Thursday 01st September 2005
History doesn't repeat itself for Sittingbourne
Sittingbourne 1-0 Whyteleafe
FA Cup First Qualifying Round
Saturday 13 September 2003
by Peter Pitts www.sittingbournefc.co.uk
The teams had met once before, in the 1989-90 season at Church Road and the Brickies went down 1-0 in that game. This time the tables were turned and Sittingbourne came out winners by the same score.
Sittingbourne manager Mark Beeney settled for the same team that had beaten Fleet Town so comprehensively last week and the players responded to the faith put in them with a strong mature performance which frustrated the Surrey side who ended up with four players booked.
Sittingbourne started well and on seventeen minutes a Darren Smith pass found Jon Neale whose shot was blocked by 'leafe goalkeeper Michael Lidsbury.
Ten minutes later, Joe Dowley, who is proving a shrewd close season acquisition, passed inside to an unmarked Jon Neal in the Whyteleafe penalty area but this time he made no mistake to put the Brickies in front.
The expected Whyteleafe fight back never materialised in this half, instead the Brickies increased their grip on the game to the break.
The second half, with just a single goal separating the sides, was a tense affair, but the Brickies always looked the more assured and composed side.
Former Tottenham, Charlton, Newcastle and Leyton Orient player, Peter Garland was causing a few problems at time for the home side but he was way over his fighting weigh and like the other members of the Whyteleafe team he seemed to tire more than the home side.
Whyteleafe came close on 57 minutes when Kevin Fewell was forced to punch a shot away then the returning ball was headed off the goal line by Tom Berry.
That was to be the closest that Whyteleafe could come to a goal as their attack, which had scored twelve goals in their last three games for no reply, met their match with the strong Brickies defence ably marshalled by skipper Ben Taylor.
Sittingbourne then took a grip on the game again and Bradly Spices' speed was causing problems. On 67 minutes a Berry through ball found Spice who blasted his shot narrowly wide.
On 75 minutes, a Spice free kick was acrobatically turned around a post by Lidbury. Then Neal got into the act again, blasting a shot just over the bar.
Whyteleafe's last attack came with just four minutes left on the clock, the Brickies defence clearing a goal mouth scramble.
Spice raced away at the death but his shot was blocked by the Whyteleafe goalkeeper.
Sittingbourne's game against Histon on Saturday 27 September has been postponed as the Brickies play their FA Cup Second Qualifying Round tie that day. The draw takes place on Monday.