Tony Rickson Reports
Saturday 29th December 2018
Bostik League South East Division
Sittingbourne (2) 2 (Smith 6, Woods 12) Herne Bay (1) 3 (Embery (pen) 33, Sobowale 55, Wilkins 87) , Attendance: 273
Sittingbourne: Patrick Lee, Danny Devine, Chris Webber, Lewis Chambers (Yellow card), Lex Allan, Ben Fitchett (Yellow card), Gil Carvalho, Henry Woods (Bola Dawodu, 42 min), David Smith (Xavier McDonagh, 84 min), Tommie Fagg (Yellow card), Ira Jackson (Yellow card). Subs not
used: Rob Lofting, Franklin Phipps, Mason East.
Herne Bay: Simon Overland, Nathan Wood, Raphe Brown, Danny Rumbol, Ben Gorham, Ole Bankole, Bradley Schafer (Ronald Sobowale, 32 min), Thomas Carlton, Jake Embery, Connor Wilkins, Danny Leonard. Subs not used:
Miles Cornwell, Simon Kabamba, Michael Freiler, Alex Mulrooney-Skinner.
Referee: Christopher Myatt (Dartford), Assistants: Christopher Price (Bromley), Philip Dunkley (Nunhead).
Losing away to the top team in the league is understandable, but losing at home to the bottom team is a different story.
Sittingbourne have now lost to the two worst performing teams in Bostik South East League during December, and are now only three points off the bottom themselves.
Itís so disappointing, especially as they raced so confidently into an early two-goal lead in this match, only to go off the boil and lose it with an under-par second half performance.
On a grey day that was perfect for football, Sittingbourne attracted by far their biggest home crowd of the season but ended up second best to a Herne Bay side including eight of their former players. And one of the other threeís the son of ex-Sittingbourne player Paul Carlton.
Sittingbourne were without two of their most experienced players, Tom Loynes and Dan Parkinson, but Ira Jackson was back and they made a bright start to the game.
Under-pressure Bay cleared a fifth minute free-kick out of their area but Sittingbourne captain Chris Webber headed it back in, and David Smith read the situation perfectly to nip behind the defence and easily lob it home past the advancing Simon Overland.
Sittingbourne were flying, full of confidence at this stage, and added a second seven minutes later when Henry Woods pounced on a loose ball after Danny Rumbol blocked a shot and coolly left-footed it first time into the corner of the goal.
It was the same two-goal start Sittingbourne got in the previous home game against Sevenoaks, but they went on to win that one 4-1.
This time it all went wrong although they continued to dominate the first half-hour and both Tommy Fagg, with a shot that was deflected for a corner, and Jackson, with a close-range header, both went close.
Bay hadnít shown much at all but they were given a lifeline in the 33rd minute when Fagg clipped a Bay player when back helping defend a corner and the referee awarded a penalty which Jake Embery comfortably converted.
The referee levelled up the penalty count just two minutes later when Gil Carvalho tricked Connor Wilkins into fouling him on the edge of the area. The official pointed to the spot but was persuaded to consult his assistant and changed the decision to a free-kick on the edge of the area.
Sittingbourne lost Woods, whoíd been having a decent game, to a head injury and the half ended with Patrick Lee making a good save from a Thomas Carlton free-kick.
At first, Sittingbourne looked to be controlling the second half but their finishing was poor with Lewis Chambers blazing a shot too high and Smith shooting tamely after a good turn had put him in with a chance.
The game changed on 55 minutes with a simply amazing goal by Bay substitute Ronald Sobowale. He raced from the halfway line into the Sittingbourne area but when forced wide, he simply kept on feigning to shoot and avoiding tackles, working his way back into a central position before firing home. Almost certainly the best goal seen at Woodstock in
2018 and it wonít be bettered now!
Sittingbourne lost their way after this and although Fagg and Gil Carvalho couldnít make the most of openings after a couple of useful-looking attacks, Bay looked likeliest to snatch it, playing with determination and commitment.
Theyíve been vulnerable to late goals for a while now, and Sittingbourne conceded the winner in the 87th minute from a set piece. A ball played in from deep on the left was headed back across goal and Connor Wilkins tucked in the winner at the far post.
Thatís nine defeats in their last ten games for Sittingbourne. They played well for part of this game, just as they did in defeat at leaders Cray Wanderers last weekend, but thatís not proving enough in a competitive league against teams who dig in and more than match them for intensity and passion.
Photographs from the game by Ken Medwyn
Match Day Programme