Thursday 01st September 2005
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Saturday 21 August 2004 Southern League
Division One East
Peter Pitts reports from Harlow Sports Centre
Harlow Town 3 Taylor 32, Ganyo 46,
Ositola 61
Sittingbourne 1 Campbell 44

Sittingbourne crash in sparse stadium

A lack lustre display in which Harlow scored two goals from free kicks leaves the Brickies waiting for their first win in the Southern League Division One East.

This defeat was a disappointing result  after they had put up such a good display against Fisher Athletic in mid week. 

Harlow had conceded 4 goals in each of their first two league games so expectations were high that Sittingbourne could get something from this match, the reality however was that they never got going and rarely threatened.

Harlow's ground has seen better days, and with the running track round it and the sparse attendance of 108 there was no atmosphere so perhaps this was the reason that Sittingbourne never really got going.

However, if the Brickies are to make anything of this season then they will have to learn how to deal with these situations.

Harlow have a lively player in Daran Bern and on 8 minutes he struck a good shot which Kevin Fewell palmed over the bar.

Two minutes later Sittingbourne then had a golden opportunity to take the lead when Shane Campbell headed a Dean Hill cross into the ground from ten yards out but the ball bounced over
the bar when it could so easily have ended up in the net.

Paul Manning was having a better game and he had a looping shot go just wide, then Campbell had a shot rebound for a corner.

From  the corner Manning had his shot saved by Harlow keeper Glenn Jackson. This was a better period for the Brickies who were playing the ball around well at times.

Ironically it was during this period that  Harlow took the lead when on 32 minutes Mark Taylor found himself in acres of space in the middle and he curled a great shot round Fewell.

Sittingbourne stepped up a gear and won a number of corners, most of which were wasted as Jackson was gathering the ball easily.

With Sittingbourne pushing forward gaps were opening up at the back and Marc Salmon sneaked through and had a shot cannon off the Brickies bar, the ball was cleared
up-field to Tom Berry whose cross found Campbell,  Campbell seemed to stumble on the ball but he did enough to bundle it just inside the post to bring the Brickies level.

Sittingbourne then almost took the lead  when a corner found Paul Ainsworth  who headed powerfully goal-wards but the ball struck David Cory who was hovering on the Harlow goal line and deflected to safety.

The second half was just a minute old when Harlow won a free kick just outside the Brickies area. Visbe Ganyo stepped up to take the kick and the ball whistled past the wall and round Fewell to put Harlow into the lead.

Sittingbourne's response was disappointing as apart from a Cory shot easily held by Jackson the Harlow goal wasn't being troubled.

On 61 minutes Harlow won another free kick just outside the Brickies area, this time Toby Ositola took the kick and he too beat the wall and looped past Fewell to lengthen Harlow's lead.

Bradley Spice and John Neal came on just after the goal and Spice immediately looked dangerous with his speed. Good work by Spice set up a chance for Neal on 64 minutes but Neal's weak shot was easily held by Jackson.

The hill that the Brickies had to climb became a mountain on 69 minutes when a Harlow player broke away and Paul Ainsworth tugged at his shirt.

Referee Cook had no hesitation in red carding the Brickies defender adjudging him to
be the last man.

Strangely the Brickies then had more of the game and with a couple of minutes to go Spice headed a superb effort into the Harlow net but the "goal" was ruled out for a narrow off-side decision, then  Spice had a free kick from just outside the Harlow area but the kick was easily held, and there was no way back for the Brickies.

Sittingbourne: Fewell, Coyle, Hill, Douglas, Ainsworth, Taylor, Gooding, Manning (Marsh 81 mins), Cory (Spice 63 mins), S Campbell (Neal 63 mins), Berry, Sub not used: Beeney

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