Premier Division side AFC Valour visited Raleys Field to play Wilderpark in the First Round of the Sevenoaks Charity Senior Cup and went away with a 3-1 victory and progress in the Competition.
Struggling near the foot of the table they did not pose too many problems for a Park side still missing a number of players through injury. The problem was further escalated when Andy Streeter was helped off just before the half time break with an ankle sprain following a clash with the visitors keeper.
Goal keeper Lewis Hughes returned from injury but then during the game suffered further knocks which resulted in a rib injury along with another problem with a finger. On the credit side there were promising debuts for 20 years old Daniel Strong playing a full game at right back and substitute Alfie Hills.
The Park started with confidence when a ball into Streeter from the returning Ollie Barnes was knocked to Freddie Payne whose left foot shot was saved by the keeper.
Valour took the lead on the quarter hour when the Park defence was open on the left and a forward struck a long shot across the diving Hughes and into the far corner of the net. Payne held the ball up on the edge of the 18 yard area before back healing it into the path of the running Barnes whose shot went into the side netting.
Leon Terry had a good run down the right flank but as he cut in a defender retrieved the ball putting into touch. Valour were awarded a free kick near the left touch line and a high deep cross
found the Park defence hesitating and a player knocked the ball into the net.
Barnes had a free kick on the left but Jim Hagon failed to connect with a header but soon afterwards a long ball to the strong running Streeter saw the striker getting the better of his marker hitting an unstoppable shot passed the keeper.
The second half saw the Park, now with the wind in the favour, have some 75% of the possession but half chances came and and went. Barnes was often prominent but the Park were missing the thrusts of the injured Streeter. The Valour defence packed back and generally held the upper hand making occasional breaks forward.
As so happens with time running out Hughes had a moment of indecision by his right post and a Valour forward was on hand to score. A 3-1 defeat for the Park but overall a much better performance.