Sizzling Sittingbourne stormed into the top three of Bostik League South with a powerful second half demolition of Kent rivals Herne Bay.
It meant so much to the fans as they’d been cheering on half this Herne Bay team when they turned out for Sittingbourne last season.
Probably didn’t mean as much to the players as this is such a new-look Sittingbourne side that the majority of them were making their home league debuts.
But you wouldn’t have guessed it from the way they played, as they showed tremendous passion, enthusiasm and commitment to in the end simply over-power Bay.
After taking a deserved lead early in the second half they rubbed it in with two late goals, tearing the opposition defence apart with some great attacking play.
In front of 222 fans, the biggest crowd to see a match this year at Woodstock, Sittingbourne carried on where they left off on Saturday, when they won their opening game at Chipstead.
They showed they meant business straightaway with a tremendous shot by full-back Chris Webber that Bay’s giant keeper just tipped over his own bar.
Sittingbourne were defending solidly and attacking brightly and Bola Dawodu got the ball in the net only to find the referee had already blown for a foul.
They looked like they’d taken the lead in the 36th minute with a goalbound Miles Cornwell header but keeper Hunter pulled off a magnificent save.
Two ex-Brickies in the Bay side, captain Jon Richardson and fellow defender Jack Steventon, had chances at the other end but Jono volleyed over and Steventon’s shot was saved at full-length by keeper Darren Hawkes.
Generally it was an even first half between two energetic and hard-working teams, but Sittingbourne went on to impressively dominate the second half.
They got their reward on 54 minutes when Kane Phillip tore apart his old club with a brilliant right-wing run before cutting the ball back from the byline for Kane Rowland to score his first Sittingbourne goal with a first-time shot into the far corner.
It needed a second goal just to make sure and Sittingbourne got it in the 83rd minute, and from virtually the same build-up.
This time it was Webber, deservedly chosen as the sponsors’
man-of-the-match, who did the business down the right, brilliantly keeping the ball before crossing for sub David Smith to head cleverly past the wrong-footed keeper. Two goals in two matches for the teenager, whose current Sittingbourne scoring record is one about every 20 minutes!
To rub it in, much to the relish of their fans, Sittingbourne got a third five minutes later, again getting behind Bay’s wilting three-man defence, with midfielder Lawson Okimeji completing a great run by sliding the ball hard and low across the goalmouth for Dawodu to score from close in.
A real midfielders’ goal that one, made and scored by two central players still with enough energy to get into the opposing area and sew up the victory.
A night to remember and a win to savour in the circumstances. Manager Nick Davis might not have had long to put this team together but he looks to have made a very good job of it after two enjoyable wins out of two.
Ken Medwyn's Photographs
Match day programme
Kane Rowland 54 mins
David Smith 83 mins
Mobolaji Dawodu 89 mins
Referee: Michael Marsh
Assistants: Jordan Whitworth, Bobby Kwat
Ollie Brown (Yellow Card),
Ben Gorham (Yellow Card),
Kane Phillip (Lex Allan, 85 min),
Miles Cornwell (Tyrone Guthrie, 69 min),
Gil Carvalho (David Smith, 72 min).
Subs not used:
David Adekoya, Harry Brooks.
Jack Steventon (Yellow card),
Jake Embery (Jarred Trespaderne, 85 min), Kingsley Aikhonbare,
Nassin Dukali (Bradley Schafer, 62 min).
Subs not used: Jack Paxman, Jai McKinlay, Jardel Bunda-Kamara.
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