Division One East
|Peter Pitts Reports from Broadwater,
Lower Kings Road
Brickies come away with deserved draw
This game was vital to both sides but for different reasons. Berkhamsted Town were keen to stay in contention for a play off position whilst the Brickies were keen to move further away from the relegation zone.
This pressure produced a lively game in which both sides had periods of dominance.
Sittingbourne had an early chance when Adam Douglas's header from a corner was caught by Berko keeper Sam Mazurek.
Sittingbourne continued to press and James Campbell headed narrowly over the Berko bar.
Sittingbourne's Joe Dowley was forced to clear the ball off the line on 12 minutes but Sittingbourne were playing well and on 21 minutes Clint Gooding had a header saved following a Jamie Coyle free kick.
Three minutes later Coyle himself had a go but his 20 yard shot was well saved.
Berkhamsted were giving away a number of free kicks just outside their area but the Brickies
were unable to capitalise.
On 36 minutes a Berko counter attack ended in a deflected shot which Kevin Fewell did well to tip over the bar.
Berkhamsted then had a period of pressure which the Brickies comfortably contained.
A minute before half time a poor challenge on Gooding by the already booked Anthony Samuals just outside the Berko area gave the Brickies a free kick. Paul Manning stepped up to take the kick and he sent in a low shot through the ineffective Berko wall and the ball nestled in the left hand corner of the net to give the Brickies a priceless lead.
Sittingbourne continued to press and Coyle was unlucky with a header that went just wide, then right on half time Gooding's shot also went wide.
The second half was a see saw affair as both teams had periods of ascendancy. On 55 minutes another Coyle long range special went wide then Fewell made a good save following a Berko corner.
Jack Tanner then made a blistering run from the halfway line only to see his shot deflected.
On 69 minutes Browning had just the keeper to beat but Mazurek made an easy save.
On 75 minutes Fewell made a one handed save from Ben Porter, the ball fell loose and although Dowley and Douglas tried to clear the ball crossed the line to bring Berko level.
Berkhamsted then had a period of sustained pressure and won three corners in succession followed by a long range free kick which went wide.
On 85 minutes the Brickies injury worries deepened as David Cory was stretchered off with an ankle injury.
Berkhamsted pressed for the winner in the last five minutes and on 88 minutes Fewell failed to hold the ball but the resulting shot hit the side netting.
Despite a number of Berko shots Sittingbourne held on and they come away from Hertfordshire with a well deserved draw.
Sittingbourne: Fewell, Coyle, Dowley (Ashmore 85), Manning, J Campbell, Hill, Tanner, Douglas, Cory (Ainsworth 85), Gooding, Browning (Spice 84). Sub not used: Tucker
Southern League Division One East Table (Bottom 8)
|Great Wakering Rovers
|Erith & Belvedere