Despite taking the lead three times, Sittingbourne are still looking for their first win of the year after being held to an exciting draw by a plucky Guernsey performance.
Jake Embery twice put the Brickies ahead in an excellent display up front, but as the rain poured down all night, Guernsey kept refusing to lie down.
After fog delayed their flight out of the Channel Islands, they arrived just 20 minutes before the scheduled kick-off. It’s an experience twice endured by Sittingbourne when going in the opposite direction and the match started 25 minutes late.
Sittingbourne were without Josh Wisson and Conrad Lee from the team that played on Saturday, Hassan Jalloh and Connor Wilkins coming in, and they started at quite a pace.
Guernsey have struggled this season, and before winning at Chipstead on Saturday, hadn’t won an away game in 25 trips to the mainland.
Tom Brunt had a ‘goal’ disallowed for offside, but Sittingbourne took the lead midway through the first half when Jono Richardson’s on-target header from Wilkins’ corner was parried by the keeper and Joe Loft volleyed the loose ball home from all of a yard out.
But Guernsey, a young side but full of running and enthusiasm, levelled within six minutes as Heaume thrashed the ball in at the far post after Sittingbourne failed to clear a right-wing cross.
Back came the Brickies – it was that sort of game all night – and from Brunt’s through ball, Embery took on the covering defenders and left-footed the ball inside the far post.
Guernsey weren’t going to lie down and Andrews, a terrific striker of the ball, hit the post from a free-kick just before half-time.
But they did equalise after 66 minutes when Rumbol conceded a penalty for a trip and Andrews comfortably struck it home.
Sittingbourne looked a good side going forward all night and when another youngster, sub Bradley Schafer, played the ball into the channel on 75 minutes, Embery again used his searing pace to get into space and despite being forced slightly wide hit it past the advancing keeper, this time with his right foot.
Surely this would be enough but Guernsey just weren’t going to accept defeat and they equalised yet again on 85 minutes with a terrific shot from 25 yards by danger man Andrews. Not much you can do about goals hit like that.
Sittingbourned rallied again and Rumble had a header cleared off the line in injury time but to be fair, Guernsey deserved to take something all the way home with them.
Ok, Sittingbourne have gone eight games without a win but they’re scoring goals, fighting hard, and most importantly of all they’re bringing some hugely promising youngsters through. Exciting times for that reason alone.
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Joe Loft 23 mins
Jake Embery 38 &78 mins
Domini Heaume 28 mins
Jake Andrews 67 mins (pen), 85 mins
Referee: Simon Finnigan
Assistants: Jack Fagg, Joseph McKay
Tom Carlse (Bradley Schafer 41 mins)
Jono Richardson (C)
Joe Loft (Yellow)
Stefan Wright (Yellow)
Jake Embery (Raphe Brown 83 mins)
Hassan Jalloh (Steven Ita 70 mins)
Subs not used: Dan Tanner, Nick Davis
Simon Geall (C) (Yellow)
Thomas Dodds (Yellow) (Charlton Guavain 65 mins)
Angus Mackay (Yellow)
Paris Pereira (Smeed Sebastian 90 mins)
Subs not used: Jordan Kelly
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