WHITSTABLE TOWN 3 BECKENHAM TOWN 1
SCEFL Premier Division
Saturday March 11 2017 15.00
Whitstable got back to winning ways with a fairly comfortable victory over a struggling Beckenham Town who remain in the bottom two. Two early goals from Kane Rowland and Charlie Smith, both close range finishes after some hesitant defending, gave the home side a lift and it looked as though there might be a few more to follow. The game became very scrappy though as the half progressed, with numerous free kicks and although Beckenham showed a few glimpses of quality in the final third, Dan Eason was rarely troubled. The game was all but over early in the second half as Smith set up Rowland to make it 3-0. The visitors made a triple substitution to try to change things and with 15 minutes remaining they did manage a consolation goal when a complete mix up in the home defence gifted Lekan Bakare a simple chance. Hassan Oshilaja was sent off shortly afterwards for collecting two yellow cards and the rest of the game passed with little goalmouth action.
Most of the midweek absentees returned for Whitstable, although Bola Dawodu was unavailable for this weekend. Beckenham are battling to finish out of the relegation places and have improved a little of late, but still need some more points from their remaining games. The game started on a fine afternoon in front of a relatively small crowd with Whitstable pushing forward. After an early corner was safely gathered by young goalkeeper Aiden Prall, who is currently on loan from Charlton, Ollie Lee made a good run down the right but was closed down before being able to get the ball across. Chan Quan tried a shot from the edge of the box that was easily held by Eason, but most of the action was at the other end with Beckenham struggling to get any possession as they were second to most of the balls in midfield. On 10 minutes, hesitation in the visitors defence allowed enough space for Rowland and Regan Payne each to have shots blocked on the line before Rowland finally found the net at the third attempt.
Just a minute later Payne was almost in again, but Whitstable did not have to wait long to double their lead as a
cross from the left was met by Rowland at the far post and the ball came back across the goal to Smith who slid in to send it into the roof of the net.
Payne again did well down the left and passed to Smith whose shot from 18 yards was blocked and he was crowded out as he tried to make room for another attempt. It then became more of a battle as Beckenham tried to get themselves back into the game. Oshilaja tried a shot that lacked any power and Quan lifted a free kick straight at Eason. A good run by Jack Mahoney almost created another chance for the home side, but he was just caught by the last defender. Whitstable were not helping themselves by conceding a number of unnecessary free kicks at this stage, but Beckenham failed to take advantage of any of them. On 28 minutes as Payne and Rowland pressed forward, Prall picked up a back pass giving Whitstable a free kick about 10 yards from goal. The ball was rolled to Smith, but his shot was wide of the far post.
James Morrish won the ball and sent Rowland on a run into the box, the ball eventually reaching Mahoney who shot over. Mahoney was then booked for a foul inside his own half and from the resultant free kick, the home defence failed to close down Quan but he was unable to find the target. At the other end an Aaron Quain free kick was well met by Tom Bryant but he could not beat Prall. Jamie Humphris started a move down the right and a good ball in by Quan was lifted over the top by Joe N’Guessan. A Connor Hood corner was caught at the second attempt by Prall and just before the break there were a couple of cards shown for some pushing and shoving in the box as a Beckenham free kick was about to be taken. Half time arrived with the score at 2-0, but the game had become very scrappy.
Early in the second half a Beckenham corner taken by Quan was scooped over the bar by Humphris and Smith headed a Hood corner wide at the other end. After another Beckenham corner was cleared, Smith and Rowland combined well in attack, with Smith providing the cross for Rowland to score from close range.
The visitors won a couple more corners that were cleared before Harris Rodgers replaced Payne, although he was to last only ten minutes before having to be substituted himself by Craig Thompson due to injury. Beckenham made all three substitutions on 61 minutes, before Harry Brown came on for Mahoney. A double foul by Michak Stanic-Stewart on Rowland earned him a yellow card and Oshilaja joined him in the book, presumably for something said to the officials. N’Guessan headed a Quan cross over the bar and then on 72 minutes the home defence attempted to leave a bouncing ball to Eason, but he could not get there before Bakare, who had the simple task of finding the empty net. The scorer found himself in the book shortly afterwards for a dive and then Beckenham were reduced to ten men when Oshilaja brought down Rowland as he tried to break clear and he was shown a second yellow card. Thompson sent a shot over the bar from 20 yards after a Rowland pass. In the final minutes Quain was booked for a foul and then Thompson, who had appeared to take a blow in the face, committed a foul of his own soon afterwards to complete the notebook entries for the afternoon.
Whitstable now go into the cup semi-final at Sheppey on the back of a win, but it was not the best of games. Having scored a couple of early goals, the game seemed to have an end of season feel to it, but there were a number of unnecessary cards picked up by both teams, which may yet cost them in the games ahead.
Dan Eason, Connor Hood, Aaron Quain, Tom Bryant, Rob Gillman (c), Ollie Lee, Jack Mahoney (Harry Brown 66), James Morrish, Kane Rowland, Regan Payne (Harris Rodgers 59, Craig Thompson 69), Charlie Smith.
Subs (unused): Calvin Sedenu, Dean Ruddy.
Goals: Kane Rowland 10, 53, Charlie Smith 11.
Yellow cards: Jack Mahoney 32, Tom Bryant 42, Aaron Quain 87, Craig Thompson 90+3.
Aiden Prall, Michak Stanic-Stewart, Jack Hope (c), Gassimu Jalloh (Damien Ramsamy 61), Ola Williams, Nathan Ferguson, Chan Quan, Hassan Oshilaja, Hassan Jalloh (Jordan Kokora 61), Jamie Humphris (Lekan Bakare 61), Joe N’Guessan.
Subs (unused): Adam Wadmore, Frankie Warren.
Goal: Lekan Bakare 72
Yellow cards: Jack Hope 42, Michak Stanic-Stewart 67, Hassan Oshilaja 67, 75, Lekan Bakare 73.
Red card: Hassan Oshilaja (two yellows) 75
Referee: Kane Dempster
Assistants: Danny Swannell & Matthew Sell