Tony Rickson previews Lewes v Sittingbourne

Written by Tony Rickson on 23rd August 2017

Four teams go into action with 100 per cent records when Bostik South League fixtures resume this Saturday after a break for FA Cup-ties.

At least one of those records has got to go as Sittingbourne travel to Lewes – two of the teams who have won both their league matches to date.

Not many would have bet on South Park and Walton Casuals, along with Sittingbourne and Lewes, being the four 100 per centers after the first week’s fixtures.

Lewes possibly, Sittingbourne obviously, but South Park and Walton Casuals weren’t among the pre-season favourites to be promotion candidates.

Greenwich Borough, Hastings United and probably Carshalton would have been most people’s tips, and Sittingbourne have clearly been a bit of a surprise package so far given the rapid changes in personnel over the summer.

They kicked off with a 2-1 win at Chipstead and followed it up with an excellent 3-0 home victory over Herne Bay.

Saturday’s opponents Lewes, meanwhile, started – funnily enough – at Herne Bay where a late goal gave them a 1-0 win, and a victory by the same score followed when Guernsey were their midweek visitors.

Since then Lewes have gone through to the first qualifying round of the FA Cup, beating Newhaven though only after a replay.

Sittingbourne were also in FA Cup action but failed to get the better of Sussex County League side Pagham over two matches, and disappointingly went out of the competition 1-0 on Tuesday night.

The winning goal, scored late on, was the first goal Sittingbourne have conceded from open play this season – the only other two scored were from a corner at Chipstead and a penalty away to Pagham last Saturday.

So Sittingbourne’s new-look defence has made a good start to the season, but they failed to break down Pagham’s defence more than once over 180 minutes against admittedly decent opponents.

With 1-0 results figuring in both teams’ start to the season, a close game can be expected at Lewes in front of what’s always a good crowd at their uniquely-shaped Dripping Pan ground.

Last season Sittingbourne raced into a two-goal lead at Lewes through Joe Loft and Jordan Gallacher but the home side scored two late on for an honours-even 2-2 draw.

There’ll be little rest for Sittingbourne’s players as they’re back in action 48 hours later when newly-promoted Ashford United are the visitors on Bank Holiday Monday.

Tony Rickson

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