In-form Sittingbourne head to Sussex on Saturday for their first ever league match against Shoreham.
Sittingbourne, beaten just once in Bostick League South this season, have won their last six league and cup games, and sit third in the league table.
On top of that they’ve had an unprecedented sequence of five matches without conceding a goal. When, if ever, has that happened before in the history of a club which stretches back to the 19th century?
Having beaten Ramsgate 2-0 and Ashford United 3-0 in cup competitions, Sittingbourne have beaten both Herne Bay and Hythe Town 1-0 in league games, and followed that up by beating Bostik Premier Division side Merstham 1-0 on Tuesday in the League’s Velocity Trophy competition.
Both sides put out strong teams for a well-contested match which Sittingbourne won thanks to a first half goal by David Smith set up by Tom Loynes.
Both those two players were squeezed out of the starting line-up for the FA Trophy match at Ashford the previous Saturday, as manager Nick Davis finds himself with an embarrassment of riches as far as selection goes.
Managers like to say it’s a nice headache to have to be in a situation like that, but that doesn’t make it any easier when you have a choice of four excellent centre-backs contesting two places, or four tricky and dangerous wingers competing for two other places.
It will be fascinating to see who gets the nod at Shoreham, and for those who miss out there’s no consolation of an upcoming midweek game to get a chance in that instead.
Certainly, such fierce competition for places keeps everyone on their toes, and has surely been one of the reasons for such a strong first two months of the season for Sittingbourne.
That, as well as good player recruitment, as well as organisation, discipline, team spirit, fitness, tactical awareness and all the other strengths Sittingbourne have showed this season.
Opponents Shoreham were promoted to this level of football for the first time this season and have found it tough to establish themselves.
They stand second bottom in the league but have recorded a couple of important wins in their last three home league games.
They beat ambitious Greenwich Borough 1-0 to record their first league victory and followed that up on Tuesday night by beating Ashford 4-2, an important win for the club.
And they’d previously held league leaders Lewes to a draw so their home form is something Sittingbourne certainly won’t be taking lightly.
Sittingbourne were last in Sussex three weeks ago, just down the road from Shoreham on the Lancing ground Horsham are currently sharing, when the goal they conceded in a 5-1 win was the last one they’ve let in.
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