Two crucial decisions by the officials helped to give the Puritans all three points. The first incident came on 56 minutes with Sittingbourne fighting back well from a two goal first half deficit. Joe Dowley and Banbury’s Scott Taylor clashed and Taylor pushed Dowley in the face. Amazingly Referee Mr Williams didn’t believe that the incident warranted a yellow let alone a red card, and to add insult to injury Taylor went on to score Banbury’s third. The second incident was much more clear cut when the ball was scooped away by Banbury keeper Simon Tricker but it appeared to have already crossed the goal line.
Sittingbourne were without the injured Clint Gooding and Jamie Coyle, whilst Darren Smith was missing through Suspension. New signing Danny Lye made his debut and went on to have a competent game. In came Matt Nicholls and Adam Marshall whilst Bradley Spice, on his 21st birthday, was on the substitutes bench. Ben Taylor was playing his last game before his four match suspension begins.
Sittingbourne had their first effort after just 5 minutes when Paul Davies fired narrowly wide after receiving the ball from Danny Lye. On 12 minutes Banbury showed that they would be a threat from dead ball situations as a Wayne Blossom free kick was blasted over by Jason Allen . Six minutes later the Puritans took the lead when a free kick was spilled by Kevin Fewell and Mark Simms nipped in to stab the ball home, scoring on his Banbury debut.
Sittingbourne had a couple of efforts to get back into the match, a header from Kieran Marsh and a long range speculative shot from James Campbell which sailed over the bar.
Sittingbourne’s frailty at dead ball situations showed again on 32 minutes when a far post free kick was headed powerfully past Fewell by George Redknap.
The Brickies were almost back in the game on 39 minutes when Jon Neal picked up the ball from a free kick but his shot was blocked by Tricker. Then right on half time Paul Davies had a golden opportunity to pull a goal back but he blasted the ball wide.
Sittingbourne brought on Bradley Spice for Adam Marshall at half time and immediately his pace put more thrust into the Brickies attack. On 50 minutes Spice had a great shot which Tricker did magnificently to palm away, then from Campbell’s corner Marsh headed just over. Jon Neal also had an effort but it was weak and easily gathered by Tricker. This was followed by the Joe Dowley / Scott Taylor incident.
On 60 minutes a Brickies onslaught on the Banbury goal appeared to end with Joe Dowley firing the ball just over the goal line but the assistant waved play on, even the Banbury players stared open mouthed at this one. This set back seemed to affect the Brickies and Banbury came back into the game strongly, and after winning a series of corners Taylor struck the ball first time past Fewell to rub the salt into the wounds.
Sittingbourne pulled a goal back with just 6 minutes to go, and a strange goal it was as Paul Davies picked up Joe Dowley’s cross field pass. He seemed to have tons of time with no one near him but his first effort bounced off the underside of the crossbar but he made no mistake with the rebound. Bradley Spice had a penalty appeal turned down then he had a great shot right on time which rebounded for a corner, but the Brickies had left it too late and still wait for their second league win of the season.
Sittingbourne: Fewell, Nicholl (Browning 68 mins), Dowley, S Davies, Campbell, Taylor (C), Marshall (Spice 46 mins), Marsh, Neal, Lye, P Davies, Subs not used: Spackman, Beeney