Category: 2017-2018 Club News

Squad Update

Whitstable Town manager Scott Porter has added two players to his squad this week.

Josh Burchell, a left back or midfielder, played over 200 games for Folkestone Invicta before joining Hythe Town in 2013 and he now re-joins his former manager at the Belmont.

Chris Saunders, who can play in midfield of defence, has signed from Chatham Town. He has previously played for several other clubs, including Greenwich Borough, Ashford United and Hythe Town.

A number of players have left the squad since the start of the season. George Savage is now at Glebe, Sam Brown is playing for K Sports and Carl Harrold has recently joined Lordswood. Aaron Quain has also departed and our thanks go to each of them for their efforts whilst at Whitstable.

As previously reported, Harry Brown needs an operation on his knee and is unfortunately expected to be ruled out for the rest of this season.

Defender Ashley Brown is also currently injured, but will hopefully be fit again within the next couple of weeks.

FA Vase Draw

After the extraordinary 6-5 win on Saturday against Lancing, the draw for the First Round of the competition has now been made.

Whitstable Town will be away to Saltdean United. The Brighton based club are currently 4th in the Southern Combination Football League Premier Division. The game will take place on Saturday 21st October.

Two Hat Tricks Win Vase Thriller

WHITSTABLE TOWN 6 LANCING 5 (After Extra Time – Score After 90 Minutes 4-4)
Buildbase FA Vase Second Round Qualifying
Saturday September 23 2017 15.00

Whitstable scraped through to the First Round Proper of the FA Vase after a crazy game of football at the Belmont on a warm, sunny afternoon. There were eleven goals, three penalties and a number of good saves, but it was the home side that eventually came out on top against their visitors from West Sussex, who played some good football, although both managers will have headaches about some of the defending. Danny Williams gave Whitstable an early lead, but Lewis Finney soon equalised, before Shaun Welford and Williams again made it 3-1 midway through the first half. Lewis Finney scored his second after his penalty had been parried by Dan Eason and then a free header by Alex Fair sent the teams in all square at the break, helped by Tyler D’Cruz saving a Welford penalty. Lancing started the second half on top and Alex Bygraves put them in front for the first time, only for Williams to complete his treble from the penalty spot a few minutes later. There was plenty of action, but no further goals, so the game went into extra time. Two trademark Welford headers either side of a 35 yard strike by Fair put Whitstable 6-5 up at the interval and with both teams tiring, there was little goal threat at either end in the final period and Whitstable go into the draw on Monday.

Lancing play in the Southern Combination Football League, where they currently sit fifth from bottom of the Premier Division, although their recent form had been quite good and they had won 5-3 at Rochester United in the previous round of the FA Vase. Whitstable made one change to their starting line up from the previous game, with the unfit James Morrish being replaced by Ollie Lee.

There was an early stoppage as Lee required treatment for an injury that saw him briefly leave the field. In the 5th minute Whitstable opened the scoring from a Tom Bryant corner, when goalkeeper D’Cruz failed to collect whilst under pressure from Welford and the ball looped towards the goal where Williams rose to head home despite being surrounded by yellow shirts.

Tyler D’Cruz fails to hold the corner
Danny Williams scores the first

With 12 minutes played, Lancing were back on terms as Mike Williamson saw George Rudwick in oceans of space on the right and Bryant was unable to prevent a good low cross which found its way to the back post where Lewis Finney arrived to shoot past Eason.

Lewis Finney makes it 1-1

Five minutes later, the home side were in front again when Ricky Freeman chased a ball down the right and played it back for Louis Sprosen whose pass sent Welford through and he shot past D’Cruz and into the far corner from the edge of the box.

Shaun Welford (out of shot) scores the second

Bygraves had a sight of goal when he met a Lewis Finney corner, but the ball was just too high for him to direct his header on target. It seemed like Whitstable might be heading for another comfortable win when another mistake by the Lancing keeper gifted them a third goal on 22 minutes. He failed to collect another Bryant corner and Craig Cloke headed the ball back across the goal to the waiting Williams, who once again nodded in from close range.

Williams nods in the third goal for Whitstable

Lancing were not about to give up though and the speedy Luke Donaldson had two good efforts saved in quick succession, the second of which came out to Williamson and his well struck shot from outside the box was just kept out by the diving Eason as he turned the ball around the post. They did not have long to wait for another goal however as Donaldson ran into the box and went down when challenged and the referee decided to award a penalty. Eason saved the spot kick by Lewis Finney, but was unable to prevent him firing home the rebound on 26 minutes.

