Rothwell fail to read the script
Sittingbourne 0-3 Rothwell Town
Saturday 2 January 2004
Dr Martens League Eastern Division
by Peter Pitts
Before this game things were looking bright for the Brickies. The new Clubhouse is now open and doing a roaring trade, the new stand is open and almost completed and the team had only lost 3 out of their last 13 games...however we all have bad days at the office and as bad days go this was awful.
With distinguished supporter, Swale MP Derek Wyatt, and the Dr Marten League Chairman Doug Gillard in attendance the stage was set for the Brickies to dispose easily of a Rothwell team who had gone 15 games without a league win. However the script wasn't followed and Sittingbourne were never in this game as Rothwell adapted to the difficult sticky conditions much better than their hosts.
Sittingbourne started well enough as good work by Joe Dowley provided a chance to Clint Gooding but the ball sailed over the bar. However Rothwell were looking more dangerous than you expect a bottom of the table team to be and on 10 minutes a throw out by Kevin Fewell was intercepted by Carl Lake whose cross found an unmarked Kevin Budge who had plenty of time to slot the ball home.
This was a shock but Sittingbourne of late have had awful first halves so most of the Brickies faithful were in no doubt that they would soon equalise, but instead of Sittingbourne piling on the pressure it was more Rothwell coming forwrad.
On 20 minutes a header from a corner was well held by Fewell. Nine minutes later Ben Taylor lost the ball to Jonathan Mitchell on the half way line and it was only a saving tackle from Dean Yorath that prevented a shot on goal. Rothwell were quicker to the ball and their smaller players were keeping their balance better than the taller Sittingbourne team.
Sittingbourne had another effort in the half when on 43 minutes a Danny Lye cross was headed over by the only front line player who was making any impression, Clint Gooding.
The expected second half Brickies onslaught never materialised and instead it was Rothwell who had the first chance of the half when on 48 minutes a Reece Lester cross was headed just over. Eight minutes later Mitchell crossed inside to Kevin Budge but again the ball was headed over the bar.
Sittingbourne fell further behind on 62 minutes thanks to some sparkling play from Reece Lester who picked the ball up on the half way line and ran all the way into the Brickies area. The Brickies defence were at sixes and sevens and Lester calmly stabbed the ball past Fewell. Still the Brickies couldn't respond whilst the expected tiring by Rothwell never materialised.
On 80 minutes Fewell blocked a Budge effort but a minute later with the Brickies stranded up-field the same player played a great through ball to Mitchell who produced a neat finish to score Rothwell's third. Not bad for a team who have only scored a total of 7 goals so far in this Dr Marten campaign.
All in all a game to forget for Sittingbourne.
Sittingbourne: Fewell, Coyle (Marsh 66 mins), Dowley, Yorath, Ainsworth, Taylor (L Smith 85 mins), Spice, Lye (Ashmore 85 mins), Neal, D Smith, Gooding, Subs not used: Beeney
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