Sittingbourne secure a famous victory
Gritty performance gives 'Bourne three away points
Tonbridge Angels 1-3 Sittingbourne
Dr Martens League Eastern Division
Saturday 6 March 2004
by Peter Pitts - www.sittingbournefc.co.uk
Sittingbourne usually manage at least one great performance a season against a top of the table team where they belie their league position.
This season though they hadn't produced that performance despite having a number of matches against top sides where they deserved something, however they changed all that in this game with a gritty display that deservedly claimed all three points.
Tonbridge had welcomed back Peter Overton and Andy Larkin into the fold and they are now back to the strength that they were during Alan Walker's reign.
Sittingbourne meanwhile still have Ben Taylor suspended and one of their best players of late, Danny Lye, has just left the club, so the omens didn't look particularly good for Sittingbourne, however a stunning second half performance by the whole team produced 3 goals and the Angels hardly troubled Kevin Fewell in this period.
Sittingbourne had a good start to the match and for twenty minutes had the upper-hand. On 11 minutes Sittingbourne gave a hint of what was to come as David Cory set up a great chance for Clint Gooding but the shot was blasted over the bar.
Five minutes later Gooding turned provider for Jamie Coyle but he too fired well over the bar.
Tonbridge's first threat of the match didn't come until 25 minutes when ex Brickie Sam Tydeman fired over the bar.
This signalled Tonbridge getting on top and Kevin Fewell was called into action to save a snap shot from Luke Piscina.
Fewell then kept the score-sheet blank when he made a great save from David Powell, however a minute later the Angels won a corner. The ball fell to Ryan Royston on the near post and his header sailed over Fewell and despite a good try to kick the ball away the ball hit the roof of the net to put the Angels ahead.
With two minutes to go to half time Sittingbourne won a free kick just outside the Angels area but Tonbridge keeper Jamie Turner easily held Paul Manning's free kick.
Tonbridge then caused panic at the other end as with Fewell stranded the ball pin-balled around the Brickies area before finally being booted to safety,
Tonbridge started the second half well and had a couple of early attempts without duly worrying Fewell, But the Brickies defence were now repelling all that was being fired at them, in particular the solid back line were winning the aerial battles.
On 51 minutes the ball found its way to Jon Neal in the Angels area and Neal shielded the ball brilliantly. With defenders all round him he still somehow managed to toe poke the ball to Clint Gooding who rifled the ball into the Angels net to bring the Brickies level.
From that moment the Brickies ruled the game and ten minutes later Kieran Marsh found Jon Neal with a throw in.
Neal again shielded the ball well before finding the unmarked Gooding who gave a carbon copy of his earlier performance to put the Brickies ahead.
The Brickies forwards were now getting far more space as the Angels tried to push forward. David Cory was making some glorious runs and on 65 minutes he outran Tony Dolby but Dolby did enough to force the shot wide.
Dean Hill made his Sittingbourne debut on 69 minutes as he replaced Paul Manning.
On 75 minutes David Cory almost beat Turner to the ball, Turner took exception to Cory's close attention and kicked him but luckily for the Angels keeper the officials missed the incident otherwise he would surely have been sent off.
Sittingbourne were piling on the pressure and their non stop running was forcing the Angels into mistakes. Michaels Smissen was unlucky when he pounced onto a back pass but Turner just managed to deflect the effort.
The time was ticking away for the Angels when on 88 minutes they won a corner. Fewell came rushing out, but missed the ball however the ball was finally cleared up-field to Clint Gooding who raced clear of the Angels defenders, he unselfishly passed inside to Jon Neal who without hardly
changing his stride crashed the ball into the net for the Brickies third.
There was no time left for the Angels to respond and Sittingbourne had secured a famous victory
Tonbridge Angels: Turner, Wilson, Roser, Larkin, Dolby, Royston, Tydeman. Anderson (Overton 48 mins), Piscina, Cass, Powell (Rutherford 64 mins), Subs not used : Hodge, Searle, Moore
Sittingbourne: Fewell, Coyle, Dowley, Berry, Ainsworth, Campbell, Gooding, Marsh, Neal (Yorath 90 mins)l, Cory (Smissen 83 mins), Manning (Hill 69 mins) , Sub not used: Williams