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Sittingbourne manager Darren Blackburn feels Isthmian League were too quick to offer postponements


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Sittingbourne boss Darren Blackburn feels the Isthmian League acted too quickly when inviting teams to call off midweek games amid the ongoing fuel problems.

With the pumps running dry as motorists panic-buy, the league, on Sunday, offered clubs the chance to postpone last night’s matches, should players have problems travelling.

Sittingbourne beat Phoenix 2-1 on Saturday Picture: Ken Medwyn
Sittingbourne beat Phoenix 2-1 on Saturday Picture: Ken Medwyn

The entire South East Division programme was called off, including the Brickies' home game against Whitstable, but Blackburn feels they could have waited.

“It doesn’t make sense to me,” he said.

“I don’t see why the league felt the need to do it, 48 hours before a game.

“You’ve got to give it every chance of going ahead.

“If we’d got to Tuesday lunchtime and there’s a problem, we’d take four or five hours’ notice in this situation."

Sittingbourne maintained their 100 per cent home record with a 2-1 victory over Phoenix Sports on Saturday.

Ahmed Abdulla and Kane Rowland struck either side of half-time, with Byron Walker pulling a goal back.

Victory left them sixth in Isthmian South East.

“It was hard to select a squad,” said Blackburn, whose side are due at Chichester this Saturday.

“We had more than 16 available for the first time this season, so it was a case of leaving three or four out.

Action from the Brickies' victory over Phoenix Sports Picture: Ken Medwyn
Action from the Brickies' victory over Phoenix Sports Picture: Ken Medwyn

“You don’t want to leave anyone out but you have to make decisions.

"You look at the opposition and Phoenix are always a quick, pacy side who get the ball into big Jeff Duah-Kessie up front.

"We looked at how we could best cut the supply to him and counter their pace out wide, so we went with quick full-backs and widemen, and moved Nev Nza from right-back to right-wing.

“We’ve had a good start, and we’re up there on merit, but one thing I would say is all the teams we’ve beaten are below us.

“We’ve got Ashford, Herne Bay and Hastings coming up in the next seven or eight games and once we’ve played the top sides, we’ll have a truer reflection of where we’re at.

“I know it’s boring but it’s one game at a time.

“We set ourselves up the best we can and give the boys the platform to go out and compete in games.”

Brickies have boosted their defensive options by signing centre-back Emmanuel Dasho from Sevenoaks.

Blackburn said: “We just felt we needed extra cover and we weren’t sure we had the right balance pace-wise if we decided to play a back three, but he helps with that.”

Read more: The latest sports news in Kent

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