Sittingbourne boss Nick Davis: I believe there will be a position in the play-offs for a team that’s unfancied this season, can it be Sittingbourne? Let’s hope so!

Friday 15th December 2017

SITTINGBOURNE manager Nick Davis says there will be an unfancied team in this season’s Bostik South Play-offs.

The Brickies were deservedly 2-0 up at fellow promotion challengers Cray Wanderers at Hayes Lane after an hour-mark, courtesy of goals from Kane Rowland and David Smith.

But central defender John Coker was sent-off with 17 minutes to go following a challenge on substitute Dean Carpenter and Tony Russell’s side smelt blood and went for the kill.

Jay Leader turned in a Michael Frieter corner, following a mistake from Sittingbourne keeper Jordan Carey, with 12 minutes left on Wednesday night, before Sittingbourne capitulated inside injury-time.

Former Gillingham midfielder Frieter, 21, pulled off a sublime right-footed free-kick into the top left-hand corner from 35-yards to bring Cray Wanderers back from the dead, before super-sub Freddie Parker turned in Aaron Rhule’s cut-back to win it.

Sittingbourne remain in eighth-place in the table with 36 points in the bag from their 22 league outings. 

Lewes (48 points from 22 games) and Corinthian-Casuals (45 points from 23) occupy the two automatic promotion places.

Carshalton Athletic (45 points from 23), Cray Wanderers (44 points from 21), Walton Casuals (46 points from 23) and Greenwich Borough (39 points from 23) occupy the play-off places.

Davis, who takes his side to Greenwich Borough tomorrow, said: “Don’t get any easier does it and then we’ve got Lewes at home!

“We’ve been outstanding this season, we really have and we’re so close, we’re so close I can’t tell you and it’s frustrating for me and Tony (Cornwell) because we know how close we are.

“It’s all a learning curve. Listen, when you lose and try to put things right and that’s what we’ve done and we’re improving.

“I believe there will be a position in the play-offs for a team that’s unfancied this season without a doubt, that’s my opinion, can it be Sittingbourne?  Let’s hope so!

“We just need to push on and if we can continue to play like that then we’ve got half a chance.

“It’s tight, you’re only a couple of points here and there, everyone thinks Sittingbourne will fade away, maybe.  You put a couple of wins together, it propels you, it really does.

“Teams are taking points of one another and every time that happens, we’ve got a chance!  We need to turn our home form around.

“We’ve got two tough games. We’ve got Greenwich Borough tomorrow and Lewes at home.  Sometimes there’s a little bit of pressure off us when we’re playing against these sides.

“It was the last time (against Cray Wanderers) that we’ve lost to a team above us, Walton Casuals beat us and went above us.”

Davis expects to be without midfielder Mobolaji Dawodu for around two weeks after a nasty head injury against Cray Wanderers.

When asked what he’s expecting at Greenwich Borough tomorrow, Davis replied:
“I’m expecting a very, very tough game.  Pound for pound with the squad they’ve got there, arguably one of the strongest in the league, if not the strongest.  We’re expecting a really tough game.  We just have to patch ourselves up and see what we’ve got. Bola will be missing for a couple of weeks.”

Greenwich Borough came away from Faversham Town with a point following their 2-2 draw at Salters Lane last Saturday.

Boss Gary Alexander wants his side to be more clinical in front of goal, starting against Sittingbourne.

“Last week’s result was disappointing because we created so many chances but failed to convert not half-chances but chances that should’ve been taken,” said Alexander.

“But whilst we’re creating chances we will always have a chance to get back to winning ways and compete, so it’s only a matter of time.  We have to keep believing it will turn. 

“Our league position could and should be better for this time of year but we’re in the pack.

“We need to be more clinical and finish teams off, so consistency over the second half of the season is key.

“We need to pick up more points than the teams above us, simple as that, and see where it takes us.

“Tomorrow’s game against Sittingbourne will be a good game. I’m sure Nick has put together a good squad and one that is competing, so I expect a tough game, like any other game in this league.

“We’re looking forward to the second half of the season and hopefully competing come the end.”

Meanwhile, Alexander’s son George scored for Millwall during their 2-1 defeat at Reading in The FA Youth Cup Third Round tie last night.

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Greenwich Borough  v  Sittingbourne
Bostik South Division
Saturday 16th December 2017
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Middle Park Avenue, Eltham, London SE9 5HP