Whitstable Town 1 Merstham 2
Ryman Football League Division One (South)
27th February 2014
Whitstable Town went down at home against a lively Merstham side on Thursday evening as two early goals proved too much for Town to recover.
The first goal came in the seventh minute as Merstham put pressure on the Town goal. There was a scramble in the penalty area and Scott Heard put the ball in his own net as he desperately tried to clear the ball. Problems with the floodlights led to a delay in the game but the electrician was able to get the lights back on after half an hour. But after 17 minutes Merstham were two up when a
cross found Fabio Saralva who had a free header which he planted in the Town net. Merstham continued to attack and Sarvala scuffed a shot wide after 23 minutes. Whitstable had to wait until the 28th minute when Charlie Smith with a second attempt lifted the ball over the bar. Then on 32 minutes Joe Kane cleared the ball off the line from a shot from Tommy Hutchings. Six minutes later a long range shot from Steve Hafner failed to hit the target. The hosts came nearest to scoring when the ball ricocheted off Jake Mackenzie and was looping over Daly Brannon into the top corner. The Merstham keeper back pedalled and managed to claw the ball away. Town, who were without the injured Laurence Harvey were under pressure throughout the first half and Merstham deserved to go in for the break two nil up.
The second half saw an improved Town look dangerous as substitute Dave Raggett was blocked well by Merstham keeper Daly Brannon. The visitors should have been further ahead on 57 minutes when Salvara put the ball over the bar from a yard out. Joe Kane gave Town hope on the hour when he turned on the ball and planted his shot in the corner of the net. On 73 minutes the ever dangerous Tuean Roberts broke down the right hand side. He cut in but sent his shot wide of the far post. On 77 minutes another Hafner free kick was flicked on by Mackenzie but the ball went just wide. Town continued to attack but were unable to break through. Merstham substitute, Jack Guilford was sent off for a second yellow card just before full time.
It was a case of too little too late for Town as they dropped valuable points. They must now regroup for Saturday’s game at home to Folkestone Invicta.
Team: Watkins, Simpson, Webb, Hafner, Etherington (Maguire 64mins), Kane, Heard (Mackenzie 38mins), Keyte, Smith C, Baverstock (Raggett 45mins), Brown