Report by Mike Green
It was a seventh successive League win for Sittingbourne, on Sunday (11th February) afternoon, which lifted Ryan Maxwell’s side to within six points of long time South East leaders Ramgate thanks to a one sided demolition of Erith & Belvedere.
After watching on and seeing leaders Ramsgate and unbeaten Cray Valley drop points on a soggy Saturday, Maxwell’s Brickies made it a Super Sunday as they closed the gap on the leaders with a ruthlessly one sided display that swept the Deres away.
The visitors roared out of the blocks and before the home side even got into first gear the game was over as the visitors raced into a 3-0 lead. Luke Woodward was first on the scoresheet with his first Brickies goal with a stunning low strike from the edge of the box after Ayman did superbly well down the left. The former VCD man who has been consistent for the Brickies all season was at a different level in the opening half at Park View Road, and he won the corner from which Sittingbourne made it 2-0.
The ball was delivered to the back post and after Mike Turner did really well to nod the ball back into the danger zone, Harry Hope, playing a slightly more withdrawn role behind the front two, reacted quickest to steer the ball home. It was three before the half hour as Ayman El-Moghaebel threaded the ball through to Mitch May and as the defenders waited for a flag that didn’t come, goal number thirteen (in his last ten starts) crashed into the home net.
It could have been even worse for the home side – Hope drove inches wide from another terrific Ayman El-Moghaebel break and from a great ball in from skipper Bagasan Graham, Danny Parish saw his header very well held by keeper Dillon Addai.
The away domination continued after the break without the goals. Woodward was denied his second by a really good full length Addai save; D’sean Theobalds flashed a cross shot across the face of goal after great play from Graham and Parish; Ayman El-Moghaebel saw a shot deflected inches wide with the keeper motionless; Turner’s towering header from a corner was cleared off the line – such was the Sittingbourne dominance.
Indeed, such was their superiority, the home sides best effort of the game came from a rare Bobby Mason mistake at the back. The keeper came for a cross which he missed and as Henry Arnold hammered the ball goalwards, the Brickies keeper recovered well at the base of his post to save.
The home defence was finally breached again in stoppage time when last season's top scorer – Donvieve Jones – was on hand to take advantage of a fabulous Parris ball to score his fifth goal of this season.
Seven wins in a row for the Brickies as they cement their Play Off place in third, but for the Deres, this defeat keeps them in the bottom two, but perhaps more importantly, takes their goal difference to now seven worse than Phoenix Sports as the teams straddle the relegation line with nineteen points each... two less points than the Brickies have now won in 2024!!!
Sittingbourne Played: Bobby Mason, Alex Bentley, Bagasan Graham, Luke Woodward (Donvieve Jones 55 mins,) D’Sean Theobalds, Harry Hope, Danny Parrish, Ayman El-Moghaebel, Mitchell May (Stefan Illic 61 mins,) Michael Turner and Chris Arthur (Joe Tyrie 75 mins.). Subs not used: Josh Snell and Correy Davidson.