Category: 2017-2018 Club News

Freeman Goal Secures Three Points

TUNBRIDGE WELLS 0 WHITSTABLE TOWN 1
SCEFL Premier Division
Saturday November 18 2017 15.00

A late Ricky Freeman goal was enough to give Whitstable their second away win of the week on a damp, miserable afternoon in Tunbridge Wells. The visitors lost defender Rob Gillman to injury in the first few minutes when he slipped on the wet pitch, but were the better team for the first half hour and created a few chances, the closest being a header that struck the woodwork. Tunbridge Wells lost their goalkeeper, Michal Czanner, to injury on 34 minutes, with outfield player Tom Davey taking over the jersey. The remainder of the match was a fairly even affair, played mostly in midfield with neither goalkeeper having much to do. Injured Whitstable striker Danny Williams also had to be replaced at halftime and it was his replacement, Freeman, who got on the end of a header across goal by another substitute Shaun Welford to make the breakthrough. Welford, returning from a knee injury, appeared to still be feeling it, but remained on the pitch. Freeman also struck the post late on from a narrow angle. The home side had some late possession, winning a few corners, but Dan Eason did not have to make a save as Whitstable held on for the win.

The Whitstable manager kept faith with the starting eleven that had played well to win at Chatham during the week, although the experienced quartet of Craig Cloke, Shaun Welford, Ricky Freeman and Dean Ruddy all returned to the squad and started on the bench. Tunbridge Wells are not having the best of seasons, but the Culverden Stadium is never an easy place to get a result and the grim weather on this afternoon made it a cold, wet, gloomy place with a different playing surface to those encountered so far in this campaign.

Whitstable were temporarily reduced to ten men when Gillman had to leave the field with an ankle injury in the 2nd minute. A good ball from Macauley Murray released Williams who got in front of defender Perry Spackman before going down when challenged on the right edge of the penalty area. The referee waved play on and strike partner Charlie Smith almost got a clear sight of goal, but the danger was cleared by Czanner. Cloke then came on to replace Gillman, who was unable to return and is likely to be out for a couple of weeks. Josh Burchell and Murray both sent dangerous crosses into the box as Whitstable pressed forward. Chris Saunders, who had a good game in midfield, was clipped just outside the box, but Murray curled the resultant free kick wide of the post. Tom Bryant played a ball forward down the left and Williams outpaced John Shea before being denied by the diving Czanner at the near post.

Michal Czanner saves from Danny Williams, before having to go off injured

On 20 minutes, Jon Pilbeam had the first real attempt for the home side, when he turned past his marker and tried a shot from just outside the box, but as he was challenged the ball took a deflection and went out for a throw in on the far side. A couple of free kicks and a corner soon followed as Tunbridge Wells gradually got into the game, but they failed to test the Whitstable goalkeeper. Back at the other end, good play between Smith and Saunders resulted in the latter winning a free kick out on the right touchline, which was curled in by Burchell and a Stuart West header from 6 yards came back off the far post.

Stuart West hits the upright with a header

Smith broke into the box from the right and his shot was parried by Czanner, who was injured in a collision involving Shea and Saunders as the Whitstable player tried to follow in. The home goalkeeper did manage to carry on briefly and Williams had another effort blocked, but after some delay he had to leave the field, with Rhys Bartlett coming on and Davey taking over in goal. Tunbridge Wells then had a period on the attack as Bryant almost chested the ball past his own goalkeeper and then Pilbeam glanced a header wide from a Stephen Ita cross. In the 5 added minutes, a ball into the box by Smith struck the arm of a defender, but the penalty appeals were turned down and then Smith hit a free kick into the wall after James Morrish had been flattened 20 yards out. The visitors might feel that they should have been in front, but the half ended goalless.

The referee tries to brighten up a dull game

Williams had a tight hamstring and did not return for the second half, which saw little entertaining football as the weather deteriorated further. Substitute Freeman made a couple of runs, winning a free kick and then shooting wide, but he was also booked for a challenge on the stand in goalkeeper. Smith joined him in the book for a foul on Shea. Ita saw his free kick from 25 yards deflected off the wall for a corner, before Jack Harris was replaced by Joe Nwoko. Whitstable brought on Welford, who had been out for six weeks with knee ligament damage, in an attempt to find a breakthrough. A Burchell free kick was headed back across goal by Bryant and West was just unable to apply the finish at the far post. On 79 minutes though, Whitstable got the decisive goal when West came forward on the right and sent over a deep cross that was met by the head of Welford and as the ball came back across goal, Freeman found the net with a diving header.