Dan Eason is at full stretch to save this one
Eason saves the penalty, before Lewis Finney scores from the rebound

Whitstable came close to restoring their two goal advantage from a couple of corner kicks, before the visitors made it 3-3 on 35 minutes. A free kick following a foul by Lee on the left was clipped into the box by the right foot of Lewis Finney and an unmarked Fair headed the ball over Eason from around the penalty spot. Donaldson skipped past Jack West down the left wing and the Whitstable right back chased back and brought him down earning the first yellow card of the match. Lewis Finney struck the resultant free kick into the wall. Williamson then broke into the box, but his weak finish was gathered by Eason. Whitstable went close after some interplay between Lee, Freeman and Welford. It was a long throw by Welford that led to a great chance for a half time lead, when the ball was flicked on at the near post by Lee and struck the raised arm of Elliot Finney. A penalty was given, but Welford saw his shot saved by D’Cruz diving to his right.

Handball at the near post
The penalty is saved

In stoppage time Freeman turned and hit a shot, but it lacked the power to trouble the keeper and an action packed half ended level at 3-3.

Lancing had their best spell of the match at the start of the second half, as Whitstable had a very sluggish few minutes. The ball was in the net after a couple of attempts following a corner, but a free kick was given for a foul on Eason and then Fair had a shot deflected for another corner. On 51 minutes, the pressure finally told as a deep cross was headed against the bar by an unmarked Lewis Finney and Bygraves was on hand to head in the rebound. Fair was causing lots of problems, sometimes dropping deep to collect the ball, and he twisted and turned on the 18 yard line, but failed to beat Eason. Whitstable gradually got themselves going again and Bryant headed a Sprosen free kick just wide at the back post. On 57 minutes a fierce Sprosen shot struck a hand and another penalty was the result. This time Williams made no mistake, sending the keeper the wrong way and finding the right hand corner for his third goal of the afternoon.

Louis Sprosen wins another penalty as his shot is blocked with a hand
Williams tucks the penalty away

The remainder of the half surprisingly brought no further goals, but there were a number of opportunities at both ends. The Whitstable manager Scott Porter said afterwards that he felt his team had not played well and certainly they allowed their visitors too much time and space to play their football, with the full backs in particular looking exposed at times. Lancing were a constant threat with some skilful players, but looked very vulnerable at the back and struggled to defend set pieces.

The referee pointed to the penalty spot for the fourth time on 63 minutes when Williams was fouled by the goalkeeper, but he changed his mind on consulting his assistant who appeared to suggest that the ball had been out of play at one point. Charlie Smith replaced Lee for Whitstable before Lewis Finney shot just wide and Freeman had a shot saved at the other end. Sprosen was booked for delaying a free kick and then some poor defending by Lancing gave Freeman a chance, but his well struck shot was just tipped over by D’Cruz. On 83 minutes after a good move, Williamson fired a shot towards the top corner from well outside the area, but Eason somehow got across to deny him and Bygraves headed the corner over the top. Smith was booked for a foul and from the free kick a couple of attempts were blocked by the home defence. In the 90th minute, Smith himself was brought down 25 yards out. He took the free kick himself and struck the foot of the post with the keeper beaten. Normal time ended with the scores level at 4-4.

Charlie Smith hits the post in the last minute

As extra time began, the tricky Fair created himself an opening, but took too long and the chance was gone. Freeman had a shot pushed behind for a corner and Fair and Lewis Finney both had further shots for Lancing. With precisely 100 minutes on the watch, a Freeman corner was headed in off the underside of the bar by Welford to put Whitstable ahead again, but the lead only lasted four minutes as a snap shot from 35 yards by Fair flashed across Eason and into the corner of the net. He almost gave his team the lead when he volleyed just wide shortly afterwards. It was Whitstable though who went 6-5 ahead in added time, when a good Sprosen cross was headed in from beyond the far post by Welford, completing a hat trick for the 38 year old striker.

Shaun Welford heads number five
Welford completes his treble and secures the win

Both teams used all three substitutes, but tiring legs and a more solid shape employed by the home side meant that the final period of extra time was relatively uneventful and so it was Whitstable who progressed to the next round, collecting another £725 prize money. The draw for the next round is due to be published on Monday, but another game like this must be unlikely. It was one of those games that the neutral observer might think neither team deserved to lose.

