Division One East
|Peter Pitts reporting|
|Great Wakering Rovers||1||Lake 73|
Point taken for injury-hit Brickies
Sittingbourne's injury crisis deepened as Paul Ainsworth limped off in the 73rd minute of this game against a Great Wakering Rovers side that have now drawn 5 league game in a row.
The Essex side had the more clear cut chances to win the game, however Sittingbourne, through Lee Browning, had a brilliant diving header in the first half ruled out through off-side and in the second he struck the bar with a ferocious shot, and on the balance of play a draw was a fair reflection of play on the night.
Pat Mullins, on a month's loan from Dover Athletic, continued in goal as Kevin Fewell is unavailable for a couple of matches so Sittingbourne started with the same line up that had defeated Barton Rovers on Saturday.
The crowd of 105, who included the usual stalwart Sittingbourne supporters, saw a lively opening and on 17 minutes the impressive Shane Campbell saw his shot deflected but only as far as Bradley Spice who made no mistake in crashing the ball in the net to give the Brickies the lead.
Browning's disallowed "goal" followed two minutes later and generally Sittingbourne were well on top.
A sweet move between Adam Douglas and Campbell set up a chance for Neal but the Brickies top scorer's shot was weak and easily gathered by James Marrable in the Rovers goal.
Despite Sittingbourne's supremacy at these early stages Great Wakering had a golden opportunity to draw level when on 21 minutes Lular Almadi set up Nana Badu with a chance but the Rovers player screwed his shot wide of the goal.
Sittingbourne then looked comfortable for the rest of the half.
The second half, however, was just two minutes old when Mike Shelley broke through for Rovers and with only Pat Mullins in the Brickies goal to beat he sent in an agonisingly slow curling effort against the right hand post.
Shane Campbell's speed was causing all sorts of problems to the home side but Neal and Spice were being tightly marked and were given little space and generally Great Wakering looked the more businesslike coming forward.
On 59 minutes Manlee Brown latched onto a corner but sent the ball well over Mullins goal, (and incidentally it entered the car park and bounced on my windscreen which promptly cracked!!).
A minute later Brown sent in another effort but this time the ball curled wide of the goal. Rovers Badu was hurling some great long throws into the Brickies box and from one of them Brendan Walshe had a shot deflected for a corner.
Just as it looked like Great Wakering had got the upper hand in strode Lee Browning to smash a great effort against the Rovers cross bar.
At the other end another Badu throw was headed just past the post.
On 73 minutes the pressure finally told and substitute Sam Lake latched onto a cross field past and slammed the ball past Mullins to bring the Rovers level.
Sittingbourne then at last picked up their game and for the next ten minutes played some great football as they pressed the Rovers goal.
On 79 minutes Dave Hassett replaced Spice and Jack Tanner came on for his debut replacing Jon Neal.
On 82 minutes a Dan Trenkel shot was seen at the last minute by Mullins who just scrambled the ball away, then in injury time Browning almost stole the points for Sittingbourne as he ran through the Rovers defence but sent his shot agonisingly wide.
Sittingbourne: Mullins, Coyle, Hill, Manning, Douglas, Ainsworth (Gooding 73), S Campbell, Marsh, Neal (Tanner 79), Spice (Hassett 79), Browning. Sub: Beeney