Dartford upset the form book
Sittingbourne in a spot of bother as Sykes strike gives Darts valuable three points
Dartford 1-0 Sittingbourne
Dr Martens League Eastern Division
Tuesday 16 March 2004
by Peter Pitts www.sittingbournefc.co.uk
This game upset the form book as Dartford's vodoo spell
over Sittingbourne struck again.
Sittingbourne had turned in some impressive performances against teams in the top half and were in a sequence of 4 unbeaten games before this one, meanwhile Dartford have had a wretched time not winning in their last 6.
Sittingbourne included Dean Hill who lined up for his first start for the club. He was replacing Joe Dowley who is once again suffering from a hamstring injury and is now likely to miss the rest of the season.
The game turned on two incidents, the first on 51 minutes when a Danny Tingley pass found Tostao Kwashi in the Brickies penalty area, Paul Ainsworth then appeared to push Kwashi off the ball and a penalty was
Athough Kevin Fewell did well to block the kick the ball rebounded to Paul Sykes who made no mistake in tucking it away.
Incident number 2 came four minutes later when a Clint Gooding Cross was powerfully headed goal wards by Kieran Marsh only for Darts goalkeeper Jimmy Simpson to fling himself across the goal and pull off the most amazing save.
The game had a quiet start with little happening for the first half hour, then both sides had efforts with Clint Gooding in particular playing some excellent football for the Brickies whilst Tostao Kwashi looked lively for the Darts.
The second half was just 7 minutes old when the penalty incident occurred and despite some enterprising work by Kieran Marsh first with the header that was brilliantly saved and then a minute later heading wide.
Sittingbourne, and in particular the strike partnership of David Cory and Jon Neal although working hard weren't getting much of a look in.
Michael Smissen replaced Dean Hill on 65 minutes and Sittingbourne came back into the game. They had a final charge on the Dartford goal on 84 minutes which started from a good move from Kieran Marsh who found Clint Gooding wide on the right but Gooding's cross was headed over for a corner.
From that corner Gooding was again in action but this time his far post header was blocked and time ran out.
Dartford: Simpson, Tingley, Osborne, C Tedder, Ratchford, McClements, Ansell, Sykes, May, Haly, subs not used: Fagan, Nunn, Nicholls, Innocent, J Tedder
Sittingbourne: Fewell, Coyle, Hill (Smissen 65 mins), Berry, Ainsworth, Campbell, Gooding, Marsh, Neal, Cory, Manning, Subs not used: Yorath, Taylor, Williams.