Rothwell Town 1 Sittingbourne 0

Sunday 26th February 2006

Sittingbourne made their longest journey in the league on Saturday and more than matched their opponents but come away empty handed against a team just above them in the league, writes Peter Pitts.

Playing conditions were difficult with a strong swirling wind that made control a lottery and perhaps that’s why little happened in the first half hour apart from a Rothwell shot that Sittingbourne keeper Steve Williams caught at the second attempt.

Rothwell had done very little apart from that shot so it was something of a surprise when on 32 minutes they took the lead when Rob Maddox sent in shot from just outside the area which looped over Williams and into the net.

The chance had come when the wind had played tricks with the ball and the Brickies defence had failed to clear.

Seven minutes later Jon Neal got round the back of the Rothwell defence and hit a first time shot just wide.

Both sides continued to struggle against the elements and chances were at a premium.

Right on half time Bradley Spice did well to make space for a shot but the angle was too tight and he hit the side stanchion.

Rothwell had a couple of early shots in the second half but generally the early parts of the second half were the same as the first with neither side looking particularly dangerous.

On 66 minutes a Lee Hockey free kick looped well over the Rothwell bar. Two minutes later a Hockey throw found Spice in the Rothwell area who turned well but his final shot went straight to the Rothwell keeper.

At the other end a first time shot by Michael Boyle-Chong went just wide.

On 71 minutes Rothwell’s Justin Jenkins had a great chance to extend the lead but he sliced his shot wide.

A minute later Sittingbourne won a free kick which found Tommy Price in the area but his effort went wide.

The Brickies were now on top and another free kick ended in Ricky Spiller also firing wide.

Mark Lovell had replaced Neal on 77 minutes and a minute later he found himself with a great chance to equalise but perhaps the chance came before he could settle and he fired his shot straight at Rothwell’s keeper Tom Smith.

Sittingbourne continued to press and a Kieran Marsh shot was turned round well by Smith. Marsh looked to have gone one better on 89 minutes when Smith could only palm his shot into the net however in what must have been a tight decision the effort was ruled out for offside.

Time ran out for the Brickies and they will feel that they deserved better.

* Barking & East Ham United are the visitors to Bourne Park in their next game, on Saturday, 4th March.

Sittingbourne: Williams, Ashmore, Dowley, Ainsworth, Campbell, Marsh, Neal (77), Hockey, Sherwood (Price 49), Spice, Browning (Spiller 70) Subs: Taylor, Knowles.