Poor run comes to an end for Sittingbourne
Sittingbourne win Kent bragging rights thanks to double from Marsh
Town 1-2 Sittingbourne
Tuesday 24 February 2004
Dr Martens League Eastern Division
by Peter Pitts www.sittingbournefc.co.uk
Sittingbourne avenged the Ashford victory at Bourne Park way back in August thanks to a brace from Kieran Marsh, and even though they have played a lot better and still lost will now gain confidence from this result after their
disappointing run of just 1 victory in 10 games before this match.
The game, played in incessant drizzle, was not an easy one for referee Mr Ward to referee and the fact that this was a local derby showed with some niggly Ashford challenges especially from Tom Adlington, and plenty of
verbal from Tony Reynolds in the Ashford technical area and some of the Ashford players, some of whom were booked for not knowing when to keep quiet!
Sittingbourne were not altogether blameless and Danny Lye was booked for the second game running. Danny sits out Saturdays game at home to Stamford as punishment for picking up 5 cautions.
The game, played in front of a disappointing crowd of just 178, started off in a mood reflecting the weather, gloomy. The first half was poor with neither side making much headway until on 13 minutes the Brickies defence
failed to mark Simon Elliott at a corner kick and Elliott rose majestically to thud a header past Fewell. This was another poor goal to give away by the Brickies.
The game then settled into a dull midfield stalemate until on 31 minutes a Brickies free kick found Danny Lye in the Ashford penalty area but he was right on top of keeper John Whitehouse and his shot cannoned off
Whitehouse's body. Three minutes later Sittingbourne were awarded a corner and Kieran Marsh's kick fooled everyone and cannoned straight into the Ashford net to bring Sittingbourne level.
The second half was a much more interesting affair as Sittingbourne got a grip on the game. On 50 minutes Buster Smissen was fouled 30 yards out and Danny Lye's free kick was easily held by Whitehouse.
Then Ashford had a good chance as Simon Glover's cross landed plumb on the head of Elliott but the
effort went well wide, then Joby Thorogood headed over, but generally the Brickies were looking the more dangerous and this was the sum of Ashford's second half attacking performance.
Sittingbourne had another free kick on 61 minutes and this time Jamie Coyle was unlucky as his thumping free kick just missed the right hand upright.
Two minutes later the tireless Tom Berry threaded the ball through to Smissen whose shot just flew by the far post. Then came the best shot of the match as Clint Gooding set up Paul Manning for a shot from fully 30 yards
which Whitehouse did brilliantly to tip over.
Sittingbourne took the lead on 72 minutes as a Jamie Coyle free kick caused mayhem in the Ashford area and Marsh nipped in to fire the ball into the net. Ashford were unable to respond and with just three minutes to go Berry
once again turned provider as he found Paul Manning wide on the left and the resulting cross bounced off the top of the crossbar.
Sittingbourne had the final word as right on time Kieran Marsh threaded the ball through to David
Cory who forced a good save from Whitehouse.
Sittingbourne: Fewell, Coyle, Berry, Lye, Ainsworth, Campbell, Gooding, Marsh, Cory (Neal 90 mins), Smissen, Manning, Subs not used: O'Neil, Ashmore, Yorath, Dowley.
Ashford Town: Whitehouse, Gardner, O'Leary, Adlington (Anderson 80 mins), Bower, Wade, Azzopardi (Ward 70 mins), Eeles, Elliott, Thorogood (Stone 70 mins), Glover