Tony Rickson previews Tooting & Mitcham Utd v Sittingbourne

Written by Tony Rickson on 09th February 2017

Boosted by Monday night’s first win of the year, Sittingbourne face a tough-looking trip away to Ryman South leaders Tooting & Mitcham on Saturday.

A young Sittingbourne side won a lot more comfortably than the 3-2 scoreline suggests when they again beat Chatham in driving rain on Monday.

Lifted by an early goal by Hicham Akhazzan – along with Simon Overland and Jono Richardson, providing the experienced backbone to the side – Sittingbourne extended their lead through Stefan Wright and Richardson.

Relegation-fighting Chatham went for broke late on by switching to three at the back and although they could easily have conceded more, they pulled back two goals through ex-Sittingbourne player Jordan Gallacher.

But it wasn’t enough, leaving Sittingbourne with the three points that lifted them back to the top 12 of the league.

Once more, they played with energy and determination, but the amount of goals they’ve conceded in the last few games will concern them.

For much of the match at Chatham, the defence, including Jack Steventon on his welcome return from a spell at Faversham, had looked very secure.

And they’ll need to be again at Tooting, who are on a very good run at the moment, with straight victories in their last six games lifting them six points clear at the top of the league.

That run included a 1-0 win over promotion rivals Greenwich Borough, despite ending that match with only nine men.

Since then, the impressive Billy Dunn has returned to Tooting after moving to play for Greenwich a couple of months ago and will be lining up against Sittingbourne on Saturday for the third time this season.

He was the player who scored a very good hat-trick when Sittingbourne lost 3-1 at home to Tooting in October, and also was a key player in Greenwich’s win at Sittingbourne in the first game of this year One thing that’s sure to figure in Sittingbourne manager Nick Davis’s pre-match talk is what happened in Tooting’s splendid stadium when the Brickies last played there in February a year ago.

Tooting had applied a tremendous amount of pressure which Sittingbourne had bravely defied and then they astonished the home team by grabbing a

1-0 win with a last minute goal by Jordan Wells.

Nothing’s a certainty in football and a game's not over until it's over ...

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