Thursday 01st September 2005

Spice reaches goalscoring milestone

Saturday 19th
November 2005
Southern League
Division One East
Peter Pitts reports from Mill Field
Aveley 2 Lee 44 (pen),
Purches 45
Sittingbourne 2 Spice 78,80

Sittingbourne's injury list grew when Steve Williams had to cry off just before the game due to a back injury. Lee Browning was already missing from the starting line up as he suffered  a dislocated shoulder during the week. In came Lee Friend in goal who had a competent game and Michael Smissen up front, writes Peter Pitts.
The game as far as Sittingbourne were concerned was notable for two goals from Bradley Spice, the first of which was his  50th goal for the club and on not such a positive note the dismissal of Lee Hockey  on 89 minutes for an over the top challenge which resulted in Aveley's John Purches being stretchered off.
The first half from Sittingbourne's point of view was woeful and the game was an anti climax following the great FA Trophy success last Saturday as they failed to get anywhere  near reproducing the form that has seen them dispose of both Chatham Town and Corby Town in that competition.
Kieran Marsh had the first effort of the game when on 8 minutes his header was well saved by Aveley keeper Marc Palmer  but then the ball was punted down the other end and Lee Friend did well to block a shot from Tommy Lee.  

Friend was in action again five minutes later this time turning John Purches's shot round a post but then Sittingbourne had a long period of dominance without  overly troubling the Aveley defence.
On 35 minutes Aveley's Darren Spinks missed his tackle and the ball fell to Spice who crossed infield only for the ball to be intercepted by Kevin Mully but he sliced his clearance and the ball hit his own bar.

After this neither side looked likely to break the deadlock but with just a minute to go to
half time a clumsy challenge in the Brickies area led to Aveley being awarded a penalty which Tommy Lee converted. 

From the restart Aveley won a free kick just outside the Brickies area and with the defence failing to clear the ball in nipped Purches to smash the ball past Friend and in the space of two minutes Aveley were two goals up.
The second half started with Sittingbourne attempting to push forward and on 56 minutes Ricky Spiller had a long range shot comfortably saved by Palmer but generally the Aveley defence were giving little space to the Brickies attacking ideas.

Aveley's Danny Curran had a chance on 67 minutes to increase the lead when he raced away and spotted Friend out of his goal but his attempted lob was off target.
Sittingbourne at last looked threatening when on 70 minutes a Joe Dowley free kick was glanced just wide by James Campbell, but Sittingbourne still had to be careful of the breakaway and a minute later a break by Purches ended in a poor shot when Steve Jones looked to be better placed.
On 78 minutes Sittingbourne won a free kick just outside the area which Peter Taylor took, he crossed  the ball inside to the unmarked Spice lurking on the edge of the area and without hesitation Spice fired a magnificent shot into the Aveley goal for his 50th goal for the Brickies.
Two minutes later Spice was fouled just outside the Aveley area and this time Spice took the kick himself and he crashed a stunning shot past Palmer to pull the Brickies level.
Right on the 90 minutes an over the top challenge by Lee Hockey on Purches ended in a red card to the Sittingbourne man and to Purches being stretchered off.
Aveley almost had the last word but Hasan Ugurkardal's bicycle kick went just wide.
A draw was probably a fair result and at least Sittingbourne avoided another away defeat which broke their dismal record of five defeats on the trot away from Bourne Park. Other positives were the performance of Lee Friend as Steve Williams understudy and the return of Charlie Belcher when he came on as a 70th minute substitute for Dan Tanner.


Sittingbourne's Peter Taylor drives a shot towards the Aveley goal during their 2-2 draw at Mill Field. 
Photograph: Chris Regan - www.sittingbournefc.co.uk

Sittingbourne: Friend, Tanner (Belcher 70), Hockey, Ainsworth (Dowley 46), Campbell, Marsh, Spiller (Taylor 57), Gooding, Smissen, Spice, Sherwood, Subs: Ashmore, S Lovell