Tony Rickson previews Sittingbourne v Ashford Utd

Written by Tony Rickson on 28th August 2017

It’s Sittingbourne’s second home Bostik League South game of the season on Bank Holiday Monday (3pm) and another Kent derby.

This time Ashford United are the visitors, having been promoted into this division this season after finishing the last one as Southern Counties East League champions.

They’ve had a tough start in their new league, losing all three of their opening games, with manager Danny Lye, an ex-Sittingbourne midfielder, leaving after the first two.

Sittingbourne, meanwhile, have come through their first three games unbeaten, despite rebuilding a team from scratch over the last couple of months.

They’ve beaten Chipstead and Herne Bay and on Saturday forced a fine 2-2 draw at Lewes, another team who had started the season with a 100 per cent record.

Sittingbourne led twice, through captain and Ben Gorham and Tommy Loynes, who rejoined the club on Friday, but each time Lewes pulled them back.

Each side could have won it, with Sittingbourne indebted to keeper Harry Brooks for a terrific 90th minute save to turn over a Lewes free-kick.

Brooks had come into the team at the last minute when first choice keeper Darren Hawkes failed a pre-match test on a back injury, while Sittingbourne also lost key defender Laurence Ball to injury after an awkward fall in the first half.

The point left Sittingbourne in fourth place in the league table – though it’s admittedly very early days! Walton Casuals are two points clear at the top as the only team to have won three out of three so far.

While Sittingbourne were battling their way to an away point, Ashford crashed heavily at home 5-2  to a VCD side who hadn’t previously picked up a point this season.

Sittingbourne and Ashford have been playing football against each other for many than 100 years but this is the first time Ashford United, which was only formed in 2011, have played at this level.

Tony Rickson


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