Category: 2016-2017 Club News

Sawyer Scores Late Winner

SCEFL Premier Division
Tuesday March 21 2017 19.45

A depleted Whitstable side recorded a narrow win over Corinthian in this rearranged fixture in front of their lowest league crowd of the season. Two well taken goals by Connor Hood and Frankie Sawyer, one in each half, proved just enough. Oscar Housego had equalised for the visitors early in the second half.

The home side were without a number of players through a combination of suspension, injury and unavailability. Louis Sprosen was included in the starting eleven having been signed this week. He has played for a number of clubs and actually lined up against Whitstable at Beckenham in October. It was the first league meeting between the two teams this season, although Whitstable did win 1-0 at Corinthian in the cup in January.

The game started quietly with few chances, although Dan Eason got down to make a comfortable early save and Charlie Smith blazed a long shot well wide at the other end. The first real opening came on 11 minutes when a ball through from midfield sent Conor Johnson clear, but he shot tamely  straight at Eason. Corinthian appealed for a penalty as Aaron Quain made a challenge just inside the box, but the referee was not interested.

Whitstable had created little, but on 23 minutes some more thoughtful play down the right ended with a Hood cross being touched behind for a corner by Joseph Hagan. A few minutes later Sawyer was left clear after Marcus Evans missed a high ball, but he was delayed by Hagan and his eventual shot went wide of the far post. A brief spell of pressure by Corinthian ended with Jack Bath shooting well over from the edge of the box. A Hood throw was flicked towards goal by the head of Craig Thompson, but the ball was easily held by Hagan. As the interval approached a good run by Housego was finally halted by Calvin Sedenu as he was about to shoot and then Josh James sent in a dangerous cross but there was nobody on hand to meet it. Whitstable took the lead on 43 minutes, somewhat against the run of play. Kane Rowland, playing in a deeper role, did well in midfield and found a good pass that set Hood free and he kept his head to lob neatly over the advancing Hagan and into the net.

Connor Hood opens the scoring

Whitstable manager Scott Porter made a change at half time replacing Sprosen, who had not played much football recently, with player coach Brendon Cass. The first notable action of the second half came on 52 minutes as Corinthian brought the scores level. A good through ball split the home defence and left Housego with just Eason to beat and he made no mistake, firing the ball into the top right hand corner of the net.

No way through this time

Rowland became the first name in the notebook when he was booked for a challenge on 55 minutes and then a foul off the ball by Luke Tanner saw him booked shortly afterwards. Johnson ran on to a pass from James and almost got in on goal, but a good challenge by Sedenu saw the ball out for a corner that was headed over the bar by Sam Groombridge. The game became very scrappy and all three officials gathered on the pitch after 70 minutes to try to sort out a lot of pushing and shoving with a number of players involved. Both captains were spoken to and the referee then dismissed one of the Corinthian technical area occupants. The visitors had passed the ball around quite well earlier in the game, but became increasingly petulant and there were a number of incidents for the overworked officials to attend to.

Tanner broke through the home defence but after being forced wide by Eason was unable to hit the target. Smith was then booked after an opponent went down rather easily when challenged by the corner flag. A limping Quain was substituted by Newman Poku as the game entered the final ten minutes and then, almost unexpectedly, a bit of quality put Whitstable back in front. Rowland was the provider once again when his ball over the defence sent Sawyer clear and although initially taking it a bit wide to the right, he managed to find the far corner with a good shot back across the goal.

Frankie Sawyer scores the winner

The visitors used all three substitutes, but rarely looked like finding another goal. At the start of seven added minutes Thompson was flattened just outside the penalty area, with Bath being booked for dissent afterwards. The free kick was taken by Sawyer and deflected wide for a corner. Whitstable then kept the ball in the corner for a couple of minutes and there was little further action although Thompson was shown a yellow card for delaying proceedings and finally Bath also talked himself into the book just before the final whistle.

The game contained three very well taken goals, but not much else in the way of good quality football. Corinthian played the neater football in the first half, but rarely troubled Eason and rather lost their way as the game progressed. Whitstable will be happy enough to claim the points with so many players unavailable.

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, Connor Hood, Aaron Quain (Newman Poku 81), Tom Bryant (c), Calvin Sedenu, Ollie Lee, Louis Sprosen (Brendon Cass 46), Charlie Smith, Kane Rowland, Frankie Sawyer, Craig Thompson.
Subs (unused): Harry Brooks, Dean Ruddy.
Goals: Connor Hood 43, Frankie Sawyer 83.
Yellow cards: Kane Rowland 55, Charlie Smith 78, Craig Thompson 90+4.

