This was another strong performance by the Brickies against a strong Dover Athletic side who are the holders of the trophy. The ultimate accolade was that some of the Dover players were getting increasingly frustrated that they couldn’t upstage the Brickies and that culminated in a red card for Aziz Deen-Conteh.
It was an entertaining end to end sort of game that the 2-2 full time score correctly reflected, but unfortunately penalty misses by Tom Loynes and Bola Dawodu, when the game went to penalties, was in the end the difference between the two sides. However, neither Loynes or Dawodu need to fret too much as they both made massive contributions to the excellent performance.
There was a debut for new signing Ade Batula, whilst Kane Phillip, Ollie Brown, Ken Rowland, and Darren Hawkes were rested, although both Kane’s joined the fray in the second half. Chris Lewington was debuting for Dover.
There was a half chance for both sides in the first 5 minutes, David Smith heading over for Sittingbourne on 3 minutes and 2 minutes later a dangerous Dover move halted when Lex Allan, who has recently signed a contract for the club, headed clear.
The Brickies were playing deep at this point of the game and this was putting pressure on the defence. Dover looked menacing and took the lead on 22 minutes when the ball wasn’t cleared due to a defensive slip and the ball ended up with Kane Richards who curled it to the inside left hand part of the goal net.
The Brickies responded well and on the half hour Lewingon excelled blocking shots from Dowadu and Chris Webber in quick succession. Sittingbourne were looking strong now and the dangerous Dowadu had another shot blocked whilst Tom Loynes latched onto David Smith’s pass and forced a brilliant tip over from the busy Lewington. It was all Sittingbourne at this stage and the next to try their luck was Smith whose shot sailed agonisingly across the Dover goal.
Dover though recovered and pressed at the end of the half, powerful play from Deen-Conteh ended in a pass to Oliver Muldoon who forced a great save from Harry Brooks, then a header from Jamie Allen was headed off the line by Lex Allan.
Miles Cornwell, making a rare start was replaced by Kane Phillip for the second half.
Sittingbourne were soon on level terms after the second half start when on 52 minutes a Webber free quick found an unmarked Dowardu who jumped and turned in the air to power a shot past Lewington.
Loynes tried his luck at long range but the shot flew wide, but Dover were getting back into the game and Brooks tuned a shot round a post then from the corner George Essuman headed well over. Brooks was in action again grabbing the ball just before Chris Barnard could get to it. But it was Sittingbourne who had the best chance of this period when Smith tried a shot that just missed the far post. Smith then has another go with a 30 yard screamer that flew over the top of the Dover goal.
Despite the Brickies pressure it was Dover who had a glorious opportunity tio take the lead when a less than convincing punch from Brooks landed at the feet of Essuman who seemed to have the goal at his mercy but he fired into the side netting. However Brooks redeemed himself with a great tip over from Jamie Allen.
This was the period when Dover started to get niggly at their inability to break Sittingbourne down and to rub salt into the wounds substitute Kane Phillip cut inside a defender and sent in a cracking shot that bounced off the right-hand post and into the goal to put the Brickies into the lead. However, 3 minutes later a needless free kick was given away right on the edge of the Brickies area and in a perfect position to score. And that’s just what happened when Deen-Conteh curled a beautiful shot into the Brickies goal giving Brooks no chance to save and the scores were level with just 8 minutes left.
Sittingbourne didn’t sit back and on 85 minutes a good break by Webber (My Sittingbourne man of the match) ending in a whipped ion cross but the onrushing Kane Rowland couldn’t quite get to it. The final action before the penalty shoot-out was on 90 minutes when a sliding challenge by Deen-Conteh ened in a second yellow card for the Dover player and he was sent off.
The penalty shoot-out began with a success for Dover’s Oliver Muldoon and for Sittingbourne’s Kane Phillip. Dover’s success continued with goals scored by Tobi Sho-Silva, Jamie Allen, and Dominic Thomas but no more from the Brickies so this closely fought game ended in victory for the holders.
This was good, strong performance from Sittingbourne that should give them plenty of confidence for the games ahead.
Interesting fact 1: Although basically just down the road Dover is nearer to Boulogne than Sittingbourne..and the diversion on the way back from the game made it seem much, much further away than it actually is!
Interesting fact 2. All four goalkeepers named on the team sheet have played or are playing for Sittingbourne. Chris Lewington in the Dover goal was in goal for Sittingbourne when they beat Dover at the Crabble back in April 2008 , the season when Dover claimed the Isthmian League Division 1 title.
Interesting fact 3, An extract from my report of 19th April 2008 was “Mention must be given to the marvellous support given by the travelling Sittingbourne supporters who for much of the match out-sang the Dover crowd despite being vastly outnumbered” and I can only echo the same for this report (except that I’m not sure they were outnumbered this time!
Observation 1, What a fantastic looking ground and facilities now, well up to Football league standards I would think.
Nice words from the Dover Assistant Manager CLICK HERE
Ken Medwyn's video
Kane Richards 22 mins
Aziz Deen- Conteh 82 mins
Mobolasi Dowadu 52 mins
Kane Rowland 79 mins
Attendance : 209
Referee: Jack Packman, Assistants: Paul Kelly, James Paternoster. Fourth Official: Harry Phillips
Tyrone Guthrie, (Yellow card)
Ade Batula (George Blake 73 mins),
David Smith (Kane Rowland 69 mins),
Miles Cornwell © (Kane Phillip 46 mins - Yellow Card),
Subs not used: Ollie Brown, Daren Hawkes
Loui Fazakerley ©,
Aziz Deen-Conteh, (Red Card)
Kane Richards. (Yellow card)
Subs not used: Jack Smith, Marshall Wratten, Lynden Dixon, Jack Cusson, Lee Hook
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