A tremendous second half performance sent Sittingbourne storming to victory over in-form opponents.
The win made it 16 points out of a possible 18 for Sittingbourne and took them back up to eighth in the league table, just three points away from a play-off place.
It was yet another win this season over a team who started the day above them in the league, following on from the victories against Greenwich, Corinthian Casuals and Hythe. At this rate Sittingbourne will soon be running out of teams higher than them to beat.
It’s now the halfway point of the season and if Sittingbourne continue like this, playing with such energy, pace and commitment, who knows what they can achieve in the second half of the season.
Walton Casuals arrived on the back of a six-match unbeaten run themselves but they just couldn’t cope with Sittingbourne in the second half, ending up conceding a penalty and having their captain sent off for a second yellow card.
And while Sittingbourne were happy to end up with the three goals they got to win the match it could easily have been six so dominant were they.
They went into the match with exactly the same line-up and subs who got a 2-2 draw at Lewes on Saturday, and it was an even first half with Walton quite impressive in possession.
And the visitors took the lead midway through the half when a smart backheel in the area set up Odunaike to score with keeper Simon Overland getting a hand to it but unable to keep it out.
Sittingbourne hit back with a flurry of corners and Jono Richardson had a header turned over the bar, Ricky Gundry forced the keeper to make a full-length save, and Anthony O’Connor was robbed of a one-on-one chance as he was tripped when breaking clear.
Straight from the start of the second half Sittingbourne were different class, and it was their pace, their passing, and the pressure on the ball when out of possession that Walton couldn’t cope with.
So many of the attacks came down the left where Jordan Gallacher had his best game in a Sittingbourne shirt, with tremendous support from behind by Tom Carlse, who’s in the form of his life.
And it was a sparkling combination by those two which set up the equaliser, Carlse crossing to the near post where O’Connor struck decisively to cleverly force it past the keeper.
The pressure on Walton was relentless and invigorating but they proved dangerous on the break and Overland made a terrific save, coming out of his goal to save with his legs as an attacker raced clear.
Sittingbourne were reaping havoc from crosses and when Stefan Wright put a low one across the goal, Gundry was fouled as he tried to set up a chance and got up to blast home the penalty himself.
Still the chances flowed and Sittingbourne made it 3-1 when Gundry sensibly found Dan Rumbol and his low ball across goal was forced in by skipper Richardson at the far post.
While Gallacher was outstanding down the left, O’Connor worked his socks off all night and when he was shoved over by opposition captain Fitzgerald, a red card was inevitable as the Walton man had already been booked and had clearly only recenty been given a final warning for another trip.
Sittingbourne weren’t exactly wobbling, even though holding on to two-goal leads hasn’t been their speciality this season, but they were pegged back deep into added time when Cheadle hit a magnificent shot from at least 25 yards into the far corner.
But it was no more than a consolation for Walton and couldn’t ruin a night to remember for Sittingbourne.
23 games played, 23 games left; hang on to your hats, this is going to be interesting …
Ken Medwyn's photographs are here CLICK HERE
Thanks to for sponsoring the match. Hidson's chose Jordan Gallacher as the man of the match.
Match Day programme, Best viewed in Google Chrome
Anthony O'Connor 49 mins
Ricky Gundry 63 mins (Pen)
Jono Richardson 78 mins
Gabriel Odunaike 22 mins
Referee: Mr Ryan Whittaker
Assistants: Mr Christopher Wyatt
Mr Jamie Macleod
Tom Carlse (Yellow)
Jono Richardson (C)
Stefan Wright (Josh Wisson 76 mins)
Jordan Gallacher (Tom Brunt 89 mins)
Subs not used: Jake Embery, Connor Wilkins, Dan Tanner
Max Fitzgerald (C) (Red)
Jordan Cheadle (Yellow)
Daryl Coleman (Yellow)
Sol Pinnock (Roscoe Dsane 70 mins)
Subs not used: John Prince Rylah
Sam Bello Balogun
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