Joseph Hagan, Bradley Large, Alexander Jack Billings, Jamie Billings, Marcus Evans, Sam Groombridge, Jack Bath (c), Josh James (Louis Clarke 87), Luke Tanner (Michael Hagan 90), Oscar Housego, Conor Johnson (Jordan Campbell 74).
Subs (unused): None
Goal: Oscar Housego 52
Yellow cards: Luke Tanner 60, Jamie Billings 90+1, Jack Bath 90+7.

Attendance: 91
Referee: Joe Kasper
Assistants: Chris Cannon & Daniel Barham

All Square After First Leg

Macron SCEFL Challenge Cup Semi-final First Leg
Tuesday March 14 2017 19.45

A place in the final is still very possible for both teams after an exciting first leg at Sheppey in front of a crowd of 337. The home side won three early corners, but Whitstable gradually gained some control and had the better chances in the first half. The only goal before the break was a great strike into the top corner from distance by Connor Hood late in the half. A significant moment followed shortly afterwards as Whitstable captain Rob Gillman picked up an injury and had to be replaced. Sheppey were creating little and when Tom Bryant fired in a second early in the second half after a free kick was only partially cleared, Whitstable appeared to be in charge. This seemed to inspire Sheppey though as they began to press forward with more urgency and a Danny Walder free kick was deflected past Dan Eason by Kane Rowland to give them hope. The large home support had been fairly quiet, but now got behind their team and Richard Atkins ran on to a through ball and beat Eason a few minutes later to make it 2-2. The game then became quite open and Eason had to make a couple of vital saves as Sheppey went looking for a winner with Lee Friend making some good runs. Whitstable also had chances though and Bryant had a header cleared off the line and Frankie Sawyer put a great chance just wide, so the tie remains nicely poised.

Dan Eason in early action

Whitstable included new signing Frankie Sawyer in place of Regan Payne, who was ineligible having played for Lordswood earlier in the competition. Bola Dawodu also returned to the side. Sheppey were without their recently signed striker, Arlie Desanges, who had played against Whitstable in the previous round for Sutton Athletic. The opening 15 minutes were relatively quiet, although Sheppey tried to push forward with the majority of the large crowd behind them. Whitstable defended well against a few set pieces and Eason in goal was not troubled. James Morrish sent Hood away down the right and his pass to Charlie Smith was clipped over the bar from just outside the box. Whitstable started to knock the ball around with more confidence and won a couple of corners around the 20 minute mark. Rowland then headed the ball into the path of Sawyer, but his shot was just wide. The home side had a corner of their own on 27 minutes and Walder sent a dangerous ball across the Whitstable goal, but it was missed by everyone. A good cross by Aaron Quain was headed just over by Smith and then Quain fed Morrish, whose curling ball into the box was met by Sawyer but his header was off target. The opening goal arrived on 42 minutes as a Quain corner caused problems for the home defence and although the ball was scrambled away it was met by the advancing Hood around 30 yards from goal and his first time shot flew into the top corner past a helpless Dean Warford.

Connor Hood shoots
Dean Warford is beaten
A happy bench

Sheppey mounted an attack straight from the restart and whilst the final shot was off target, Gillman was injured in the build up and had to be substituted. George Batten was booked just before the interval for a foul on Morrish.

On 50 minutes Friend broke through on the Sheppey left but shot over and a couple of minutes later Smith won a free kick for Whitstable about 25 yards out. It was taken by Sawyer, blocked by Warford and then played back into the goalmouth, eventually falling nicely for Bryant who made no mistake from close range.

The free kick is blocked
Tom Bryant gets the second

It appeared that the visitors might have a good lead to take into the second leg, but to their credit Sheppey started to create a few openings and the reshuffled Whitstable defence suddenly looked vulnerable. A couple of Sheppey free kicks looked threatening, the first was scrambled away and the second was initially cleared but crossed back into the box by Karn Miller-Neave where Friend headed the ball straight at Eason. Timmy Babbington then turned and shot at the Whitstable goalkeeper. There were some shouts for a penalty as a home player went over in a crowded area, but the officials saw nothing wrong. On 69 minutes Sheppey got the bit of fortune they needed when a Walder free kick from just outside the area was hit low through the wall and appeared to take a big deflection off Rowland, leaving Eason stranded.

Eason then made a good double save as Friend got free but saw his effort blocked and David Abe picked up the rebound but his shot was also saved. Sheppey were soon level though when Atkins ran on to a through ball and shot low past the advancing Eason on 73 minutes. At the other end a Quain free kick found the head of Bryant but his attempt was cleared off the line and Ollie Lee followed in but saw his shot saved by Warford. Friend ran through the Whitstable defence again but was denied by Eason once more.

