Sittingbourne have a swift opportunity to bounce back from the disappointment of losing a league match at home for the first time this season.
Old rivals Faversham Town are the visitors to Woodstock on Tuesday evening, and before Saturday’s last minute defeat by Phoenix, they were the only team to have beaten Sittingbourne in a league match this season.
Like Phoenix, Faversham won 1-0 and in 24 league and cup matches this season, Sittingbourne have only ever lost 1-0 – that was the score in their only other defeat, when they were knocked out of the FA Cup by Pagham back in August.
It was always going to be difficult for Sittingbourne on Saturday, just days after they’d performed excellently to knock Merstham out of the FA Trophy in a replay.
They tried hard enough but couldn’t break down the Phoenix defence in an even game of few chances.
Just when it looked like ending in a draw, which would have made it four in succession at home, Sittingbourne conceded an injury time goal on the break from their own attacking corner.
Not only did it cost them their unbeaten home league record, but it also ended an impressive 11-match unbeaten run which had taken them up to second in Bostik League South.
Saturday’s defeat saw them drop back to fifth, such is the fierce competition for places at the top of the table behind leaders Lewes.
Faversham lost to Sittingbourne in the Kent Senior Cup back in September, but turned the tables a week later with a 1-0 win, defending stubbornly after taking the lead.
Instead of going on from there, Faversham went on a terrible run after victory that night, losing their next seven league and cup games in a row.
They’ve recovered a bit, winning recently against north Kent sides Phoenix and VCD, but suffered a setback on Saturday when they went ahead against a Horsham team comfortably beaten by Sittingbourne recently only to end up losing 2-1.
Their side includes former Sittingbourne favourites Simon Overland, Matt Bourne and Mark Lovell, who will all be keen to shine against their former club.
Sittingbourne will complete a run of six out of seven home games following the Faversham match, when high-flying Haringey Town are the visitors on Saturday in the second qualifying round of the FA Trophy – a big match for both clubs.
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