Division One East
|Peter Pitts reports from
Park View Road
|Erith & Belvedere||1||Pulman 42 (pen)|
Honours even in Kent derby
After three defeats in a row on the road Sittingbourne came back from Erith & Belvedere's Welling ground with a point but they will be wondering why they didn't win after totally dominating play.
Sittingbourne took control from the off and it was fully twenty minutes before their goalkeeper Kevin Fewell touched the ball.
The Brickies could have gone ahead after just 5 minutes when Jon Neal intercepted a poor Erith pass and found Kieran Marsh who poked the ball just wide.
The Brickies continued breaking up the Erith attacks with ease throughout the game but will be disappointed that they didn't make more of their own possession.
There was a flurry of action around the Dere's area on 19 minutes before Marsh's shot was brilliantly blocked by Dere's goalkeeper Glen Knight.
Erith at last had an effort , and a pretty decent one it was, forcing Fewell to pluck a header from just below his bar.
A minute later the Dere's suffered a blow when their captain Lewis Tozer sustained a broken ankle and had to be replaced.
Sittingbourne continued to look the more impressive coming forward with Jon Neal in particular causing all sorts of problems to the Dere's defence.
Dave Hassett wasn't fairing so well and despite putting in a lot of effort he wasn't getting into the game.
On the half hour a Jamie Coyle header was headed off the line by Dean Standen and as is so often the case Sittingbourne were to rue not turning their dominance into goals as Paul Abbott set off on a great run.
He was followed closely by Clint Gooding, too closely as it turned out as the Brickies player's lunging challenge took the Dere's players legs and with the referee deeming the challenge to be just inside the Brickies area a penalty kick was awarded.
Up stepped Ian Pulman, on loan from Margate, who gave Fewell no chance with the kick and the Dere's went into a lead which they scarcely deserved.
Sittingbourne had a chance to draw level almost straight from the re-start but Coyle's effort whistled past the right hand post.
The half ended with Erith's Joe Nartey heading a free kick narrowly over the Brickies bar.
Sittingbourne were out early for the second half seemingly impatient to right the injustice and after six minutes of the half they did just that as Lee Browning began the move that ended in Neal squeezing a shot just into the right corner of the net and the Brickies were back on level terms.
It was Erith's turn to respond and four minutes later they had a goal-bound header kicked off the line.
Sittingbourne then got back on top and Lee Browning had a couple of forays where he elected to shoot when there may have been better placed players.
On 65 minutes a stunning Neal cross was just missed by Hassett, at the other end Scott Hall found himself in acres of space but luckily for the Brickies he skewed his shot wide.
On 68 minutes the busy Neal had a header tipped round the post by Knight.
Sittingbourne made a double substitution, replacing Hassett with Bradley Spice and Marsh, who had picked up an injury, with Paul Manning, himself returning after a long spell out injured.
Sittingbourne were now once again well in command and on 89 minutes a Gooding cross also evaded the onrushing Brickies strikers but that proved to be the last chance for Sittingbourne to win the game and the score says that the honours were even.
Erith & Belvedere: Knight, Schillace, Maycock, Tozer (Hales 25), Williams, Pulman, Briggs, Abbott (Arkali), Standen, Nartey, Hall, Subs: Fenton, Robinson, Seitsonen
Sittingbourne: Fewell, Coyle, Dowley, Gooding, J Campbell, Ainsworth, Douglas, Marsh (Manning 67), Neal, Hassett (Spice 67), Browning, Subs: Tanner, Nolan