Sittingbourne clinch third victory in a row
Sittingbourne 2-1 Folkestone Invicta
Dr Martens League Eastern Division
Saturday 3 April 2004
by Peter Pitts - www.sittingbournefc.co.uk
Sittingbourne made a couple of changes from their victory over
Newport with Tom Berry and Dean Yorath returning, whilst Adam Marshall was on
the substitutes bench which also included new signing Adam Douglas. Joe Dowley
and Clint Gooding are still injured.
Folkestone fielded ex Brickies Michael Everitt, John Guest and Scott Lindsey with John Ayling just returning from
injury and on the bench.
Invicta got off to the best possible start in as they took the lead after just 3 minutes when Paul Lamb's free kick missed all the bodies assembled in the Brickies penalty area and ended up nestling in the goal.
Seven months ago Invicta had defeated the Brickies at Cheriton Road and although the score was only 1-0 Invicta could have had a hatful of goals.
However 7 months is a long time in football and in that time the Brickies have matured and are now a match for any team in the division, but how would they react to this early set back? The answer was "brilliantly" as they
then more than matched Invicta on a rock hard pitch and even mastered the gusting wind swirling round the ground.
Folkestone occasionally looked dangerous but so did Sittingbourne as the defence and midfield linked well with the twin strike force of Jon Neal and Michael Smissen.
On 24 minutes a snap shot by Invicta's Anthony Hogg went just wide then three minutes later James Dryden rounded Brickies keeper Kevin Fewell but Dryden's shot was kicked off the line by James Campbell, but Sittingbourne too were coming forward and they deservedly equalised on 29 minutes when
Paul Manning's corner was superbly met at the far post by Jamie Coyle who headed the ball powerfully into the net.
Seven minutes later there was almost a carbon copy move but this time Michael Smissen provided the header
only for the effort to be stopped on the line.
Sittingbourne started the second half brightly and on 51 minutes the astute Paul Manning spotted Invicta keeper Anthony Kessell off his line and tried to lob him but the effort went narrowly wide.
At the other end Martin Chandler broke through but Dean Yorath deflected the shot. Folkestone now
seemed to play with more of an urgency but the Brickies defence with Paul Ainsworth outstanding was keeping them at bay.
Despite some good work from both sides neither team troubled the keepers until the 85th minute when Invicta's Anthony Hogg sent in a soft shot which Fewell easily held.
A minute later Sittingbourne won a free kick which Kieran Marsh floated into the Invicta area, James Campbell ghosted in and headed the ball past Kessell to put the Brickies ahead.
Invicta had a last gasp chance to equalise on 89 minutes when Ben Taylor gave away a free kick but the effort was easily held by Fewell, then Mark Munday headed wide, but time ran out and with Folkestone Manager Neil Cugley
ranting and raging at his sides second defeat in consecutive games referee Mr Hopkins blew the final whistle and the Brickies had clinched their third victory in a row.
Sittingbourne: Fewell, Taylor, Yorath, Berry, Ainsworth, Campbell, Coyle, Marsh, Neal (Douglas 87 mins), Smissen, (Cory 83 mins), Manning. Subs not used Marshall, Ashmore, Williams.
Folkestone: Kessell, Everitt, Lamb, Flanagan, Guest, Lindsey, Chandler, Munday, Dryden, Watkins (Blackman 76 mins), Hogg, Subs not used: Walker, Dyson, Ayling, Egan