Tooting & Mitcham United 2 Whitstable Town 2
Ryman Football League Division One (South)
Saturday 9th January 2016
A superb free-kick late in the game by joint manager Wayne Wilson earned the oystermen a valuable point at Imperial Fields.
With Tooting not usually a happy hunting ground for the visitors and playing in the worst the British weather could throw at them, Both sides adapted well, but after early home pressure, it was Whitstable who took the lead. Whitstable’s latest signing and scoring legend Stuart King harassed the home defence, and when presented with the
ball, found the net in five minutes, although a big deflection off Antonio Simone did enough to beat Tooting new keeper Sheik Ceesay. This spurred on the Terrors and Dan Eason was called on to make a string of fine saves, including a reaction special from a shot which deflected of Jack Sayer. However the pressure finally told, when the tricky Leon Lalor-Dell beat two challenges and fed Chace O’Neill on 28 minutes and the bearded midfielder coolly slotted the ball home for the equaliser. Whitstable bounced back with Dean Grant and King forcing saves from Ceesay, who was at times struggling to keep his feet from a quick succession of away corners, King then sprung the offside trap, but his clever lob just went over the bar.
With the conditions turning from wet and windy to monsoon like, Harry Stannard replaced Sayer at the start of the second period, and within seconds Sam Bewick was booked for a clumsy challenge. The home side now started to dominate with the hailing wind behind them with Prince M’Bengo and Serge Makofo making Eason earn his money, then on 55 minutes Charlie ‘Wolfie’ Smith replaced Grant who had a slight strain. Scott Punton was then booked for a strong challenge on O’Neill which infuriated the home support, and from the resulting free kick by Ashley Robinson, Eason was again showing why he’s one of the best keeper’s around with
another scintillating save. Then on 70 minutes Tooting were in front. Sam Conlan slipped, Adriano Moreas picked up the ball, found M’Bengu and he found the corner of the net. Taser Hassan replaced Conlan on 75 minutes, but again man of the match Eason produced a great save when M’Bengu found himself on a one on one. Then the quality moment, King broke free, but was tripped 25 yards out by Sol Patterson-Bonher. Up stepped Wayne Wilson, who’s curling free-kick swung into the top right corner, to equalise and probably if filmed be a contender for goal of the season. Tooting then threw the kitchen sink at the game and with 5 minutes stoppage time added Ricardo Thompson made two brilliant last ditch tackles as did Bewick, but even as the clock ticked down Joe Kennett stole in and nearly won the game for Whitstable, but his header was well saved.
So, Whitstable earned a welcome point, but with King and Prince scoring, it was left to Wilson’s goal to crown a good away day, with plenty of vocal support from the oysterboys from the stand.
Whitstable Team : Dan Eason, Ricardo Thompson, Reiss Crimmen, Scott Punton, Joe Kennett, Jack Sayer (Harry Stannard 46 mins) Sam Bewick, Wayne Wilson, Stuart King, Dean Grant (Charlie Smith 55 mins), Sam Conlan (Taser Hassan 75 mins).
Subs not used. Ira Jackson, Harry Brooks
Report thanks to Richard Tennant