Tony Rickson Reports:
Saturday 8th December 2018
Bostik League South East Division
Faversham (2) 3 (Miller 15, Carrington 43, Goodger 57) Sittingbourne (0) 1 (Webber 59), Attendance: 296
Faversham Town: Louie Catherall, Ryan Cooper (Yellow card), George Monger, Danny Walder, Matt Bourne, Ryan Huckle (Yellow card), Luke Griffiths (James Miles, 82 min), Dan Carrington, Harry Goodger, Ben Chapman, Ashley Miller (Yellow card). Subs not used: Joe Muddiman, William Rigdon, Harry Day.
Sittingbourne: Patrick Lee, Chris Webber, Reiss Crimmen, Lewis Chambers (Yellow card), Lex Allan, Ben Fitchett, Gil Carvalho (Bola Dawodu, 70 min), Henry Woods, David Smith (Ira Jackson, 54 min), Tommie Fagg, Tom Loynes (Izzy Adebayo, 67 min, Red card). Subs not used: Dylan Riches, Nathan Elder.
Referee: Ms K Dowle. Assistants: Mr J Smith, Mr D Joseph.
Sittingbourne’s amazing collapse from second in the table to third bottom continued as Faversham Town got their revenge for a home defeat in the FA Trophy in October.
In fact, that day was the last time Sittingbourne won a match and this was their seventh defeat in a row.
Having said that, Faversham had only won once in 12 games going into this match so it would have been little surprise if both sides had been lacking confidence.
As it was, Faversham deservedly ran out winners. They had less of the ball but defended stoutly, played with a lot of passion and commitment, and accepted the gifts that Sittingbourne’s defence laid on for them.
At least Sittingbourne showed good attitude by carrying on battling even when they went three down, but apart from that it was a derby afternoon to forget for them.
And to make things worse, they had another player sent off – that’s five red cards this season, and three in the last five games.
Manager Aslan Odev is not afraid to make changes and five players came into the team that lost the previous match, a fortnight ago at East Grinstead. Back came goalkeeper Patrick Lee, fit-again Ben Fitchett and suspension-free Reiss Crimmen, in came Gil Carvalho for his first full game after returning to the club, and into midfield came Gillingham youngster Henry Woods on loan. That meant Ira Jackson and Bola Dawodu were among those left out, though both came on as second half substitutes.
It was – unsurprisingly – a tentative start to the game, with the first chance created by a 13th minute long throw from Lewis Chambers which Tommie Fagg headed just wide.
Two minutes later and Faversham were in front thanks to a huge stroke of luck. Ben Fitchett fell over, completely losing his footing on the wet surface, and Miller had a clear run on goal behind him, easily chipping over the advancing Lee.
Up front, David Smith was getting very little change out of experienced ex-Sittingbourne stalwart Matt Bourne, and the wing threats of Carvalho and Tom Loynes were being snuffed out. Woods had an accomplished first half in midfield, never wasting the ball, but Sittingbourne were generally a little subdued, though still well in the game at this point.
It got much harder for them just before half-time when Crimmen’s headed clearance fell handily for Carrington on the edge of the area and he had time to pick his spot and make it 2-0.
Encouragingly, Sittingbourne started the second half more positively and with the wind and driving rain behind them, they dominated possession - but the great majority of their many free-kicks, long throws and corners were won by Faversham defenders.
Carvalho did get the ball in but was ruled offside, Fagg was just wide from Woods’ corner, and as Sittingbourne continued to press, Faversham were happy to lump it clear and attack on the break.
And that’s just how they went further ahead on 57 minutes when a right-wing cross was allowed to reach Goodger on the far side and he wasn’t closed down quickly enough as he scored comfortably.
Sittingbourne responded immediately with an extraordinary goal by captain Chris Webber. He took a free-kick just inside the opposition half and out wide, probably 50 yards away, and it simply sailed straight into goal at the far top corner. Webber got a super goal from distance in defeat at Ashford last season so it’s a shame his dramatic interventions don’t get more credit as they get a bit ignored in the disappointment of defeat.
Getting back to just a goal behind would have been an enormous boost for Sittingbourne’s rally, but Jackson had a shot saved well and then fired in two excellent corners that just didn’t find anyone applying the finishing touch.
Faversham were determined to hold on by hook or by crook and any hope Sittingbourne had of getting something from the game probably ended with the 87th minute dismissal of sub Adebayo. He tangled briefly with Bourne, but when another Faversham defender provocatively got involved, Adebayo shoved him away and was sent off. Sittingbourne fans voiced their disapproval at a red card for the Sittingbourne man and just a yellow for Faversham’s Huckle but to be fair it looked the right decision.
Old rivals Faversham did the double over Sittingbourne in the league last season and though they look a team in a bit of transition at the moment, they’re now halfway to doing the same again this time.