Category: 2017-2018 Club News

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

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.

Town Complete Double Over Bears

SCEFL Premier Division
Saturday November 4 2017 15.00

Whitstable beat Bearsted for the second time this season, scoring three goals without reply at the Belmont. Bearsted played some neat football at times, but Whitstable defended well and Dan Eason was rarely troubled in the home goal. Whitstable took the lead when Craig Cloke fired home after a corner fell to him in a crowded box and Charlie Smith added a second, despite appeals for offside from the visitors, with a good finish after Danny Williams had headed the ball on to him. In the second half, Whitstable missed a few opportunities before Williams ran through to score the third towards the end. Bearsted kept trying and finished quite strongly, after both teams had made some substitutions, winning a few free kicks around the edge of the box, one of which was headed just wide and from another, William Jones was denied by a good save from Eason.

A couple of changes were made to the Whitstable team from the loss at Beckenham, with Ricky Freeman joining Stuart West on the suspended list. Louis Sprosen, who is one yellow card away from a ban, started on the bench together with the two new signings, John Walker and Tijan Jadama. Bearsted started the game seven points ahead of Whitstable in the league table, although they had played five games more and lost 3-0 at Crowborough in their last game.

The home team were the first to threaten as Chris Saunders, Josh Burchell and Smith combined well on the left to create an opening for Saunders who thumped a shot into the side netting from the edge of the box. Bearsted replied with a long shot from Matt Garner that was easily caught by Eason. Williams made a good run, but shot well over and then Lucian Scarlat fizzed a low cross just past the far post after breaking forward on the left. Ryan Croucher sent a free kick over the bar after James Morrish was penalised for a foul 25 yards from goal. Neither team had seriously tested the goalkeepers until Whitstable opened the scoring on 29 minutes. Burchell sent Williams clear and he got into the box and saw his shot parried by Scott Andrews. The ball came back to Williams and this time his fierce shot on target was defected behind off what appeared to be the arm of Cameron Croucher and from the resultant corner the ball dropped nicely for Cloke who fired it low through a number of players into the net.

Chris Saunders is just wide with an early effort
Scott Andrews is first to the ball
Danny Williams has a shot deflected behind by Cameron Croucher
Craig Cloke scores the first

Williams then slipped the ball past Jones down the right, before being caught by the visiting defender who was booked. Whitstable had good spell of possession that ended with a Burchell cross being headed just over, but the second goal soon followed. On 36 minutes a long ball forward was headed on by Williams into the path of Smith and despite some vociferous appeals for offside, the assistant kept his flag down and Smith went on to finish well to the left of the diving goalkeeper.

Charlie Smith beats Scott Andrews to score the second

In the last few minutes of the half, Whitstable managed to pick up three yellow cards. Burchell was penalised for a tackle on the touchline that connected with both the ball and the opponent, Saunders then kicked the ball away after the award of a free kick and finally Murray was cautioned for a challenge after the referee had tried to play the advantage. Bearsted threatened on a couple of occasions, when firstly Ryan Croucher sent over a dangerous cross that nobody could get on the end of and then Constantin Scarlat blazed an effort well over the bar, so the home team led 2-0 at the break.

The early stages of the second half saw little in the way of clear cut chances. Saunders and Smith had efforts for Whitstable, Reece Collins shot over the bar for the visitors and then Lucian Scarlat forced Eason into a low save when he tried his luck from a narrow angle. On 67 minutes, a mistake by Jones left Smith clear, but his shot was well saved by Scott Andrews and he lifted his follow up attempt over the top. Whitstable then introduced young midfielder Jadama in place of Murray, before a ball over the top put Smith through again, but he was once more denied by Scott Andrews. The Bearsted keeper was then out again to gather the ball as Williams tried to go around him.

The goalkeeper prevents Smith from scoring another

Bearsted made their first change on 74 minutes, with Ehis Izokun replacing Garner. A short corner routine almost worked for Whitstable when a Smith cross was headed in at the near post by Jack West, but he was ruled offside and shortly afterwards the right back was replaced by John Walker, making his debut. Walker sent in a great first time cross from the right that was headed out before the visitors made their second change, with Chris Carcary coming on for Charley Epps. A poor clearance went straight to Williams who tried to lob the stranded keeper from distance, but his effort was too high. Williams then pushed the ball forward and ran through himself to go clear, but was unfortunate to be stopped by a flag raised for a team mate standing nearby in an offside position despite making no attempt to play the ball. A Bearsted free kick was headed just past the post by Collins when he looked odds on to find the net. On 83 minutes though, the win was sealed when a goal kick found Williams with a clear run on goal and he made no mistake, finding the right hand corner. Bearsted were still seeking a consolation goal, winning several free kicks around the edge of the box. A great strike from one of them by Jones was heading for the top corner, but was superbly kept out by the diving Eason.

Dan Eason is at full stretch to deny William Jones a consolation goal

Ashley Brown was a late substitute for James Morrish as Bearsted continued to press, but Eason only had one further low shot to deal with before the final whistle. It was a welcome three points for Whitstable after not taking any from their previous three matches and they can now concentrate on the FA Vase tie at home to Epsom and Ewell next weekend.

Rob Gillman had a good game at the back alongside Craig Cloke and Tom Bryant
Whitstable Bearsted
15 Attempts 12
8 On Target 5
3 Corners 2
8 Offside 0
11 Free Kicks Won 22

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, Jack West (John Walker 77), Josh Burchell, Rob Gillman, Craig Cloke (c), Tom Bryant, Chris Saunders, James Morrish (Ashley Brown 87), Danny Williams, Charlie Smith, Macauley Murray (Tijan Jadama 68).
Subs (unused): Louis Sprosen, Dean Ruddy.
Goals: Craig Cloke 29, Charlie Smith 36, Danny Williams 83.
Yellow cards: Josh Burchell 43, Chris Saunders 43, Macauley Murray 45+1.

Scott Andrews, Luke Hughes, Cameron Croucher, Graeme Andrews (c), William Jones, Charley Epps (Chris Carcary 80), Matt Garner (Ehis Izokun 74), Ryan Croucher, Reece Collins, Constantin Scarlat, Lucian Scarlat.
Subs (unused): Josh White, James Sherlock, Luke Snazel.
Yellow card: William Jones 33

Attendance: 151
Referee: Matt Charles
Assistants: Paul Franks & Michael Skerratt