Bognor Regis Town 3-0 Sittingbourne
Bognor Regis Town 3-0 Sittingbourne

Bognor Regis Town had gone beyond the 1st Qualifying round stage of the Emirates FA Cup in each of the last 4 seasons but over the same time the Brickies had never progressed beyond that stage  so the odds were stacked heavily against them doing it this time, and so the 3-0 defeat was perhaps a foregone conclusion. In truth Sittingbourne were never in it once the Rocks first goal went in.

Sittingbourne made 7 changes from the line-up that drew at Sevenoaks in midweek. Included in that number was leading scorer Roman Campbell who was not allowed to play in this fixture at the request of Gillingham.

However the Rocks were able to field two strikers on loan from Portsmouth, both of whom had featured for the EFL League one side  in the Carabao cup. These two (Dan Smith and Brad Lethbridge,) plus Jimmy Muitt proved far too hot to handle for the Brickies defence.

The first goal came after 11 minutes when Ashton Leigh’s cross found Muitt completely unmarked in the Sittingbourne box and he gave Tom Benham no chance with his shot.

A minute later came Sittingbourne’s only real effort on goal (apart from twice when the ball went into the net but offside was given,) when Chris Webber fired in a powerful shot that was caught by Rocks keeper Peter Durin at the second attempt.

But a minute later the Rocks doubled their lead with perhaps a fortuitous goal that was given to Muitt who mishit his shot and the ball actually cannoned off a Sittingbourne player and into the net.

The Rocks had rocked the Brickies! And they were first to the ball too many times.

Chances continued for Bognor and on 25 minutes Dan Smith should have scored when he was through on goal but he curled his shot wide.

The third goal really put the game to bed for the Rocks, and that came on the half hour when Muitt was again involved, this time crossing the ball to the far post where Lethbridge had oodles of time to plant his shot into the net. 

The half ended with another chance to the Rocks as Dan Smith took advantage of slack marking but his soft shot was easily saved by Benham.

Benham was in action immediately after the start of the second half when he pushed away a shot from Smith after a mazy run by the Rocks striker.

Despite plenty of running Sittingbourne were just not able to trouble Durin in the Rocks goal.

Neat passing movement on the edge of the Brickies area between Muitt and Letherbridge ended in Benham saving another Letherbridge’s shot.

At last the Brickies were showing a bit more fight without really getting that final shot in but at the other end Muitt hit a Brickies post.

It could have been four when a suicidal back pass was made but Benham just managed to get back to his goal and hook the ball off the goal line. The final chance of the game went to Smith but again it was a weak shot that went wide.

A deserved victory then for Bognor Regis Town who claim the £4,500 prize money.

Bognor Regis Town: Peter Durin, James Crane, Ashton Leigh, Doug Tuck (Tommy Scutt 73 mins), Ben Clark-Eden, Keaton Wood, Harvey Whyte (C) (Dan Simmons 81 mins), Tommy Leigh, Dan Smith, Jimmy Muitt, Brad Letherbridge (Victor Hensel 73 mins).

Subs not used: Charlie Williamson, Charlie Searle.

Goals: Muitt (2) (11 & 13 mins)

Sittingbourne: Tom Benham, Lewis West (Chris Barnard 55 mins), Jason Fregene, Lewis Chambers (Tyrone Guthrie 46 mins), Cory Walters-Wright (Yellow Card), Lex Allan, Enoch Adjei (Kane Phillip 66 mins), Chris Webber (C), Shaun Brown, Tom Fagg, Festus Lori,

Subs not used: Abdel N’Daw, Johan Caney-Bryan

Referee: Ciaran Barlow

Assistants: Derek Pratt, Jack Darling.

Attendance: 339


 
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