It’ll be a very tough game and I’m sure on this season’s form East Grinstead will be favourites for the game but we’re at home, we’ll roll our sleeves up and make it as hard for them as we can initially, says Sittingbourne boss Darren Blackburn

Friday 16th October 2020

SITTINGBOURNE manager Darren Blackburn says he is expecting a very tough game against their league rivals in The FA Trophy Second Qualifying Round tomorrow.

East Grinstead Town arrive at Woodstock Park sitting in third-place in the Isthmian League South East Division table with maximum points from their opening three league outings, while Sittingbourne sit in fourteenth-place with four points from as many games.

The Brickies' were held to a 2-2 draw at home to Ashford United last weekend before they lost 5-2 at home to Steve King’s Dartford in a friendly match.

“We’ve found a little bit of consistency in our play in our last couple of games,” said Blackburn.

“Getting a point against a strong and well-organised Ashford side was very welcome after going down to 10 men so early on.

“We almost hung on for three points but to be honest that would have been a ridiculous achievement for us based on the whole 90 minutes and Ashford deserved at least a point for their efforts.

“We’ve followed that up with a decent display on Monday night in a friendly against a strong Dartford side.

“For an hour we had our noses in front and played some good stuff, however, making changes disrupts the flow a little and superior fitness and that little bit more quality in certain areas caught up with us but nevertheless we can take loads of positives from the game.”

Sittingbourne suffered a humiliating 4-1 defeat at Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division side Deal Town in their FA Cup Preliminary Round tie on Saturday 12 September and Blackburn wants his side to turn up against East Grinstead Town tomorrow.

“It’s back into cup mode for us and we need to put right our last cup performance against Deal, so we’ll be doing our best to give the fans a response, even a few weeks after the event,” added Blackburn.

“Cups are very important to clubs even more so this season with less of them and we all know fans and players love a cup run and it can ignite team’s seasons and give them welcome relief from league games sometimes.

“East Grinstead are a totally different beast this season and I know they would be. They have a very experienced manager (Leigh Dynan) and have hit the ground running with some great results already.

“It’ll be a very tough game and I’m sure on this season’s form they’ll be favourites for the game but we’re at home, we’ll roll our sleeves up and make it as hard for them as we can initially.

“We also have some great quality in our squad and several players who are capable of winning us a game with a piece of quality.

“We wish East Grinstead and their fans a safe journey down and we look forward to hosting them for what will hopefully be a good game.”

Visit Sittingbourne’s website:

Sittingbourne v East Grinstead Town
The Buildbase FA Trophy Second Qualifying Round
Saturday 17 October 2020
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Woodstock Park, Broadoak Road, Sittingbourne, Kent ME9 8AG

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