Category: 2017-2018 Club News

Late Morrish Goal Beats Crows

WHITSTABLE TOWN 1 CROWBOROUGH ATHLETIC 0
SCEFL Premier Division
Saturday December 23 2017 15.00

Whitstable provided some Christmas cheer for their supporters with a good performance in this important league fixture against second placed Crowborough Athletic. The visitors never really got going as a hard working Whitstable team looked sharper and more determined throughout. In the first half, Danny Williams and Chris Saunders were denied by goalkeeper James Shaw, who also dealt well with several good crosses into the box. Crowborough were unfortunate to lose two players to head injuries, but rarely threatened and Dan Eason really had only one save to make just after the break. Shaw made another good double block, before James Morrish eventually got the goal that Whitstable deserved in the 84th minute, with a good finish from the edge of the box when the ball fell nicely into his path after Crowborough had failed to clear. The referee did not endear himself to either team with some of his decisions and the Crowborough manager was dismissed towards the end of the game.

Following the defeat against a useful Cray Valley team in the previous game, this was an important fixture for Whitstable against a team they failed to take any points from last season. They were still without injured striker Shaun Welford and Stuart West was serving a one game ban, but Williams returned. Crowborough were missing a couple of regular starters up front, with Zac Attwood and Ross Treleaven not in the squad.

The opening period was relatively quiet with both teams having a couple of attempts that failed to test the goalkeepers and it soon became apparent that the referee was not going to stop play unless absolutely necessary, with a couple of seemingly obvious fouls being ignored, to the displeasure of the home supporters initially. A miscued back pass put the Crowborough keeper Shaw in a spot of bother as he had to deal with a succession of challenges whilst trying to get the gather the ball in the air, until he was awarded a free kick. Morrish became the first name in the notebook on 17 minutes for a midfield challenge on Jack Walder, before Crowborough thought they had won a corner as the ball was headed behind by the home defence, only for a goal kick to be given. The game was then halted when Sam Carrington picked up a head injury following an aerial challenge and it was several minutes before the game was restarted with a dropped ball. The Crowborough player was however unable to return and was replaced by Lewis Unwin. The first attempt on goal came in the 31st minute, when Williams headed a John Walker cross at Shaw and just afterwards a good turn and shot by Charlie Smith saw the ball rebound to Williams, but Shaw was able to save his shot.

Tom Bryant gets his head to an early corner
Danny Williams challenges James Shaw
Shaw blocks a shot by Williams

Walker and Smith combined to win a corner on the right and the delivery by Josh Burchell was punched out by Shaw and as the ball was played back into the box, Saunders helped it towards goal where it was headed out for another corner. Walker sent over a couple of testing crosses, with one going just over the bar and the other had to be tipped over by Shaw.

The Crowborough keeper gets a touch to a John Walker cross

As the interval approached, home skipper Craig Cloke was booked for dissent and then Crowborough defender Jack Turner was injured in a challenge with Smith. It was also a head injury and resulted in him being unable to return for the second half. The teams went into the break with the score still goalless, although Whitstable had created the better of the limited chances.

Connor Pring came on at the restart in place of Turner and it was the visitors who began on the attack. Tom Pearson had a low shot turned around the near post by Eason to earn Crowborough their first corner. Walder sent a shot wide before Jason Barton went down with another head injury, although he was able to continue after treatment, and then Tom Phipp shot wide whist the home team appealed in vain for a handball. At the other end a Macauley Murray corner was partially cleared to the edge of the box and as the ball was fired back towards the goal, Shaw made a good block down by the post and then recovered quickly to save as several home players looked to follow up.

The goalkeeper denies Whitstable again

On 59 minutes a good break by Williams created a chance for Saunders, but his shot was deflected for a corner that was headed over at the back post by Tom Bryant. Phipp tried another shot for Crowborough, but it was Whitstable who looked the more likely to find a way through. Walker did well to retrieve a deep cross by Smith and send the ball dangerously back across goal, but there was nobody there to apply the finish. After Phipp had struck a Crowborough free kick over the bar from distance, Murray found Smith from a Whitstable free kick, but he was unable to hit the target. Walker then swung over a great cross from the right that just eluded everyone once again. A Smith tackle was adjudged worthy of a yellow card on 75 minutes and there were a few shouts for a handball as another Murray corner was curled into the box.

