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Final Score: Sittingbourne 1 Carshalton Athletic 0

Played 08th April 2017



That’s three times this season now that Sittingbourne have beaten one of the promotion-chasing top five sides.

And there’s no secret about how they did it. Hard work, strong and brave defending, good organisation, and lots of determination and commitment.

This was an excellent and deserved win on a lovely spring day in front of the biggest home crowd for three months. What’s not to like?

Sittingbourne made two changes from the team that lost for a third successive time the previous Saturday, Jono Richardson and Jake Embery, having recovered from injuries, returning to the starting XI.

Carshalton, clinging on to fifth place and the final play-off position with just a few games left this season, had everything to play for.

They played some neat football, though probably better suited to their own artificial surface, but Sittingbourne matched them all the way for energy, pace and willingness.

It was an even first half with few real chances as defences generally dominated, Sittingbourne relishing having skipper Richardson back alongside Jack Steventon in the central positions.

Carshalton had a little flurry of four corners in succession but Sittingbourne kept them out well with goalkeeper Simon Overland in confident form and dominating his area throughout.

At the other end, the visiting keeper made a good save from a Keanu Williams shot, Joe Loft and Embery shot narrowly wide and appeals for a penalty for a foul on Tom Carlse were rejected.

Sittingbourne were on top virtually all the way through the second half, attacking energetically with full-backs Sam Welch and especially Carlse joining in at every opportunity.

In midfield, Conrad Lee and Joe Loft tackled hard and well and covered everything, while Connor Wilkins contributed a lot and always looked dangerous going forward.

Both Gil Carvalho and Carlse had decent shots tipped round by the keeper as Sittingbourne pressure mounted.

And they won the game in the 75th minute following a Lee free-kick that was curled into the danger zone. Carvalho’s shot was saved by the keeper but Steventon, capping a splendid individual performance, was on hand to steady himself before stroking the ball into the corner for his first goal of the season.

Even then Sittingbourne weren’t done with Carlse having a shot blocked, Carvalho just failing to get the right touch on a Richardson header from a corner, and sub Bradley Schafer shooting over at the end of a great run.

Carshalton, for all their lofty ambitions, were well and truly second best and Overland had one of his most comfortable games of the season as Sittingbourne – for once! – comfortably held on to a narrow lead.

After their slight wobble of recent weeks, this was Sittingbourne back to the sort of form that still gives them a chance of finishing the season with their best points total for many years.

They just need to play this well again in three remaining games to pull it off …

Tony Rickson

 

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Score Summary

Sittingbourne: 75 mins Jack Steventon

Attendance: 123

Match Officials

Referee: Isaac Searle

Assistants: Joseph Stokes, Kane Dempster


Teams

Sittingbourne FC

Simon Overland
Sam Welch (Tom Brunt 82 mins)
Tom Carlse, (Yellow Card)
Jack Steventon
Jono Richardson (C)
Conrad Lee
Jake Embery (Kane Phillip 60 mins)
Joe Loft
Keanu Williams (Bradley Schafer 72 mins)
Connor Wilkins (Yellow Card)
Gil Carvalho

Subs not used: Josh Wisson, Steven Ita

Carshalton Athletic

Stuart Searle
Bobby Price (C)
Peter Adeniyi (Yellow Card)
Connor Sanders (Yellow Card), Ryan Gondoh 80 mins
Kalvin Morath-Gibbs
Mickel Miller
Tommy Bradford (Yellow Card)
Jordan Hibbert (Rio Davidson-Phipps 30 mins)
Omari Hibbert
Ricardo Panton
Kingsley Akionbare (Ricky Korboa 46 mins)

Subs not used: Joe Tupper, Ryan Healy


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