It is likely that there will be some new faces in the squad for Saturday’s game as Darren Freeman’s squad has been hit with injuries. With four games in just ten days and with injuries to Matthew George, Alex Malins, Steve Brinkhurst, Lloyd Cotton and Matthew Hurley, it has been necessary to bring in some reinforcements.
Sittingbourne will be licking their wounds after being beaten 5-1 at Greenwich Borough last Saturday. They will be without influential midfielder John Coker who was sent-off last week in the last-gasp defeat at Cray Wanderers, where Sittingbourne led 2-1 going into injury time only to lose 3-2. Kane Rowland and Miles Cornwell remain the danger men, having scored 21 goals between them this season.
Their home form has been mixed – winning four, drawing four and losing three at home this season. One issue they’ve had this season is lack of goals, especially at home where they’ve only scored 13 (conceding 12) in their 11 games at Woodstock Park to date.
When did we last meet
Sittingbourne were the first team to take points off The Rooks when the teams met at The Dripping Pan in late August. Ben Gorham gave the visitors the lead in the 8th minute but Bouwe Bosma scored his first goal for the Rooks three minutes later. Tom Loynes then gave Sittingbourne the lead again in the 67th minute before Ronnie Conlon’s goal in the 78th minute pulled Lewes level again. The last ten minutes were a frenetic affair with chances at both ends
About Woodstock Park
The club have had a nomadic existence in the last few years, having been
forced out of their Central Park Stadium which almost caused the club to go to
the wall. They initially moved in as
tenants at Woodstock Park FC’s ground and when the Kent Premier League club was
wound up, Sittingbourne took over the tenancy.
It is a very basic ground, with a well-appointed clubhouse dominating
the ground. There are a couple of
temporary stands on one side and one behind the goal but little else in the way
of cover for the fans. There are
tentative plans for a new ground with a 3G pitch to be constructed on land
adjacent to Woodstock Park but no firm dates.
How to get to Woodstock Park
Just to warn you that Woodstock Park enjoys a very rural location. Despite being just a few hundred yards from
the M2, finding the ground involves a long and complicated route. You will almost certainly approach from the
M2, requiring an exit at Junction 5, where you need to take the exit for the A249
towards Sheerness at the roundabout. You
then need leave the A249 at the first junction that leads to the raised Key Street
roundabout, and turn right onto the A2 to Sittingbourne.
Head round the one-way system towards the town centre and as
you join the A2 again, take the next right into Park Road, Park Road eventually
becomes Gore Court Road, Gore Court Road eventually becomes Woodstock Road, and
finally Woodstock Road becomes Ruins Barn Road.
When houses disappear approximately half a mile down Ruins
Barn Road, take next left signposted as Kent Science Park/Sittingbourne
Research Centre into Broadoak Road. Travel downhill past the Science Park on
the right, continue uphill and take the left into the Woodstock Park car park. Journey time for the 60-mile journey is
around 1 hour 40 minutes assuming you go via the A228 or A229. If you plump for the longer route via the M23
and M25 it should take around the same time but 20 miles less each way.
The 343 bus runs to Woodstock Sports Park from the
Sittingbourne Town Centre and train station which is on the Victoria line –
should you wish to walk, good luck as it is around 2.5 miles and involves
walking down some narrow country lanes and is not recommended. Journey time via London Victoria to
Sittingbourne Station is around 2 hours 20 minutes and an Off-Peak Day Return
is currently £40.80.
Admission is £9 for adults, £5 for concessions (senior
citizens, students and Under18s), Under16s £3 and accompanied under 11s are
Fancy a beer?
The rural location of Woodstock Park means there are no pubs within a mile
and a half of the ground so you will need to stick to the town centre for a pre
and post-match beer. The Bull in the
High Street is considered the best pub in the town centre and the Park Tavern
on Park Road is a good stopping off point on the way to the ground. The two pubs close to the station, The
Vineyard and The Golden Hope are OK for a swift pre-train pint whilst The Paper
Mill on Church Street is an excellent Micro Pub.