Williams tries a diving header

Both teams made a change in the 83rd minute, with Ricky Freeman coming on for Whitstable in place of Williams and recent signing Dion Macfoy-Johnston replacing a limping Pearson for Crowborough. The decisive moment arrived in the next minute, when Crowborough played the ball riskily across the field from the right and it was picked up by Morrish, who took it forward before beating Shaw with a good finish into the bottom right hand corner to the delight of the increasingly vocal home support.

James Morrish strikes the winning goal
Celebrations

Crowborough substitute Macfoy-Johnston was soon in the book for a foul on Burchell and his manager was then sent off by the referee. A good turn and shot by Freeman was saved by Shaw and then in added time Freeman looked to have broken clear, only to be brought down by James White, but play was allowed to continue and the final whistle followed soon afterwards.

Ricky Freeman is stopped by James White

Whitstable were the better team on the day and the result keeps them in touch at the top of the table, but Crowborough have a squad that will certainly be challenging for a top two finish until the end of the season. The next Whitstable game is another tough one, away at Sheppey United on Saturday. In the meantime Whitstable Town Football Club wishes all the players, management and supporters a Happy Christmas.

Whitstable Crowborough
14 Attempts 8
8 On Target 2
7 Corners 2
1 Offside 3
6 Free Kicks Won 15

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, John Walker, Josh Burchell, Rob Gillman, Craig Cloke (c), Tom Bryant, Chris Saunders, James Morrish, Danny Williams (Ricky Freeman 83), Charlie Smith, Macauley Murray.
Subs (unused): Teddy Nelson, Louis Sprosen, Owen Fitt, Ryan Birch.
Goal: James Morrish 84
Yellow cards: James Morrish 17, Craig Cloke 41, Charlie Smith 75.

Crowborough Athletic
James Shaw, Dan Tear, Jason Barton, James White, Jack Turner (Connor Pring 46), Jack Wilder, Henry Muggeridge (c), Tom Phipp, Sam Carrington (Lewis Unwin 28), Tom Pearson (Dion Macfoy-Johnston 83), Sam Crabb.
Subs (unused): Tom Boddy, Marcus Goldsmith.
Yellow card: Dion Macfoy-Johnston 85

Attendance: 159
Referee: Paul Greenfield
Assistants: Rob Columb & Kieran Cox

Club Party After Crowborough Match

Whitstable play their final home game of 2017 today, when second placed Crowborough Athletic visit the Belmont for the first meeting of the two teams this season. Whitstable are currently five points behind their opponents, but with a game in hand.

After the match, there will be a Christmas party in the clubhouse for the players, management, committee and supporters. A free buffet will be provided, so please stay for a while if you are able.

The draw for the Christmas raffle will also be made during the evening. Tickets are still on sale at the ground for £1 and there are some good prizes to be won, including £250, a luxury Christmas hamper, a case of assorted wines and a nice fruit basket, together with a number of other items. The club would like to thank everyone that has donated prizes to help make this draw a success.

Second Half Goals Down Town

WHITSTABLE TOWN 1 CRAY VALLEY PM 2
SCEFL Premier Division
Saturday December 16 2017 15.00

Cray Valley continued their recent good form and left the Belmont with all three points after coming from behind in a hard fought encounter. Whitstable started slowly and were second best for the majority of the first half, but went in front just before the interval when the Cray Valley defence failed to deal with a ball into their box and Stuart West was on hand to score. The second half was a much more even affair, although chances were limited despite both teams having good spells of possession. Much travelled striker Kevin Lisbie equalised with a good near post finish and Joe N’Guessan added a second after Lisbie had made a run from midfield. West shot wide when well placed and Whitstable had a couple of good penalty shouts turned down, but failed to really test visiting goalkeeper Andy Walker, as Cray Valley held on for the win.

