Cup Win Despite Missed Chances

ERITH TOWN 1 WHITSTABLE TOWN 2
Kent Reliance Senior Trophy Second Round
Saturday November 26 2016 15.00

Whitstable completed their second win in five weeks at Oakwood against Erith Town to progress to the quarter finals of the Kent Reliance Senior Trophy. This was arguably a more one sided affair than the 5-1 league victory, despite a nervy last few minutes. Two well taken early goals by Harris Rodgers hinted at another high score, but although Whitstable went on to create a host of good chances, they just could not find the net again. Rodgers who had looked a real threat up front, was forced off with a hamstring injury after 37 minutes. Darren Marsden had a great game and did everything but score, twice hitting the bar and having a number of other attempts just off target. Connor Hood also hit the inside of the post and home goalkeeper Bobby Sturgeon made some good saves. Whitstable won the corner count 10-2, but failed to increase their lead. Then, Erith captain Lee Coburn pulled a goal back on 85 minutes and a corner and free kick deep into stoppage time threatened an unlikely equaliser, but Whitstable held on for a deserved win.

Whitstable made one change to the starting eleven from the previous game with Rodgers returning in place of the unavailable Scott Punton. Ollie Lee dropped back to play on the right side of the defence with Hood in a more advanced role. The first goal came after just 3 minutes as Craig Thompson played the ball forward to Rodgers whose shot from the right edge of the penalty area beat Sturgeon and found the far corner.

Rodgers beats Sturgeon for the first
Rodgers beats Sturgeon for the first

Soon afterwards Rodgers raced on to a Charlie Smith pass, but was flagged offside just as he looked like he might double the lead. Lee then set him free again, but the home side managed to clear for a corner. On 12 minutes the first hint of some attacking play by Erith ended with Harry Brown clearing the danger and then Dan Eason and Ashley Brown both had to be alert to deal with balls into the box. Whitstable were soon back on the front foot as Rodgers got in on goal again, but his attempt was blocked. Marsden then skipped through down the left hand side but chipped just over the bar. Thompson did well to hold the ball up and played it into the path of Marsden who shot over from close range. After 22 minutes though it was 2-0 as Marsden passed the ball through to Rodgers, who went round Sturgeon and scored from a tight angle.

Rodgers round the keeper
Rodgers round the keeper
... and scores the second
… and scores the second

It was almost three straight afterwards as the referee played the advantage when Marsden was tripped, but he managed to continue his run and cross to Hood whose shot was kept out by Sturgeon. Smith and Thompson both had attempts before Marsden shrugged off a challenge from Ricky North and got into a great position on the left and his right footed shot beat Sturgeon but came back off the bar. Ola Giwa did break into the Whitstable box, but was forced wide by Eason and shot into the side netting. Then the unfortunate Rodgers pulled up after another dangerous run and had to be replaced by Aaron Quain. As half time approached Coburn had a shot from distance that Eason saved low by the post and Lee headed a corner wide at the other end.

The first 20 minutes of the second half produced a succession of Whitstable chances. Hood released Thompson, but his shot was touched around the far post by Sturgeon. Thompson then played the ball from right to left where Smith crossed for Marsden to crash the ball against the underside of the bar and out. Marsden then rounded the stranded keeper but his shot from an acute angle went past the far post. Hood then robbed Bradley Simms, raced down the right and shot past Sturgeon only to see the ball come back off the inside of the far post. It was then the turn of Marsden who saw another shot deflected for a corner that was headed wide by Harry Brown. Marsden was then brought down by North as he ran on to a long pass and Harry Brown saw his free kick turned round the post by the busy keeper.

Marsden hits the bar for the second time
Marsden hits the bar for the second time
This one is just wide
This one is just wide
Charlie Smith climbs high
Charlie Smith climbs high

Erith made a couple of substitutions on 65 minutes and pushed their captain Coburn up front. They won their first corner a minute later and gradually posed a bit more of a threat. There was still time for Marsden to chip one effort on top of the net and shoot just wide with another before Whitstable made a couple of substitutions. With 5 minutes of normal time remaining Coburn latched on to a pass and curled a shot past Eason to give Erith some hope. Whitstable tried to run the clock down as the home side sought the goal that would bring extra time. With 3 minutes of stoppage time played the Erith goalkeeper came up for a corner, but Nick Treadwell rose above everyone to head clear. A minute later he conceded a free kick in the centre circle that was swung into a packed area, but although it reached an Erith head at the far post the ball ended safely in the hands of Eason and Whitstable were through to the quarter finals.

The last attempt is safely held
The last attempt is safely held

This was the last game for Nick Treadwell before he leaves for New Zealand and everyone at Whitstable Town would like to thank him for some memorable, wholehearted performances during his time at the club and wish him every success in his new adventure.

Erith Town
Bobby Sturgeon, Nico James (Jack Clark 65), Harry Brickwood, Jack Mahon, Luqman Adesina, Lee Coburn (c), James Hawkins, Michael McKenna, Ola Giwa (Isaac Atugumye 65), Ricky North (Marcus Adu-Nyanko 79), Bradley Simms.
Subs (unused): Ricky Bennett, Michael Applegate.
Goal: Lee Coburn 85
Yellow cards: Ricky North 63, James Hawkins 76.

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, Ollie Lee, Harry Brown (Newman Poku 77), Ashley Brown, Rob Gillman (c), Nick Treadwell, Connor Hood, Charlie Smith, Craig Thompson, Darren Marsden (Brendon Cass 81), Harris Rodgers (Aaron Quain 37).
Sub (unused): Harry Brooks
Goals: Harris Rodgers 3, 22.
Yellow card: Nick Treadwell 90+4.

Attendance: 38
Referee: Steve Perry
Assistants: Paul Franks & Jack Mottram