Dan Eason saves from Lee Friend

Rob Saunders was booked for a foul on Sawyer, who hit the resulting free kick into the wall. A mistake by Sedenu allowed Friend another opportunity but Lee got across to block. Into the final ten minutes another home header was deflected behind for a corner that was cleared. On 84 minutes Whitstable had a great chance to restore their lead when Dawodu found Sawyer with a cross field ball and with only Warford to beat his shot curled just wide of the near post. Dawodu was then brought down on the edge of the box as he shaped to shoot and the free kick, taken by Quain, was deflected behind for a corner. On 88 minutes Sawyer won the ball and passed to Smith who shot over. After 4 added minutes the referee, who had a good game, blew for time with the tie still level.

New signing Frankie Sawyer

It was an entertaining match played on a nice surface and both teams will wonder if they might have found a winner. Whitstable will rue letting a two goal lead slip away and Sheppey may wonder if they could have played with more urgency earlier in the game, but it should be an interesting night at the Belmont in the return fixture.

Sheppey United
Dean Warford, Danny Walder, Karn Miller-Neave, Joseph Fornah, Rob Saunders, George Batten, David Abe (Ross Pagett 81), Lee Friend, Richard Atkins, Ian Batten (c) (James Huggins 72), Timmy Babbington.
Subs (unused): Joseph Denny, Dan Bradshaw, John Ralph.
Goals: Kane Rowland (o.g.) 69, Richard Atkins 73.
Yellow cards: George Batten 45+2, Rob Saunders 80.

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, Connor Hood, Aaron Quain, Tom Bryant, Rob Gillman (c) (Calvin Sedenu 45), Ollie Lee, Bola Dawodu, James Morrish, Kane Rowland, Frankie Sawyer, Charlie Smith (Jack Mahoney 89).
Subs (unused): Craig Thompson, Harry Brown, Dean Ruddy.
Goals: Connor Hood 42, Tom Bryant 53.

Attendance: 337
Referee: Chris Myatt
Assistants: Jerry Annandale & Joe Dann-Pye

Frankie Sawyer Signs For Whitstable

Whitstable manager Scott Porter has completed the signing of experienced striker Frankie Sawyer from Hythe Town. His previous clubs include Hastings United, Tooting and Mitcham, Dulwich Hamlet and Metropolitan Police. He goes into the squad for the SCEL Challenge Cup semi-final first leg at Sheppey this evening.

Early Goals Set Up Win

SCEFL Premier Division
Saturday March 11 2017 15.00

Whitstable got back to winning ways with a fairly comfortable victory over a struggling Beckenham Town who remain in the bottom two. Two early goals from Kane Rowland and Charlie Smith, both close range finishes after some hesitant defending, gave the home side a lift and it looked as though there might be a few more to follow. The game became very scrappy though as the half progressed, with numerous free kicks and although Beckenham showed a few glimpses of quality in the final third, Dan Eason was rarely troubled. The game was all but over early in the second half as Smith set up Rowland to make it 3-0. The visitors made a triple substitution to try to change things and with 15 minutes remaining they did manage a consolation goal when a complete mix up in the home defence gifted Lekan Bakare a simple chance. Hassan Oshilaja was sent off shortly afterwards for collecting two yellow cards and the rest of the game passed with little goalmouth action.

Most of the midweek absentees returned for Whitstable, although Bola Dawodu was unavailable for this weekend. Beckenham are battling to finish out of the relegation places and have improved a little of late, but still need some more points from their remaining games. The game started on a fine afternoon in front of a relatively small crowd with Whitstable pushing forward. After an early corner was safely gathered by young goalkeeper Aiden Prall, who is currently on loan from Charlton, Ollie Lee made a good run down the right but was closed down before being able to get the ball across. Chan Quan tried a shot from the edge of the box that was easily held by Eason, but most of the action was at the other end with Beckenham struggling to get any possession as they were second to most of the balls in midfield. On 10 minutes, hesitation in the visitors defence allowed enough space for Rowland and Regan Payne each to have shots blocked on the line before Rowland finally found the net at the third attempt.

Kane Rowland tucks the first away
Charlie Smith slides in to score

Just a minute later Payne was almost in again, but Whitstable did not have to wait long to double their lead as a
cross from the left was met by Rowland at the far post and the ball came back across the goal to Smith who slid in to send it into the roof of the net.

