Tony Rickson previews Sittingbourne v Lewes

Written by Tony Rickson on 22nd December 2017

Sittingbourne take on Bostik South League leaders Lewes on Saturday and are keen to get back to winning ways after three tough away trips.

The teams have already met this season, on a sunny day in Sussex back in August, when they shared an honours-even 2-2 draw.

Sittingbourne twice led, though skipper Ben Gorham’s first goal for the Brickies and a super shot by Tom Loynes in his first game back at his old club, but each time Lewes fought back pretty quickly to level.

The game saw new goalkeeper Harry Brooks make a memorable debut for Sittingbourne in place of the injured Daren Hawkes, making a couple of terrific saves.

Lewes have been in excellent and consistent form since then, only to come unstuck in their last two games.

Defeats by Carshalton and then at Ramsgate last Saturday were just their second and third of the season in the league, and they’re still top of the table with exactly half the season still to go.

Lewes suffered injuries in the game with Carshalton and were without some of their first choice defenders at Ramsgate, though they hope to have a couple back for the trip to Sittingbourne.

The Brickies themselves were also short of players last Saturday, going to Greenwich Borough without Loynes, Bola Dawodu, Kane Phillip and Ollie Brown.

And for Saturday’s game they’ll also be without central defender John Coker, who begins a three-match suspension after getting a straight red card in the 3-2 defeat at Cray Wanderers.

They have a ready-made replacement in teenager Lex Allan, who played most of the match at Lewes when Lawrence Ball got injured in the first half and had a fine game.

Sittingbourne return home after three defeats at teams above them in the table, at Walton Casuals, Cray Wanderers and Greenwich Borough.

They were excellent in the game at Cray, leading 2-0 after 74 minutes until Coker’s dismissal, but the game at Greenwich was less than three days later and Sittingbourne seemed to run out of energy towards the end.

It was then that Greenwich ran in four goals to seal what was for them a flattering win.

Those three away defeats have left Sittingbourne down in ninth place in the league, having been up in second as they enjoyed an 11-game unbeaten run in September and October.

But with 23 league games still to play there’s plenty of time for them to get back to winning ways and start climbing back up the table.

Tony Rickson

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