The weather was a little warmer this week, so I decided to venture across to the Woodstock Park stadium at Sittingbourne, temporarily the home of Canterbury City FC.
Canterbury City sat, at kick off, bottom of the Southern Counties East Football League (SCEFL) Premier Division, five points away from K Sports, the side sitting in safety, in eighteenth place. Canterbury’s top scorer this season has been Sen Rowland, with nine goals from sixteen games. Dan Lawrence Canterbury’s manager is desperate to keep them in the SCEFL Premier Division, as the club strive to claim a site to set up a permanent home in their own city.
Deal Town came into the fixture in 9th place, having dropped points in recent weeks. However as Deal hold a three or four game advantage on most other teams, they remain hopeful of regaining a promotion place. Ben Chapman has top scored for Deal Town this season, with nine goals from eighteen games. Manager Steve King would have come into tonight’s fixture with a clear goal of securing three points.
The game opened, almost immediately, with a goal, when in the 3rd minute, a long throw in was flicked on by Deal Town’s Kane Smith, to then be finished, by Connor Coyne, putting the away side 0-1 up.
In the 15th minute, Canterbury City’s goalkeeper, Harry McKie, seemed to clatter into Deal Town’s Riley Alford just outside the home team’s penalty area. Somewhat surprisingly the referee didn’t issue a card, when many supporters were expecting a possible dismissal.
The remainder of the half saw Deal Town in the ascendency, with occasional counter attacks from Canterbury City. At the break however, both sides were in the game still, with a 0-1 scoreline giving Deal Town just a narrow lead.
The second half saw a much more even contest, with both sides throwing themselves into trying to score, Deal Town to put the game to bed and Canterbury City trying to claw themselves something out of the fixture.
With five minutes left on the clock, Deal Town had what looked like a decent penalty shout turned down, but almost immediately saw their keeper, Henry Newcombe, sent off for handling just outside his area, when Canterbury City’s Jimmy Witt was through on goal. The resultant free kick was wasted and when the final whistle went, minutes later, it was Deal Town who left with all three points.
The win lifted Deal Town upto seventh place in the Premier Division. Canterbury City remained rooted to the bottom of the table but the way they played tonight, against a confident and talented Deal Town side, will have given them some self belief and hope for the remainder of the season.