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Division One East
|Peter Pitts reporting
|Neal 16, Cory 36,
Brickies buzzing after first league victory
A superb display by the Brickies at Leighton Buzzard earned them their first league victory of the season.
But what was really pleasing was not merely that they won, but that they won with a commanding performance in which they scored great goals and played some excellent football.
Jamie Coyle and Paul Manning returned to the team, Shane Campbell, James Campbell and Dave Hassett are injured while Tom Berry, Lee Browning, Joe Dowley and Bradley Spice were all on the subs bench.
Sittingbourne began the game kicking into the stiff wind but they adapted quickly to it and the small pitch and on 16 minutes took the lead when Jon Neal fired in a stunning shot from fully 25 yards which flew past James Dewick in the Leighton goal.
The sheer brilliance of the goal gave the Brickies a tremendous boost and they began to take a grip on the game with Neal and Cory causing the Leighton defence all sorts of problems.
On 21 minutes Leighton had a free kick just outside the Brickies area but Kevin Fewell was equal to it and turned Matt Rawdon's shot round the post.
Seven minutes later Jamie Coyle latched onto the ball from a free kick and sent in a good shot which Dewick saved.
For the second time in three games Sittingbourne had a good penalty shout turned down when on 35 minutes David Cory was pushed over in the area.
In recent games Sittingbourne had let leads slip so the many travelling Brickies supporters must have pondered whether they could hold the lead.
Just two minutes later Cory helped to ease the worries when he latched onto a Coyle pass and crashed home a magnificent shot which gave Dewick no chance.
Leighton had a brief period of pressure but it was Sittingbourne who were looking the more dangerous and on 41 minutes Jamie Coyle headed a Kieran Marsh free kick just wide.
Sittingbourne finished the half still on the attack when a clever Coyle back heeled pass to Clint Gooding ended in the keeper saving at the near post.
This had been a stylish half for the Brickies and they began the second period in explosive fashion when with the half just two minutes old Coyle flighted the ball over the Leighton defence to Marsh who coolly lobbed the advancing keeper to extend the Brickies lead even further.
This goal further deflated Leighton, and Sittingbourne were now well on top. Three minutes later a throw-in found Paul Ainsworth lurking in the Leighton area and he headed the ball backwards into the Leighton goal for the Brickies fourth.
The home side pulled a consolation goal back on 58 minutes when a melee in the Sittingbourne area saw Fewell block a shot but the ball fell to substitute Allie Thornley who fired home.
Sittingbourne didn't let this setback worry them and almost from the restart Jon Neal fired in a shot that Dewick juggled with before finally catching.
Leighton had another period of pressure and on 65 minutes Marc Redsull raced away but Ben Taylor put him off as he shot and Fewell made a good save.
Three minutes later Taylor did well again, this time pushing Rawdon to the line and forcing him to send his shot wide.
Despite the Leighton pressure Sittingbourne were having the better efforts and Adam Douglas set up a chance for Neal that he sent narrowly over the bar.
This was followed by a long ball from Coyle to Cory but Dewick did well to block the shot.
Sittingbourne won a couple of corners in the last minutes and to the delight of the Brickies supporters the final whistle was blown and the Brickies season is now up and running.
Sittingbourne: Fewell, Coyle, Hill, Douglas, Ainsworth, Taylor, Gooding, Marsh, Cory, Neal (Spice 80 mins), Manning (Berry 70 mins), Subs: Browning, Dowley, Beeney