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First Qualifying Round Replay
|Peter Pitts reports from Central Park
|Lymington & New Milton
|Crook 37, Dowley 46 (og)
Injury hit Sittingbourne crash out of FA Cup
Sittingbourne fell at the first hurdle in their quest to reach the Millennium stadium.
After a first half, where they played some of their best football so far this season, they followed it by conceding a poor goal in just 53 seconds of the second and then proved mostly ineffectual for the rest of that half.
The injuries continue for Sittingbourne with Tom Berry and Dave Hassett becoming the latest casualties. Jamie Coyle was still unavailable whilst Ben Taylor played but had barely recovered form injuries sustained on Saturday.
Sittingbourne began much better than their opponents. Clint Gooding had an early effort when he hooked a shot just over the bar then James Campbell just failed to get onto the end of a Kieran Marsh free kick, then another Marsh cross whistled across the Linnetts goal but again no one was on hand to get the final touch.
Sittingbourne's supremacy paid dividends on 21 minutes when Joe Dowley played a good ball through to Jon Neal. The Linnetts keeper Mark Watson came rushing our for the ball but Neal just beat him to it and walked round him before arcing a shot to the far post where David Cory was on hand to turn it into the goal.
This stung the Linnetts into action and almost immediately. Darren Crook had a good chance at the other end but fired his effort over the bar.
Sittingbourne though were still looking well worth the goal with David Cory and Shane Campbell's speed causing the Linnetts all sorts of problems, whilst Kieran Marsh was putting through some superb passes.
On 24 minutes James Campbell had a good chance in the area but headed the ball straight at Watson, Shane Campbell found Marsh who smashed in a shot which went just over the bar.
The Brickies defence had had little to do and perhaps that's why concentration lapsed on 37 minutes when Mark Clothiers sent in a waist high cross into the Brickies area and Darren Crook was on hand to send an excellent first time shot past Kevin Fewell to bring the Linnetts somewhat
This goal knocked the Brickies already fragile confidence and they then struggled to find their rhythm and the half ended with another Linnetts chance but Crook's header was safely gathered by Fewell.
The second half started in sensational style when after just 53 seconds Ben Thomson raced down the left and sent in a far post cross which Joe Dowley, under pressure form Michael Jackson, turned past his own keeper to put the Linnetts into the lead for the first time in the tie.
David Cory, who had such an influence in the first half, was struggling with an injury and was replaced by Bradley Spice on 52 minutes.
Lee Browning then also came on replacing Dowley but the changes didn't help and the Linnetts
began to get on top as the Brickies appeared totally shell shocked.
On 69 minutes the impressive Peter Smith latched onto a Thomson corner and struck a shot just past the Brickies post.
The Brickies briefly rallied on 70 minutes when Shane Campbell had a shot blocked on the line by a sea of Linnetts bodies.
A minute later a mazey run by Smith ended in a shot which Fewell blocked. Fewell was again in action on 77 minutes when Patrick James had a shot rebound out to Jackson who fired goal-wards but Fewell made an excellent save.
Sittingbourne replaced defender James Campbell with Roy Guiver on 78 minutes but the new striker combination never got going.
The Brickies couldn't reproduce the fluid running football of the first half and the long balls were being easily mopped up by the Linnetts.
On 86 minutes a Jackson header went close but with a last flurry the Brickies finally came forward and with just a minute to go Kieran Marsh had a great shot which Watson did brilliantly to tip around the post.
That proved to be the last act in the match and the Brickies dreams of progressing in the competition have died.
It's back to trying to kick start their league season for the Brickies when they travel to Leighton Town on Saturday.
Sittingbourne: Fewell, Taylor, Hill, Gooding, J Campbell (Guiver 78 mins), Ainsworth, S Campbell, Marsh, Neal, Cory (Spice 52 mins), Dowley (Browning 61 mins), Subs: Douglas, Beeney
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