Tuesday 26th February 2019
By Tony Rickson
Bostik League South East Division
Three Bridges (0) 0 Sittingbourne (4) 5 (Campbell 16, 43,
Adebayo 28, Babbington 39, Woods 87), Attendance: 94
Three Bridges: James Shaw, Nathan
Simpson (Andrew Sesay, 45 min) , Lee Hall, Olu Oluwatimilehin, Jensen Grant,
Connor French (Yellow card), Ibby Akanbi, Reece Hallard (Dean Gunner, 71 min),
Antone Douglas, John Ufuah (George Gaskin, 64 min), Joe Tennent (Yellow card).
Subs not used: Liam Collins, Antwon McKenzie.
Sittingbourne: Patrick Lee, Chris
Webber, Jack Morrell (Kwasi Amoah, 41 min, Yellow card), Tommie Fagg, Ben
Fitchett, Lewis Chambers (Tommy Lawrence, 70 min), Izzy Adebayo (Abdel
Ndew, 57 min), Chris Barnard (Yellow card), Roman Campbell, Henry Woods, Timmie
Babbington (Yellow card). Subs not used: Liam Middleton, Billy Lewins.
Referee: Jamie Wells. Assistants:
Thomas Price, Ciaran Fidler.
Photographs by Ken Medwyn
At last a clean sheet, after all previous 25 league games
this season without one.
And while they were shutting out goals at one end,
Sittingbourne were scoring them for fun at the other, clinical finishing giving
them a huge
It was their third away victory in a row, the first time
they’ve scored five in a game since early last season, and three more points to
take them up to 13th in the league table.
All praise to the management team skilfully led by Chris
Lynch for turning it round so spectacularly in such a comparatively short time,
but all praise to the players, too, who have taken on board so well his demands
for commitment and determination.
Every player from first to last did well in this win so
it’s unfair to single any of them out.
But Roman Campbell has been key to the turn-round in
results, scoring two and contributing two assists – you can see him playing for
the Gillingham first team in the not too distant future given his talent, energy
and eye for a goal.
And Tommie Fagg, an excellent midfielder good enough to
attract the attention of Conference side Maidstone, who is proving an even
better central defender. Alongside the reliable and tough Ben Fitchett, these
two played a key role in shutting out Three Bridges.
And also the wide players, Izzy Adebayo and Tim
Babbington, who both scored, proved a handful all night, but also put in the
hard yards by tracking back and covering on all occasions.
Sittingbourne made two changes from the team that played
excellently to win at VCD just four days earlier, Fagg returning from suspension
to replace the injured Josh Spencer, and Henry Woods coming in for Billy Lewins.
Three Bridges haven’t won in 10 games this year and came
into the match on the back of a 5-1 humiliation at home from Herne Bay on
Saturday, so the last thing they needed was to have any lingering confidence
shattered by conceding an early goal.
But that’s what happened, and it was downhill for them
after that as Sittingbourne controlled the first half with hard running, strong
tackling, and some excellent attacking.
Campbell got the opener on 13 minutes from close in when
Jack Morrell’s low cross from Chris Barnard’s pass was deflected his way by a
A real poacher’s goal.
But even before that Fagg had had a header from a long
Lewis Chambers throw-in cleared off the line, and had also scooped the ball off
his own line when goalkeeper Patrick Lee lost a long cross in the floodlights.
Fagg showed great anticipation to run behind him and hook
it clear, and all this with only 30 seconds played.
Sittingbourne continued to dominate and after Adebayo had
a fierce shot turned aside for a corner, he went one better, cutting in from the
right wing, and hitting a left-foot shot sizzling into the far corner for a
super individual goal.
And the Brickies added two more in three minutes before
the first half was out. First, a Chambers throw was headed on neatly by Campbell
for Babbington to head home his first goal for the club.
In a rare first half attack, Three Bridges got away with
a blatant push on Lee, causing him to miss the ball, and Barnard had to clear
off the line. The ball was whisked forward on the counter-attack and Woods set
Campbell free with a lovely through ball, the last defender slipping as he tried
to cut it out. Campbell raced on and blasted his shot through the keeper for his
second goal of the night.
Just as at Hastings last month, when Sittingbourne were
on the receiving end of a first half drubbing, the second half was an
anti-climax with the result already settled.
Three Bridges tried to mix it up a bit but Sittingbourne
stood firm and always looked dangerous on the counter-attack where Woods and
Campbell showed great evidence of their experience together at the Gillingham
academy with intuitive link-up play.
The home side got the ball in the net on 77 minutes – for
an instant it looked like the clean sheet had gone – but the assistant had his
flag up for offside.
And Sittingbourne rounded it off in style when sub Abdel
Ndew fed Campbell, who set it up with a neat pass for Woods to blast home
left-footed his first goal in a couple of months.
A great finish, a great night for the fans who followed
the team to Sussex, and a superb confirmation of the club’s decision to choose
impressive manager Lynch.
Post Script. The Three Bridges Manager Martin Dynan resigned after this