Sittingbourne end poor run with impressive victory over Steelman
4-2 Corby Town
Dr Martens League Eastern Division
Saturday 7 February 2004
by Peter Pitts
two teams had contrasting fortunes coming into this game. Corby Town had gone
six games without defeat, draws against Histon and Tonbridge included, whilst
Sittingbourne had gone seven games without a win and four straight defeats in
their last games. Ironically Corby's last defeat before their run was by the
Brickies who defeated them by 4-0 at Rockingham Road after the Steelmen
had two players sent off.
The Sittingbourne side contained a number of changes. Two new signings, Paul Manning and David Cory were in the line up, stalwart defenders Ben Taylor and James Campbell were unavailable, Taylor being suspended whilst Campbell is injured, Michael Smissen and Lee Browning made welcome starts, and finally Steve Williams took over in goal from Kevin Fewell.
Sittingbourne started strongly and took the lead after just eleven minutes when sponsors man of the match, Kieran Marsh, crossed the ball infield to Lee Browning who coolly looped the ball over Corby goalkeeper Richard Lavin and into the goal.
Corby somewhat fortuitously equalised on 27 minutes when
referee Mr Ward adjudged that Dean Yorath had handled the ball in the area, a
somewhat harsh decision as the ball appeared to bounce up and hit the Brickies
defender on the hand. Michael Sneddon gave Steve Williams no chance with the
Corby were level for just 4 minutes when a ball from the right found Kieran Marsh in the middle and although there were two defenders between him and the goal he nipped in between them to send a great shot past Lavin. Two minutes later Marsh was then booked for kicking the ball away!
In mid-week Michael Smissen had committed to stay with the Brickies for the season and on 38 minutes it was easy to see why he was wanted so much when he spectacularly headed home a Paul Manning free kick for his ninth goals in nine games for the Brickies.
Corby then pulled a goal back almost straight away when a good run by Richard Moore ended in a Richard Challinor slotting the ball past Williams.
Sittingbourne came out of the starting blocks for the second half strongly and after just 3 minutes of the half Paul Ainsworth had a good effort go just wide. Then Clint Gooding carved an opening for David Cory but again the shot didn't test the keeper.
It was all Sittingbourne and a Kieran Marsh header was well held by Lavin. The game then settled into a mid field phase as Corby were unable to make any head way but in the last exciting ten minutes Sittingbourne stepped up a gear and Marsh fired just wide, then Jon Neal had a shot turned away by the keeper, then Cory fired just wide again.
With 5 minutes to go a Paul Manning corner caused havoc on the Corby line before the ball was cleared but only back to Manning whose far post cross was headed against the post and upright
by Clint Gooding. Jon Neal then should have extended the lead when he cleverly beat the off-side trap to pick up Toby Ashmore's pass, he rounded Lavin but his acute angled shot weakly hit the side netting.
However another goal had to come for the Brickies and what a great goal it was as right on time Jamie Coyle controlled Manning' corner beautifully and whacked the ball into the net to seal an impressive victory
Sittingbourne: Williams, Coyle C, Berry, Gooding, Ainsworth, Yorath, Browning (Neal 64 mins), Marsh, Cory, Smissen (Ashmore 81 mins), Manning Subs not used: Rutter, Beeney