Thursday 01st September 2005
Derby draw a fair reflection
Sittingbourne 0-0 Chatham Town
Dr Martens League Eastern Division
Boxing Day, Friday 26 December 2003
by Peter Pitts

This game was played in atrocious conditions as the wind gusted and swirled around Bourne Park accompanied sporadically by driving rain. It was amazing therefore that there were no goals, although both sides had the ball in the net and had golden opportunities to score.


Danny Lye was unavailable for Sittingbourne and Lee Browning is still recuperating otherwise Mark Beeney had a full squad to select from. Chatham came into this game a much improved side since Clive Walker has taken over the managerial reins so the Brickies knew it wasn't going to be an easy game, especially given their poor recent record against their local rivals.


Sittingbourne had a let off in the first minute as a Kenny Dyer lofted effort caught Kevin Fewell on the back foot and he could only palm the ball away weakly direct to Kevin Spriggs, but luckily for the Brickies Spriggs shot went straight back to Fewell.


Five minutes later the Brickies had the ball in the net when Darren Smith's corner sailed over everyone and ended up in the net, however referee Mr Venamore disallowed the goal because of a foul on veteran Chatham keeper Maurice Munden.


The game was now very even as both sides were trying to come to terms with the conditions and the heavy pitch. A Danny Lombardo snap shot on 33 minutes was easily held by Fewell and two minutes later a Jamie Coyle shot was dealt with the same way by Munden.


As the end of the first half approached Chatham should have taken the lead when from a corner kick Andy Boyle was left completely clear in the centre of the goal but  he headed the chance wide.


Chatham began the second half strongly and on 48 minutes James Campbell headed a goal bound effort away. Three minutes later after a flowing move it was Chatham's turn to get the ball in the net  but the final shot came from an off side position and the "goal" was disallowed. 


The conditions deteriorated even further as the rain blew in, and all credit to both teams for playing some good football.


On 69 minutes  a Sittingbourne free kick found Michael Smissen with just Munden to beat but the Chatham keeper performed heroics by blocking the shot. Munden was in action again on 74 minutes as a Darren Smith lobbed effort was tipped over the bar. The game was now end to end and two minutes later a Danny Larkin free kick was headed goal-wards at the back post but the ball was bundled away.  At the other end Jon Neal made space well but shot just wide.


In injury time a shot from Kevin Spriggs was tipped over the bar by Kevin Fewell but in the end a draw was a fair reflection of the play.


Jamie Coyle was awarded Zendrill Scaffolding man of the match but I believe that the honour should also be shared by the two keepers who both coped well with the conditions.


Sittingbourne: Fewell, Coyle, Dowley, Ainsworth (Yorath 75 mins), Campbell (C), Taylor, D Smith, Marsh, Neal, Smissen (L Smith 86 mins), Gooding (Spice 63 mins), Sub not used: Beeney


Chatham Town: Munden, Binks, Larkin, Boyle, Driscoll, Best (C), Spriggs, Dyer, Lombardo, Billinness (Lewis 23 mins), Forster (Radbourne 77 mins),

Subs not used: Rutter, Berkhauer, Hopper.


Cards, Yellow:  Sittingbourne: Gooding, Chatham: Best, Spriggs. Red: None