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Final Score: Sittingbourne 0 Lewes 1

Played 23rd December 2017



Sittingbourne’s terrible record of conceding late goals continued as league leaders Lewes smash-and-grabbed their way to victory.

The Brickies have now lost three recent home league games to last minute goals when they were set for a point, and at the same time have twice been beaten in away games when going into the last few minutes with 2-1 leads.

They’ve let in goals in the last 10 minutes in all their last four games and haven’t won any of their last six home games in league and cup.

It’s an amazing comedown from earlier in the season when they climbed to second place in Bostik League South and seemed confident and assured going into matches.

Admittedly, they’ve had a tough run of fixtures, all against teams in the thick of the promotion race, and they don’t seem to have much luck on their side at the moment.

How they ended up on the wrong side of a 4-0 scoreline as far as yellow cards go is a bit of a mystery, and Lewes seemed particularly adept at winning free-kicks all over the field while not conceding them.

Sittingbourne made four changes from the team that lost the previous week at Greenwich Borough with Harry Brooks chosen over Jordan Carey in goal, Bola Dawodu returning after the nasty injury he suffered 10 days ago at Cray and Lex Allan making his first start for months.

But they were without the suspended John Coker, who watched from the sidelines along with Tom Loynes and Chris Elliott.

Brooks made an assured start, saving well with his legs as Lewes broke through, and he finished the first half with another good save, getting his positioning just right as Lewes again attacked quickly after regaining possession.

Lewes forced a lot of corners on top of their plethora of free-kicks, but Sittingbourne defended them all well, bar the one time opposing captain Chappell got in a free header, but he sent it just over the bar.

Sittingbourne coped well with taking on an ambitious side who had been strengthened by a couple of midweek signings, but they failed to cut out any clear first half chances, despite some decent approach work.

The game inevitably opened up a bit in the second half, and Sittingbourne engineered a superb opportunity to go ahead on 48 minutes when Miles Cornwell drove in a powerful shot from close in only for the keeper to fingertip it to safety.

Lewes had some great chances to win it, but skewed a couple of good openings wide, hit the bar with one shot and Bermudan international Smith volleyed over a great chance from close in.

Sittingbourne looked more than capable of holding out for what would have been a very good point, with Allan looking assured alongside Ben Gorham, and all the team working hard to restrict the Lewes possession.

Inevitably, it was when they were right up the attacking end that Sittingbourne were at their most vulnerable. With 88 minutes played full-back Sal Kisitu was upfield helping Dawodu try to break through on the right side of the Lewes defence. But possession was lost and the ball was whipped upfield to striker Medlock, who’d only been on a few minutes as sub. He had both central defenders in front of him, but somehow managed to jiggle his way past both and beat the advancing Brooks with a low shot inside the far post.

Hard to take for Sittingbourne, who for the second time this season had proved an equal match to the team leading the table, having drawn at Lewes early in the season. This time they didn’t have the consolation of escaping with even one point.

Tony Rickson

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Score Summary

88 mins, Billy Medlock, Lewes

Attendance: 158

Match Officials

Referee: Ricky Adams.
Assistants: Nicholas Fuin, Val Anekwe.


Teams

Sittingbourne FC

Harry Brooks,
Chris Webber,
Salvin Kisitu (Yellow card),
Jidi Okimeji,
Ben Gorham,
Lex Allan,
Kane Phillip (Yellow card) (David Smith, 67 min), Ben Davisson (Yellow card) (Tyrone Guthrie, 45 min),
Kane Rowland,
Miles Cornwell (Yellow card), Bola Dawodu.
Subs not used: Laurence Ball, Nick Davis, Jordan Carey.

Lewes

Chris Winterton,
Steve Brinkhurst,
Leon Redwood,
James Hammond,
Frankie Chappell,
Liam Wilson,
Omar Lawson,
Ghassimu Sow,
Jonte Smith (Billy Medlock, 76 min),
Ronnie Conlon,
Charlie Coppola (Jamie Brotherton, 67 min).
Subs not used: George Landais, Harry Reed.


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