I am pleased to say we are no longer a relegation battling team, which is what we were when I first arrived here, says Sittingbourne manager Chris Lynch
SITTINGBOURNE manager Chris Lynch says he wants to reach the play-offs by the end of the season.
The Brickies are in thirteenth-place in the Isthmian League South East Division table with 21 points from their 16 league games and thrashed Ramsgate 7-0 at home in their last outing.
Sittingbourne are nine points adrift of the play-offs but Lynch is keen to lead the Woodstock Park outfit into the play-off lottery for the first time.
“What a frustrating month December has turned out to be. We have managed to play two games out of a possible six. Our record this month stands at played two, won one, lost one,” said Lynch.
“Due to the weather conditions we have seen the last three games against Whitehawk, Haywards Heath and Phoenix called off which is a pity as we have been on a run of three very narrow defeats in eleven games prior to this. Each defeat I felt we could have and should have come away with more, which is a good sign, it shows we can compete against any team in this league. Our record against the top five has been very good so far.”
Joint leading goalscorer with eight goals, Johann Caney-Bryan has now recovered from his ankle ligament injury and is now working hard to return to match fitness.
Tommy Fagg has recovered from his head injury and is available for selection once again.
Manny N’dew has recovered from his long spell on the sides lines and will return to training next week.
Tom Benham is going to be another couple of weeks. Ankle ligament damage hasn’t repaired as well as Lynch had hoped.
Jason Fregene has made a full recovery after playing the last game without incident.
Adam Wollocott has now made a full recovery from his hamstring injury.
Sid Sollis, who has also scored eight goals for Sittingbourne this season, is about a week away from recovery after twisting his knee against Hastings United.
Enoch Adjei will be returning to training over the next few weeks after suffering a groin strain.
Lynch added: “I am very pleased to welcome young guns Sam Stance and Will Holder from our development squad, who earned call ups to the first-team last month and both represented us against Whyteleafe .
“I have also agreed to send out on loan until the end of the season young Declan Pearce and Liam Middleton who will go to Canterbury city and help them re-build over the next few months. Both Declan and Liam are very good up and coming players who need minutes at these levels and sending them both out on loan to the SCEFL Premier Division will really help progress their experience. I am confident they will have successful spells there where they will be getting regular minutes. Good luck lads I will be watching with intent.
“I am very pleased to welcome a highly-rated duo from Gillingham, young Jimmy Witt, who has been training with the first team and featured in the League goal of the month competition last month with a superb finish from range, and Young Jay Hards who is a centre-forward who is an extremely hard-working player, we will look to give them game time over the next month or so.
“I have completed our half-season progress review and I’m pleased with our continued progression. There is room for improvement as always and we really should have taken a few more points than we currently have, in my view we should be comfortably inside the top ten.
“I am very pleased with our defensive units having the fifth best defensive record in the league but also pleased that we are converting well up top also.
“The introduction of striker Sid Sollis has had a big impact for us and long may his influence up top continue.
“There are some potential new signings on the horizon, however, it’s too early to provide details as financial packages need to be agreed, but as you all know for me the top priority is always for every player to be accountable and justify their wage, this can take a little longer on the recruitment process, however, I prefer to make sure the signings we bring in are the correct signings who will continue to assist in the evolution of this great club.
“I would like to take this opportunity once again, to thank all those people behind the scenes who help us on a voluntary basis at the club, I would like to thank the board and the players for their continued commitment to ‘Project Sittingbourne – to make a relegation battling team into a Play-off team in as short a period of time as possible’, and of course all our loyal and loud fans.
“Our aim for the New Year is to really start to make a push on achieving a comfortable top 10 finish and beyond.
“A personal shout out to a real solider whom we are all very proud of, fighting the battle of his young life Charlie Taylor we look forward to seeing you win your fight and joining us at the next available game when you have recovered.”
Reflecting on their 7-0 home win over struggling Ramsgate, Lynch said: “It was our biggest win for the club in a competitive game in 28 years and real progress is being made both on and off the field.
“A fantastic second-half display saw us come out of the blocks hungry and full of desire to score six goals in that last 45 minutes.
“Having won performance of the month this week, everything is going in the right direction. I am pleased to say we are no longer a relegation battling team, which is what we were when I first arrived here.”
Sittingbourne travel to bottom-of-the-table and winless East Grinstead Town this afternoon.
“We travel to East Grinstead looking to build upon our recent good form and continue climbing the table,” added Lynch.
“I believe we have a play-off team here, but in order to reach our full potential these are the type of games we just show our resolve and that we can compete and beat the teams below us as well as the teams above us.”
Visit Sittingbourne’s website: www.sittingbournefc.co.uk
East Grinstead Town v Sittingbourne
Isthmian League South East Division
Saturday 4 January 2020
Kick Off 3:00pm
at College Lane, East Court, East Grinstead, West Sussex RH19 3LS