Stuart West is inches away from connecting at the far post
Shaun Welford heads across goal
Ricky Freeman dives in
The replacement goalkeeper, Tom Davey, is beaten

Shortly afterwards Welford pulled up, appearing to be feeling his knee injury once more, to the amusement of a few unsympathetic home supporters, but he was able to continue until the end of the game. Tunbridge Wells were now having a good deal of possession in midfield and won a couple of corners, but Dan Eason was well protected by his defence. Burchell became the third player to be cautioned for one foul too many and two more late corners saw the ball going across the Whitstable goalmouth several times, but there was just one shot that was blocked by a defender in front of Eason at the near post. After the home side had made their final substitution on 90 minutes, Freeman chased a ball into the right corner, went around the goalkeeper who had come to meet him and rolled in a shot from a very narrow angle that hit the outside of the post. The final whistle sounded with no further alarms and Whitstable had secured a valuable three points. They had created the better chances in a generally poor game, but for long periods of the second half it was hard to see where a goal was coming from.

The Whitstable defence ensured Dan Eason had an easy afternoon
Charlie Smith on his 150th Whitstable appearance

The next game for Whitstable is at home to league newcomers Rusthall on Tuesday evening and checks will need to be made on the fitness of several players.

Tunbridge Wells Whitstable
5 Attempts 10
1 On Target 4
7 Corners 3
1 Offside 5
14 Free Kicks Won 18

Tunbridge Wells
Michal Czanner (Rhys Bartlett 34), Keiron Tarbie, Alfie Hall, Tom Davey, Perry Spackman (c), John Shea, Alex Kendal (Josh Biddlecombe 90), Steven Ita, Jon Pilbeam, Jack Harris (Joe Nwoko 71), Tom Lawrence.
Subs (unused): Maxim Carbune, Jake Hampson.

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, John Walker, Josh Burchell, Rob Gillman (Craig Cloke 8), Stuart West, Tom Bryant, Chris Saunders, James Morrish (c), Danny Williams (Ricky Freeman 46), Charlie Smith (Shaun Welford 77), Macauley Murray.
Subs (unused): Jack West, Dean Ruddy.
Goal: Ricky Freeman 79
Yellow cards: Ricky Freeman 54, Charlie Smith 68, Josh Burchell 87.

Attendance: 171
Referee: Joe Kasper
Assistants: Steve Roots & Stephen Luke

A Century For Goalkeeper Dan

Whitstable Town goalkeeper Dan Eason made his 100th appearance for the club in the win at Chatham on Tuesday evening.

James Morrish reached the same milestone earlier this season and has now made 108 appearances. Leading the way amongst the current squad however is Charlie Smith, who has featured in 149 matches for Whitstable, so he could achieve the 150 mark in the game at Tunbridge Wells.

Congratulations go to each of them from everyone at the club. Career records for all of the 2017-18 players can now be found on the Whitstable Town website.
Player Career Records

Smith Double In Good Away Win

CHATHAM TOWN 1 WHITSTABLE TOWN 3
SCEFL Premier Division
Tuesday November 14 2017 19.45

Whitstable put in one of their best performances of the season to return from Chatham with a fully deserved three points. It was in stark contrast to the very poor display when their opponents won 1-0 at the Belmont in the reverse fixture just over five weeks ago. The team worked hard from the start in a disciplined display, restricting Chatham to very few opportunities and notably, not even conceding a free kick for the first 25 minutes. Dan Eason had to make one good save from Justin Ascheri, after Charlie Smith had headed Whitstable in front on 19 minutes, getting on the end of a great cross. The home side did equalise early in the second half, when Danny Smith whipped a ball in from the left that appeared to be deflected past Eason, but Stuart West headed Whitstable back in front from a free kick almost immediately. Danny Williams set up Smith, who finished well into the far corner, to make the game safe towards the end.

Stuart West returned after suspension to the Whitstable defence alongside Rob Gillman and Tom Bryant, replacing Ashley Brown who has now left the club, with everyone’s best wishes, to join the armed forces. Recent signing John Walker started his first game and Chris Saunders, who was cup tied in the FA Vase, returned to the midfield in place of dual registration signing Tijan Jadama, who was in the Ramsgate team for the evening. Chatham have improved their squad since they appointed former Cray Valley manager James Collins, but are still in the bottom three and in need of some points to climb the table.

Smith had an early shot for Whitstable deflected over for a corner, before Chatham won three corners of their own in quick succession – they were in fact their only corners of the match. Smith caused problems for the home defence throughout and had a couple of efforts blocked before Whitstable took the lead with a very well worked goal. Walker was up supporting the attack and played a clever flick out to James Morrish on the right and he delivered the perfect cross for Smith, who was first to the ball and thumped his header down into the right hand corner of the net.

