Category: 2017-2018 Club News

Freeman Double In Trophy Win

Kent Reliance Senior Trophy First Round
Saturday October 14 2017 15.00

Whitstable progressed to the last sixteen of the Kent Senior Trophy with a narrow win over Division One opponents FC Elmstead. This was a closer affair than the FA Vase tie five weeks earlier when Whitstable came away from Bromley with a comfortable 5-1 win. The visitors created the best chances in the first half and could well have been in front at the break. They did take the lead when Christian Howell found the net with a cool finish after an attempted clearance by Dan Eason went straight to the Elmstead skipper. Whitstable struggled to get any fluency, but Ricky Freeman got on the end of a Danny Williams cross in stoppage time to send the teams in level at half time. The home side had the better of the second half and well taken goals by Williams and Freeman put them in control. Elmstead goalkeeper Larry McArdle made some great saves, but his team rarely threatened the Whitstable goal until a corner was nodded in by Lekan Bakare to give them a late consolation.

Tom Bryant returned to the Whitstable team following his one match ban and played in a back three alongside Jack West and Rob Gillman, with Louis Sprosen and Josh Burchell starting as wing backs in a changed formation. Club captain Craig Cloke was on the bench due to an injury, as was Chris Saunders who was still recovering from the cut head received in the Chatham game. Shaun Welford is awaiting the results of a scan on his knee and Harris Rodgers has decided to seek regular football elsewhere. Defender Ashley Brown should be fit for the next game. FC Elmstead have changed their manager and several players since the teams met in the FA Vase and came to the Belmont in a good run of recent form.

The visitors started brightly and a couple of long throws from Daniel Carpenter caused a few problems for the Whitstable defence, before the lively Williams won a corner at the other end and a Burchell cross just eluded the waiting Bryant at the far post. Freeman ran on to a ball down the right, but his attempted lob over the advancing goalkeeper was too high. In the 11th minute, a good break by Elmstead saw Jordan Samuel create a great chance for Marcus Black, but his shot lacked power and Eason was able to make the save.

Tom Bryant just fails to reach this cross at the back post
Marcus Black has a great chance, but fails to beat Dan Eason

Gillman and Bryant both had back post headers just wide and then Freeman again tried to lob McArdle without managing to find the net. On 18 minutes, Elmstead took the lead as Eason came out to intercept a low through ball, but decided to try to head it and it went straight to Christian Howell who sent the ball straight into the net from around 25 yards. It was a composed finish by the visiting captain, who played really well throughout the match. A few minutes later he had another shot deflected for a corner that he took himself and found the unmarked head of Joe Hart, but he failed to trouble Eason. Freeman set up Williams with a nice pass, but McArdle was quickly out to prevent him getting a shot at goal.

Larry McArdle denies Danny Williams

On 36 minutes some miscommunication between Eason and Bryant in the home defence allowed Black another great opportunity, but he hooked the ball just wide of the empty net from the edge of the box. A rare moment of hesitation from Gillman was seized upon by Bakare, who took the ball forward only to see his shot deflected behind for a corner. Whitstable were struggling to create much at this stage, but Williams and Freeman combined to find the onrushing Stuart West, but he could only stab the ball at McArdle, who gathered easily. It was Elmstead though who continued to press, only for Whitstable to catch them out on the stroke of half time. A long pass down the left sent Williams clear and he did well to pick out a low cross to Freeman, who cleverly tucked the ball past McArdle from close range to make it 1-1.

Ricky Freeman flicks the ball past McArdle to make it 1-1

The timing of the equaliser seemed to lift the home team and they played much better after the break. Williams headed a Burchell cross just over the bar and Whitstable continued to attack and then took the lead in the 54th minute. A Jack West pass found Williams on the right and he cut into the box, went around Marcus Howell and the goalkeeper and then hit a left footed shot past the remaining defenders into the top corner.

Danny Williams scores
Whitstable lead 2-1

Elmstead had very few goal attempts in the second half, but Christian Howell delivered some dangerous balls into the box from a free kick and a couple of corners that the home defence had to deal with. They brought on Charlie Sharman for Ollie Lacey with half an hour to play. Burchell collected the only booking of the afternoon on 67 minutes for halting a break down the right with a mistimed tackle. He was then replaced by Charlie Smith after a short delay to fix the net. Freeman had a shot blocked and James Morrish won the ball just outside the box but shot wide. Williams got clear again down the left and pulled the ball back for Sprosen who shot over and then a great strike by Smith from 35 yards was saved by McArdle. The third Whitstable goal arrived on 84 minutes after Macauley Murray did well to get into the box on the left and played the ball across to Williams whose pace allowed him to collect it and find Freeman and he hooked it first time into the far corner with an instinctive finish.

Ricky Freeman (out of shot) finds the corner of the net to score his second

Freeman was looking for a hat-trick and had a well struck long shot saved by McArdle. Nick Treadwell, who is heading back to New Zealand shortly, replaced Morrish for the last few minutes. Murray forced a good save from McArdle from a free kick and the goalkeeper then made an even better stop, keeping out a header from the resulting corner as Williams and Treadwell closed in.

