Super Coyle strike completes double over Eastleigh
Eastleigh 1-2 Sittingbourne
Dr Martens League Eastern Division
Saturday 17 April 2004
Report by Peter Pitts - www.sittingbournefc.co.uk
A stunning 89th minute goal of the season by Jamie Coyle secured all 3 points and the double over Eastleigh.
It also made the Eastleigh manager eat his words as he had
said after the Sittingbourne home victory back in
October that the Brickies only won because of their dust bowl pitch and that Eastleigh would easily beat them at home! so Coyle's winner was all the more sweet.
Ironically Eastleigh still clinched one of the promotion places despite this defeat as results elsewhere went for them, whilst Sittingbourne, despite their good end of season form will finish just outside these coveted positions.
Sittingbourne looked composed from the off and had a good penalty shout turned down on 7 minutes when Michael Smissen was brought down in the area.
On 19 minutes the busy Jon Neal fired narrowly over the bar but Eastleigh caused problems on the half hour, first the Brickies defence failed to clear a free kick but Rob Marshall's shot deflected for a corner. From the corner Paul Sales rose well but sent his header wide.
Ten minutes later Sales had an effort blocked by Brickies keeper Kevin Fewell and then James Stokoe headed over.
Sittingbourne responded well and Adam Douglas found Smissen whose shot from a tight angle went across the goal just missing the far post.
Then the ball came out to the unmarked Ben Taylor who sent in a 30 yard screamer which the Eastleigh keeper did well to turn round a post.
Sittingbourne started the second half with the wind to their backs and had a good opening period. Douglas was fouled and from the free kick Smissen headed just wide.
A minute later the Brickies took a deserved lead as Jamie Coyle got to Paul Manning's free kick through a packed penalty area and headed powerfully past Shaw.
Sittingbourne continued to play confidently and Jon Neal got behind the Eastleigh defence but his effort was cleared for a corner. Then the Brickies had another good penalty shout when Paul Manning appeared to be brought down
by Tyronne Bowers but again the referee ignored the plea.
Eastleigh drew level on 71 minutes when the ball was crossed into the packed Brickies penalty area and Paul Sales reacted first to stab it past Fewell.
To the Brickies credit their heads could have dropped at this set back but instead they took a grip on the game and could have regained the lead two minutes later when David Cory raced clear but the Eastleigh keeper did well
to narrow the angle and block his shot. Cory then had a header go wide, then a snap shot by Neal was deflected for a corner.
Just as a draw looked a certainty the Eastleigh keeper cleared the ball almost to the half way line, but it fell at Jamie Coyle's feet. Coyle expertly trapped it and in one movement lobbed it back straight over the back pedalling Shaw and into the goal for a truly amazing goal and a thoroughly deserved victory.
Sittingbourne: Fewell, Taylor, Hill, Berry, Ainsworth, Campbell, Coyle, Douglas (Marsh 76 mins), Neal (Marshall 90 mins), Smissen (Cory 73 mins), Manning, sub not used: Beeney