Sittingbourne 1 (1) -v- Three Bridges 2 (0)

Sittingbourne 1 (1) -v- Three Bridges 2 (0)

Report by Mike Green

A freak goal at the end of a game of two halves ended Sittingbourne’s first ever Play Off campaign at the very first hurdle last night (Tuesday 30th April) at The Roman Stadium.

With the game seemed set for extra time after Alahady Jalloh’s penalty had cancelled out Chris Harris seventeenth goal of the season, a long ball skidded into the Brickies box and Noel Leighton just beat keeper Bobby Mason to the ball and it almost apologetically rolled into the net, with the keeper and home fans looking to the referee for a foul that didn't come and the big striker wheeled away to celebrate his 37th goal of the campaign and break Brickies hearts.

It had been a close affair throughout and early on the home side had no luck whatsoever as Harris found Bagasan Graham early only for the skipper’s shot to beat the keeper and come back into play off the inside of the post.

The home side took the lead at the half’s midweek point after a Correy Davidson corner caused mayhem in the box after keeper Shiek missed his punch. Harris is the last person you want to see the ball drop too and he duly hammered the Brickies into a deserved lead at that point.

The home side continued to push – Donvieve Jones had an effort deflected inches over and Mitch May went even closer as his deflected effort was magnificently tipped over by the keeper.

At the other end, Mason had a smart save as a ball skimmed the head of Chris Arthur but apart from that the visitors offered very little as a forward threat.

And whilst that continued after the break, Arthur and Co at the back for the home side comfortably repelled most Three Bridges had to offer limiting them to long range efforts until the game turned twenty minutes from time when Leighton’s run across the edge of the box was halted by Joe Tyrie and Mr Murphy – who had a fine game throughout – pointed to the spot and Jalloh rolled the spot kick home.

The visitors now had the upper hand yet until Leighton beat Mason to that long skidding ball and the rest is history... 

At the final whistle, there were scenes of celebrations from the Sussex side, but the antics of one or two of those in Bridges colours really did leave a bad taste in the mouth as they spoiled what had been a splendid advert for the Isthmian League. There are certain things you don't do and sadly the antics yet again of the few leaves a sad taste on top of the tough pill for the Brickies to swallow – especially for Mason and Tyrie who have both been outstanding all season and both played huge parts helping the Club make the Play Offs for the very first time in the long history of Sittingbourne.

For boss Ryan Maxwell and his back-room staff, this will be a bitter pill to swallow and one that Brickies fans everywhere will hope that the exceedingly popular manager puts right next season.

Sittingbourne Played: Bobby Mason, Donvieve Jones, Bagasan Graham, Jack Thomas, Joe Tyrie (Sergio Uyi 92 mins), Chris Regis (Gabriel Piorkowski 81 mins), Correy Davidson, Chris Harris, Ayman El-Mogharbel (Manny Osei-Owusu 87 mins), Mitchell May and Chris Arthur. Subs not used: Stefan Ilic and Alex Bentley.


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