If you win 10 points out of 15 all through the season then you’ll get promotion.
That’s what Sittingbourne have achieved in their last five games, but to be honest, this didn’t feel too much like promotion form.
Praise Sittingbourne for keeping going for 90 minutes to finally get the only goal of the game, praise them for keeping a clean sheet, praise them for shrugging off the loss of their main goalscorer with a head injury after just 10 minutes.
But overall it wasn’t a great performance and poor old Molesey must have been sick at going back home round the M25 with nothing to show for a stubborn effort.
In the end the game centered on two goalline clearances. Fabrice Blewordah, my man-of-the-match, saved Sittingbourne with one such clearance in the first half, while Molesey’s Prately-Jones used his hand to make his in the 88th minute, costing him a red card and a penalty which resulted in the game’s only goal.
On a pleasant spring afternoon, Sittingbourne made two changes from the team that drew at Ramsgate on Easter Monday. Chris Elliott came in at centre-back for Reiss Crimmen and did very well, while David Smith was recalled at the expense of Germaine Dua.
Sittingbourne’s afternoon started badly with Blewordah yellow-carded after just one minute for a foul and Rowland having to go off with a head injury after a typically brave effort to block a Molesey clearance.
Elliott hit a free-kick just wide for Sittingbourne and Smith got the ball in the net but was ruled offside, though generally Molesey had the better of the first half, forcing a succession of corners and dangerous situations from long throws.
Blewordah made his clearance off the line after 33 minutes, anticipating the situation well, and overall this was a disappointing first half by Sittingbourne to match the opening 45 minutes in the previous game down at Ramsgate.
They did better in the second half though Molesey began to sense there was a point for the taking and mainly gave up trying to do much in the way of attacking.
Tom Loynes had a fair-looking penalty appeal turned down, saw the keeper get away with dropping his corner in a dangerous position, and then almost scored with a near-post shot after cutting into the area and beating two defenders.
On his home debut, Seyfettin Akdeniz had always looked a threat with his pace and dribbling ability and was moved to a more central position late on to try to unpick the Molesey defence.
And the ploy worked as it was his 88th minute goalbound header that the Molesey player reached above his head with a badly-disguised effort to avoid being penalised for handling it.
Surprisingly, after Smith got such a competent penalty equaliser in the previous game, it was Akdeniz who stepped up to take responsibility for the match-winning chance.
He looked to have blown it when the Molesey keeper stuck out his leg to save the penalty, but the ball bounced invitingly back into play and Akdeniz had the comparatively simple chance to score the winner with the keeper trying in vain to scramble back to his feet.
So, following home-and-away defeats of Herne Bay and Shoreham, Sittingbourne had a third double of the season to celebrate and the 50-point barrier successfully cleared. At the end of the day, a win’s a win however it’s achieved.
Sittingbourne: Harry Brooks, Josh Dorling, Fabrice Blewordah (Yellow card), Lewis Chambers, Chris Webber (Yellow card), Chris Elliott, Seyfettin Akdeniz, Dan Parkinson (Tyrone Guthrie, 64 min), Kane Rowland (Germaine Dua, 14 min), David Smith, Tom Loynes. Subs not used: Charlie Allen, Rhys Bartlett, Max Farrelly.
Molesey: Liam Allen, Charles Ashby, Ato Okai, Craig Lewington, Taylor Roles, Joe Prately-Jones (Red card), Elijah Ogunseye (Lecan Sidako, 73 min), Dre Grobler (Fidan Fejzi, 79 min), Tayo Oyebola, Bukele Makudi (Anthony Kozakis, 64 min), Darrius Herei. Sub not used: Sacham Baye.
Referee: Mr Kane Dempster, Assistants: Mr Simon Cutler, Mr Peter Conn.
Video and Pics by Ken Medwyn
Bostik South East
Saturday 23rd February 2019 Away, VCD Athletic. KO 3.00PM