Thursday 01st September 2005
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Saturday 9
October 2004
FA Trophy
Preliminary Round
Peter Pitts reports from Bourne Park
Sittingbourne 2 Neal 88, Campbell 89
Leighton Town 1 Kingsley 66

Sittingbourne leave it Leighton Trophy day

Sittingbourne had comfortably defeated Leighton Town by 4-1 at Leighton just a month ago, however, this time the Bedfordshire side made the Brickies fight all the way and  with just two minutes of the match to go looked to have pulled off a victory only for Jon Neal and James Campbell to score two in two minutes  to set up a first round Trophy tie away to Burgess Hill Town next month.

Sittingbourne won a corner almost from the kick off and Jamie Coyle headed the ball just wide, the Brickies though were missing the bustling David Cory who was out through injury and generally their attacking menace looked somewhat muted.

Despite this they nearly scored when Paul Manning's header was headed towards his own goal by a Leighton Defender and the ball struck the right hand post.

Leighton were having half chances themselves and on 35 minutes a long free kick found Andrew Fagan who headed narrowly wide.

Three minutes later Sittingbourne had the best chance of the half when a long throw was back headed into the Leighton area by Ben Taylor and landed at the feet of Clint Gooding but Gooding, just 5 yards from the line,  was falling as he met the ball, and it ballooned over the bar.

Sittingbourne won a corner just before half time but the ball was cleared down-field to Mark Seller who put his shot wide from a good position, then Matt Rawdon had a shot but Kevin Fewell easily gathered.

Leighton had the strong wind at their backs in the second half but again it was the Brickies who made the early running and another back header into the area by Taylor found Neal who fired narrowly over.

It was Leighton though who, in the 66th minute, broke the deadlock when a long ball was latched onto by Alex Kingsley and he outran the Brickies defence and fired a superb shot round Fewell and into the goal.

This goal rocked the Brickies and try as they might they couldn't make much headway against the Leighton defence.

However, on 78 minutes Paul Manning was replaced by Lee Browning and immediately the fresh pair of legs paid dividends with Browning making some good runs on the left.

However, time was ticking away for the Brickies. On 86 minutes Sittingbourne pressure caused havoc in the Leighton penalty area and Jon Neal was unlucky when his shot was blocked

Two minutes later Sittingbourne won a free kick 35 yards out on the left. The kick was sent into the packed Leighton area where Neal was on hand to glance the ball against a post and into the net for the equaliser.

Just as the Sittingbourne faithful were bemoaning a long mid week trip for the replay their team won a corner and from it James Campbell rose majestically to head past Leighton keeper James Dewick to put Sittingbourne into the lead.

There was hardly time to restart the game and  Sittingbourne had sealed their passage into the next round by the narrowest of margins.

Sittingbourne: Fewell, Coyle, Hill, Douglas, Ainsworth (J Campbell 9), Taylor, Gooding (S Campbell 63), Marsh, Neal, Spice, Manning (Browning 78). Sub: Beeney.