Published: 06:00, 21 July 2021
| Updated: 06:01, 21 July 2021
Sittingbourne moved quickly to fill the void left by goalkeeper Jordan Perrin’s unexpected departure.
With Perrin accepting an offer at Herne Bay, Brickies have signed Joe Docherty from Cray Valley.
Docherty helped the Millers reach the FA Cup first round last season and his capture represents good business for Sittingbourne manager Darren Blackburn after the blow of losing Perrin to their Kent rivals.
“We lost Jordan and I was sorry to see him go,” said Blackburn.
“He did well for us but he wanted a new challenge at Herne Bay.
“It wasn’t something I was expecting but we made some enquiries and heard Joe might be available.
“Cray Valley have got someone else coming in (Chris Lewington), who I assume will be the No.1, but Joe’s at a stage in his career where he’s 30-years-old and he wants to be playing every week.
“I spoke to Joe and to Kevin Watson, the manager at Cray Valley, and we got a deal over the line.
“He offers different experience to Jordan, who’s only 21 and at the start of his career, and they do say keepers hit their prime older than outfield players.
“He saved a penalty which helped Cray Valley through to the FA Cup first round proper, so he’s got good pedigree.”
Striker Kane Rowland hopes to be fit for Bourne’s Isthmian South East opener at home to Lancing on August 14.
He suffered a fractured foot at the start of pre-season but it’s healing nicely.
There’s also good news for summer signing James Hawkins, whose Achilles injury isn’t as serious as first feared.
Blackburn said: “We think Kane’s going to be out for another three weeks. It’s a small fracture and he’s had the boot taken off. It’s looking positive and he’s aiming for the first league game.”
On Hawkins, he added: “It turns out he hasn’t ruptured his Achilles, so we’re hoping he might be back in six weeks.
“We’ve got eight to 10 first-team players carrying injuries at the moment, so we’re a bit light on numbers, but it’s an opportunity for others to show what they can do.
“They’ll probably all be back a game or two before the season starts.”
Sittingbourne beat Blackburn’s old club, Hollands & Blair, 1-0 in a friendly last Thursday night.
“It was weird playing against them for the first time since I left,” said Blackburn.
“There wasn’t a bad tackle in the match but both sides ended up with a couple of injuries.”
Sittingbourne take on Harlow at Woodstock this Saturday.