Whitstable Lancing
19 Attempts 25
15 On Target 17
9 Corners 11
4 Offside 6
7 Free Kicks Won 17

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, Jack West, Tom Bryant, Rob Gillman, Craig Cloke (c), Stuart West, Louis Sprosen, Ollie Lee (Charlie Smith 67), Ricky Freeman (Nick Treadwell 101), Shaun Welford, Danny Williams (Harris Rodgers 93).
Sub (unused): Dean Ruddy
Goals: Danny Williams 5, 22, (pen) 57, Shaun Welford 17, 100, 105+1.
Yellow cards: Jack West 39, Louis Sprosen 81, Charlie Smith 86.

Tyler D’Cruz, David Marsh, Lewis Broughton (Magic Sibanda 120+1), Alex Bygraves (c), David Sharman (Alex Spinks 115), Elliot Finney (William Berry 99), George Rudwick, Mike Williamson, Alex Fair, Luke Donaldson, Lewis Finney.
Sub (unused): Michael Platt
Goals: Lewis Finney 12, 26, Alex Fair 35, 104, Alex Bygraves 51.

Attendance: 129
Referee: Thomas Nicholls
Assistants: Daniel Sanchez & Anjam Mirza

Harry Brown

Harry Brown suffered an injury during the cup game against Corinthian when falling awkwardly. He has been for a scan and unfortunately has done significant damage to his anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus that will require surgery. This will mean that he will be unable to play again this season.

The club will be organising a collection for Harry at the FA Vase match against Lancing on Saturday and everyone sends their best wishes for his recovery.

Second Half Goals Win Derby

SCEFL Premier Division
Tuesday September 19 2017 19.45

Whitstable were back in league action for the first time since their defeat at Deal, having since scored ten goals in two cup wins. They collected all three points thanks to two second half goals against local rivals Canterbury City, whose squad contained eight ex Whitstable players. In a tight first half, there were few chances at either end. Whitstable had one loud penalty shout for a handball, but too often picked out the Canterbury goalkeeper Jack Delo with their final ball. The best chance actually fell to the visitors, after Dan Eason had parried a long shot into the path of Gary Mickelborough, but he failed to hit the target. Whitstable took control after the break and were rewarded with two goals in two minutes by Stuart West and Danny Williams. Canterbury rarely threatened to get back into the game, apart from a few long range attempts that failed to test Eason, as Whitstable climbed up to second place in the league table.

Harry Brown was unable to play for Whitstable, having had a scan on the injury sustained in the previous match, and was replaced at left back by Tom Bryant, while Nick Treadwell was unavailable. There were a lot of familiar faces in the Canterbury team, with no fewer than seven former Oystermen in the starting eleven and Ian Pulman, scorer of exactly 100 goals in 190 appearances for Whitstable, on the bench.

An early move down the right ended with Williams having an attempt deflected behind for a corner that was comfortably caught by Delo. Jack West and Ricky Freeman both collected yellow cards for fouls near to the touchline in the first 20 minutes and Mickelborough sent a header wide from one Canterbury free kick. Freeman shot just past the post for Whitstable after being put through by successive headers from Shaun Welford and Williams.

An early effort is deflected just wide
Jack Delo claims the ball

The Canterbury captain Laurence Harvey limped off after 26 minutes to be replaced by Cory Walters-Wright at the heart of their defence. Matt Martin caught Craig Cloke with a late challenge and became the third and final name to go into the book shortly afterwards. Shots on target were scarce in a hard fought first half, but the only one from the visitors almost brought the first goal on 38 minutes when Eason was forced to make a save low to his right from a well struck shot from distance and the rebound fell to Mickelborough, but he was unable to find the net. Stuart West got his head to a Bryant free kick at the far post, but Delo was on hand to make the save. In added time a Stuart West shot struck a hand in the box, but the penalty appeals were waved away by the referee and then from a Bryant corner, Cloke found himself in space on the six yard line, but he was unable to keep his shot down and it went just over the bar, so the half ended goalless.

Craig Cloke shoots just over from a corner

At the start of the second half, Freeman was fouled on the edge of the area, sparking some heated exchanges before Bryant saw his free kick deflected wide for a goal kick. A shot by Stuart West from distance went just wide and then a good low strike by Williams was well saved by Delo, with the follow up attempt blocked. Ollie Lee was introduced in the 59th minute for James Morrish and he brought a fresh impetus to the home midfield, as the visitors seemed to run out of steam a little. Whitstable took the lead on 65 minutes when a mistake in the Canterbury defence allowed Williams to pick up the loose ball and pass it to Stuart West on the right and he found the top corner of the net just inside the far post, giving Delo no chance.

