Things are looking up for Brickies
Division One East
|Peter Pitts reports from Mayesbrook Park|
|Barking & East Ham United||1||Hayes 90|
|A tame first half was followed by a
rip roaring second period that saw Mark
Lovell score his 8th goal this season to put the Brickies ahead, writes Peter Pitts.
The Brickies then withstood a battering from Barking before a scintillating 25 yard shot from Dan Edwards just three minutes after he had come on as a substitute sealed the win.
Barking scored a consolation goal in injury time but it was too little too late and Sittingbourne secured all three points.
The game started evenly with the two best early half chances falling to
Kieran Marsh but each time he sliced his shot as the ball came out to him on the edge of the Barking area.
Barking's first shot came on 19 minutes but Steve Williams in the
Sittingbourne goal easily held the effort. Two minutes later a Peter Taylor
free kick flew just over the bar.
Barking's Andy Aransibia then had a shot turned over the bar by Williams after Steve Blaney and Jamie Murrat had set up the chance.
At the other end Bradley Spice was looking lively and he had a shot palmed
out by Barking keeper Tony Tucker, but only as far as Clint Gooding some ten yards out, unfortunately Gooding with the goal at his mercy blasted the ball over the bar.
If Sittingbourne should have scored from Gooding's effort then on 35 minutes so should Ebow Mensah who headed over from a corner when it
looked easier to score.
Barking had the last shout of the half when a long shot almost caught
Williams napping but he recovered to palm the ball over the bar.
Barking had the better of the early second half exchanges and Mensah headed wide then Blaney had a shot easily caught by Williams.
Sittingbourne though responded well and on 55 minutes a lightening break, began by a great pass from Spice to Lee Browning, ended in Browning passing infield to Mark Lovell who smashed the ball first time off a post and into the net to put the Brickies ahead.
Two minutes later Browning had a shot go narrowly wide, but Barking seemed to be stung into action by the goal and on 58 minutes Joel Palmer forced a marvellous diving save from Williams who turned the ball
round a post to give the hosts the first of a number of corners.
This was the start of a ten minute spell of intense Barking pressure. Palmer threatened the Brickies again but this time Paul Ainsworth cleared the ball for another Barking corner. From the corner Dan Tanner kicked the ball off the line, then the ball rebounded for yet another corner but from this one the pressure was at least eased off the Brickies defence when Barking conceded a free kick.
The breathing space for the Brickies lasted barely two minutes before the powerful Mensah set up a chance for Murrat but again the magnificent Williams was equal to the effort and blocked the shot.
Barking came at the Brickies yet again but this time the effort by Blaney was poor and the shot went wide.
Barking then seemed to pause for breath and the Brickies came back into the game as James Campbell headed a corner straight at the Barking keeper.
On 69 minutes Gooding glanced a header to Spice who sprinted away on the right before cutting inside and unleashing a powerful shot which went
Barking then made all of their permitted substitutions in an 11 minute spell and luckily these changes in the Barking line up seemed to unsettle them and they were unable to exert the same level of pressure again.
On 84 minutes Sittingbourne brought on Joe Dowley's cousin Dan Edwards and just three minutes later, following good work by Spice and Browning, the ball was crossed infield to Edwards some 25 yards out and Edwards crashed a terrific first time shot which gave Tucker no chance as it whistled past him and nestled in the net.
Barking were given a lifeline three minutes into injury time when Matt Hayes looped the ball over Williams and into the Brickies net but there was barely time to restart the game and the Brickies had won the first of a double header - the second part of which will be played out Tuesday, again at Mayesbrook Park, in the first round of the Southern League Errea Cup.
Sittingbourne's vociferous travelling fans saw a very encouraging
performance from their side. Steve Williams in goal is oozing confidence
and this confidence then seems to spread to the whole of the defence who
played magnificently in this game. Bradley Spice is looking dangerous with
his speed and Lee Browning is looking a class act and is playing the best
that I have seen him do for Sittingbourne. Things are definitely looking up
for the Brickies.