This was simply a game too many over the New Year weekend for Sittingbourne.
It felt like only a few hours since we were all there for the 4-2 New Year’s Eve defeat by Hastings.
A lot of energy – both physical and emotional – went into that game and Sittingbourne hadn’t recovered in time for the visit of ambitious Greenwich Borough.
Not that Greenwich didn’t in any way deserve it – they were by far the better team. Strong, competent, well-organised, incisive, they handed out a five-goal thrashing and showed why they’re one of the strong favourites for promotion this season.
It was their second five-goal away win of the weekend – worryingly for Sittingbourne it was their own second defensive catastrophe in a row.
Conceding three goals in the last 20 minutes against Hastings and five more in the first 70-odd minutes here means they’d let in eight goals in the duration of just a normal game.
Worrying indeed. And their dream of making a bid for a play-off place looks in tatters now after a run of just one point out of the last 15 on offer.
Up against a team they comfortably swept aside 3-1 early in the season, Sittingbourne made just one change from the side that started against Hastings, new signing Hassan Jalloh replacing Anthony O’Connor.
Greenwich are the last team in need of a fluke goal to get them going but that’s precisely what they got.
The first corner of the game, after just seven minutes, fell to Dunn in space on the edge of the area. His low driven shot was going wide of the goal but unlucky Tom Carr stuck out a foot and deflected it straight into his own goal.
Not that Dunn should have been left alone in space as that was just the area he patrolled to score an impressive hat-trick for Tooting & Mitcham in the same goal a couple of months earlier.
Sittingbourne were by no means out of the game for the rest of the half, but when they found shooting positions Jalloh and then Remell Davis blazed wide, and when Connor Wilkins hit an imaginative pass across the area no-one was around to get on the end of it.
And Greenwich got their second goal, which was probably the crucial one of the match, shortly before half-time. Sittingbourne wasted possession at one end of the field and at the other Eisa used his speed to get in behind the defence and curl his shot round Simon Overland.
Jalloh went close from a Tom Carlse cross early in the second half but then it all went rapidly downhill as Greenwich turned on the style, rattling in three goals in a 15-minute period.
Hickey made it 3-0 when he reacted quickest to a header from a corner pinging back off the post and then, worryingly, Greenwich twice found huge space behind the back four to allow Eisa and Denness to run through and beat Overland in one-on-ones.
Demoralised Sittingbourne were down and out but at least Joe Loft and Carlse refused to throw in the towel and kept trying to prompt consolation attacks.
Carlse was fouled in one sortie, and Josh Wisson’s free-kick from out on the left sailed past everyone and bounced into the far corner to round off the scoring.
Disappointing, for sure, but at least it was the first time this year Sittingbourne have been outplayed. Sorry, that was a joke – and it was the first time this season to be fair that they've been given a good seeing-to.
Ken Medwyn's photographs are here CLICK HERE
Match Day programme, Best viewed in Google Chrome
79 mins Josh Wisson
7 mins Tom Carr (Own Goal)
39 & 66 mins Mo Eisa
57 mins, Liam Hickey
72mins, Rob Denness
Referee: Mr Peter Cruise
Assistants: Mr Wally James
Mr David Lunani
Jono Richardson (C)
Hassan Jalloh (Bradley Schafer 70 mins)
Connor Wilkins (Anthony O'Connor 72 mins)
Hicham Akhazzan (Yellow) (Josh Wisson 70 mins)
Subs not used: Ricky Gundry, Jake Embery
Rob Denness (Makhosini Ryan Khanye 75 mins)
Mo Eisa (Luke Miller 83 mins)
Glen Wilson (C) (Peter Sweeney 90 mins)
Subs not used: Jake Britnell, Liam Macdevitt.
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