Thirty-one league and cup games played already this season, and one more to get in before November ends.
Sittingbourne travel to North London on Tuesday evening to play Bostik Premier League side Wingate & Finchley for a place in the quarter-finals of the League Cup – otherwise known as the Velocity Trophy.
The Brickies have already progressed through two rounds of the competition, beating Ramsgate 2-0 as well as Merstham, who also play in the Bostik Premier. That was 1-0 last month thanks to a David Smith goal.
Sittingbourne go to Finchley in good heart, having beaten Molesey 3-2 in the league last midweek, and then held high-flying Corinthian Casuals to a 2-2 draw on Saturday.
The one concern is that they failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their seven games in November, and have let in seven in the last three matches, having been very tight defensively earlier in the season.
They twice led Casuals through a John Coker penalty and Kane Rowland, the top scorer taking his tally to three in two games, but their opponents hit back quickly each time.
The game gave Sittingbourne the opportunity to recall hugely promising youngster Lex Allan in defence, while behind him, another teenager, Jordan Carey, made his debut in goal with Daren Hawkes having left the club after missing so many midweek games through work commitments.
Both Sittingbourne and Corinthian Casuals were below full strength as injuries take their toll on what’s been a tough season of two matches virtually every week.
Manager Nick Davis would undoubtedly like to mix and match his resources for the Wingate game, but he’s been much shorter of players recently, and hasn’t got much flexibility in terms of team selection.
In addition, the League Cup is the only one of the four cups Sittingbourne were in at the start of the season that they’re still contesting, so is the only remaining hope of silverware apart from the league championship!
Wingate & Finchley enjoyed an excellent away win in the FA Trophy on Saturday, returning from Met Police with a 1-0 success thanks to a second half penalty.
They’d previously beaten Biggleswade and then Corinthian Casuals in the same competition, so they know a bit about teams in Sittingbourne’s league.
They’re mid-table in their division but have a very strong home record, having won six out of seven there.
The clubs last met in 2009 in the FA Trophy when Sittingbourne won an away replay 2-1 after extra time following a 1-1 draw the previous Saturday at Bourne Park. Matt Bourne headed the winner from Colin Richmond’s corner that night, to the delight of manager Gary Abbott.
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