LUKE WATKINS GAINS POINT FOR TOWN

Luke Watkins and his many saves
Luke Watkins and his many saves

Whitstable Town 0 Herne Bay 0

Ryman Football League Division One (South)

Monday 26th August 2013

A typical derby day between local rivals Whitstable Town and Herne Bay ended in stalemate as ten man Whitstable had to fight for a whole half with only ten men with young keeper Luke Watkins having a brilliant game thwarting a number of Bay efforts.

The game started with little goal mouth action in the first ten minutes with neither side creating any meaningful chances. Town had the first opportunity after eleven minutes when Jordan Wells sent a shot just wide of the target. Two minutes later the ever dangerous Jordan Casey shot straight at Watkins who gathered the ball. Another save by Watkins one minute later as Casey put in a header. Herne Bay at this time were gaining the ascendancy and ex Whitstable midfielder Dan Lawrence had a shot deflected over the bar. Town got

Watkins produces another save
Watkins produces another save

more into the game as the half progressed and after 21 minutes a Gary Cook cross was met by John Guest whose header went just over the bar. Three minutes later Jordan Wells sent in a cross that neither Laurence Harvey or Scott Heard could get on to the ball as it crossed the penalty area.  Bay’s Casey was back in the action five minutes later when he sent in a long range shot high over the bar. Town came nearest to breaking the deadlock 33 minutes into the half when Jordan Wells put in a cross where Peter Huggens just touched the ball wide.  Then came a controversial moment just before half time when stand in Town striker, Harvey was adjudged to have elbowed Connor Saunders. The referee immediately showed the red card to Harvey and Town were down to ten men.

The second half started with the Bay on the attack. James Turner had a shot a minute after half time for Herne Bay but it went over the bar. The “Luke Watkins” show really gathered steam a minute later when after a melee in the penalty area when the ball appeared to be goal bound before the keeper reached up and pushed the ball over the bar. A Dean Grant overhead kick also challenged the Town goal but went wide. Watkins was again Town’s saviour after 59 minutes when Dean Walder had a shot caught by the Town keeper. The ten men of Whitstable then had a spell with Jordan Wells

John Guest header hits the post
John Guest header hits the post

shooting wide and three minutes later Guest met the ball at fall stretch and his header cannoned of the post.  Watkins saved well to keep the scores level after 72 minutes. A minute later Grant shot over the bar and Heard did the same at the other end after another minute. Walder again sent in a shot for the Bay but yet again there was Watkins pushing the ball wide.  There were a couple of chances in injury time with Mo Takaloo shooting tamely at Bay keeper Jack Delo and then Watkins was on hand again a couple of minutes from the final whistle.

Both sides had to settle for a point in this frenetic goal less draw in front of a bumper 445 Bank Holiday crowd.

Team:  Watkins, Wells D (Cobb 79mins), Webb (Maguire 16mins), Huggens, Guest, Cook, Heard, Morrish, Harvey, Wells J, MacKenzie(Takaloo 72mins)