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Home arrow Southern League arrow Harlow Town 1 Sittingbourne 0 (Sat.29th April 2006)
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Harlow Town 1 Sittingbourne 0 (Sat.29th April 2006) PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 03 May 2006

Harlow Town said goodbye to 46 years of league football at their Sports Centre ground with this game and they now look forward to starting the new season in a stadium built for them by their local council, writes Peter Pitts.

It was therefore probably fitting that they ended their season on a high whilst for Sittingbourne this was a performance that got nowhere near the heights of their last two games, against Chatham Town and Stamford respectively.

Instead they slipped back to high balls which were easily mopped up by the reliable looking Harlow defence.

At least the Brickies supporters were still able to enjoy their day as in recent years it is tradition that this last game of the season has been more about them than the team and this time it was no different as a coach load of supporters, transported in a brand new coach having its first outing made its way to Harlow.

Interestingly the coach was driven by the brother of ex Central Park groundsman Billy Wood.

Sittingbourne had a new Manager for this game only, Steve Davis the supporters club Chairman as Steve Lovell is away in Portugal playing in a golf tournament.

The Sittingbourne team was missing the injured James Campbell, Ricky Spiller and Dan Edwards so all three main strikers (Bradley Spice, Mark Lovell and Jon Neal) started,
unfortunately as before when this is tried the results are disappointing indeed for most of a very poor game to watch Harlow had the initiative certainly making Steve Williams a lot busier than his Harlow equivalent Jason Hardy.

Williams in fact made three excellent stops and was my Brickies man of the match.

An interested spectator was ex Brickie Steve Wadhams who played for Sittingbourne as a striker in the Kent League days, Steve now lives near Harlow.

The first half although dull wasn't too bad for Sittingbourne as neither side seemed to have the fire power to take a lead.

However, Steve Williams was called into action early in the half as he pushed an effort by Harlow's Gregg Williams over the bar with only five minutes on the clock.

That was basically it until the half hour when a Bradley Spice free kick was spilled by the Harlow keeper but the follow up shot rebounded harmlessly away.

Sittingbourne then had a short period of pressure when Spice and Neal combined well but Neal's shot bounced off a defender for a corner. From the corner Paul Ainsworth had a try but his shot too rebounded off a defender.

Ainsworth was then action at the other end as he managed to put Danny Chapman off his header and the effort went wide.

Harlow could have taken the lead a minute before the end of the first half but Neil Moore hurried his shot when well placed and the ball flew over the bar.

The second half belonged to Harlow as their defenders time and time again frustrated the Brickies strike force by mopping up the high balls at will whilst at the other end their strikers, notably Gregg Williams and Mark Salmon were having more luck, although strangely enough Sittingbourne probably had more corners than Harlow in the match but made little of them.

Williams was in action again on 53 minutes this time palming away Leon Lalite's free kick, then a shot from Salmon arced over the Brickies bar.

On 58 minutes Sittingbourne had a rare shot when Clint Gooding let fly but again a Harlow defender got in the way.

Two minutes later Salmon fired in a great shot only to see Williams block the effort. Salmon then became the provider as he crossed to his captain Wraight who blasted the ball over when perhaps he should have done better.

The alarm bells had been ringing, albeit faintly, but on 68 minutes a long Lee Hockey throw was intercepted and passed upfield by a Harlow defender to Mark Taylor who with acres of space cut inside and fired a sweet shot past Williams to give Harlow the lead.

Unfortunately Sittingbourne didn't do a Middlesborough and respond instead Wraight tested Williams again.

There was a glimmer of hope for the Brickies when Spice crossed infield to Neal, the Harlow keeper came for the ball but stumbled, however Neal couldn't quite stretch to the ball.

Salmon popped up again this time sending in a shot which Williams just got his legs to and the ball flew over the bar. The Brickies goalkeeper was in fine form and it was just as well as on 78 minutes he had to tip a Gregg Williams effort round a post.

Time was running out for the Brickies and just after another Gregg Williams effort sailed over the bar a Spice free kick in injury time at the other end was headed clear by Kevin Warren and there was no way back for Sittingbourne.

Thanks to Harlow for welcoming us so heartily, wigs, paper streamers, balloons, party poppers and all! and it was good to see the team acknowledging the unstinting support that the Brickies faithful have given to their team in a season where there have been a lot more lows than highs!

Sittingbourne: Williams, Sherwood (Ashmore 88), Hockey, Gooding, Ainsworth, Marsh, Belcher (Deveraux 90), Lovell, Neal, Spice, Taylor (Lawson 73), Sub: Hudson

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 03 May 2006 )
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