Mead denied at the death
Derby thriller opens Sunday account
The Mead's first Sunday game at Princes Park proved to be a derby thriller with Sittingbourne that ebbed and flowed in both sides favour only to dramatically end in an hugely entertaining 2-2 draw.
The Mead went behind on 15 minutes thanks to Dawodu's acrobatics and for a while it looked as though the visitors were going to be a tough nut to crack. It looked as though it would take a moment of brilliance for the home side to get level and that's exactly what happened on the stroke of half time when Ellis Green picked up a half cleared corner and drove home into the top corner from the edge of the box.
After Ellis's curling free kick smacked against the keeper's left post could have put the Mead in front just after half time, before just past the hour though the home side did take the lead as Richard Avery nodded down a corner from Scott Kinch to sweep home.
Kinchy though sadly was to go from hero to villain as he received his second yellow card and meant that the Mead had to play the final seven minutes with just ten men, and Sittingbourne duly cashed in as substitute Smith scored gloriously curled home a last minute equaliser.
Early on it was Sittingbourne who had the better chances with Rowland being denied just before Dawodu's overhead kick from a corner crept in the near post. Shortly afterwards, Mead keeper Lewis Carey breathed a sigh of relief as a shot ricocheted over his head and dropped agonisingly just over the cross bar. Lewis then pulled off a stunning save to deny a swift visitors attack as Phillip drilled in a low drive which was magnificently dealt with. Finally the home side got into their stride and Paul Vines was unlucky with a header from Bode Anidugbe's cross before Ellis brilliantly drove the Mead level. Indeed had referee Cruise not over turned his own decision of a penalty after Hawkes had brought down Harvey Brand who had raced through. The official initially pointed to the spot only to change his decision after consulting with one of his assistants.
The second half began with Ellis' free kick cannoning off of the post Kinchy poked home Avo's knock down from Ellis' corner. The home side then had a good spell but credit the opposition for not buckling and Lewis pulled off another great save to deny Elliot's shot. Then came Kinchy's red card and the impetus was with the visitors and in the final minute they got their goal as Smith curled home gloriously from the left edge of the box.
Incredibly, Smith was only a coat of paint away to giving Sittingbourne a stoppage time lead as his curling shot from the right before incredibly Harvey almost won the game at the other end as he was denied by a brilliant brave Hawkes block.
Honours even then and a terrific advert for BOSTIK South football...
THE MEAD - Carey, Brand, McIntyre, Kinch, Avery, Glover, Green (Mendy), O'Connor, Vines (Kwayie), Teniola (Denny), Anidugbe
Subs - Luchford & Ovenden