Report by Peter Pitts
Sittingbourne were missing Ollie Brown in defence on Saturday (19th August) afternoon due to his one match suspension for the red card received against Chipstead and although Miles Cornwell was named on the bench his nagging foot injury meant that he didn't take part in the match.
This was a hard fought draw against a Pagham side that, like Sittingbourne, have started the season in style and so perhaps a draw was to be expected. The goals came at the start of each half with Sittingbourne taking the lead inside 4 minutes when Gil Carvahlo's shot bounced was blocked by a defender but the ball bounced off of Mobalaji Dawodu and into the Pagham net.
To Pagham's credit they responded well and Sittingbourne never reached the heights that they had in their first two league games so it was always possible that Pagham would get back into the game.
Chances were few and far between but Pagham's Joe Kilhams set up what was probably their best first half chance when he sent in a tempting low drive across the Sittingbourne box but no one was on hand to take advantage. Pagham continued to press and Calum Overton fired an effort just wide.
The second half was barely 5 minutes old when Pagham were awarded a penalty and Scott Muffin sent Darren Hawkes the wrong way to bring the scores level. Sittingbourne probably shaded the second half but with no reward. They had two good penalty shouts turned down as they took the game to Pagham and several corners and melees in the Pagham area, but just couldn't turn their superiority into goals. Pagham played their part in this second half as well though and they weren't afraid of taking long range shots, one of which on 76 minutes grazed the top of the Sittingbourne goal.
So both teams are unbeaten this season but one of the teams will lose that accolade at the end of Tuesday's (22nd August) replay at Woodstock.
Sittingbourne Played: Hawkes, Adekoya ,Webber, Okimeji, Gorham (C) , Ball, Phillip (David Smith 59 mins), Guthrie, Rowland, Dowadu and Carvalho. Subs not used: Allen, Blake and Brooks. Brooks.