Stuart West finds the top corner to open the scoring

Martin had a shot comfortably saved by Eason at the other end before Whitstable scored again in the 67th minute. Some great build up play led to Louis Sprosen playing the ball in to Welford who in turn passed to Williams and he did well to make room and shoot past Delo just inside the near post, leading to some jubilant scenes behind the goal.

Danny Williams scores the second

A couple of minutes later, Welford got into a good position, but saw his shot saved by Delo. The Whitstable back four, who all played well, were by now relatively untroubled and Canterbury were restricted to a few shots from distance. Joe Nelder and Dave Pilcher both had a go, but were well off target. Charlie Smith came on for Sprosen and Whitstable then won three successive corners that were all dealt with by the Canterbury defence. Pulman replaced Nelder for the last few minutes in an attempt to find a goal for the visitors, but it was Whitstable who went close again when Smith sent a dangerous ball across the box that just eluded the advancing Welford. Harris Rodgers was the last substitute, replacing the hard working Freeman. Welford twisted and turned in the box before being crowded out and Lee had a shot saved by Delo. Eason had one final cross from Martin to deal with before the final whistle. It had been a good second half performance by the home side that enabled them to take the points.

Charlie Smith tries a shot
Danny Williams and Ian Pulman battle for possession

Whitstable will be hoping that they can make it three home wins in eight days when they entertain Lancing in the FA Vase on Saturday.

Whitstable Canterbury
13 Attempts 8
7 On Target 2
7 Corners 1
2 Offside 4
11 Free Kicks Won 9

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, Jack West, Tom Bryant, Rob Gillman, Craig Cloke (c), Stuart West, Louis Sprosen (Charlie Smith 72), James Morrish (Ollie Lee 59), Ricky Freeman (Harris Rodgers 82), Shaun Welford, Danny Williams.
Sub (unused): Dean Ruddy
Goals: Stuart West 65, Danny Williams 67.
Yellow cards: Jack West 12, Ricky Freeman 17.

Canterbury City
Jack Delo, Josh McCallum, Gary Sayer, TJ Moncur, Laurence Harvey (c) (Cory Walters-Wright 26), Joe Kennett, Sam Conlon, Joe Nelder (Ian Pulman 80), Gary Mickelborough, Dave Pilcher, Matt Martin.
Subs (unused): Rob Lawrence, Michael Turner, Perry Cray.
Yellow card: Matt Martin 30

Attendance: 195
Referee: Bobby Kwatt
Assistants: Matt McCaughan & Chris Cannon

Whitstable Hit Five Again

Kent Reliance Senior Trophy Preliminary Round
Saturday September 16 2017 15.00

Whitstable made it ten goals in two games as they comfortably beat Corinthian in this Kent Reliance Senior Trophy Preliminary Round tie. The home side put in a confident performance against a team that have also had a good start to the league campaign. Two goals from Danny Williams gave a dominant Whitstable the lead at the interval. Williams completed his hat-trick early in the second half before goals by James Morrish and Ricky Freeman made it 5-0 shortly after the hour mark. The visitors, to their credit, played better towards the end hitting the post and then Craig Cloke and Dan Eason both did well to ensure a clean sheet. Whitstable will now play FC Elmstead at the Belmont in the next round on Saturday 14th October.

For this cup fixture, Whitstable were without the injured Ashley Brown, so Jack West came in at right back and Morrish was fit to return in midfield, whilst another recent injury victim, Tom Bryant, started on the bench. Corinthian had collected 13 points from their first 7 matches and sat just above Whitstable in the league table. Prior to the kick off, Scott Porter was presented with his Manager of the Month award by Tony Day of the Southern Counties East League.

Scott Porter receives the manager of the month award

Corinthian won an early corner, but it was the home team who quickly started to play the ball around effectively and press forward. Jack West linked well with Freeman on the right and burst into the box with his shot being saved leading to a couple of quick corners. Williams was looking threatening and was just off target with a header from a Harry Brown cross before firing a shot over the bar following some good build up play by Freeman and Shaun Welford. The home supporters did not have to wait long for the first goal though as Williams raced on to a through ball to shoot low past Aiden Prall into the bottom right hand corner on 14 minutes.

