Sittingbourne 0-0 Arlesey Town

Sunday 22nd October 2006
Sittingbourne 0-0 Arlesey Town
Saturday 21st October 2006
FA Trophy First Qualifying Round
Peter Pitts reports from Bourne Park

Sittingbourne were left rueing their luck as the usually dependable Kieran Marsh blasted a shot high over the bar from just 5 yards out on 74 minutes and then 9 minutes from time Mark Lovell saw his swerving 25 yard shot strike Arlesey Town's right hand post with goalkeeper Jack Rashid well beaten.

The only other real chance of the game had fallen to the visitors when with just two minutes on the clock, Michael McKenzie’s cross eluded Paul Ainsworth and the ball went straight to Ossie Foster standing on the penalty spot. Foster must have been as surprised as everyone else as he headed a weak effort straight at Brickies keeper Steve Williams.
Two minutes after this miss, however, a Sittingbourne corner picked out sponsors man of the match Steve Searle who curled a far post ball to Andy Doerr but his header hit the side netting.
On 38 minutes Doerr had another effort this time following a Ricky Spiller / Matt Nicholl move but the weak shot was easily held by Rashid.
Arlesey's McKenzie was causing problems with his robust challenges, which were not always legal but certainly the Sittingbourne defence knew he was around.
On 21 minutes Sittingbourne made a change, bringing on Matt Nicholl for Jon Neal and immediately this move seemed to pay  dividends as the extra defender seemed to mute the Arlesey strike-force.
Sittingbourne now took control albeit their efforts weren't troubling Rashid unduly and the first half petered out to an uninspiring 0-0 close
Sittingbourne started the second half brightly. On 51 minutes Mitchell Sherwood was brought down just outside the visitors area and Ricky Spiller's free kick eventually got to Toby Ashmore who had a shot easily saved by Rashid. 
Rashid was by far the busier of the two keepers and he was in action again this time gathering a shot fro the prolific Doerr.
This was followed on 64 minutes by the best move of the game when a spectacular cross field ball by Lovell found Spiller who involved Searle before Lovell came back into the picture this time in the Arlesey area but James Gray came in with a terrific last ditch saving challenge. 
Kam Singh had replaced the hard working Mitchell Sherwood and he was causing the Arlesey defence a number of problems.
On 74 minutes he found Lovell who set up the chance for Marsh which went sailing over the bar.
Former Lorsdwood striker Doerr was not to be outdone and on 76 minutes he cleverly flicked the ball up into the air to give him space for a shot which whistled just wide of Rashid's goal.
Then with the Brickies on top Lovell hit the post.
Arlesey's manager, the double Woking FA Trophy winner Darren Hay came on in the 87th minute but by then the game was destined for a goaless draw and a replay in Bedfordshire on Tuesday night.

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Sittingbourne: Williams, Ashmore, Dowley, Ainsworth, Neal (Nicholl 21), Marsh, Spiller, Searle, Lovell, Doerr, Sherwood (Singh 68). Subs: Belcher, Elder. 
Attendance: 209