WHITSTABLE COME BACK FROM THE DEAD

Ian Pulman slots home first penalty
Ian Pulman slots home first penalty

Whitstable Town 5 Walton Casuals 4

Ryman Football League Division One (South)

Saturday 4th October 2014

Whitstable Town fought back from 4-2 deficit to win 5-4 at home to Walton Casuals in a thriller at the Belmont on Saturday afternoon against Walton Casuals.

The early exchanges saw great fight

IanPulman's second penalty
IanPulman’s second penalty

from Casuals who seemed rejuvenated  from the team Whitstable played earlier in the season in the FA Cup.  In the first minute Scott Day had two shots for the visitors in quick succession but he missed the target. Town’s first chance came on five minutes when Ian Pulman had a shot saved easily by Chico Ramos in the Casuals goal. On eight minutes visitors striker, Connor French had a speculative shot wide. This was followed by a great run from Jake Mackenzie into the Casuals penalty area. He turned and shot just over the bar after ten minutes . Then on twenty minutes Casuals took the lead as Town keeper

Kane Rowland brings the scores level
Kane Rowland brings the scores level

Luke Watkins dropped the ball and French ran in and slotted the ball past the keeper.  Town were very quickly two down three minutes later when Malik Ouani pounced on a defensive mix up and slotted home.  However Town were to pull one back on 29 minutes when Ian Pulman was brought down in the penalty area. Pulman, the Whitstable captain, stepped up and slammed the ball into the corner of the net. However,  Town’s comeback was short lived as two minutes later Jack Barton cut in and unleashed a shot past Watkins into the corner of the net to make the score 3-1 to the visitors. On 33 minutes it could have been four as French weaved his way through a punch drunk Town defence but his attempt was fired over. Just on half time things got worse for the hosts as Luke Doherty was sent off as he was adjudged to have pulled back a Casuals attacker therefore preventing a goal

Peter Wedgeworth's shot seals late win
Peter Wedgeworth’s shot seals late win

scoring opportunity.  It seemed hard to see how Town would fight back in the second half.

Town had  the first chance four minutes into the second period as Pulman hit a shot just over the bar. On 59 minutes Watkins reprieved himself from the earlier error as he saved from Day. Town were to reduce the deficit on 67 minutes when substitute Kane Rowland pounced on a rebound from a Pulman shot. He calmly slotted the ball into the net. However yet again, Walton Casuals restored the two goal lead after 74 minutes when Gabriel  Odunaike curled a spectacular shot that curled past Watkins.  It seemed a massive mountain to climb for the Town but after 78 minutes they were awarded a penalty following handball. This time Pulman sent Ramos the wrong way to reduce the deficit.  Casuals striker, French was sent off  after 81 minutes for an off the ball incident. Town were not to concede again and with two minutes to go until full time Pulman shot straight at Ramos. The ball rebounded off the Casuals keeper and Rowland scored his second.  Deep into injury time,  Whitstable were awarded a free kick near the corner flag. Peter Wedgeworth sent a shot that went straight through the Casuals defence into the net to give Town an unexpected victory.

In the end it was a thriller that Town look certain to lose but a “never say die” attitude gave them all three points.

Team: Watkins, Doherty, Wedgeworth, James (Gray 45 mins), Kennett, Treadwell, Heard (Girt 23 mins), Guila (Rowland 66 mins), Pulman, Mackenzie, Loynes