Tony Rickson previews Sittingbourne v Chatham

Written by Tony Rickson on 03rd November 2016

While recent signing Joe Loft has fitted in well and scored a crucial goal in Tuesday night’s exciting 2-1 win over play-off chasers Corinthian Casuals, Sittingbourne will soon be facing a problem in central midfield.

Another recent signing, Dan Parkinson, hasn’t played yet because of injury, Jack Steventon has switched to Faversham, and Stefan Wright faces a three-match suspension after getting a straight red card in the Casuals match.

But before his ban starts, Wright will be available for Saturday’s home match with old friends and rivals Chatham Town.

Eighteen-year-old Steventon made his debut for his new club on Tuesday night after deciding he wanted a new challenge.

He was a regular in the Sittingbourne team virtually all last season, starting as a central defender before switching to central midfield.

He’s been steady this season without being quite as influential as before, and was only substitute for the last couple of games after returning from a suspension picked up for getting sent off in the FA Trophy tie with Bury Town.

He follows goalkeeper Ben Bridle-Card in switching from Sittingbourne to Faversham and with top scorer Miles Cornwell moving on last month to Folkestone Invicta, it’s proving hard for Sittingbourne to hang on to decent players when ‘richer’ clubs come in.

Bridle-Card had taken over for a spell when first choice Simon Overland was injured, and the regular number one also picked up a knock at Guernsey last weekend and missed the Casuals game on Tuesday.

Manager Nick Davis went back to one of his old clubs, Tunbridge Wells, to sign experienced keeper Michal Czanner on dual registration, and he made an impressive debut in midweek.

That win over Corinthian Casuals was a welcome boost for Sittingbourne after a poor October when they won only once in eight games.

They played with pace and determination, keeping up a high tempo in the first half to score through midfielders Tom Brunt and Loft, and then holding out well when reduced to 10 men by Wright’s sending off just after half-time.

While Sittingbourne were overcoming Casuals, Saturday’s opponents Chatham were just being edged out 4-3 at a Tooting & Mitcham side who looked so impressive in beating Sittingbourne recently.

Chatham have had a tough start to the season and have only won three times in 17 games, with 43 goals conceded – the second worst defensive record in the division.

Sittingbourne have had a very good record against Chatham in recent seasons, winning this fixture 2-1 last season when Cornwell and Jono Richardson were on target in a win that ended on a long run of defeats for the Brickies.

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