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Tony Rickson Reports:

 

Saturday, 30th March 2019

 

Bostik League South East Division

Greenwich Borough (1) 2 (Paul 10, Walter (pen) 68) Sittingbourne (0) 1 (Lewins 81), Attendance: 74

 

Sittingbourne: Patrick Lee, Chris Webber, Rob Lofting (Billy Lewins, 45

min), Lex  Allan (Yellow card), Harry Barkaway, Lewis Chambers (Johan

Caney-Bryan, 4 min), Kane Phillip (Izzy Adebayo, 60 min), Chris Barnard

(Yellow card), Roman Campbell (Yellow card), Henry Woods, Timmy

Babbington.

Photographs by Ken Medwyn & Glen Parkes

 

Great news for Sittingbourne was that Lex Allan returned after 11 weeks

out with a horrible injury and played bravely and confidently as if he’d

never been away.

And that was that for the good news, though, to be fair, Sittingbourne

did get better as the game went on and went very close to snatching at

least a point.

Two excellent saves by Greenwich’s impressive keeper on loan from

Crystal Palace, plus a Henry Woods shot that was deflected onto the bar,

meant Sittingbourne returned empty-handed down the A2.

It was an important win for a Greenwich side who have clearly

strengthened in recent weeks in a late bid to avoid relegation - their

trip to Guernsey in a fortnight’s time shapes up as very much a

six-pointer.

Sittingbourne themselves would have officially been safe from relegation

with a win here, but they made a terrible start to the game and never

quite recovered.

Already without Tom Loynes, Tommy Fagg and Josh Spencer, they were also

missing Kwasi Amoah and Jack Morrell, who has been a key player in

recent weeks.

In pleasant spring weather but on a bobbly pitch, they got off to a

nightmare start with Roman Campbell, Chris Barnard and Allan all booked

in the first 20 minutes – a couple of them very harshly.

In addition Lewis Chambers played only two minutes before suffering what

looked like a nasty ankle injury, and to cap it all they also conceded a

poor opening goal.

Greenwich had made the more positive and intensive start and got their

reward when a free-kick from the left was played beyond the far post and

the lurking Paul was unchallenged as he headed in from a narrow angle.

The home side continued to have the better of the play but Sittingbourne

gradually got a foothold in the game and the home keeper made an

excellent 32nd minute save from Johan Caney-Bryan after the industrious

Chris Barnard’s run had opened up the defence.

Sittingbourne forced a succession of corners but Roman Campbell was

penalised for pushing when one came in and then got nothing in return

when he was wrestled to the ground the next time.

It was a disappointing first half for Sittingbourne, but at least they

made more of a fist of it after the break, going for a three-man defence

and being much more positive at winning the ball back and controlling

the game.

There was a clue that it wasn’t going to be their game when Campbell,

who surprisingly has failed to score in March, fired in a powerful shot

from just 10 yards that the keeper somehow managed to keep out with a

brilliant save.

As Sittingbourne pressed, it was obvious there was always a risk they’d

concede a second on the break and Greenwich got it when Harry Barkaway

risked a challenge near the edge of the penalty area and the home player

went down.  Walter comfortably converted the penalty for 2-0.

There was almost an immediate comeback when Woods beat the keeper with a

shot that was going into the far corner only for a slight deflection off

a defender to send it up onto the bar.

Sittingbourne kept working hard and deservedly halved the deficit when

sub Izzy Adebayo worked his way into space on the right and pulled it

back for another sub, Billy Lewins, to finish with a neat first-time

effort.

But that was it. Plenty of free-kicks and corners but Greenwich’s big

defenders lapped them up and despite their much-improved and battling

second half performance, Sittingbourne went down to a third successive

defeat.

 

 

 


 

 

 

  

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