Sittingbourne 1-2 King's Lynn
Dr Martens League Eastern Division
Saturday 24 January 2004
by Peter Pitts
Despite the score-line this was an improved display from the Brickies who with better finishing could have won the game, instead missed chances meant that the task was just too difficult against a team fighting for the championship.
Sittingbourne came out of the starting blocks strongly and Rutter had a chance after just a minute but his header from barely three yards went straight to the keeper. Six minutes later a Clint Gooding shot was deflected for a corner and from the corner keeper Steve Wilson was forced to palm the ball away. Immediately after Jon Neal had a shot easily held by Wilson.
The Brickies looked to be in control with Clint Gooding especially looking lively, but on 29 minutes Dale Watkins set off alarm bells when he fired over from a good position and then 4 minutes later Gooding committed a foul some thirty yards out. The free kick was floated across and Carl Holmes was on hand to glance a header past Fewell to open the scoring for the Linnets.
A couple of minutes later the Linnets Paul Raynor was lucky to stay on the pitch as he blatantly pushed Clint Gooding over, a similar offence to one that Ben Taylor got sent off for some time ago. For some strange reason referee Mr Bottomer then also booked Gooding. It should be said however that Mr Bottomer went on to referee a difficult game very well, despite the tally of 6 yellow cards and 1 red.
The second half began as the first had, with Sittingbourne in control.
On 51 minutes Ben Taylor found Kieran Marsh who fired the ball across the Linnets goal but Jon Neal just failed to beat the defender and the ball was headed over for a corner.
Jamie Coyle joined the attack and had a shot saved. But then came the point of no return for the Brickies as a harmless looking punt into the Brickies area looked to be easily cleared by Kevin Fewell but inexplicably the Brickies keeper seemed to lose sight of the ball and Dave Staff nipped in and score an easy goal. They must have hardly believed their luck that despite being second best they were now leading by two goals.
Six minutes later Dale Watkins made a crunching tackle on Tom Berry and Mr Bottomer had no option but to send him off. This spurred on the Brickies and they at last pulled a goal back when on 86 minutes Michael Smissen, fired home at close range from a corner.
Kings Lynn had a rare shot at goal on 88 minutes when Carl Holmes fired over and for the Brickies Clint Gooding had a shot easily held in injury time, but in the end the Sittingbourne were left to once again rue their missed chances as they slumped to their seventh game without a win.
Sittingbourne: Fewell, Taylor (Smissen 63 mins), Yorath, Lye, Campbell (Ainsworth 85 mins), Coyle, Gooding, Marsh, Neal, D Smith, Rutter (Berry 46 mins). Subs not used: Beeney, Dowley
Cards: Red: Dale Watkins (Kings Lynn), Yellow: Kings Lynn: Wilson, March, Setchell, Raynor. Brickies : Yorath, Gooding
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