Oh, it’s a big one. Feeling the trepidation in the bitter breeze, 5th journey to 4th on Saturday looking to cause further tribulation to the upper echelons of the league table.
A swift glance at the form table tells and even more vivid story, with the past six games earning Harry Hudson’s ‘Oaks’ top spot, with Whitehawk a close second. So yes, the two in form teams in the league face off at The Enclosed Ground. It could be quite the afternoon.
The Hawks fly into this one on the back of a well-deserved 1-0 win at Burgess Hill Town last Saturday, a game which saw much of the injury room return to the bench, and so it could be options aplenty for Shaun Saunders this time around.
Leon Moore marked his return to the club with a fine performance at left-back as new arrivals Marvin Herschel and Lauric Diakiesse started on the bench.
As for ‘The Oaks’, they’ve been imperious in recent weeks, but come into this clash on the back of a goalless draw at basement club Corinthian, ending a run of four consecutive victories.
Last time out
It was the Khris Oti show last Saturday as the Hawks made the short pilgrimage to Leylands Park. And after an opening half where Alfie Rogers headed against the post and blazed over from two yards out, he would soon be a relieved man shortly after the break.
Oti, who had scored two-in-two before this, demonstrated why he should be starting with a thunderous strike that arrowed into the far corner after an excellent first touch to set himself.
A few heart in mouth moments followed as the Hawks naturally sat back a touch, but Sam Freeman prevailed as he recorded his fifth clean sheet in nine matches to help ensure the points were travelling back to Brighton.
Losing just one of their previous 10 league matches, Sevenoaks are a side rippling with good vibes as they stroll down to the chilly coast looking to further cement their place in the play offs.
Held at Corinthian last week, it was the first time they’d failed to find the net in a league game since November 26, with that early season rust quickly dissolving as the weather turned cold. They’ve always been in touching distance, and a fine run of form such as this has lifted them into contention.
Causing one of the shocks of the FA Cup Qualifying Round, a 1-0 win at National League South side Bath City sparked positivity at Greatness Park, where they have lost just once at since mid-October.
And then there’s the goalscorers: David Kawa, Kieron Cadogan and Freddie Parker make up their prolific attack, with the latter coming in as the leading goalscorer thus far with 10 goals in all competitions.
Since the Hawks’ drop into the Isthmian League South East in 2019, the two sides have met on five occasions, with Sevenoaks marginally edging the head-to-head with two wins to Whitehawk’s one (that coming in a 3-0 win at Greatness Park last season).
And with the other two ending 1-1, it brings us to the most recent encounter: this season’s reverse fixture. Cold as a freezer, those that made the trip watched on like statues as Sevenoaks stormed into a 2-0 lead before the break, before a late consolation by Jerson Dos Santos gave a glimmer of hope.
Manager pre-match quotes
You can read Saunders’ pre-match thoughts by visiting this link —> https://whitehawkfc.com/saunders-were-going-to-give-it-everything-we-can/