BECKENHAM TOWN 0 WHITSTABLE TOWN 2
SCEFL Premier Division
Saturday October 1 2016 15.00
Whitstable deservedly picked up their second win of the week with probably their best performance of the season at Beckenham. On a very good playing surface, although slippery at times in the showery weather, Whitstable played some good football and were generally in control of the game. After a goalless first half Connor Hood opening the scoring with a contender for “goal of the season” and Kane Rowland added a second. There could have been more in a confident display, but the home side also had some good chances, twice missing the target when in great positions and Dan Eason had to make a couple of good saves.
New signings Ashley Brown and Dane Luchford both started with Ollie Lee playing in a holding midfield role. The first attempt after 9 minutes was a shot from lone striker Rowland that went well wide. Just afterwards, Eason made a crucial save as Marvin Alebiosu made ground down the left and crossed for Hassan Jalloh, whose shot from just outside the penalty area was heading just inside the far post before the Whitstable goalkeeper managed to get down to his left and turn the ball round the post.
Whitstable were passing the ball around well and keeping possession, but were unable to convert this into goals. On 25 minutes Lee played in Rowland, but his shot went into the side netting. Then Rowland was in again and his blocked shot came out to Lee and his effort was saved by Darren Ibrahim.
In a rare attack the home side should really have taken the lead as a ball into the box found an unmarked Louis Sprosen, but he fired wide with only Eason to beat. Whitstable were soon back on top and a spell of pressure ended with Harris Rodgers shooting past Ibrahim, but it was ruled out for a foul. Another good passing move saw Rodgers cross from the right with the ball almost finding the net off a defender and as Rowland closed in the ball was scrambled clear. The impressive Darren Marsden almost slipped Luchford in on goal, but the ball just ran away from him. Then Nick Treadwell, Marsden, Lee and Rodgers combined well, but the home defence again managed to clear. Treadwell headed a Luchford corner wide of the post as half time approached. The interval came without any score, just as a heavy shower passed over the ground.
Just after the restart, Sprosen handled the ball as it arrived in the box from the right, but play was allowed to continue as he turned and shot. Fortunately, controversy was avoided as the ball struck the far post and away to safety. On 55 minutes Lee got through the home defence after a one-two, but his shot was saved. A minute later, Connor Hood picked up the ball just inside his own half and took it forward past a few challenges, then curled in a super shot from around 25 yards which gave Ibrahim no chance as it found the top corner just inside the far post.
The quality of the goal seemed to lift the team as they went forward in search of another. Rodgers bent a shot just wide and then headed a Hood cross past Ibrahim, but was flagged offside.
On 63 minutes, Marsden played the ball forward to Rowland who squeezed it through the keeper’s legs and it rolled into the net to double the lead.
Then another header from Rodgers appeared to be tipped over the bar by Ibrahim, although a goal kick was awarded. Rowland and Marsden both had attempts off target but a number of substitutions seemed to lift the home side as Whitstable looked to see the game out in the last twenty minutes. Alebiosu shot wide when he looked certain to score after a good one-two and then Eason made a good save from a follow up shot after Rowland had cleared a Beckenham corner. Whitstable collected a couple of late bookings, but had no further alarms and deservedly claimed the three points.
Next up is the return fixture at Hollands & Blair on Wednesday, so the team will hope they can produce another good performance to gain revenge for the recent home defeat.
Darren Ibrahim, Danny Akers, Andrew Whorms, Gassimu Jalloh, Jack Hope, James Fitzgerald, Frankie Warren (Nathan Palmer 58), Louis Sprosen, Marvin Alebiosu, Jamie Humphris (Richmond Kissi 62), Hassan Jalloh (Kelvin Ogboe 68).
Subs (unused): Jamie Turner, George Mitchell.
Yellow card: Louis Sprosen 65.
Dan Eason, Connor Hood, Harry Brown, Ashley Brown, Rob Gillman (c), Ollie Lee, Dane Luchford, Nick Treadwell, Kane Rowland, Darren Marsden (Grant McIlheron 81), Harris Rodgers (Aaron Quain 68).
Subs (unused): Craig Thompson, Brendon Cass, Harry Brooks.
Goals: Connor Hood 56, Kane Rowland 63.
Yellow cards: Dane Luchford 32, Darren Marsden 42, Kane Rowland 89, Aaron Quain 90+3.
Referee: Alexis Stacchini
Assistants: Steve Roots & Jerry Annandale