Heath lose out to Sittingbourne
Photos by Ray Turner
A sunny Saturday afternoon saw Sittingbourne visit Hanbury Stadium and with both teams most recent results being victories against bottom side Corinthian, a close game was predicted.
Martin Dynan made just one change to his starting eleven as Callum Chesworth’s impressive cameo against Corinthian earned him a place in the side over Olumide Oluwatimilehin. In the very first minute however, Sittingbourne found an opening in a sleeping Blues backline, with Mario Quiassaca being played in behind and he made no mistake slotting the ball past Billy Collings
The home side had a range of good chances after their early setback. The most clear-cut coming half an hour into the match after Danny Divine clipped a superb cross into the box deep from the right side, his ball found the head of Tom Collins perfectly, but his header was saved by Matthew Cafer in the Sittingbourne goal.
Less than ten minutes later, the home side thought they had an equaliser. Alex Laing’s lofted pass beat the defence and Tom Collins appeared to have timed his run perfectly before directing a looping header over the Sittingbourne goalkeeper and into the net. The assistant referee spoiled Heath’s celebrations by raising his flag, a decision which was shown to be questionable by video replays, where’s VAR when you need it?
The second half saw chances at both ends, with Billy Collings being called into action a few times as Heath piled forwards in search of an equaliser. If being a goal down wasn’t an uphill task enough for the home side, the challenge became even harder as a scuffle in the Sittingbourne box resulted in Dean Gunner given his marching orders for retaliation, surprisingly the referee choosing to take no action against the initial infringement, much to the fury of Dean Gunner, Martin Dynan and the on-looking fans.
The Heath side refused to lie down and pushed relentlessly for an equaliser which they nearly found with minutes left on the clock. Alex Laing once again showed his quality as he delivered a perfect ball into the box where Tom Collins was able to find a pocket of space, but his snapshot was straight at the keeper.
Sittingbourne would make their man advantage count in the dying seconds of the match, fullback Donvieve Jones able to exploit the space left in behind the Heath back line as they pushed forwards, leaving him one on one with Billy Collings, he kept his composure tucking it past the Heath goalkeeper, and wrapping up the three points for the traveling side.
It was a game that had it all for the neutral, two goals, a red card, plenty of drama, and key decisions that influenced the game. A game that Heath would feel they deserved something from, just unable to turn their dominance of the game into goals, hindered by some officiating decisions that could easily have gone the other way.
Player of the Match: Danny Divine