Sittingbourne 1 (1) -v- Herne Bay 3 (1)

Sittingbourne 1 (1) -v- Herne Bay 3 (1)

Report by Mike Green

Sittingbourne run in this seasons Buildbase FA Trophy was over on Saturday (9th October) after Kent neighbours Herne Bay came from behind to dump the Brickies out of the competition.

Not even the boost of Johan Caney-Bryan’s fifth goal of the season could kick-start the home side down the road to Wembley as the visitors were level by the break and then were gifted two further goals after half time – one from a very “generous” penalty award and the other from the desperately unlucky Joe Docherty who allowed a low ball into the box to squirm into the net after making two top drawer blocks to keep the Brickies in the tie.

The opening period was as tight and as much of a battle as it was expected to be between two sides who had both begun their League campaigns well, and in the initial stages, the Brickies enjoyed a lot of possession and Tobu Ajala forced Bay keeper Lucas Hanley to punch out his free kick from under the bar. The momentum carried the home side into an eighth minute lead. Caney-Bryan did really well to meet Taylor Fishers centre with his header giving Hanley no chance.

The lead though didn’t last long as Adem Ramadan took advantage of a huge hole in the home defence and coolly rolled the ball past the advancing Docherty and into the net. It was as though the Herne Bay goal knocked the home side out of their stride as the visitors began to dominate possession without really testing Docherty whilst despite the tireless efforts of Ajala to try and kick start the home side, Sittingbourne were restricted to breakaways, yet from one the home side could well have taken the lead at the break. Ahmed Abdulla found Caney-Bryan, but he couldn’t beat Hanley with his first time shot.
Ajala was forced off at the break with injury and the home side didn’t really get going and the game soon developed almost into a personal battle between Docherty and Bay striker Chinedu McKenzie.

Twice the striker was released clean through by great through balls yet twice the Brickies keeper who has already become a fans favourite was big and strong to keep the score-line level. The visitors were enjoying space down the left and Kieron Campbell’s pace was proving a real problem to the home side and it was from one such break as the winger raced away after a superb ball from sub Bode Anidugbe, that referee Torz-Brown saw a handball in the Brickies box – that was questionable at best – and Zak Ansah made no mistake from the spot.

The game opened up and sub-Sam Flisher was just too high at one end with a header whilst Hamilton Antonio’s shot flew over the home goal before the game was sealed in the final ten minutes when the unfortunate Docherty completely misjudged Anidugbe’s low centre and the ball apologetically crept into the Brickies net as the home side slipped out of this season’s competition.

Sittingbourne Played: Joe Docherty, Samuel Okaye-Ahaneku, Taylor Fisher, George Monger, Harrison Pont, George Crimmen (Tom Loynes 82 min), Michael Akin, Toby Ajala (Sam Flisher 45 min), Johan Caney-Bryan, Ahmed Abdulla (Yao Christophe Aziamale 83 min) and Rowland.  Subs not used: Emmanuel Dasho and Toby Bancroft.

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