|www.yourcounty.co.uk - The Kent Website - Supporting Kentish Football
|Saturday 28 August 2004
Division One East
|Peter Pitts reporting
|Wingate & Finchley
Sittingbourne consigned to bottom spot
Sittingbourne's start to the season continues to disappoint as this defeat finds them still looking for their first competitive win and bottom of the Southern League Division One East table.
The Brickies were forced to shuffle the pack after Tom Berry, Kieran Marsh, Paul Manning and Shane Campbell all reported in injured. Jamie Coyle had already declared himself unavailable.
On the plus side, however, Dave Hassett was fit to play after his horrific eye injury whilst into the side came James Campbell, Joe Dowley, Bradley Spice, and Lee Browning, Ben Lazlett and Dean Hill, who was carrying an injury himself, joined Jon Neal on the substitutes bench.
Not surprisingly so many enforced changes produced a disjointed display which a competent Wingate & Finchley side took full advantage of and the Brickies were rarely in the game.
Sittingbourne fell behind on 17 minutes when the ball was picked up from a free kick and taken quickly down the left hand side and crossed to the far post where Craig Ellis was on hand
to smash it past Kevin Fewell.
Sittingbourne's response to this was muted and nine minutes later following a break away Sam Sloma crashed the ball against the Brickies crossbar.
Sittingbourne's first effort of note came on the 39th minute when Hassett fired just wide from outside the area.
But Wingate & Finchley were looking the more dangerous team and in the second minute of first half injury time a free kick found Dean Williams who made no mistake with his shot to beat
Fewell and double the home sides lead.
Sittingbourne looked a dispirited side and it was Wingate & Finchley who came out of the second half starting blocks better, Sloma just failing to get onto the end of a wicked John Butterfield cross.
On 52 minutes Butterfield himself narrowly missed the target and on 59 minutes Fewell did
well to tip a shot over the bar. The ball pin-balled around the Brickies area from the corner before it was eventually cleared.
Sittingbourne at last had a decent shot when on 63 minutes Bradley Spice forced Wingate & Finchley keeper Ed Thomson to tip his shot around a post.
Then came the Brickies best spell of the game and on 73 minutes Paul Ainsworth saw his header from a Lee Browning corner smash against the Wingate & Finchley cross-bar and rebound to safety.
Inevitably Sittingbourne would be caught on the break and on 75 minutes Sloma found himself clear and he cleverly walked around Fewell for an easy tap in.
Wingate & Finchley continued to come forward and a good run ended in Butterfield shooting over.
The game was effectively over and apart from a couple of token shots by the Brickies they had little extra to offer and Wingate & Finchley deservedly claimed the points and consigned Sittingbourne to the bottom spot in the league.
Sittingbourne: Fewell, Taylor, J Campbell, Ainsworth, Dowley (Hill 86 mins), Browning, Douglas (Lazlett 82 mins), Gooding, Spice, Cory, Hassett (Neal 74mins), Sub not used: Beeney