Thursday 01st September 2005

Debutant Smissen scores brace as Sittingbourne fire four
Sittingbourne 4-1 Burnham
Saturday 8 November 2003
Dr Martens League Eastern Division

By Peter Pitts link

A sparkling second half display by Sittingbourne gave them their 4th league win out of the last 5 games. New loan signing from Dover, Michael Smissen, made an immediate impact with two well taken goals, whilst Kieran Marsh returned to the side.  Missing were Jamie Coyle, Lee Browning, Danny Lye and  Dean Yorath.

This was a harsh baptism for Steve Mellor, the ex Newport Isle of Wight Manager in charge at Burnham for his first match as Sittingbourne took complete control of the second half, scoring 3 goals and coasting to victory.

Sittingbourne started slowly and Burnham's Aaron Lennon glanced a shot just wide on 8 minutes then Kevin Fewell tipped an effort over the bar.

Sittingbourne's first threat on goal came on 24 minutes when a Jon Neal rasping cross was just missed by the onrushing Brickie forwards. The ball was quickly cleared up-field to Michel Bartley whose  shot was parried out by  Kevin Fewell but only  to Robert Westell who gratefully fired it back into the net to put Burnham ahead.

Burnham's lead was short lived as the Brickies won a free kick just outside the penalty area, the ball was played to Bradley Spice whose  marvellous cross found an unmarked Michael Smissen who rose majestically to head  past a rooted to the spot Julian Dale. Sittingbourne then took control and on 39 minutes Joe Dowley found Smissen who headed onto Bradley Spice but Spice's shot went wide.

The second half saw Sittingbourne take immediate control and on 51 minutes a Spice free kick was well held by Dale. Then Burnham began to go to pieces and with their defence at sixes and sevens a far post cross found James Campbell who fired in a great goal  off a post to put the Brickies ahead. Two minutes later in the centre of Burnham's penalty area an unmarked Jon Neal diverted a Bradley Spice cross past Dale for the Brickies third.

Sittingbourne were unlucky 8 minutes later when a powerful Jon Neal shot was palmed away by Dale for a corner. From the corner Michael Smissen's header rebounded of the Burnham keeper. Burnham then came back into the game briefly but it was Sittingbourne who continued to look the more dangerous and Paul Davies and Michael Smissen broke away but the final pass was found wanting.

Paul Davies had another good chance on 75 minutes when another pin point Bradley Spice pass picked him out but although Davies rounded the keeper the ball ran away out of his reach. However the Brickies only had to wait another two minutes before Kieran Marsh picked out Smissen who deftly rounded Dale and slotted the ball in the net for the Brickies fourth.

Sittingbourne coasted the last 15 minutes, their defence superbly marshalled by Ben Taylor not giving Burnham an inch, and on 86 minutes Burnham's frustration showed when Steven Noakes picked up his second yellow card from impressive referee Steve Cook and was sent off.

A display of pure class from Sittingbourne who now go to in form Histon next Saturday and attempt to get revenge for the recent 3-1 reverse at Bourne Park. On the evidence of this display they must be confident.

Sittingbourne: Fewell, Ainsworth, Dowley, D Smith, Campbell, Taylor, Spice (Ashmore 90mins), Marsh, Neal, Smissen, Davies, Subs not used: Berry, L Smith, Beeney.