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|Monday 31 August 2004||Southern League
Division One East
|Peter Pitts reports from Bourne Park|
Sittingbourne lose bottom of the table clash
Sittingbourne remain at the bottom of the Southern League Division 1 East table after this game between the basement sides in the league before today's games.
Both Sittingbourne and Tilbury's teams largely picked themselves due to the injury and unavailability situation at both clubs.
Tilbury lined up with ex Brickies Gary Kimble and Marvin Neufville in their squads but sadly Kimble lasted barely three minutes before he had to be stretchered off, and Marvin Neufville, although named as a substitute, was carrying an injury and was not risked.
Sittingbourne played some neat football at times, and had the majority of the play, but as in recent games they were not convincing coming forward despite all the hard work of Bradley Spice and David Cory.
There was a controversial moment in the game when Spice went down in the area after a challenge by the keeper and was promptly booked for diving.
Interestingly enough one half of the ground including a Tilbury contingent felt that it was a penalty whilst the other side of the ground didn't.
It was probably a fair decision not to give the penalty if the referee wasn't sure but from where I was standing it seemed that the referee booked Spice more because of the rantings of the Tilbury keeper than the sure fire bet that Spice dived, but such is the Brickies luck at the moment that perhaps the booking wasn't a surprise.
Sittingbourne, through Dave Hassett, started brightly and he had an early shot well held by Tilbury keeper Paul Wood, then he had an effort deflected for a corner.
The early stages were all Sittingbourne and Browning stabbed a good cross just wide of the Tilbury goal.
Tilbury's first shot didn't come until 25 minutes of the game when Paul Cobb's weak shot was easily held by Kevin Fewell.
On 34 minutes the Tilbury keeper failed to collect the ball three times in a row but Tilbury were saved by the award of a free kick. Five minutes later Adam Douglas was brought down just outside the Tilbury area and Spice stepped up to take the kick which bounced off the keeper but the rebound was ballooned over the bar.
Sittingbourne had another free kick on 44 minutes, this time Wood turned over Clint Gooding's effort.
Sittingbourne continued to have the edge at the start of the second half but Tilbury, making use of the swirling wind, were coming into the game and on 57 minutes Kevin Fewell did well to hold a header from an unmarked Danny Harris.
Then came a great chance for Tilbury to take the lead when a cross found Ben Yiadom in acres of space in front of the Brickies goal but Yiadom took his eye off the ball and the chance went begging.
This should have been a warning to Sittingbourne as they began to look jittery.
Sittingbourne came forward again when Spice ran down the right and passed inside to Cory, Cory flighted the ball to Hassett who headed agonisingly wide.
At the other end Ian Hilaire shot wide. Then came the controversial penalty incident. Just to rub salt into the wounds a few minutes after the turned down penalty a perfectly flighted far post Tilbury cross sailed over the Brickies defenders and Paul Cobb was on hand to head the ball firmly past Fewell to give Tilbury the lead.
Sittingbourne should have equalised soon after when a cross found Lee Browning in the Tilbury area but his header went wide.
Sittingbourne had a last gasp chance to snatch a goal when on 90 minutes they won a free kick on the edge of the Tilbury area. Spice took the kick but the ball curled just wide.
Tilbury then had a chance themselves when a short back pass was pounced upon but Fewell made a good save.
There was no more time for the Brickies to save the game and Tilbury made the short journey back to Essex with the valuable points.
Sittingbourne: Fewell, Taylor, Dowley, Gooding, Ainsworth, J Campbell, Spice, Douglas (Hill 82 mins ), Hassett (Neal 79 mins), Cory Browning, subs not used: Laslett, Beeney