Danny Williams scores the first

A few minutes later Prall spilled a high free kick and Williams picked up the loose ball, but the goalkeeper recovered in time to make the save. A rare Corinthian attack ended with Eason comfortably catching a long range effort by Alexander Jack Billings and then a corner by the visitors was helped on to former Whitstable defender Sam Groombridge at the far post, but his shot was way over the top. Back at the other end, Freeman did well to pull the ball back into the path of Morrish whose shot was blocked. The impressive Stuart West sent Williams away and his cross just eluded Freeman in front of goal but the ball was collected by Welford whose shot was saved by Prall. The second goal finally arrived after 37 minutes when the referee played the advantage following a deliberate hand ball by Ryan Sawyer as he tried to stop a forward pass. Williams collected the ball and played it out to Louis Sprosen on the left and his return pass was drilled straight into the net past a couple of defenders and the goalkeeper by Williams.

Williams beats Aiden Prall to double the lead
The Whitstable bench celebrate

After another ball into the box by Sprosen was scrambled clear, there were a few chances at both ends just before the break. A Bradley Large cross was just out of the reach of a diving Billings and then Charlie Clover turned in the box before shooting over. Freeman had an attempt off target for Whitstable before a Corinthian shot following a corner landed on top of the tall tree behind the goal. The last action of the half came from a Whitstable corner when Stuart West just failed to connect with the goal at his mercy, so the home side went in with a fully deserved 2-0 lead.

Whitstable made a change for the second half with Ollie Lee replacing Sprosen. It was soon 3-0 as a Craig Cloke free kick from the half way line was headed down at the back post by Stuart West and the ball fell invitingly for Williams to shoot home from close range and complete his hat-trick on 47 minutes.

Williams about to complete his hat trick

Harry Brown went down off the ball just afterwards and eventually had to leave the pitch, being replaced by Bryant. The injury will be need to be assessed, but he must be doubtful for the next couple of games. On 55 minutes Williams fed Welford, who rolled the ball across to Morrish and he tried his luck from well outside the box. The goalkeeper failed to hold the ball under his crossbar and spilled it into the net and it was 4-0.

James Morrish scores the fourth

In the 62nd minute it was 5-0 when Welford battled hard for the ball on the edge of the penalty area and the ball was played back to Freeman whose shot beat Prall.

Ricky Freeman is congratulated for his goal

With around half an hour still to play, more goals seemed likely, but Corinthian made three substitutions early in the second half and the changes saw them become more of an attacking threat, although the game was effectively over as a contest. Donvieve Jones did well to play the ball in for Oscar Housego and his shot came back off the post, only for Jones to send his follow up attempt wide.

Harris Rodgers replaced Welford for the home side, Lee struck a good shot just past the post and then Morrish shot straight at Prall from a Rodgers cross. Prall blocked another Lee effort and then Stuart West released Freeman, whose shot was well saved and Bryant shot over at the far post from the resulting corner. Michael Hurcomb had a couple of attempts for the visitors before Stuart West became the only name taken by the referee for a foul in midfield. Freeman hit another good low shot across the goal that was saved by Prall. In stoppage time, Hurcomb was denied by a goal line clearance by Cloke and from the rebound a fierce shot by Marcus Heddon was somehow kept out by Eason.

Dan Eason makes a great save to preserve his clean sheet
Danny Williams receives the Man Of The Match award

Whitstable are back in action on Tuesday, with only their second home league game of the season against Canterbury City, followed by the FA Vase fixture next weekend when Lancing are the visitors.

Whitstable Corinthian
22 Attempts 14
14 On Target 7
7 Corners 3
1 Offside 1
9 Free Kicks Won 10

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, Jack West, Harry Brown (Tom Bryant 58), Rob Gillman, Craig Cloke (c), Stuart West, Louis Sprosen (Ollie Lee 46), James Morrish, Ricky Freeman, Shaun Welford (Harris Rodgers 66), Danny Williams.
Subs (unused): Charlie Smith, Nick Treadwell.
Goals: Danny Williams 14, 37, 47, James Morrish 55, Ricky Freeman 62.
Yellow card: Stuart West 86

Aiden Prall, Louis Anderson (Jordan Campbell 56), Bradley Large (Donvieve Jones 64), Sam Groombridge, Ryan Sawyer, Chris McDermott, Alexander Jack Billings, Jack Bath (c), Michael Hurcomb, Oscar Housego, Charlie Clover (Marcus Heddon 50).
Sub (unused): Aaron Guard

Attendance: 130
Referee: Nicholas Fruin
Assistants: Robin Smit & Bo Wang