute of extra time left, an error between Hawkenbury’s defender and keeper, allowed Nathaniel Oni-Okeke to score what looked like the winning goal, for Halls AFC, making it 3-5.


There was still one final surprise in this amazing final, when Hawkenbury scrambled the ball home, literally as the referee blew for full time, to make the final score 4-5.

This had been a hugely entertaining final between two honest sides who gave everything. It was a great advert for Kent non-league football and drew a huge crowd of over 200 to the Green Court Sports Ground.

Final whistle.
The Sevenoaks Charity Cup (Senior)

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