Two nil to Whitstable

Payne again did well down the left and passed to Smith whose shot from 18 yards was blocked and he was crowded out as he tried to make room for another attempt. It then became more of a battle as Beckenham tried to get themselves back into the game. Oshilaja tried a shot that lacked any power and Quan lifted a free kick straight at Eason. A good run by Jack Mahoney almost created another chance for the home side, but he was just caught by the last defender. Whitstable were not helping themselves by conceding a number of unnecessary free kicks at this stage, but Beckenham failed to take advantage of any of them. On 28 minutes as Payne and Rowland pressed forward, Prall picked up a back pass giving Whitstable a free kick about 10 yards from goal. The ball was rolled to Smith, but his shot was wide of the far post.

Another Smith attempt is just wide

James Morrish won the ball and sent Rowland on a run into the box, the ball eventually reaching Mahoney who shot over. Mahoney was then booked for a foul inside his own half and from the resultant free kick, the home defence failed to close down Quan but he was unable to find the target. At the other end an Aaron Quain free kick was well met by Tom Bryant but he could not beat Prall. Jamie Humphris started a move down the right and a good ball in by Quan was lifted over the top by Joe N’Guessan. A Connor Hood corner was caught at the second attempt by Prall and just before the break there were a couple of cards shown for some pushing and shoving in the box as a Beckenham free kick was about to be taken. Half time arrived with the score at 2-0, but the game had become very scrappy.

Early in the second half a Beckenham corner taken by Quan was scooped over the bar by Humphris and Smith headed a Hood corner wide at the other end. After another Beckenham corner was cleared, Smith and Rowland combined well in attack, with Smith providing the cross for Rowland to score from close range.

Jamie Humphris lifts a chance over
Rowland scores the third
Dan Eason catches safely

The visitors won a couple more corners that were cleared before Harris Rodgers replaced Payne, although he was to last only ten minutes before having to be substituted himself by Craig Thompson due to injury. Beckenham made all three substitutions on 61 minutes, before Harry Brown came on for Mahoney. A double foul by Michak Stanic-Stewart on Rowland earned him a yellow card and Oshilaja joined him in the book, presumably for something said to the officials. N’Guessan headed a Quan cross over the bar and then on 72 minutes the home defence attempted to leave a bouncing ball to Eason, but he could not get there before Bakare, who had the simple task of finding the empty net. The scorer found himself in the book shortly afterwards for a dive and then Beckenham were reduced to ten men when Oshilaja brought down Rowland as he tried to break clear and he was shown a second yellow card. Thompson sent a shot over the bar from 20 yards after a Rowland pass. In the final minutes Quain was booked for a foul and then Thompson, who had appeared to take a blow in the face, committed a foul of his own soon afterwards to complete the notebook entries for the afternoon.

Whitstable now go into the cup semi-final at Sheppey on the back of a win, but it was not the best of games. Having scored a couple of early goals, the game seemed to have an end of season feel to it, but there were a number of unnecessary cards picked up by both teams, which may yet cost them in the games ahead.

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, Connor Hood, Aaron Quain, Tom Bryant, Rob Gillman (c), Ollie Lee, Jack Mahoney (Harry Brown 66), James Morrish, Kane Rowland, Regan Payne (Harris Rodgers 59, Craig Thompson 69), Charlie Smith.
Subs (unused): Calvin Sedenu, Dean Ruddy.
Goals: Kane Rowland 10, 53, Charlie Smith 11.
Yellow cards: Jack Mahoney 32, Tom Bryant 42, Aaron Quain 87, Craig Thompson 90+3.

Beckenham Town
Aiden Prall, Michak Stanic-Stewart, Jack Hope (c), Gassimu Jalloh (Damien Ramsamy 61), Ola Williams, Nathan Ferguson, Chan Quan, Hassan Oshilaja, Hassan Jalloh (Jordan Kokora 61), Jamie Humphris (Lekan Bakare 61), Joe N’Guessan.
Subs (unused): Adam Wadmore, Frankie Warren.
Goal: Lekan Bakare 72
Yellow cards: Jack Hope 42, Michak Stanic-Stewart 67, Hassan Oshilaja 67, 75, Lekan Bakare 73.
Red card: Hassan Oshilaja (two yellows) 75

Attendance: 106
Referee: Kane Dempster
Assistants: Danny Swannell & Matthew Sell

B Team Game Postponed

The away Suburban League B team fixture today against Chessington & Hook has been postponed as their pitch is waterlogged.

There are no such problems in Whitstable, where we host Beckenham Town on a lovely Spring day with a 3 p.m. kick off.

Quiz Night At The Belmont

Whitstable Town Football Club will be holding a quiz night at the Belmont Ground on Saturday 25 March at 7.0 p.m. Teams of up to six people can enter at a cost of £5 per person.

To book a place, please contact Oscar on 07712 477783 or see one of the staff behind the bar in the clubhouse. The closing date for entries in Monday 20 March.