Sittingbourne boss Chris Lynch: As I said from day one, we will continue to grow, we will continue to improve, we're not there yet

Friday 30th August 2019

SITTINGBOURNE manager Chris Lynch says his side are nowhere near the finished article despite a successful Bank Holiday weekend.

The Brickies are in thirteenth-place in the Isthmian League South East Division table, having started with a 1-1 draw at Whitstable Town on the opening day of the season.

They then went down to a 3-1 home defeat to newly-promoted side Cray Valley (Paper Mills) but bounced back by beating Uxbridge 2-0 at home in The FA Cup Preliminary Round last Saturday and came away from Ramsgate with a 2-1 win on Bank Holiday Monday.

Roman Campbell, a recruit who is on loan from League One side Gillingham, has notched four goals already this season.

“I will start off this week by saying faith, belief and work ethic is all you need to succeed not just in this game but in life also,” said Lynch.

“It always takes a bit of time to build a team, to establish a highly successful team takes a long time, even at the top levels of football. The likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City, they have invested in the time it takes to create a successful environment.

“Now, we are nowhere near the finished article, we have a lot to learn as we continue our journey, however, the most pleasing thing for me is that we are growing and improving with every game.

“Let's take Saturday as an example, we won the game 2-0 at home against a decent Uxbridge side, who share the same status level as we do.

“The opening 45 minutes was poor from us, nowhere near the standard I expect from this set of players.

“I felt we had gone straight back to what the club was accustomed to the previous season. That was not good enough.

“Half-time came and we reminded the lads of our expectations and targets we had set for them this season.

“They came out and to their credit, took immediate control of the game, we kept a clean sheet and went on to score two well taken goals via our new addition Shuan Brown and Johaan Caney-Bryan secured the win with a well taken penalty.

“Two days later we visit Ramsgate, now this fixture last season was my first in charge with a severely depleted squad, we lost that one 4-0. That was never going to happen again!

“We had several key players out for these two games, including captain Chris Webber.”

Lynch was also without Lex Allan, Chris Barnard, Shaun Brown, Brad Commins, Kane Philip, Jack Smith and Harry Taylor against Ramsgate and was delighted with their response for their 2-1 win at Southwood Stadium on Monday.

“It was an opportunity for some of our younger players to go out and show what they were capable of – and they duly delivered,” said Lynch.

“I was very pleased with young Caleb Roberts who came in at centre-back and played well and Josh Oliver came in to centre midfield for his full debut, who again did very well.

“We limited a strong and experienced Ramsgate side to two real shots on goal all game, our defence looked like they were not going to concede, other than the penalty, which in my view should never have been given, however, the rules this year state that regardless, intentional or not, if the ball strikes a hand in the box then a penalty will be given.  I just hope this is consistently dealt with this season by all referees as otherwise this will cost many teams.

“I felt we attacked Ramsgate well in the first half, the game plan was to frustrate them, which we did, prevent them from taking any close-range shots, which again we achieved, and allow them to have the ball in their half.

“Roman Campbell as ever gets himself into a great position, and his feet do the rest, I wouldn't expect anything less from him in that situation.  Cool, calm and collective.

“The second half, we really frustrated them. Ramsgate had a lot of possession in their half, and to be fair they did start to look a little dangerous at times, however, I knew the chance to win the game would arrive at some stage, and we needed to be clinical, to take our chances.

“The opportunity arrived on 80 minutes, an indirect free kick on the edge of the box. Tom Fagg laid the ball off to Roman who sends a curling ball into the bottom left hand corner leaving the goalkeeper no chance, didn't even move.

“From then on it was pretty much all one way. There was a great effort by Ramsgate (an overhead kick) from the edge of the box which was comfortably saved in the end by Tom Benham. We then could have gone on to score another one or two.

“Last season we would have drawn or lost that fixture.

“And that is the progress you are starting to see this season, a team who have shown they can take a lead and defend it, put bodies on the line, and do the simple yet effective things well.

“As I said from Day one, we will continue to grow, we will continue to improve, we're not there yet, however, when we are close, teams had better watch out, because the Brickies are coming and I back us to upset a few teams this year.”

Sittingbourne welcome fifth-from-bottom side East Grinstead Town to Woodstock Park tomorrow.

“We move forward and tomorrow we entertain East Grinstead at home, in a game we once again are going out to secure all three points,” added Lynch.

“Thank you to all the fans who turned up to support us, you were all immense as usual. I hope we have given you some enjoyment and made you proud.

“Full credit to the players who went out in both games and battled tirelessly.”

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Sittingbourne  v  East Grinstead Town
Isthmian League South East Division
Saturday 31 August 2019
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Woodstock Park, Broadoak Road, Sittingbourne, Kent ME9 8AG