Charlie Smith heads the ball towards goal
Whitstable open the scoring

Both Whitstable wing backs had good games and Josh Burchell sent over a good ball that was just tipped away by Ryan Nicholls. Williams was then pulled down on the edge of the box, but Murray was unable to find the target from the free kick. Whitstable had successfully prevented their opponents getting any meaningful possession, but Eason had to come to their rescue on 29 minutes when a long ball from Billy Brown reached Ascheri on the right and he broke into the penalty area and struck a good low shot that was just kept out by the advancing goalkeeper. Shortly afterwards Danny Grant made a dangerous run forward, but was eventually crowded out.

Williams had a shot blocked at the other end and then a free kick was helped on by Smith to Williams and he hooked a left footed shot over the bar from close range when it might have been easier to have tried a header. The hard working Williams then just failed to connect with another good ball across the goal area. Chatham had a couple of sights of goal as half time approached. Grant, one of their better players on the night, got himself into a good position before testing Eason with a low strike from well outside the box and Taylor McDonagh also tried his luck from distance, but he sent the ball wide of the far post.

Danny Williams lifts this chance over the bar
Dan Eason saves from Danny Grant

Trailing by the one goal when it might have been more, the Chatham manager made two substitutions at half time, reorganising and bringing on Grant Brown and Michael Hagan for Freeman Rogers and Justin Ascheri. A bit of early head tennis in the Chatham box failed to create an opening, but then Saunders was very unlucky to be shown a yellow card by the otherwise excellent referee. On 54 minutes though Chatham were level when Danny Smith collected a pass from Russell Bedford out on the left and did well to send over a dangerous cross from a narrow angle. The ball somehow ended up in the net and although it looked as though someone might have got a touch, the goal was credited to Smith. If Whitstable were stunned by that setback, they need not have worried as they were back in front within a couple of minutes. Macauley Murray took a free kick out on the left and Stuart West rose to send a firm header into the roof of the net from around 8 yards.

Stuart West (far left) heads the second

There was a lengthy delay on 65 minutes when Eason went down as he was challenged by Jesse Darko and stayed on the ground for a few minutes. He was eventually able to continue, so academy goalkeeper Ryan Birch was not called into action. Whitstable spent the next few minutes on the attack, but were unable to test Nicholls. Saunders made a poor challenge on Jamie Miller that might have brought him a second yellow card, although the referee instead spoke to the player and his captain and he was then substituted, with Louis Sprosen coming on to replace him. Whitstable scored a third on 82 minutes to virtually wrap up the points. Williams robbed a hesitant Laurence Collins inside his own half and broke down the right before playing the ball to Smith at the near post and he kept his composure to turn and find the bottom corner just inside the far post from a tight angle.

Charlie Smith makes it 3-1

Both captains were then substituted as Chatham replaced Bedford with Michael Habte and Jack West came on for Morrish. Sprosen fed Williams who ran at the home defence before seeing his shot caught by Nicholls. Chatham won a late free kick when Jack West was booked for bringing down Billy Brown outside the box, but Eason comfortably saved the effort by Grant Brown. With seven minutes of added time, there was a chance of a debut for Rhys Brain who took the place of Williams for the final moments, but there was no further goalmouth action and Whitstable ran out 3-1 winners.

Dan Eason catches a late free kick by Grant Brown
Whitstable win away

Next up is a Saturday trip to Tunbridge Wells, followed by a visit to the Belmont by league newcomers Rusthall three days later.

Chatham Whitstable
7 Attempts 9
4 On Target 5
3 Corners 5
4 Offside 2
10 Free Kicks Won 12

Chatham Town
Ryan Nicholls, Danny Grant, Danny Smith, Russell Bedford (c) (Michael Habte 83), Freeman Rogers (Grant Brown 46), Laurence Collins, Jamie Miller, Taylor McDonagh, Jesse Darko, Billy Brown, Justin Ascheri (Michael Hagan 46).
Subs (unused): Josh Bray, Kyron Lightfoot.
Goals: Danny Smith 54

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, John Walker, Josh Burchell, Rob Gillman, Stuart West, Tom Bryant, Chris Saunders (Louis Sprosen 77), James Morrish (c) (Jack West 83), Danny Williams (Rhys Brain 90+4), Charlie Smith, Macauley Murray.
Subs (unused): Brendon Cass, Ryan Birch.
Goals: Charlie Smith 19, 82, Stuart West 56.
Yellow cards: Chris Saunders 49, Jack West 90+2.

