Report by Peter Pitts
The away match on Saturday (18th Janauary) saw The Cannons winning by a disputed penalty after Jordan Perrin was adjudged to have brought down Stephen Okoh in the penalty area, video of the event clearly showed that Perrin punched the ball away and that Okoh actually fell over Perrin, where was VAR when you needed it!
There was plenty of familiarity between the teams as Sid Sollis and Johan Caney-Bryan have both played for Hythe, whilst their Assistant manager is ex Brickies Assistant Nathan Elder. Hythe's Stephen Okoh and Jamie Coyle have also played for Sittingbourne, Coyle having had a stint as Assistant manager.
Sittingbourne made 2 changes from the Three Bridges starting line-up, Jack Smith and Chris Barnard made way for Gillingham loanee Jimmy Witt, who had a good game, and Tommie Fagg, whilst Ben Fitchett and Sid Sollis were included on the bench, both joining the game in the second half along with young Sam Stace. Hythe were missing Sam Blackman who had been recalled from his loan by Dartford.
The game itself was very closely matched with the guile of the experienced Frannie Collin, Jamie Coyle and Alex Flisher, more than matched by the Brickies youngsters. Sittingbourne almost had a dream start when Kane Phillip raced down the right from the kick off and sent in a rasping shot that curled past the far post. Enoch Adjei had the ball in the Cannons net on 7 minutes but the "goal" was disallowed. Tom Wynter and Johan Caney-Bryan were having a good battle with Wynter doing a good job of keeping Caney-Bryan quiet.
The experienced Frannie Collins had a weak header go wide on 36 minutes and at the other end Witt had a great shot that sailed just past the right hand post. With 4 minutes of the first half to go Phillip found himself in good space, but he seemed to think that he was off-side and slowed before sprinting off again and he let fly with a shot but Cannons keeper Will Godmon turned the ball round a post.
The best chance of the half so far came to the Brickies when good play by Witt ended in a pass to Adjei at the far post who fired the ball narrowly wide. The feat was repeated at the other end by Okoh who saw his shot flash across the goal. Right on half time Hythe won a free kick. The ball was kicked to the far post where Coyle was lurking and he headed towards goal only for the ball to be kicked off of the Brickies goal line.
The second half was 9 minutes old when the penalty, was given and Collins sent in a scorching penalty that gave Perrin no chance to save. Another Hythe effort was hacked off the Brickies goal line, this time by Cory Walters - Wright as Hythe took the initiative, and then Collins fired an effort just over from 30 yards.
Sittingbourne regrouped and started to press, Caney-Bryan back headed the ball to Sollis but the resulting shot went wide, and the Cannons experience helped them manage the last few minutes of the game and claim all three points.
Sittingbourne Played: Jordan Perrin, Chris Webber (Sam Stace 81 mins), Jason Fregene, Cameron Brodie, Lex Allan, Cory Walter-Wright, Jimmy Witt, Tommie Fagg (Yellow) (Ben Fitchett 56 mins), Johan Caney-Bryan, Kane Phillip (Sid Sollis 59 mins) and Enoch Adjei. Sub not used: Josh Oliver and Ikechi Eze.