Whitstable boss Scott Porter, who was due to collect the SCEFL November Manager of the Month award, was unwell and not able to be at the match, so Brendon Cass took over the role for the afternoon. Josh Burchell and Ricky Freeman returned from suspension, but Danny Williams was serving his one game ban. Cray Valley had a poor run earlier in the season after parting company with their previous manager, but Kevin Watson has now assembled a side containing some experienced players and the results have improved greatly. Recent additions include Lisbie, who scored a Premier League hat trick for Charlton in a 3-2 win against Liverpool in 2003 and fellow striker N’Guessan has featured for a number of clubs including Stevenage, Aldershot and Maidstone. Jamie Day can list amongst his former clubs, Bournemouth, Dover and Welling, where he also had a successful spell as player manager, whilst goalkeeper Andy Walker’s previous teams include Colchester, Exeter, Tonbridge, Maidstone and Cray Wanderers.

The visitors started brightly, winning an early corner before Ben Francis shot tamely at Dan Eason. It was 5 minutes before Whitstable had a sight of goal, when West almost got on the end of a cross following a build-up down the right. On 13 minutes, Lisbie had a shot deflected for a corner and then thought he was through on goal just afterwards, only to be denied by an offside flag. Whitstable won a couple of corners, but in between Francis broke away for Cray Valley and his pull back was fired over the bar by Connor Dobson.

Kevin Lisbie challenges Rob Gillman in an early Cray Valley attack

Whitstable had to make a change after 27 minutes, with John Walker replacing Burchell. Cray continued to press and a Ryan Flack cross picked out Francis, whose low shot was easily gathered by Eason. Freeman shot well wide from distance in the 30th minute and that was the first goal attempt by the home side. Francis and Day set up N’Guessan, but he skied his shot from 12 yards. West collected the only yellow card of the game for protesting too much about some of the officiating, prior to being chopped down himself on the right touchline, but the free kick failed to trouble the Cray Valley defence. Flack set off on a long run that took him into the penalty area, where he made room for a shot that was turned past the post for a corner by Eason and Josh James headed a left wing cross over the top. Just as the first half was drawing to a close, Louis Sprosen sent the ball in from the right and it was played back across goal at the far post by Walker. Dobson and his fellow defenders failed to clear and the ball dropped nicely for West to fire past Walker to give Whitstable a somewhat unexpected lead at the break.

John Walker sends the ball across he goal
Stuart West pounces to put Whitstable ahead

West nearly got into a shooting position from the restart, before Sprosen needed treatment after a challenge by Matt Parsons. Freeman nipped in front of Walker, who appeared to bring him down just inside the box, but the referee waved away appeals for a penalty. On 55 minutes Cray Valley were level when Francis did well on the left and crossed low to the near post, where Lisbie reacted the quickest to slam the ball into the roof of the net.

Walker sent over a cross that almost found the top corner and then a great pass by Sprosen sent West clear, but his shot was off target as Walker came out to narrow the angle. The game was now quite open and Eason did well to parry a shot by N’Guessan, with Francis having his follow up attempt blocked. N’Guessan tried another shot from long range that went over the bar and a Macauley Murray free kick failed to trouble Walker. In the 66th minute, the home side felt they should have had another penalty for a handball, but a goal kick was awarded after the ball was deflected behind.

Whitstable look for a handball against Jamie Day
Another effort goes wide

Whitstable introduced Charlie Smith for Freeman, but it was Cray Valley who added a second goal after 72 minutes, when a Lisbie run saw the ball knocked into the path of N’Guessan and despite suggestions of handball, he was able to find the right hand corner. A good sequence of passing earned Whitstable a corner that led to another loud shout for handball, but a corner was the outcome and that ended safely in the hands of Walker. A further home attack saw the ball pulled back to Murray, who shot powerfully wide.

