Brickies stretch unbeaten run to six games
Rothwell Town 0 Sittingbourne 0
Dr Martens League Eastern Division
Saturday 20th September 2003
by Peter Pitts www.sittingbournefc.co.uk
A point each for Rothwell Town
and Sittingbourne as both teams extended their unbeaten run to six games,
however Sittingbourne will be the more disappointed side not to claim all three
points as Rothwell were down to ten men for 49
minutes of the game.
The first half saw both sides struggle to play coherent football as they were so evenly matched that they seemed to cancel each other out. Sittingbourne elected to play up the amazing Rothwell slope, (apparently a 9ft drop from one end to the other), and the tactics played off as Rothwell were being comfortably held.
There was little action until 25 minutes when Jamie Campbell gave away a free kick just outside the Brickies area but Richard Weale blasted the ball well wide. At the other end Tom Berry had a good effort blocked, and Jon Neal had a
long range shot go just wide. However neither goalkeeper was being seriously troubled.
Another Weale free kick was headed safely away by Kieran Marsh then Bradley Spice had a good chance at the other end after being put through by Jon Neal but he miss-hit the shot which skewed across goal.
With just 4 minutes of the first half to go there came a controversial incident when a strong Joe Dowley challenge sent Carl Lake into the advertising boards, Lake confronted Dowley and appeared to strike him across the chest leaving
referee Mr Steel with no option but to send him off. Dowley was booked for the challenge.
Sittingbourne started the second half strongly as they tried to make their man advantage tell. After just 1 minute of the restart Jamie Coyle had a thirty yard shot go just wide, then two minutes later it looked as though they had taken the
lead when a Kieran Marsh shot rebounded to Jon Neal whose return shot bounced of Rothwell goalkeeper John Hughes and the ball agonisingly ran along the goal line. Then came a period of sustained Brickies pressure only broken by Micky
Garside breaking away but his final shot went well wide.
The game now had an edge about it with tempers being strained and the game was by no means easy for referee Mr Steel to control.
Substitute Paul Davies came on after 69 minutes and brought a more direct approach for the Brickies and he almost scored immediately when he was unlucky with an attempted lob of the keeper after Jon Neal had neatly back flipped the
ball to him.
Rothwell though could still look dangerous and on 80 minutes a rasping far post cross was headed brilliantly to safety by James Campbell.
The last ten minutes saw a shot by Smith blocked and two efforts by Paul Davies go just wide. Rothwell had a free kick go just past the post and Adam Sturgess fired in a menacing cross which just failed to find the target, however Sittingbourne will consider this as two points lost rather than one point gained.
Sittingbourne: Fewell, Coyle, Dowley, S Davies, Campbell, Taylor (C), Berry, Marsh (P Davies 67 mins), Neal, Smith, Spice, Subs not used: Gooding, Nicholl, Beeney.