The Elmstead goalkeeper keeps another effort out
Fans favourite Nick Treadwell striving to get on the score sheet before departing for New Zealand

As the game entered stoppage time, a quick Elmstead break led to a corner on the right that was helped on and nodded over the line by Bakare for a consolation goal. The final whistle soon followed, so no extra time or penalties were required and Whitstable await the second round draw. It was a good effort by the visitors, particularly in the first half. There is more cup action for Whitstable next week, as they head to Saltdean United for an FA Vase tie.

Whitstable Elmstead
21 Attempts 9
10 On Target 4
10 Corners 5
4 Offside 5
10 Free Kicks Won 12

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, Louis Sprosen, Josh Burchell (Charlie Smith 68), Tom Bryant, Rob Gillman, Jack West, Macauley Murray, James Morrish (c) (Nick Treadwell 86), Ricky Freeman, Stuart West, Danny Williams.
Subs (unused): Craig Cloke, Chris Saunders, Dean Ruddy.
Goals: Ricky Freeman 45+1, 84, Danny Williams 54.
Yellow card: Josh Burchell 67

FC Elmstead
Larry McArdle, Kamal Charles-Reid, Daniel Carpenter, Christian Howell (c), Joe Hart, Marcus Howell, Ben Lockett, Ollie Lacey (Charlie Sharman 60), Marcus Black, Jordan Samuel, Lekan Bakare.
Sub (unused): Rob Curtis
Goals: Christian Howell 18, Lekan Bakare 90+1.

Attendance: 105
Referee: Jack Owen
Assistants: Joanne Park & Daniel Blades

Whitstable Beaten At Home

SCEFL Premier Division
Saturday October 7 2017 15.00

On Non-League Day, in front of a good crowd, Whitstable slumped to a second consecutive defeat after a very disappointing display against a hard working Chatham Town, who went home with a deserved three points. The home side were handicapped by the unfortunate loss of two players to nasty looking injuries during the first half, but in truth created very few chances in a scrappy encounter. Lee Friend scored the only goal in the 58th minute when Whitstable failed to deal with a long free kick into their box. Ryan Nicholls, the Chatham goalkeeper, was rarely troubled despite Whitstable winning a few late corners.

Prior to the kick off there was a game between Whitstable Town Junior Under 9s and Real 60 Lions Under 8s, who are managed by Whitstable assistant manager Brendon Cass. A collection was also held for Prostate Cancer UK, the official charity supported by Non-League Day, which raised the sum of £120.

New signing Macauley Murray started in midfield for Whitstable and other recent additions to the squad, Josh Burchell and Chris Saunders made their home debuts. Tom Bryant was serving a one game ban, whilst in other player news, Ollie Lee has joined Faversham Town and Harry Goodger has finally signed for Wealdstone following an agreement by Whitstable to release him from his contract. Chatham recently appointed former Cray Valley boss James Collins as manager after a poor start to their season and he is starting to rebuild the team with Dajon Golding a new addition from Phoenix Sports.

An early free kick was headed just wide by Danny Williams and then a defensive mix up gifted Whitstable a corner, but the home side were nearly caught out by a quick break when Chatham found themselves two on one and as the ball was passed to Friend, he shot over when he should probably have done better. Ricky Freeman tried his luck with a long shot that was easily saved by Nicholls. Golding broke clear again down the left for Chatham, but could only find the side netting. On 20 minutes a good cross by Freeman was collected by Nicholls, but a couple of players ended up on the ground with Shaun Welford sustaining a knee injury and after a delay he had to be helped off and was substituted by Charlie Smith. The injury will have to be assessed in the next few days and hopefully will not be too serious.

Shaun Welford is injured as the goalkeeper collects a cross

A poor clearance by the Whitstable defence allowance Justin Ascheri a sight of goal, but he shot straight at Dan Eason. Freeman Rogers was booked for bringing down Williams on the left wing, but like a number of dead ball situations, the delivery from the resulting free kick was not accurate enough. In the 27th minute, Saunders was caught on the head as he challenged for the ball in the Chatham penalty area and, after a lengthy delay, had to leave the pitch with a bandaged head. The wound later needed eight stitches at the local medical centre. Louis Sprosen came on to replace him.

Chris Saunders gets a nasty head injury

Ascheri stabbed a half chance just wide and Sprosen then tried a shot that was caught by Nicholls at the other end. Chatham were having the better possession in a half of little goalmouth action and one effort went well over the bar, then Eason saved a long shot from Friend. Deep into stoppage time, Chatham right back Danny Grant, fresh from his recent appearance on the BBC show The Apprentice, was shown a yellow card.

Almost straight from the restart, Williams, who looked the most likely to create something for Whitstable, cut in from the right after a good run and shot just over the bar from the edge of the box. Eason did well to tip a header over the bar and from the resulting corner, a Grant header was comfortable for the goalkeeper. Williams headed a cross at Nicholls after a Whitstable break down the left, then Murray won the ball 20 yards out and curled a shot just over the bar.

