So long since a home win. So long since a point after seven successive defeats.
Yet when it came for Sittingbourne it all seemed so simple, and in the end all that was surprising was that it was only 4-0.
Poor Guernsey are clearly struggling with injuries and availabilities and this was a third hammering in a row for them on trips to Kent.
The win will have done Sittingbourne’s confidence a power of good after a traumatic few weeks – the trauma continuing over the weekend when captain and leader Ben Gorham left to return to his old club Herne Bay.
He was there watching but he wasn’t missed on the field as John Coker took over the skipper’s armband and a rejigged Sittingbourne dominated from start to finish.
There was a competent debut by youngster Rhys Bartlett out on the left and Dan Parkinson excelled in his first start for more than a year after injury. Several positional changes, too, with Chris Webber going to central defence where he’d looked good in pre-season, Sal Kiwitsu switching to his more natural position of right-back with Chris Elliott making a solid return at left-back, and Kane Rowland with what seemed an overdue return to the main striker role as Miles Cornwell went wide right.
The match started with the floodlights out on one pylon but hardly surprisingly as they’d already had one aborted trip to Woodstock last month, Guernsey agreed to give it a go.
Power was restored after 18 minutes but by then Sittingbourne were two-up and it looked already like being a long night at the end of a long trip for the Channel Islanders.
The first goal came from Bartlett’s right-wing corner when Guernsey’s Heaume, under pressure from Coker, headed into his own net, and five minutes later Cornwell made it 2-0, racing onto Bola Dawodu’s immaculate through ball to slot his well-aimed finish into the far corner.
Dawodu missed with a free header but on 35 minutes it was 3-0 when top scorer Rowland was given far too much time in the area to get his shot in after Kiwitsu crossed to him following Ben Davisson’s superb pass.
And five minutes into the second half Parkinson raced into the box on a one-two but Rowland was just ahead of him and got there first to neatly dink the advancing keeper.
It was game over but Guernsey tried to get back in the game by playing a high defensive line and look for offside, allowing Sittingbourne to create golden chance after golden chance.
Sub David Smith, Dawodu and Rowland all missed out with Rowland doing brilliantly on one occasion to forsake the opportunity of a hat-trick by playing in an even better-placed Bola, only for the chance to be cleared off the line.
Sittingbourne looked good going forward and determined and organised in defence where they were rewarded with a first clean sheet in 17 games.
Guernsey were there for the taking but you can only beat what’s in front of you, and Sittingbourne certainly did that in style.
Photographs by Ken Medwyn follow
12 mins, John Coke Sittingbourne
17 mins, Miles Cornwell Sittingbourne
36 mins, Kane Roiwland Sittingbourne
52 mins, Kane Rowland Sittingbourne
Referee: Mr Isaac Searle,
Assistants: Ms Kirsty Dowle, Mr Glen Childs.
Dan Parkinson (Tyrone Guthrie, 62 min, Yellow card),
Ben Davisson (Jidi Okimeji, 89 min),
Rhys Bartlett (David Smith, 62 min).
Subs not used: Lex Allan, Jordan Carey.
Callum Staunton (Yellow card),
Alex Le Provost,
Harry Tobin (Simon Geall, 62 min, Yellow card), Frank Tobin,
Ben Goulter (Angus Mackay, 62 min),
Subs not used: Jordan Kelly, Thomas Dodds.
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