Division One East
|Peter Pitts reports from Bourne Park
|East Thurrock United
Poor start to New Year
This was a disappointing
start to the New Year as the Brickies fell to their biggest home defeat of the
season in front of by far the largest Southern League Division One East crowd of
The team never got going and that can only be partly due to the swirling gusty wind which made playing conditions awful.
East Thurrock are having their problems at the moment and money worries, has meant that they have had to list seven of their first team squad.
Unfortunately these worries didn't seem to affect the players and the Essex side were well worth their win.
Sittingbourne's best period was probably the first five minutes when they took the game to the Rocks but on 11 minutes the Brickies defence failed to clear the ball and Jon Turnbull slipped the ball to Gary Dixon who finished well by glancing the ball to the right of Kevin Fewell.
Sittingbourne won a couple of corners and free kicks but there was little linking up of midfield and forwards and so the Rocks keeper was being given an easy time, he was adept at taking an inordinate time to kick the ball out and the Brickies were helping with this time wasting tactic by not harrying him enough.
East Thurrock were the exact opposite and were chasing for everything.
On 25 minutes Fewell palmed a shot from Dixon over the bar. At the other end a Kieran Marsh corner was just cleared but despite good pressure in the last quarter of the half the East Thurrock goal wasn't threatened.
The weather deteriorated further in the second half with the wind not making up its mind which way to blow.
Bradley Spice has a rare shot held by Hardingham then James Campbell was booked as he rather too energetically tried to kick the ball out of his hands after the Rocks keeper had almost
lost the ball.
The best Brickies shot of the game came on 58 minutes when Paul Ainsworth sent in a 30 yard drive but Hardingham held the ball.
The Rocks second goal was a soft one as on 61 minutes Fewell seemed to let the ball fall from his grasp as he went up for a corner, unfortunately Dean Chandler was on hand to head home an easy goal.
Twelve minutes later the Rocks put the game out of Sittingbourne's reach as Lee Burns raced away and fired the ball past Fewell.
Sittingbourne were at sixes and sevens and strikes from Vinnie John and Dixon from the left hand side both hit the right hand post.
In the 82nd minute Jon Neal at last got a shot in but it sailed narrowly over the bar and Sittingbourne will be wondering just what went so dreadfully wrong in this game.
Sittingbourne: Fewell, Hill, Dowley, Gooding, J Campbell, Ainsworth, Manning (Douglas 80), Marsh, Neal, Spice (Cory 68), Browning (Tanner 76), Subs not used: Nolan, Friend