Macauley Murray tries a shot

Lisbie and Flack caused a few more problems for the Whitstable defence from the right and Eason had to get down to make a save and then some good play created a chance for Flack who shot over. It was his last involvement before being replaced by Alex Nelson. Cray Valley were now looking to run the clock down and the referee asked Walker to speed things up on a couple of occasions. A Murray free kick was headed just over by West and the visitors made another change on 90 minutes with Jordan Sandiford replacing goal scorer N’Guessan. In stoppage time Smith tried a long shot that was the only Whitstable shot on target of the half, but it was comfortably saved by Walker and the final whistle blew just afterwards.

Stuart West sends a header over the bar

Whitstable may feel a bit unfortunate that a few decisions failed to go their way, but overall it was a fair result on the number of chances created. Whitstable had some good spells of possession in the second half, but just did not test the goalkeeper, with balls into the box being generally too close to him and shots failing to hit the target. Crowborough visit the Belmont for the last home game before Christmas and that will be another stern test as Whitstable attempt to stay in the title race.

Whitstable Cray Valley
8 Attempts 14
2 On Target 6
4 Corners 3
2 Offside 1
9 Free Kicks Won 17

 

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, Louis Sprosen, Josh Burchell (John Walker 27), Rob Gillman, Craig Cloke (c), Tom Bryant, Chris Saunders, James Morrish, Ricky Freeman (Charlie Smith 71), Stuart West, Macauley Murray.
Subs (unused): Teddy Nelson, Owen Fitt, Rhys Brain.
Goal: Stuart West 45+2
Yellow card: Stuart West 33

Cray Valley PM
Andy Walker, Connor Dobson, Matt Parsons (c), Jamie Day, Cem Tumkaya, Jack White, Ryan Flack (Alex Nelson 85), Josh James, Ben Francis, Kevin Lisbie, Joe N’Guessan (Jordan Sandiford 90).
Subs (unused): Junior James, Tommy Osbourne.
Goals: Kevin Lisbie 55, Joe N’Guessan 72.

Attendance: 139
Referee: Joseph Dann-Pye
Assistants: Mark Cheeseman & Michael Kent

Williams Hat Trick In Big Away Win

CORINTHIAN 0 WHITSTABLE TOWN 5
SCEFL Premier Division
Saturday December 9 2017 15.00

Whitstable hit five goals on a frosty afternoon at Corinthian to climb to fifth and overtake their opponents in the table. It was the second 5-0 win against Corinthian this season, having previously knocked them out of the Kent Senior Trophy at the Belmont in September and once again it was a Danny Williams hat trick that set them on their way. The opening goal came midway through the first half when a defender ducked late under a curling Williams shot, fooling his own goalkeeper, Aiden Prall. The home side made things difficult for themselves in a bad tempered display and Prall conceded a penalty and was shown a red card just before the break when an assistant saw him foul Williams, who got up to score from the spot. Any chance of a recovery was ruined when Jamie Billings got himself sent off for an altercation with the officials as the teams came out for the second half. The nine remaining players tried hard, but Williams completed his hat trick and late goals from Charlie Smith and Owen Fitt, on his debut, completed the scoring.

Josh Burchell and Ricky Freeman were serving one game bans and with John Walker also unavailable, there was an opportunity for academy player Teddy Nelson to make his first competitive start. Two other academy players, Rhys Brain and Fitt, both started on the bench. Stuart West, who scored two late goals in the previous game, started up front alongside Williams. Corinthian, who began the day in third place in the table, included former Whitstable players Cameron Heffernan, Sam Groombridge and Sam Bewick in their team.

Whitstable started well, having more of the early possession and West headed a Louis Sprosen cross past Prall on 9 minutes, but the effort was disallowed for offside. Both number fours, Rob Gillman and Jamie Billings, went into the book for fouls as the game went through a quiet period. In the 23rd minute however, Williams tried a left footed shot from outside the box and Prall was not helped by Chris McDemott appearing to duck under the ball at the last moment and although he managed to get a hand to the ball, he was unable to prevent it going into the left hand corner of the net.

