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Thursday, 23 October 2014
 
 
Arlesey Town 1 Sittingbourne 3 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 29 January 2006
A scintillating second half display by Sittingbourne sealed their first away victory since September 17th, writes Peter Pitts.

There were good performances throughout the team and although Steve Williams in the Brickies goal may have been slow to react to Arlesey's goal he redeemed himself by making a couple of excellent saves.

The back line looked especially strong and the two central defenders Paul Ainsworth and James Campbell even weighed in with a goal apiece.

Up front Mark Lovell in his first full game since October added strength to the attack and he, Bradley Spice and Mitchell Sherwood caused plenty of problems to the Arlesey defence.
 
The game started evenly with both sides having half chances. On 12 minutes a Spice cross just needed a tap in and at the other end the lively Ben Hammond set up Charlie Henry but Ainsworth blocked his effort.
 
On 29 minutes a Campbell header from a corner went well over the Arlesey bar and on 34 minutes a snap shot by Kieran Marsh went just wide.
 
On 41 minutes Arlesey's Ozie Foster raced goalwards, Williams came rushing out of his area and seemed to run over the ball but he just managed to get the briefest of touches and the ball was cleared upfield.

A minute later Ashmore's free kick was missed by Town keeper Nick Bussey but the defence cleared.
 
The first half hadn't been that inspiring and the cold didn't help but the second half, if you were a Brickies supporter, was a completely different kettle of fish as Sittingbourne played some of their best football for ages and the cold was quickly forgotten.
 
Sittingbourne began the second half on attack and just two minutes into the half Marsh found Spice who sent in a cross that whizzed along the Town goal line but was cleared for a corner. From the corner Lee Hockey's header was headed off the line and rebounded for another corner.

This time the Brickies were caught on the back foot as the ball was cleared upfield to Hammond who outpaced the Brickies defence but his shot  sailed over the bar.

Hammond was looking dangerous and on 53 minutes he sent in a shot which Williams saw late but did well to turn round for a corner. From the corner an Arlesey player sent in a stinging drive that bounced off the top of Sittingbourne's bar.

Sittingbourne's relief lasted barely two minutes when  what looked like a speculative shot by Hammond just outside the area was completely misjudged by Williams and he could only watch as the ball nestled in the net to put the home side one up.
 
Sittingbourne have not been renowned for coming back from a goal down this season but on 56 minutes a cracking shot by Marsh seemed to be winging its way into the top right hand corner of the net only for Bussey to appear from nowhere and snatch the ball out of the air.

Three  minutes later a Sittingbourne corner flew through a ruck of players to the far post where Paul Ainsworth was completely unmarked and he stabbed the ball home for the equaliser.
 
Arlesey responded  and on 62 minutes Charlie Henry was far too intricate with his play in the Brickies area and was dispossessed but the ball landed at the feet of Luke Gregson only for him to  fire wide.
 
The game was now exciting end to end stuff. Mitchell Sherwood was unlucky when he attempted to lob Bussey but the ball hit the bar and rebounded to safety.

Arlesey then won a free kick just inside their own area which found Darren Hay, Hay passed inside to Foster forcing a great save from Williams.

This was a good spell for Town and Hammond had a shot go just over the bar when he might have done better.
 
Sittingbourne could, and probably should, have taken the lead on 72 minutes when Marsh and Sherwood combined to send Spice away and just as it looked like he had an open goal in front of him he appeared to stumble and the shot went agonisingly wide.

Five minutes later Spice's speed caused trouble again for the Town defence and he  raced away only for  Arlesey's 41 year old veteran Dave Hatchett to bring him down. Marsh took the perfectly flighted free kick which found James Campbell lurking alone at the far post and Campbell gratefully nodded the ball into the empty net to put Sittingbourne in front.
 
Sittingbourne had an agonising ten minutes to hold on to their lead and Brickies supporters nerves were tested when on 84 minutes a Hammond shot was well saved by Williams but the ball fell to Hay who fired across goal and wide.
 
Lee Browning had tried a number of mazy runs throughout the match and on 88 minutes one such run was abruptly ended when he was brought crashing down on the edge of the Town area. Spice stepped up to take the free kick and he sent in a peach of a shot that curled into the top left hand corner of the net and the Brickies were home and dry.
 
In the end this was an emphatic victory against a side who have had some excellent results this season and hopefully this will be the springboard for a climb up the league.
 
Sittingbourne: Williams, Ashmore, Dowley, Ainsworth, Campbell, Marsh, Browning, Hockey, Lovell, Spice, Sherwood.
Subs: Gooding, Spiller, Taylor, Knowles, Tanner
 
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