Division One East
|John Pitts reports from
|Barton Rovers||2||Barnes 34,73|
Brickies need to improve
SITTINGBOURNE made the trip to Bedfordshire to play Barton Rovers, a team just outside the play off positions and one that has not scored for five games.
When the two teams last met in November, Sittingbourne won 2-1. This time Barton reversed the score and the player who scored in the November game for Barton, Paul Barnes, scored both goals in this one and was the main difference between the two sides.
It's no wonder then that Barton have already signed Barnes on a contract for next season. The Bourne strikers had as many if not more chances than Barton but had no one like Barnes to take
The game was a poor spectacle for those present. The sloping and bumpy pitch probably did little to help but it certainly made me glad that the season is nearly over and Lovell can gather his troops and hopefully improve things for next season's league campaign.
Sittingbourne started off brightly enough and nearly scored after four minutes when, following a Ryan Peters cross, an almighty scramble in front of the Barton goal ended with a goal line clearance.
Peter Taylor then ran half the length of the pitch and shot just over the Barton goal.
Barton then had a period of pressure that ended with a shot that went just wide.
After thirty minutes Spice had a great chance when he latched onto a through ball and sent it wide of the Barton goal from about ten yards out.
It was then Barton's chance to go close when a corner went over Fewell's head and just missed the far goalpost.
After 34 minutes Barton Rovers took the lead. Peters gave a free kick away midway between the halfway line and the Sittingbourne goal line. The kick was quickly taken and found Barnes whose shot beat Fewell.
A Ryan Peters shot was all that the Bourne could muster before the referee brought a halt to a half that Sittingbourne had the best chances but Barton had the lead.
Sittingbourne played up the slope but with the wind for the second half. Ten minutes into this half, Lovell decided that changes were needed and replaced Gooding and Taylor with Cory and Belcher giving a more attacking look to the team.
After 60 minutes Spice had another great opportunity to score when he cleverly sidestepped a Barton defender close in on the Barton goal but his snap shot went wide of the goal.
Ryan Peters was then replaced by Ricky Spiller, possibly because Peters was in danger of getting himself sent off after a hand ball offence when he had already been cautioned for the same offence.
Barton's second goal came after 73 minutes when a Sittingbourne corner was cleared up field to Paul Barnes who raced away from the Brickies defence and struck a fine goal past Fewell.
A consolation goal for Sitingbourne came after 90 minutes on the clock when a Sittingbourne corner was headed in by a totally unmarked James Campbell.
This was a disappointing performance by Sittingbourne. On paper they have far more difficult games left (other than perhaps Wingate & Finchley) and will certainly have to improve to get anything more out of this season.