Williams was booked for a challenge near the corner flag and then in the 58th minute another Chatham free kick from just inside the Whitstable half was not properly cleared by Eason and his defence and the ball came out to Friend and he thumped it into the net off the underside of the bar.

A Chatham free kick causes problems for the Whitstable defence
Lee Friend pounces to score the only goal

Reece Butler was the second Chatham player to go into the book on 62 minutes, before Smith won a corner for Whitstable that went over the heads of those waiting in the box. Murray tried a shot from distance that Nicholls saved easily. Burchell was booked for a late challenge on Chatham substitute Billy Brown as he sped down the right. Harris Rodgers came on for Freeman in the last change for the home side and Ryan Flack replaced the Chatham goal scorer. On 82 minutes Williams hit a good shot just past the post from outside the box, with Nicholls scrambling to get across his goal. Billy Brown made a few good runs for Chatham as the time ticked away and Eason had to make a couple of routine saves from Grant Brown and Rogers. Whitstable won three late corners, but failed to test Nicholls as Chatham held on for the win.

Dan Eason gathers this header
Late pressure is not enough to rescue a pont

There is a long way to go, but Whitstable are in danger of being left behind in the title race if they continue to play in this way. The squad may look as good as any in the league on paper, but on the pitch improvement is needed. There is now a break from league action with cup games on the next two Saturdays.

Whitstable Chatham
12 Attempts 13
4 On Target 7
7 Corners 3
3 Offside 0
15 Free Kicks Won 18

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, Stuart West, Josh Burchell, Rob Gillman, Craig Cloke (c), Chris Saunders (Louis Sprosen 32), Macauley Murray, James Morrish, Ricky Freeman (Harris Rodgers 81), Shaun Welford (Charlie Smith 22), Danny Williams.
Subs (unused): Jack West, Nick Treadwell.
Yellow cards: Danny Williams 56, Josh Burchell 72.

Chatham Town
Ryan Nicholls, Danny Grant, Danny Smith, Josh Bray, Freeman Rogers, Reece Butler, Justin Ascheri (c) (Billy Brown 64), Grant Brown, Lee Friend (Ryan Flack 82), Michael Habte (Josh Gibson 69), Dajon Golding.
Subs (unused): Joe Smith, Billy Nourse.
Goal: Lee Friend 58
Yellow cards: Freeman Rogers 25, Danny Grant 45+6, Reece Butler 62.

Attendance: 204
Referee: Notis Liappis
Assistants: Nick Derrane & Jack Mottram

FA Vase Match At Saltdean

Whitstable will be running a coach to the Buildbase FA Vase fixture at Saltdean United on Saturday 21st October. It will be leaving the Belmont Ground Car Park at 10 a.m. There will be some seats available for supporters at a cost of £10. If you would like to travel with the team on the coach, please get in touch with one of the committee members or email

Non-League Day 7 October 2017

Saturday 7th October has been designated as Non-League Day 2017. The concept originated in 2010 and is now a regular feature of the football calendar. It is always scheduled during an international break and provides an opportunity for clubs across the country to promote local football. It is supported by Premier and Football League clubs, as well as the media, celebrities and charities. The official charity supported by Non-League Day is Prostate Cancer UK.

Whitstable Town are playing Chatham Town in a Southern Counties East League fixture at the Belmont Ground on this date and prior to the match there will be a special game between Real 60 Lions Under 8s and Whitstable Town Junior FC Under 9s. The Real 60 Lions team is based in Medway and they are managed by the Whitstable Town coach and assistant manager Brendon Cass. The kick off time will be 1.15 p.m.

There will be a collection on behalf of the charity during the afternoon. Admission for those accompanying the youth team players will be free, but a charity donation would be appreciated.

The Real 60 Lions

Macauley Murray Signs For Whitstable

Whitstable Town have this week signed midfielder Macauley Murray from Faversham Town. He made ten appearances for Whitstable during the 2013-14 season in the Ryman League and has also played for Ramsgate and Canterbury City. We welcome him back to the club.

First Win For Academy Team

The newly formed Whitstable Town Academy team got their first win on Wednesday after two narrow defeats against teams from Harlow Town and Millwall. Their opponents were the West Ham United Foundation Learning Academy based at Woodlands School in Basildon. After a goalless first half, they went behind to a goal from a corner just after the break, but they played some good football and fought back to win 2-1 with Owen Fitt scoring both goals.

The winning goal

Their next home game is scheduled for Wednesday 1st November at 12 p.m. Another West Ham Academy team, this time based in Canvey Island will be the visitors. Please come along to support the team if you are able to get to the Belmont.

There is a still a short time left to join the academy for this season, if anyone else is interested in combining their football with an educational qualification. The details can be found on the Academy page of the club website.

Some of the Whitstable Town Academy squad before the game