Thursday 01st September 2005

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Saturday 6th
November 2004
FA Trophy
First Round
Peter Pitts reports from Leylands Park
Burgess Hill Town 1 Sullivan 52
Sittingbourne 0  

History repeats itself for Sittingbourne

Burgess Hill are proving to be something of a Bogey side for Sittingbourne having defeated them in all 3 meetings last season and they continued the trend in this match by coming away 1-0 winners.

The game was almost a tale of two goalkeepers with Kevin Fewell probably feeling that he should have done better with the Burgess Hill goal whilst home goalkeeper Pat Gannon had a marvellous match and was deservedly awarded sponsors man of the match.

The game was a closely fought affair with Sittingbourne shading the first half and Burgess Hill the second.

Sittingbourne, wearing their new blue away strip for the first time, quickly got into their stride and on 19 minutes clever interplay from a free kick between Kieran Marsh and Paul Manning
resulted in Manning firing narrowly wide.

Fewell was having a quiet time in the Brickies goal and Burgess Hill's first serious attempt didn't come until the 21st  minute when Nicky Sullivan's effort was blocked by the towering James Campbell.

Things were much livelier at the other end and Jamie Coyle's header was snatched under the crossbar by Gannon then Gannon was called into action again this time to catch a Jon Neal shot.

Sittingbourne continued pressing and on 31 minutes Burgess Hill's Sean Edwards almost put through his own goal after deflecting a good cross from Lee Browning, then Adam Douglas blasted  over the bar.

Three minutes later Gannon performed heroics to tip a James Campbell header over the bar.

The second half opened with Jon Neal firing over the Hillians bar but then Burgess Hill began pressing. 

On 52 minutes they won a free kick some 30 yards out. The ball was floated into the Brickies area straight onto the head of Sullivan who looped his header over Fewell who was a yard off his
line and seemingly rooted to the spot and Burgess Hill were in front.

Sittingbourne came back well and Marsh fired in a screamer from 25 yards which produced another wonder save from Gannon as he turned the effort round a post.

At the other end Owen Callaghan was causing problems and Coyle was forced to make a last ditch challenge when he raced through the Brickies defence and then a few moments later he blasted the ball over the bar.

The game was now real end to end cup tie football and Gannon was called into action again this time saving Neal's effort at the second attempt.

Dave Hassett had replaced Dean Hill on 74 minutes and he set up a chance for Marsh but the screamer of a shot  took a deflection and veered away from the goal.

Burgess Hill then almost increased their lead as a snap shot by Steve Harper - wanted by Hastings and Tonbridge - shot across goal and bounced of the right hand post.

On 80 minutes Manning did well to get the ball in the box but instead of shooting elected to pass and the chance was gone and then deep into injury time Dave Hassett was one on one with Gannon but he elected to shoot when perhaps he should have passed and Gannon smothered the shot.

The sands of time ran out and a sense of Deja Vu saw Sittingbourne go out of the Trophy to the same team, at the same ground, and at the same round as last season.

Sittingbourne: Fewell, Coyle, Hill (Hassett 74), Douglas (Ashmore 87), J Campbell, Ainsworth, Browning (S Campbell 79), Marsh, Neal, Spice, Manning. Sub: Beeney