Tuesday 2nd October 2018
South Park 1 (McLean 45 mins) Sittingbourne 2 (Caney-Bryan 66 mins, Dowadu 86 mins)
South Park: Micheal Eacott, Melvin Adesida (Ehis Izokun 81 mins), Jake Hill, Charlie Alexiou, Michael Olarewaju, Jay Bradley, Edgar Silva Morais, Ryan Healey, Tyreke Leslie (Dylan Ramazani 82 mins), Luciano Osbourne, Chevron McLean, Subs not used: Sebastien Osei-Obengo, David Awamolo, Joel Thompson.
Sittingbourne: Patrick Lee, Josh Dorling, Reiss Crimmen, KJ McFarlane (Mobolaji Dawodu 82 mins), Ben Fitchett, Joe Denny, Ira Jackson, Lewis Chambers, Johan Caney-Bryan (Dylan Riches 82 mins), Tommie Fagg, Harrison Hatfull, Subs not used: Chris Webber, Lex Allan, Mason last.
Referee: Greig Walker, Assistants: Andrew Connor, Stephen Hawkes.
Photographs by Ken Medwyn<
As we walked into the ground, the usual relaxed and playful banter between the Sittingbourne players going through their pre-match warm up routine could be heard all around. But that changed as soon as the teams came onto the pitch, serious to a man, they confidently walked out for the customary handshake.
The match started slowly, with both sides testing the other until less that fifteen minutes in, a pass that bisected the South Park defence sent Johan Caney-Bryan on the first of his many runs. Harried, jostled, pushed and pulled all the way into the box by the defender, he was shoved off the ball and went down in a tangled heap.The officials indicated shoulder to shoulder and the match carried on. Not long after, Tommy Fagg was brought down in the opposing half over on the left. The free kick sailed into the box and was blatantly handled by one of the defenders in a frantic effort to clear the ball but the officials must have been unsighted and saw nothing.
The match settled down for a while until the thirty-eighth minute, when a great pass through the middle of South Park’s defence allowed Harrison Hatfull to take a snap shot as he was closed down. With the goalkeeper stranded the ball went past him only to rebound off the bar and away.
In the forty-fourth minute another great pass sent Ira Jackson rushing towards the keeper who quickly closed down the angle and managed to save with an out flung leg.
Then, out of nowhere, the South Park striker intercepted a pass across the back and despite Ben Fitchett nearly bursting a lung trying to catch up; they scored, very much against the run of play. Immediately after the restart, the referee blew for half-time.
From the restart South Park came out of the blocks quickly, but a quick attack down the left resulted in a lengthy stop in play to attend to one of the South Park defenders who had injured himself. Unfortunately, he had to be assisted off the field by another player.
Immediately after, yet another one of Lewis Chamber’s immense long throws hurtled into the box once again causing panic in the South Park defence. This time a hurried clearance only made it as far as Johan Caney-Bryan who volleyed a fine shot into the net.
Now it was honours even but there was no respite for South Park. Shots peppered their goal from all angles and the pressure eventually paid off. On eighty-five minutes, a move that started on the right resulting in a low cross into the box, was intercepted by a defender who could only block the ball, sending it out to an advancing Bola Dowadu –originally on the bench- who rifled his shot into the net making it 2-1 to the Brickies!
Sittingbourne could have added another soon after but Fitchett could only head over the bar from a Chambers throw in.
The referee had already played five minutes of added-on time when what looked like a 50-50 tackle saw Fitchett get a booking and Sittingbourne hearts were in their mouths when South Park scored from the free kick; fortunately, the assistant indicated offside. From that point on Sittingbourne held on to the ball for the final few minutes and played the game out.
A good game, with a solid performance by Sittingbourne who rested a number of key players. The players who come in –Joe Denny, Khalil Mcfarlane and later Dylan Riches- just showed the strength of the current Sittingbourne squad.
Next up for the Brickies in the Velocity Trophy is a tasty tie away to Folkestone Invicta.