Tony Rickson Reports:
Saturday, 6th April 2019
Bostik League South East Division
Sittingbourne (0) 1 (Lewins 90) Horsham (2) 6 (Smith 32,
53, 83 (pen), Brivio 44, 88, Allan (og) 80)
Sittingbourne: Patrick Lee (Yellow card), Chris Webber,
Jack Morrell, Lex Allan, Tommy Fagg
(Yellow card), Kwasi Amoah (Yellow card) (Khalil McFarlane, 36 min, Yellow
card), Izzy Adebayo (Kane Phillip, 54 min), Tom Lawrence (Billy Lewins, 59 min),
Roman Campbell, Henry Woods, Timmy Babbington. Subs not used: Josh Spencer,
Horsham: Joe Mant, Steve Metcalf (Yellow card), Harvey
Sparks, Jack Brivio, William Miles (Yellow card) (Lewis Hyde, 64 min), Dylan
Merchant-Simmons, Tyrell Richardson-Brown, George Hayward, Robert O’Toole
(Yellow card) (Kieran Lavery, 67 min), Chris Smith, Lee Harding (Joseph Taylor,
76 min). Subs not used: Dean Lovegrove, Daniel Pearse.
Referee: Craig Pullen; Assistants: Tony King, Gary Baker
Photographs by Ken Medwyn
There’s no sugar-coating this. Sittingbourne were
outplayed and outfought and ended up on the end of a devastating defeat.
Horsham had the huge incentive of clinching a place in
the promotion play-offs if they won, and they made absolutely sure of it.
They were big, powerful, well-organised and strong in
every position – but on top of that they worked very hard, and were still
closing down every Sittingbourne player and chasing everything even when they
were five or six up.
It was a lesson for Sittingbourne on where they want to
be one day - but as it was they were made to look lightweight and very
inexperienced by comparison.
They didn’t really get a shot on target all afternoon and
a fourth successive defeat means they are still possible candidates for
relegation unless they pick up a few more points in their remaining four
It seemed such a distant memory the time they won at
Horsham on the opening day of the season, and on the teams’ performances in this
game it seems like quite a mystery how they managed it. Actually, I was there
and they did it by grabbing their chances and then working like mad to prevent
On an unpleasantly chilly day, they made five changes
from the team that was beaten by bottom club Greenwich the previous week. Jack
Morrell, Kwasi Amoah, Izzy Adebayo and Tommy Fagg returned with Tom Lawrence
making his first start after a couple of substitute appearances. Both Lewis
Chambers and Chris Barnard were out injured, while Kane Phillip, Rob Lofting and
Harry Barkaway stepped down.
Sittingbourne got an early general warning from the
referee for some mistimed tackles – which Horsham were very quick to loudly
point out – and Kwasi Amoah was booked after just 12 minutes for a foul.
Goalkeeper Patrick Lee made a fine tip-over save to keep
it goalless while at the other end Lawrence had
an opening after a good build-up and pass by Henry Woods, but his
left-foot shot went wide of the far post.
Sittingbourne were playing well at the midway stage of
the first half but went backwards once Horsham took a 31st minute lead when a
free-kick beyond the far post was played back in across goal and Smith volleyed
in at the far post.
What I thought was a terrible decision to penalise
Adebayo when he seemed to stretch his leg out and win the ball led to Horsham’s
second goal just before half-time, commanding captain Brivio powering his header
in from the free-kick despite Lee’s half-save.
Two-nil and you’re in with a chance, but three-nil is a
killer and Horsham got a third early in the second half when Smith nicked the
ball off two Sittingbourne defenders and broke clear to smash it past the
Horsham worked hard to protect their lead, Sittingbourne
going closest when Fagg won his header from a corner but couldn’t keep it from
going over the bar.
In the last 10 minutes, Horsham went to town and added
three more goals as Sittingbourne finally succumbed to demoralisation.
Smith got the ball in from a narrow angle as Lee and Lex
Allan just failed to keep it out, and then won a penalty as Lee fouled him when
he was left clear after Fagg undercooked a headed back-pass. The final goal was
another Brivio header from a free-kick, meaning four of Horsham’s six goals were
scored from set pieces.
Somehow, Sittingbourne gathered themselves together to
force an injury time corner, and when Henry Woods swung it into the near post,
the keeper spilled it with sub Billy Lewins claiming the final touch as the ball
trickled over the line.
Horrible weather, a horrible result, but Sittingbourne
won’t be facing teams as good as Horsham in all their remaining fixtures so hope
springs eternal that they’ll bounce back in the few weeks remaining this season.
Match Day Programme