Tony Rickson Reports on Sittingbourne's Velocity Trophy Victory.
Sittingbourne 2 (Fitchett 47, Adebayo 90 + 3) Phoenix Sports 0
Sittingbourne: Harry Brooks, Chris Webber, Reiss Crimmen, Harrison
Hatfull, Josh Dorling, Ben Fitchett, Kenny Orenuga (Yellow card), (Ira
Jackson, 79 min, Yellow card) Lewis Chambers (Dylan Riches, 45 min),
Bola Dawodu (Johan Caney-Bryan, 63 min), Tommie Fagg (Yellow card), Izzy
Adebayo. Subs not used: Tom Loynes, Patrick Lee.
Phoenix Sports: Steve Phillips, Ryan Andrews, Lewis Clark, Jack Hopkins
(Jack Barry, 45 min), Danny Young, Lewis Mingle (Ashley Proberts, 64
min, Yellow card), Tony Robinson, Kweku Ansah, Kyren Mundle-Smith, Tariq
Ibrahim, Matt Neary. Subs not used: Matt Aldridge, Jonathan
Miller-Annor, Oliver Andrews.
Referee: Jack Fagg. Assistants: George Lowe, Daniel Doyle.
Photographs by Glen Parkes
League Cup-ties are often pretty low priority for clubs, but it was
important for Sittingbourne to find a way to win again after two
disappointing league defeats in a row.
And find a win they did, against decent opponents in Phoenix, who
themselves have made a good start to the season.
Sittingbourne won it with goals at the start and end of the second half
and showed lots of determination and energy in a well-contested and
enjoyable Velocity Trophy match.
With a big FA Cup-tie coming up on Saturday, they rested key players
with Lex Allan, Tom Loynes, Dan Parkinson and Ira Jackson all saved for
the Gosport Borough match.
Making their debuts were promising Margate youngster Ben Fitchett and
speedy winger Kenny Orenuca, while Harry Brooks grabbed at the chance to
return in goal, and a switch in positions in defence saw Chris Webber
return to right-back and Josh Dorling to centre-half – the positions
they played last season.
It was a very even first half with few chances, Tom Fagg having a couple
of low drives saved comfortably by the Phoenix keeper, and Brooks
remaining relatively untroubled at the other end.
Sittingbourne wasted a couple of free-kicks in good positions by hitting
the ball too near to the keeper, and the outstanding moment of the half
came when Fitchett won the ball with a brilliantly-timed and brave
tackle in his own area.
And he capped that soon after the second half restart, neatly flicking
in Orenuca’s near post corner to give Sittingbourne the lead.
Sittingbourne had by far the better opportunities after that but Orenuca
was wide from very close range after Bola Dawodu set him up, sub Johan
Caney-Bryan got clean through but was foiled by an excellent save by the
Phoenix keeper with his legs, and Izzy Adebayo hit the bar when it
seemed easier to score.
But he made amends with the last kick of the game, comfortably stroking
home a low shot from the edge of the area – just as he did at Tonbridge
in his only other start, in the Kent Senior Cup. This was after
Caney-Bryan, the Phoenix keeper and a defender all went for the same
ball and it rolled clear of all of them.
Important as the win was, and important as it was to put in a good
all-round performance to deservedly secure a place in the next round,
the best thing about the night for manager Aslan Odev must have been
keeping a clean sheet after the horrors of conceding five at Thamesmead
All the players who came in did well, and although some will have to
stand down on Saturday for the Gosport tie, at least they gave the
manager food for thought as to exactly who should make his starting XI.
Bostik South East
Saturday 2nd March 2019
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