Sittingbourne boss Chris Lynch: The consistent key messages since my arrival continue to be, you will only get selected if you’re willing to fight for your team mates, if you prepared to give your all

Monday 18th February 2019

SITTINGBOURNE manager Chris Lynch says he wants his side to show heart and quality as they bid to climb away from relegation trouble.


The Brickies came from behind to beat East Grinstead Town 2-1 at the weekend and are in the bottom three in the Bostik South East Division table with 23 points from 24 games.

It proved to be a vital win for Sittingbourne as the two sides below them also won.  Herne Bay beat second-placed Ashford United 2-1 at Winch’s Field, while bottom of the table Greenwich Borough (who are three points worse off than Sittingbourne) completed the double over Hythe Town with a 2-0 home win.

“With two wins from the last three games, the major revamp is now starting to take shape,” said Lynch.

“Six much needed points out of a possible nine, has given the whole club a lift and furthermore restored some pride and confidence.

“In my last update I spoke about the amount of attacking entries and goal scoring opportunities we are now routinely creating on a game by game basis. This has turned us into a highly potent opponent for any team to face.
“It says it all, when good teams set up tactically from the start to nick a goal and then defend for a majority of the match thereafter, teams are now starting to fear us, and they have every reason to.

“Saturday saw the arrival of East Grinstead whom we lost to earlier in the season 2-1, so it was only right that we return the favour.

“The first half we were not at the races, in fact for the first time since my arrival I was a little embarrassed.  We were not in sync with each other and a couple of performances were well below par during that opening 45 minutes.

“After an intense week of training and preparation I felt we simply did not show our potential at all, which is a shame.

“We gifted the opening goal to East Grinstead who never really looked in the match, other than the last 10 minutes.

“During the break I made my feelings known! I reminded the players of how far they have come - and how loyal our supporters are - that we now needed to go out and show our appreciation and quality.

“Two changes were made replacing like for like on the wings as I felt we just hadn't been as effective as we could have been in those area's. On a sad note, the withdrawal of winger Tom Loynes due to an old injury raising its head was not ideal.  However, we will support and work through this tough time with him.

“The second half we came out suitably refreshed and ready to compete. I saw heart, desire and determination which are the minimum standards of any of my teams. We showed some real quality on the ball at times, linking up well, and the chances began to show.

“We weren't as clinical as we have been in front of goal and I felt some key decisions went against us, but that is no excuse, we should have been better throughout the whole 90 minutes.

“On 70 minutes, a fantastic free-kick into the box from Jack Morrell was met by the head of another new singing Billy Lewins, who headed home from close range.

“A few moments later we could have taken the lead through some great play down the right hand side where inform striker Johann Caney-Bryan showed real determination throwing himself at the ball. Unfortunately that diving header was an inch away from making contact.

“I knew it was only a matter of time, so therefore the tactical changes I had made earlier reverting to a back three, searching for the win was always going to remain in place.

“Then on 83 minutes Izzy Adebayo scored the winner with a great run from deep within the attacking third, taking on two defenders and slotting a well-placed shot home, under the advancing keepers body.

“From there out it was a matter of defending the lead. East Grinstead did come back at us but we managed to hold out well for another three points.

“They were vital in the end after hearing the final scores come in seeing the teams around us all picking up points.

“The consistent key messages since my arrival continue to be, you will only get selected if you’re willing to fight for your team mates, if you prepared to give your all.

“I can accept mistakes made but I will never accept poor attitudes or a lack of willingness to work hard. I will always take attitude over ability.

“Overall, it was a good win, a gutsy performance second half, with two more tough away games in the space of four days next week.”

Lynch takes his Sittingbourne side to eighth-placed VCD Athletic this coming Saturday.

Keith McMahon’s side have collected 38 points from 24 games and are seven points adrift of the play-off places, which are currently occupied by Hastings United, Ashford United, Horsham and Haywards Heath Town.

“We will need to turn up prepared mentally and physically, we will need to hit the ground running and go gain the targeted points,” said Lynch.

“So my challenge to the players is simple - can you show me why you should take a starting shirt for the next game? Can you show me heart and quality? Then go and show the world who you are and what you are capable of!  I think we will be in for a very exciting last 13 games.”

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VCD Athletic  v  Sittingbourne
Bostik South East Division
Saturday 23 February 2019
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Oakwood, Old Road, Crayford, Kent DA1 4DN