Testing the pitch?
Teddy Nelson watches the strike from Danny Williams beat Aiden Prall

Louis Clarke made a good long run before being stopped on the edge of the penalty area and the referee who had played the advantage went back to show a yellow card to Nelson for an earlier challenge. Sprosen and West both had attempts for Whitstable before Bewick fired a good shot just past the far post from the left edge of the box for Corinthian. Then came one of the key moments of the game when Williams was flattened by the goalkeeper as he challenged for the ball in the penalty area and with a number of players getting involved, the assistant called the referee over. After a discussion between the officials, a penalty was awarded and Prall was sent off, despite some vocal protests from the home side. Substitute goalkeeper Joe Hagan came on for the sacrificed Heffernan and Williams calmly found the bottom right hand corner with his penalty kick.

Prall jumps into Williams
Heated discussions
A red card is coming out
Williams scores from the penalty spot

Hagan was soon called upon to make a fine save, tipping a West header over for a corner after Nelson had headed a Sprosen cross back across the goal. Sprosen then clipped the top of the bar with a shot from distance and Whitstable went into the break with a 2-0 lead.

Stuart West goes close

There was a farcical start to the second half with home players surrounding the referee as they came out onto the pitch and Jamie Billings went too far and was shown a second yellow card, leaving just nine players to try to find a way back into the match. Whitstable unsurprisingly now had a period when they kept possession, but there were few clear chances with West heading wide and a low Bewick shot being easily saved by Dan Eason at the other end. Jordan Campbell came on for Corinthian to replace Clarke and then Hagan made a good stop when Williams got his head to a Sprosen cross. West was having a good game up front and he headed a Macauley Murray free kick against the bar, before Smith replaced Nelson for Whitstable after 62 minutes. The home team created a few half chances, won a couple of corners and one cross went dangerously across the Whitstable box with no one able to get a touch. The contest was effectively settled when Williams completed his third hat trick of the season on 66 minutes when he volleyed in a Sprosen cross from around the penalty spot.

Williams about to complete his hat trick
Whitstable lead 3-0

Eason had to be alert to tip a cross over the bar and from the corner that followed, the ball came out to Oscar Housego who shot wide. A Whitstable corner, taken by Murray, was headed towards goal and saved by Hagan. A run by Smith was stopped by Alexander Jack Billings, who was booked, and Smith almost got in on goal from the free kick. Corinthian replaced their captain Jack Bath with Bradley Large on 73 minutes. A Williams cross was helped on by Smith to West who volleyed over and Smith had a shot saved by Hagan. Brain then came on for Williams and made a few good runs at the tiring home defence. The referee then appeared to order off one member of the home bench, following more complaints and Whitstable made their final change with Fitt replacing Morrish. Fitt made an early appearance in the referee’s notebook for pulling back an opponent in midfield. Smith headed over the bar and Brain had a shot saved by Hagan after playing a one-two with Tom Bryant.

Rhys Brain tries to break away

Right on 90 minutes, a cross from the left reached Smith at the far post and he had time to bring the ball under control and shoot into the far corner to make it 4-0. Brain almost got on the score sheet, hitting the side netting, but in stoppage time a cross field ball came to Fitt and he hit it a great left footed shot past Hagan into the net to make it five.

Charlie Smith adds the fourth
Contrasting emotions
Owen Fitt about to score on his debut

It was nice to see three young players from the academy being able to come in and contribute to a good away win, with several experienced players unavailable. Corinthian are one of the better sides in the division when they concentrate on playing football, but certainly made it harder for themselves in this game with their attitude and lack of discipline. It was good though to see a former Oyster favourite Sam Bewick come over to greet the Whitstable supporters at the end of the game. With the midweek game falling victim to the weather, Whitstable are next in action on Saturday, at home to Cray Valley PM.

Some match photos will hopefully be added later, as the usual photographer was away…

Corinthian Whitstable
7 Attempts 24
3 On Target 11
6 Corners 4
4 Offside 2
13 Free Kicks Won 10

Corinthian
Aiden Prall, Cameron Heffernan (Joe Hagan 42), Alexander Jack Billings, Jamie Billings, Chris McDermott, Sam Groombridge, Louis Clarke (Jordan Campbell 57), Jack Bath (c) (Bradley Large 73), Luke Tanner, Oscar Housego, Sam Bewick.
Sub (unused): Aaron Guard
Yellow card: Alexander Jack Billings 71
Red cards: Aiden Prall 40, Jamie Billings (two yellows 20, 46).

