That’s better, Sittingbourne, a very fair draw and another chance to have a go on Monday at going through a further round in the FA Trophy.
After two desperately disappointing home defeats in the league in the last week, Sittingbourne needed a result as much as they needed a performance. They got both and after knocking out opposition from a higher league away from home in a replay in the last round, who’s to say they can’t emulate that when they travel to North London in 48 hours time. Wow, put like that, it doesn’t seem much of a recovery period for either team after a full-blooded end-to-end effort here.
Sittingbourne made two changes from the team that started in Tuesday’s defeat by Faversham, Bola Dawodu and Salvyn Kisitu coming in for Ollie Brown and Laurence Ball.
Haringey arrived at Woodstock with a terrific record this season, unbeaten in any league matches, and knocked out of the FA Cup only after a superb run.
After a dignified remembrance observation before the kick-off, it was Sittingbourne who took the game to their opponents and went on to dominate much of the first half.
Defenders John Coker and Chris Webber had the first chances, Coker heading wide from a corner and Webber forcing a full length save by confident keeper Pajetet.
At the other end, Webber saved his team when he got back in the right position to clear a shot off the line with keeper Daren Hawkes beaten.How important that clearance became was proved four minutes later when Sittingbourne took the lead. Gil Carvalho played the ball forward and Miles Cornwell neatly found space for himself to create a shooting opportunity. His powerful effort was saved by the keeper, but he couldn’t hold it and Rowland athletically left-footed in the loose ball.
Tom Loynes set up a great chance with a run and cross but nobody quite got on the end of it, while at the other end Haringey fired a couple of dangerous crosses across goal in succession that showed they couldn’t be under-estimated.
And they equalised with the last attack of the half, a free-kick to the edge of the six-yard box comfortably headed home by the unmarked Gabriel.
To be fair, Haringey had some good periods in the second half and looked a decent team, but Sittingbourne defended well, with Coker again outstanding, and chances were at a premium.
Sittingbourne hit too many crosses and free-kicks too close to keeper Pajetet who came out and claimed everything, but still threaded together some good attacks. Rowland beautifully created an opening but shot when he perhaps should have passed, Coker had a header saved, and Cornwell and sub David Smith had shots bravely blocked.
Hearts were in mouth when Haringey forced two corners in injury time, bearing in mind the late goals Sittingbourne have conceded in their two previous games, but they prevented it becoming a hat-trick.
So it’s everything to play for at Haringey’s White Hart Lane on Monday night with £4,000 prize money for the winners – how good would it feel to win a replay there!
Glen Parkes Photographs follow:
Match day programme
24 mins: Sittingbourne, Kane Rowland
45 mins: Haringey Borough, Ralston Gabriel
Referee: Zak Ellis (Twickenham)
Assistants: Hossain Tavakkoll (Catford)
Jordan Wjitworth (Catford)
Jide Okimeji (Tyron Guthrie 70 mins)
Ben Gorham (C)
Tom Loynes (Kane Phillip 77 mins)
Miles Cornwell (David Smith 74 mins)
Substitutes not used: Ollie Brown, Laurence Ball
David Olufemi (Yellow)
Quba Gordon (Yellow) (Ayrton Coley 76 mins)
Joseph Benjamin (Dean Fenton 70 mins)
Anthony McDonald (Michael Adeemiluyi)
Substitutes not used: Williams DanQuai, Austin Byfield
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