Attendance: 146
Referee: Jordan Whitworth
Assistants: Matthew Sell & Harry Graham

FA Vase Third Round Draw

The draw for the Third Round of the Buildbase FA Vase has now been published. Whitstable Town will be at home to Chichester City or Deal Town. Their Second Round tie was postponed on Saturday and will now take place tomorrow evening. Chichester knocked Whitstable out of the competition last season in a replay on the south coast and are currently in 3rd place in the Southern Combination Football League Premier Division. Deal Town are obviously familiar opponents to all at Whitstable.

The game will take place on Saturday 2nd December. This also means that our scheduled home league fixture against AFC Croydon Athletic has been moved from that date and will now be played at the Belmont on Tuesday 12th December with a 7.45 p.m. kick off.

Ties involving SCEFL teams are:
Lordswood v Bracknell Town
Beckenham Town v Eastbourne Town
Crowborough Athletic v Westfield
Whitstable Town v Chichester City or Deal Town
ThatchamTown v Haywards Heath Town or Sevenoaks Town

Bryant Heads Town Into Last 64

WHITSTABLE TOWN 3 EPSOM AND EWELL 2 (After Extra Time – Score After 90 Minutes 2-2)
Buildbase FA Vase Second Round
Saturday November 11 2017 15.00

Whitstable made it safely through to the FA Vase third round, but were made to work hard by their Combined Counties League opponents Epsom and Ewell. The home side were generally on top and had the majority of the chances, but were unable to secure the win in normal time, as the visitors defended well and always carried enough threat on the break to cause some concern. It was Epsom and Ewell that took the lead, when Liam Roberts was brought down in the box by Rob Gillman and then followed up to score after Dan Eason had initially saved his penalty kick. Josh Burchell equalised, turning in a shot across goal by Charlie Smith. Whitstable had much the better of the second half, pushing the visitors back for long periods, but they only had a neat finish by Tijan Jadama to show for their efforts and they were made to pay towards the end when Ben Dyson fired home from a corner to send the tie into extra time. It was the third consecutive FA Vase tie that Whitstable have had to play an additional half an hour, but once again they found a winner, with Tom Bryant heading a Macauley Murray cross past Conor Young to book a place in the draw on Monday.

Two Whitstable Town academy players, Ryan Birch and Rhys Brain, were added to the first team squad during the week and both were named on the bench for this fixture. Stuart West and Ricky Freeman were still unavailable due to suspension and captain Craig Cloke joined Shaun Welford on the injury list. Epsom and Ewell, who were making their first visit to the Belmont since 1954, have suffered all season from player unavailability and are yet to win a league match, although they did enjoy a big win at Rusthall in the previous round of the FA Vase.

The home side had marginally the better of the early stages, but neither goalkeeper was seriously tested until Epsom and Ewell took the lead in the 14th minute. Roberts found himself one on one with Gillman and got into the box before going down as the Whitstable defender made a challenge. The referee decided that he had seen enough to award a penalty and Roberts picked himself up to take the spot kick. He struck a very tame shot straight at Eason, but the goalkeeper could only push the ball back into his path and he just managed to get enough on the ball to roll it into the net. Roberts almost got in again a minute later, but this time Eason was able to collect the ball at his feet before he could shoot.

Liam Roberts tucks away the rebound after Dan Eason had saved his penalty

Whitstable seemed stunned by events for a time, but gradually improved their attacking threat and a good pass by Bryant released Danny Williams, who raced into the box before being denied by the goalkeeper Young. Gillman rose to meet the resulting corner, but his header was just wide. The equaliser came on 22 minutes when Louis Sprosen played the ball in to Smith, who showed good strength to turn and shoot across goal, where Burchell was in the right position to guide the ball into the net from close range.

Josh Burchell guides the ball from Charlie Smith into the net

Smith headed a Burchell free kick wide of the far post and he then held the ball up well in the box before laying it back into the path of Sprosen who shot wide from 20 yards. Williams won an aerial challenge in midfield and ran on to the ball himself before being stopped by Young, who pushed the ball out for a corner that was only cleared to the edge of the box to the waiting Burchell and his shot was blocked by Alex McKay. Smith shot into the side netting after the referee played the advantage following a foul on Williams. The visitors had a brief spell on the front foot when a Dale Marvell free kick from 30 yards struck the Whitstable wall, before Sean White had a shot deflected over the bar and George Murphy had a header easily caught by Eason. Bryant was booked when he won a header but was adjudged to have unfairly caught Dan Rose in the face at the same time and Kane Grandison also saw yellow for bringing down Sprosen as he tried to break forward. The score remained 1-1 at the interval.

