Sittingbourne have very slim chance after victory in Hampshire
Fleet Town 0-3 Sittingbourne
Saturday 10 April 2004
Dr Martens League Eastern Division
by Peter Pitts - www.sittingbournefc.co.uk
Sittingbourne seldom extended themselves in this clash against bottom of the table Fleet Town, but still came out comfortable winners by 3 goals to nil.
This was their fourth consecutive league win, their best win sequence since March 1997 and the three points from this victory put the Brickies on the same points total that they finished on last season, but they still have 4
games to go.
Sittingbourne were missing Kieran Marsh, who was unavailable, and Clint Gooding and Joe Dowley who are still injured. In for his first full game came new signing Adam Douglas. Jon Neal and David Cory swapped
places with Neal on the substitutes bench.
Sittingbourne began kicking down the considerable slope and soon took a grip on the game. The first chance fell to Jamie Coyle after 8 minutes but he fired wide, then Michael Smissen intercepted a poor clearance but he too
fired wide. Coyle was in action again 5 minutes later this time just missing the target from a free kick.
James Campbell saw his 22nd minute effort headed over the bar by a Fleet defender then a minute later a Smissen shot was well saved by Fleet keeper Calvin Sparshatt. It was all Sittingbourne with Fleet seemingly unwilling or
unable to push forward.
Jamie Coyle had a great chance to give the Brickies the lead on 32 minutes when he latched onto a Paul Manning corner but with no one round him he sent his shot just wide.
Just as it seemed that Fleet would thwart the Brickies to half time new boy Adam Douglas found David Cory who took the ball to the byline and crossed it. Lurking at the far post was Tom Berry and he smashed the ball past the
Fleet keeper to score his first goal of the season. Sittingbourne then doubled their lead a minute later as Manning nipped into take the ball off a hesitant defender and found Smissen who coolly slotted the ball home.
The second half was a fairly tame affair with Fleet unable to trouble Fewell who was having one of his quietist games for some time, however on 59 minutes he was nearly called into action when James Campbell lost the ball
to Eddie Smith but Paul Ainsworth rescued the situation by pushing the Fleet forward wide. Sittingbourne took their foot of the accelerator slightly and on 77 minutes Shaun Hale was unlucky not to pull a goal back when he headed over from a free kick, that effort though was Fleet's one and only direct scoring chance throughout the match.
Sittingbourne soon came back and on 78 minutes Smissen headed a Berry cross just over. Sittingbourne always looked capable of finding the net again and with 5 minutes to go Jamie Coyle found himself in acres of space and powered a Manning cross past Sparshatt to finish the scoring.
Not a vintage performance but some good displays notably from David Cory, new signing Adam Douglas, and substitute Toby Ashmore.
It is still mathematically possible for the Brickies to finish in the eight place play off position, that is if they keep on winning and the teams above them slip up!
Sittingbourne: Fewell, Taylor, Yorath (Hill 49 mins), Berry, Ainsworth (Ashmore 62 mins), Campbell, Coyle, Douglas, Cory, Smissen, Manning, sub not used: Beeney