Category: 2017-2018 Club News

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

Whitstable Beaten By Late Goal

SCEFL Premier Division
Saturday September 30 2017 15.00

Sevenoaks edged a scrappy encounter with a late winner in a game containing frequent stoppages, but few chances. The home side started the better on their new artificial pitch and Rory Hill scored the opening goal midway through the first half after they took advantage of some hesitant defending. Whitstable put in an improved performance after the break and Danny Williams equalised from the penalty spot when Ricky Freeman was fouled in the box, but they were unable to score again despite pressing forward for a time. Sevenoaks though began to threaten again towards the end, with Harrison Carnegie in particular finding plenty of space wide on the right. Just as a stalemate was looking the most likely outcome, with a couple of minutes remaining some careless play resulted in a Sevenoaks free kick and Hill got his second when his shot was deflected off the wall past a stranded Dan Eason.

Louis Sprosen and Charlie Smith were unavailable for this match, but new signings Chris Saunders and Josh Burchell were both included in the Whitstable squad. Sevenoaks finished in third place last season and have started this season well. There is now a new 3G pitch at The Bourne Stadium, Greatness Park and the pitch and surround looked smart, although facilities for the sparse crowd were somewhat limited on a dull and damp afternoon.

Sevenoaks started quite brightly, winning a couple of early corners, but it was the Whitstable captain Craig Cloke who had the first attempt, hooking the ball just wide following a free kick, before the dangerous Hill shot over the bar from 20 yards for the home side. Tom Bryant went into the book on 14 minutes for impeding Carnegie as he broke down the right, but a few minutes later it was the Whitstable player who needed attention after being caught by the Sevenoaks winger. The goalkeepers were not really being tested, but Eason had no chance when the home side opened the scoring after 25 minutes. Bryant was caught in possession by Carnegie and the ball eventually came in from the right where it was met by an unmarked Hill about 15 yards from goal and he fired it into the top corner.

Rory Hill fires Sevenoaks into the lead

Cloke volleyed just over at the back post from a Bryant corner and Billy Bennett headed off target at the other end. Saunders, who was working hard in midfield, was spoken to by the referee after a tackle on Brett Ince. As the interval approached, James Morrish was fouled on the edge of the box and Bryant rolled a clever free kick out to Freeman on the right, but his well struck shot was saved by Craig Holloway. The final chance of the half also went to Whitstable when Shaun Welford flicked a header on to Williams, whose header was comfortably saved.

Craig Cloke is just off target with this effort

Whitstable were back out on the pitch after a few minutes, no doubt hoping to put in a more creative performance in the second half. The referee did not have the easiest of afternoons and there were a lot of interruptions to play, with both benches having plenty to say and Whitstable coach Brendon Cass was asked to vacate the technical area shortly after the restart. A Freeman corner was met by the head of Welford, but Holloway was able to make the save.

Shaun Welford gets a header in, but Craig Holloway keeps it out

Both number elevens, Hill and Williams, were then booked on the advice of an assistant. A Sevenoaks corner was headed over the top by Robert Jones, but it was Whitstable who looked the more likely to score and they drew level in the 54th minute. Corey Holder was robbed by the impressive Freeman, who was then brought down by the home captain inside the box, earning him a yellow card, and Williams calmly tucked the penalty away, sending Holloway the wrong way.

Danny Williams scores from the spot
The goalkeeper is beaten

The visitors were now seeing more of the ball, although meaningful chances were hard to come by. Byron Walker went into the back of Morrish after they had challenged for the ball, sparking a confrontation that eventually saw both booked, although the Whitstable player was perhaps a little unfortunate. Freeman sent in a dangerous low cross that was well defended and a long throw by Welford kept the pressure on the home defence. A Williams shot was cleared behind for a corner and then he had another attempt easily saved by Holloway.

Sevenoaks gradually started to find more space out wide and a Carnegie shot from distance was deflected wide. Welford did well to win a free kick that was eventually gathered by Holloway. Carnegie went down after running into the box, but the penalty appeals were immediately waved away by the referee. A long cross field pass sent Carnegie away again, but his low shot went past the far post. After Freeman had a punt from distance that failed to trouble Holloway, there were a number of substitutions and the game seemed destined to end in a draw. In the 88th minute though, some casual defending by Whitstable resulted in a foul being given against Jack West as he tried to clear. The Whitstable right back, who felt that he had won the ball, was also booked. Hill struck the free kick and it took a big deflection off Nick Treadwell as the wall jumped and the ball ended in the net. There was little time left for Whitstable to respond and the points went to Sevenoaks.

Rory Hill takes the decisive free kick
The ball is deflected past Dan Eason for the winner

There was little between the teams on the day and both will hope to be around the top of the table come the end of the season. Sevenoaks started and finished the better, with Whitstable having their moments either side of the break. There will no doubt be busier days for both goalkeepers, with all three goals being the result of defensive errors.

Sevenoaks Whitstable
8 Attempts 10
3 On Target 5
4 Corners 4
2 Offside 2
7 Free Kicks Won 13

Sevenoaks Town
Craig Holloway, Jack Miles, Greg Benbow, Brett Ince, Tom Ripley, Corey Holder (c), Harrison Carnegie, Billy Bennett (Yacine Gnahore 82), Robert Jones (Tom Youngs 78), Byron Walker, Rory Hill.
Subs (unused): Stephen Camacho, Chris Edwards, Paul Springett.
Goals: Rory Hill 25, 88.
Yellow cards: Rory Hill 49, Corey Holder 54, Byron Walker 59.

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, Jack West, Tom Bryant, Rob Gillman, Craig Cloke (c), Stuart West, Chris Saunders (Ollie Lee 77), James Morrish (Nick Treadwell 81), Ricky Freeman, Shaun Welford, Danny Williams.
Subs (unused): Josh Burchell, Harris Rodgers, Dean Ruddy.
Goal: Danny Williams (pen) 54
Yellow cards: Tom Bryant 14, Danny Williams 49, James Morrish 59, Jack West 88.

Attendance: 132
Referee: Joshua Howard
Assistants: Chris Spalding & Matthew Sell