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, Louis Sprosen, Teddy Nelson (Charlie Smith 62), Rob Gillman, Craig Cloke (c), Tom Bryant, Chris Saunders, James Morrish (Owen Fitt 82), Danny Williams (Rhys Brain 79), Stuart West, Macauley Murray.
Subs (unused): Brendon Cass, Dean Ruddy.
Goals: Danny Williams 23, (pen) 43, 66, Charlie Smith 90, Owen Fitt 90+3.
Yellow cards: Rob Gillman 13, Teddy Nelson 26, Owen Fitt 85.

Attendance: 52
Referee: Arshia Hashemi
Assistants: Matthew Sell & Ryan Andrew

Whitstable v AFC Croydon Postponed

Unfortunately, the home fixture against AFC Croydon Athletic that was scheduled for Tuesday 12th December has been postponed. Any news regarding a new date will be published once known.

The next game is at home to Cray Valley PM on Saturday 16th December at 3 p.m. Hopefully the weather will improve before then, as the pitch is extremely wet at present following the heavy rain of the past two days.

A couple of home Tuesday night matches in January have been added to the original fixture list:
Tuesday 9th January 19.45 Whitstable Town v Croydon SCEFL Challenge Cup 3rd round
Tuesday 23rd January 19.45 Whitstable Town v Rochester United SCEFL Premier Division

Late West Double Rescues Point

WHITSTABLE TOWN 2 ERITH TOWN 2
SCEFL Premier Division
Tuesday December 5 2017 19.45

Whitstable left it late to earn a draw in this league match at the Belmont that was delayed by 15 minutes due to traffic problems on the M2. Despite Whitstable playing some promising football, particularly in the first half, Erith Town went ahead with a well taken goal in their first attack, as Ken Charles headed in a great Sidney Warden cross. Whitstable lost their captain Craig Cloke due to injury on 25 minutes, but although they continued to dominate possession and had one effort cleared off the line, they trailed by the single goal at the break. Some early pressure in the second half failed to yield a goal and then Erith doubled their lead when a corner was not cleared and substitute Ben Fitchett fired home. The visitors fought hard to defend their two goal advantage and frustration grew for Whitstable in a game littered with lengthy stoppages. Stuart West was pushed up front and found the top corner with a good strike on 77 minutes and shortly afterwards headed in a John Walker cross to bring the scores level. Jack Hooper was then sent off after a second caution, leaving Erith to see out the remaining time, including six added minutes, to claim a hard earned point.

Major delays on the motorway caused problems for both teams and officials before the game, which eventually started at 8 p.m. Chris Saunders was one of those affected, so started on the bench for Whitstable who did have James Morrish back after sitting out the previous game through illness. Erith Town were missing some regulars and included a number of Margate FC Under 23 and Maidstone United Academy players in their team.

Whitstable started on the attack, winning a couple of early corners with both Ricky Freeman and Josh Burchell having shots blocked. Danny Williams raced on to a through ball, before going down as he was tackled by the last defender on the edge of the box, but the officials ruled that it was a fair challenge. The game was in the 9th minute when Erith broke down the right and Margate youngster Warden sent over a perfect cross for the unmarked Charles to head back across goal past Dan Eason. It was well executed by the two young players, but a poor goal to concede for the home defence.

The remainder of the first half saw Whitstable striving to find a response and apart from one late corner, Erith did not threaten again before the interval. Although Whitstable moved the ball around quite well and got forward in wide positions, particularly down the left through Josh Burchell, the final ball into the box was often too close to former Sittingbourne goalkeeper Adam Molloy. A good Burchell cross in the 15th minute was met on the half volley by Walker whose shot went just over the bar. Lewis Scotter was cautioned for dissent, before Cloke picked up a painful looking muscle injury midway through the half and despite lengthy treatment on the pitch was unable to continue and Rob Gillman came on to replace him. Williams was off target with a couple of headers, but the closest the home side came to scoring was after 36 minutes. Hooper was booked after taking out Williams on the left and Murray swung the free kick into the box where there were a few seconds of pinball, with a Freeman effort cleared off the line and another attempt was scrambled away for a corner that fell to West, who shot over from close range.

