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Sittingbourne aiming to make home advantage count against Burgess Hill in FA Trophy

Sittingbourne are back in FA Trophy action after a thrilling finish to their previous tie.

The Brickies meet fellow Isthmian South East club Burgess Hill at Woodstock in the Second Qualifying Round this Saturday (3pm).

Sittingbourne manager Nick Davis Picture: Alan Langley
Sittingbourne manager Nick Davis Picture: Alan Langley

Nick Davis’ side progressed with a dramatic 2-1 victory at South Park on Wednesday last week.

Bourne were on their way through after Bagasan Graham’s first-half opener, only for Aiden Brown to equalise deep into added time.

But with penalties looming, Sittingbourne went straight up the other and scored the winner courtesy of defender Donvieve Jones’ 97th-minute header.

“We made hard work of it,” said Davis, speaking before last night's 3-2 home league defeat by Hythe.

“We controlled the first half and should have been out of sight but we only got the one goal.

“They came at us in the second half, without really creating anything, and then, lo and behold, the last few minutes it came alive.

“They scored and we literally scored the winner straight after.

“I’m just pleased to get through, especially after going out of the FA Cup early. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy.

“Every team will have spells when they’re on top and I know it isn’t their real home ground (South Park are groundsharing at Merstham while their 3G pitch is finished) but we’ve still had to travel away in midweek, which is always tough.”

Matchwinner Jones joined Sittingbourne from Faversham over the summer.

He’s making a good impression at right-back and is proving useful in the opposition box, as shown by his last-gasp header in the Trophy.

Davis said: “He scored a perfectly good goal against Faversham earlier this season that wasn’t offside.

“He’s getting himself in the box and that back-stick run of his seems to work. Fair play to him.

“I think he only scored one goal at Faversham but he’s getting himself into some really good areas with us.

“We’ve caused teams a lot of problems down that right-hand side with Donvieve and Henry [Dasofunjo]. Long may it continue.”

Burgess Hill, meanwhile, picked up their first point of the season with a 1-1 draw against Haywards Heath on Tuesday night.

But they’ve been good in knockout football, progressing in the Trophy and also reaching the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Cup, losing 3-1 to Met Police at the weekend.

“Don’t take any notice of their league position, they’re a good side,” said Davis.

“They’ve done well in the cups and last year they made a slow start and only just missed out on the play-offs.

“They’re well-drilled, they’ll be a tough test, for sure, but we’re at home and we always fancy our chances at home.”

Johan Caney-Bryan scored twice against his old club as Hythe edged Sittingbourne in the league on Tuesday night.

He added to Josh Stirman's opener and scored the winner after Ben Gorham and another goal for Jones had levelled the match.

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