Sittingbourne 3-1 Faversham Town
Sittingbourne 3-1 Faversham Town

Sittingbourne’s biggest home gate of the season saw them battle their way to victory over their nearest neighbours and chalk up a fourth successive win.

This wasn’t like the previous three wins. East Grinstead was all about determinedly fighting back from behind, VCD about dominating from the off and then defiantly holding on, and Three Bridges was just a total demolition job.

But this was a more even sort of game, and ended up all about taking chances, getting into a winning position and then stubbornly managing the game and seeing it out.

Sittingbourne and Faversham had already won and lost against each other this season, and went into the match locked together on the same number of points, so it was unlikely there was ever going to be much in it.

On a blustery afternoon, Sittingbourne kept the side that won handsomely

5-0 at Three Bridges in midweek, Jack Morrell shaking off the injury that saw him substituted in the first half of that match.

There was little in it for the opening minutes but Sittingbourne soon grabbed the lead when Faversham snatched at a chance to clear, allowing Timmie Babbington to sneak in behind and go one-on-one with the advancing keeper. He made no mistake with his finish, claiming his second goal in successive games, and marking it with a lovely athletic celebration.

The midfield area policed effectively and determinedly by Lewis Chambers and Chris Barnard was well under the control of Sittingbourne and when Roman Campbell was freed to run at the Faversham back line he was crudely felled at full speed by Brickies old boy Matt Bourne.

Sittingbourne looked far more dangerous than Faversham and made it 2-0 on 33 minutes when Barnard pulled the ball back from the left wing and Chambers hit a first-time shot from outside the area that the keeper could only help into his own net.

Not much at all for Faversham to cheer about all the first half and when they did get the ball in the net six minutes later it was offside anyway.

Sittingbourne’s ever-loyal fans were in great voice behind the goal but Faversham made a concerted effort to battle back into the game after half-time and it was captain Bourne who did it on 53 minutes, powerfully heading home Monger’s corner.

Sittingbourne were rocking for a bit and Faversham sub Griffiths missed a great chance of an equaliser when a good move opened up the defence.

But this Sittingbourne side are made of stern stuff and they restored the crucial two-goal advantage on 73 minutes, Morrell and Woods combining out on the left to cross for Billy Lewins – just four minutes after coming on – timing his jump beautifully to head home. That’s the second successive home game when Lewins, despite being just about the smallest player on the field, has headed a crucial goal up that end of the pitch.

A 2-1 lead is wobbly but a 3-1 advantage feels comfortable, and Sittingbourne saw it out well.

They could – should – have got another when Lewins was shoved over in the area by Bourne but the referee waved play on.

The man in black could also have given Campbell a bit more protection in his many physical tussles with the evergreen Bourne, but what a good learning curve for the promising Gills youngster it all is.

So another win to enjoy, and that’s almost as many points from just the last six games as Sittingbourne had got all season before that. Can’t be bad.

Sittingbourne: Patrick Lee, Chris Webber, Jack Morrell, Tommie Fagg, Ben Fitchett, Lewis Chambers, Izzy Adebayo (Abdel Ndew, 73 min), Chris Barnard (Yellow card), Roman Campbell, Henry Woods (Khalil McFarlane, 79 min), Timmie Babbington (Billy Lewins, 68 min, Yellow card). Subs not

Subs not used: Kwase Amoah, Matt Funnell.

Faversham Town: Will Godmon, Danny Devine, Donvieve Jones, Danny Walder (Yellow card), Matt Bourne (Yellow card), Ryan Huckle, Liam King, Dan Carrington (Luke Griffiths, 53 min), David Cook (Charlie Owen, 76 min), George Monger, Ashley Miller.

Sub not used: Harry Day.

Referee: Simon Finnigan. Assistants: Joshua Smith, Matthew Goldsmith.

Attendance: 295