John Walker hits an early shot just over
An acrobatic effort by Ricky Freeman
Erith clear off their line

Eason was mostly a distant spectator at the other end, but Erith did have a late corner that resulted in the ball being deflected just wide of the near post before Charlie Smith made a good run from midfield, only to blaze his shot over the top in the last action of the half.

The second half started in similar fashion, with Smith hooking the bar just over after it was helped on in the box by Williams and he then headed a Burchell cross wide. Just as in the first half, Whitstable were stunned by another goal out of the blue by the visitors. This time it came from a corner, when the defence failed to clear the ball and substitute Ben Fitchett, another Margate youngster who had only been on for a few seconds, drove the loose ball into the roof of the net to make it 2-0.

Smith turned smartly in the box, but shot over and then won a free kick, but Williams was booked for his challenge on Molloy as Murray delivered the ball into the danger area. Saunders came on to replace Smith, before another long injury delay followed that resulted in the Erith skipper James Day having to be substituted by Tamer Bilal. Erith later made their final change bringing on Lewis Risk, as they looked to hang on for the win. Whitstable were finding it increasingly difficult to create chances and the smallest home crowd of the season had little to inspire them until West was sent to play further forward. Bilal was booked for a foul and as the free kick into the box was knocked down, it was West who caught the ball perfectly on the half volley and Molloy could do nothing as it flew into the top left corner of the net. Just three minutes later, a Whitstable build up on the right gave Walker the chance to put a good cross into the box and it was West again who rose to plant a header into the roof of the net to make it 2-2.

Stuart West strikes the ball towards goal
The ball flies into the top corner
West gets his head to a cross
The ball beats Adam Molloy and it’s 2-2

As the home side pressed for a winner, Hooper committed a foul just outside the penalty area and although the referee tried to play the advantage, he eventually pulled play back for a free kick and showed a second yellow card to the Erith defender. Williams struck the free kick into the wall and Murray lifted the rebound over the top. Williams, West and Burchell all had late efforts saved by Molloy. There was a heated debate on the touchline about the amount of stoppage time to be added, but there was to be no late winner and the final whistle eventually sounded after six additional minutes.

The point pushed Whitstable up to sixth place, but it was a game they would feel they should have won. The young Erith team scored from their only two goal attempts, defended well and Whitstable were largely disappointing in their efforts to score themselves despite having nearly all of the possession. Next up is a visit to Corinthian at the weekend, before AFC Croydon visit the Belmont on Tuesday, as the search for league points at the top of the table continues.

Whitstable Erith Town
17 Attempts 2
7 On Target 2
9 Corners 2
2 Offside 0
8 Free Kicks Won 10

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, John Walker, Josh Burchell, Stuart West, Craig Cloke (c) (Rob Gillman 25), Tom Bryant, Charlie Smith (Chris Saunders 66), James Morrish, Ricky Freeman (Louis Sprosen 90), Danny Williams, Macauley Murray.
Subs (unused): Teddy Nelson, Ryan Birch.
Goals: Stuart West 77, 80.
Yellow card: Danny Williams 64

Erith Town
Adam Molloy, Lewis Scotter, Dan Palfrey, James Day (c) (Tamer Bilal 68), Myles Keizer-Burrows, Jack Hooper, Sidney Warden, Jack Duffy, Ken Charles, Adem Ramadan (Lewis Risk 76), Osman Proni (Ben Fitchett 54).
Subs (unused): Harrison Hume, Peter Dale.
Goals: Ken Charles 9, Ben Fitchett 55.
Yellow cards: Lewis Scotter 23, Tamer Bilal 76.
Red card: Jack Hooper 81 (two yellows 36, 81)

Attendance: 96
Referee: Stuart Marriott
Assistants: Matthew Sell & Danny Roberts