Whitstable came out for the second half looking determined to push forward more effectively and Burchell had two early shots just off target. Smith went past a couple of opponents before being fouled 25 yards out and Murray struck the wall from the free kick. After another spell of pressure, Murray chipped the ball into the box where Smith headed wide and then Williams was flattened by Marvell who was duly booked by the increasingly busy referee. Whitstable were in front on 56 minutes when Smith did well on the left and played the ball into the box where it was neatly guided into the far corner by Jadama.

TJ Jadama had a good game in midfield
TJ Jadama (out of shot) puts Whitstable 2-1 ahead

It was pretty much one way traffic for the next 25 minutes, but Whitstable could not find a way through to give themselves a cushion and despite being on top, they failed to get any attempts on target in this period. Bryant headed over before Sprosen was booked for a foul and subsequently replaced by John Walker, whose first touch was a header just off target from a long free kick. Three yellow cards in a couple of minutes followed, Roberts and Rose committing fouls for the Surrey side and Williams also booked for dissent. Joe Jasper replaced Rose for the last few minutes, as Epsom and Ewell looked for a way back into the game. They got their opportunity on 83 minutes, when a harmless looking long ball forward was headed behind for a corner. The ball was played to the near post where the unmarked Dyson fired the ball first time into the roof of the net. Whitstable won a couple of late corners and had three more efforts on goal, all off target, before the whistle sounded with the teams locked at 2-2.

Danny Williams on the attack

Epsom and Ewell apparently only had twelve fit players, so had limited options during extra time. Smith had an effort deflected into the hands of Young before Burchell was replaced by Jack West, whose first action was to head a deep cross from the right just past the post. Young kept out another Smith header and then did well to push a 25 yard shot by Murray over the bar, but the teams could still not be separated as they changed ends for the last time.

The pressure finally told with 108 minutes played. A good cross shot by Smith was touched behind for a corner by Young. Murray sent the ball in and it came back out to the left, but this time the cross was met by Bryant who directed a header beyond the reach of Young and into the net.

Conor Young is beaten and Whitstable lead 3-2
The scorer leads the celebrations.

Young kept out another header, before Smith found himself in a great position in the box and looked certain to score, but the ball was somehow deflected over the bar for a corner. The ball was forced into the net as Young was challenged under the bar, but the effort was ruled out for a foul. Bryant and Smith were both denied from close range headers. There was always the feeling that the visitors would create one more chance to force a replay and with time running out a deep Lloyd Connelly free kick was helped on by McKay to Dyson who dragged his shot well wide of the far post. Whitstable tried to run down the clock in the corner, although in added time a good long run by Dyson briefly threatened before Eason had to get down to make one final save.

Charlie Smith sees his header kept out
Charlie Smith is Man of the Match on his 148th appearance

Whitstable progress to third round and await the draw on Monday. It was an entertaining cup tie, but they will know that they will need to be more clinical in front of goal if they are to progress much further in the competition.

Whitstable Epsom & Ewell
30 Attempts 8
12 On Target 5
11 Corners 3
2 Offside 6
19 Free Kicks Won 17

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, Louis Sprosen (John Walker 74), Josh Burchell (Jack West 96), Rob Gillman, Ashley Brown, Tom Bryant, Tijan Jadama, James Morrish (c), Danny Williams, Charlie Smith, Macauley Murray.
Subs (unused): Rhys Brain, Brendon Cass, Ryan Birch.
Goals: Josh Burchell 22, Tijan Jadama 56, Tom Bryant 108.
Yellow cards: Tom Bryant 39, Louis Sprosen 65, Danny Williams 78.

Epsom and Ewell
Conor Young, Ben Dyson, Liam Roberts, Alex McKay (c), George Murphy, Dale Marvell, Dan Rose (Joe Jasper 80), Kane Grandison, Sean White, Lloyd Connelly, Ashley Thompson.
Subs (unused): Scott Murphy, Jamie Hatfield, Joe Loftus-Cheek, Ben Franklin.
Goals: Liam Roberts 14, Ben Dyson 83.
Yellow cards: Kane Grandison 42, Dale Marvell 52, Liam Roberts 77, Dan Rose 79.

Attendance: 186
Referee: Valentine Anekwe
Assistants: David Hooker & De Quincey Bailey

Academy Now At Home Today

Please note that due to problems with the venue at Barking, the academy fixture scheduled for today has been switched to the Belmont Ground and kick off will be at 1 p.m. Admission to the game is free for anyone who would like to come and support the team.