Report by Peter Pitts
Jordan Perrin's third penalty save of the season, on Tuesday (21st January) night, rescued a well earned point for the Brickies.
Just 86 souls braved the cold to see an entertaining match between two good teams, including a handful of Hawks fans (with a drum) that gave the depleted Brickies Blakey's shed contingent a run for their money. There were a couple of changes to the Brickies starting line up from the squad that started at Hythe, the injured Cory Walters-Wright was replaced by Ben Fitchett, and Josh Oliver replaced Kane Phillip. Phillip though came on for Enoch Adjei just before time who had to leave the pitch with a recurrence of a thigh strain.
The second half saw the debut of new signing, ex Arsenal, Billericay, Braintree, Dulwich and Hythe player Nigel Nieta coming on in the 54th minute for Josh Oliver, Sid Sollis is injured and Chris Barnard is away on a planned trip. Sittingbourne nearly had a lightening start with two efforts blocked in the first minute. The game settled with plenty of midfield play but few shots before Josh Oliver had a couple on 18 minutes, and the Hawks first chance came soon after through the powerful Duane Ofiri-Acheampong.
Chances continued to be at a premium between these two well matched sides before 33 minutes when Acheampong received the ball and wasn't closed down quick enough before he sent in a curling shot from just on the edge of the area to give Perrin no chance and the Hawks had the lead.
Sittingbourne seem to be a second half side and this match was no exception as they stepped up a gear and most of the play in this period was in the Hawks half. Tommie Fagg and Johan Caney-Bryan were causing problems to the Hawks and the two combined before Caney-Bryan was tripped on the edge of the area. The kick rebounded off of the wall and the ball went to Cameron Brodie who fired it over the bar. Caney-Bryan was fouled again on 61 minutes, the ball from the free kick bobbled around the area before it was crossed on the goal line to James Witt who was on hand to fire it into the goal for the equaliser.
It was mostly the Brickies now and it looked like a winner was possible however on 80 minutes the Hawks David Martin cut across with the ball just inside the Brickies penalty box before being tripped and referee Jack Packman awarded a penalty. Martin took the kick himself but it was too close to Perrins left and he made a glorious save to ensure that the Brickies would keep the point.
Sittingbourne Played: Jordan Perrin, Chris Webber, Jason Fregene, Cameron Brodie, Lex Allen, Ben Fitchett, James Witt (Sam Stace 78 mins), Tommie Fagg, Johan Caney-Bryan (Yellow), Josh Oliver (Nigel Neita 54 mins) and Enoch Adjei (Kane Phillip 45 mins). Sub not used: Ikechi Eze.