TOWN’S LATE WINNER TO WIN THE BRUCE SMITH SHIELD

Scott Heard on the move
Scott Heard on the move

Herne Bay 0 Whitstable Town 1

Bruce Smith Shield

Tuesday 15th July 2014

A last minute goal from Aaron James helped Whitstable to deservedly retain the Bruce Smith Shield at Herne Bay on Tuesday.

Herne Bay did have the best of the early exchanges with the first chance coming in the sixth minute when Kane Butler shot wide of the target.  Ben Brown then had another chance for the Bay three minutes later but his attempt crept wide. Stuart King then got on the end of a cross after 19 minutes but his header went wide.  Town then began to settle and Ian Pulman caused problems for the Bay defence. He attempted a shot but the ball deflected off a Bay defender and ballooned over the bar for a corner. The balance of the play was beginning to turn in the visitors favour and when Ryan Golding found himself free after 25 minutes, he headed straight at Bay keeper Ben Kitcherside who collected the ball easily. Then came a moment of madness when ex Whitstable striker King fired a

Aaron James heads home the winner
Aaron James heads home the winner

shot straight at Jake Mackenzie as the ball was dead awaiting a free kick. The referee immediately showed King the red card and Bay were reduced to ten men. Whitstable continued to press and Peter Wedgeworth had the next chance on 33 minutes. He had a free kick from 25 yards that tested Kitcherside but the keeper pushed the ball over the bar. Five minutes later Wedgeworth again had a free kick but this time he shot straight at the keeper. With a minute to go until half time the Bay attacked on the break with two quick headers which were well saved by Luke Watkins.

The second half started with the scores still level and Town still in the ascendency but chances were few are far between.  Town had to wait until the 68th minute for the next real opportunity when Tom Loynes dribbled through  into the Bay area but his shot went just wide. Then on 77 minutes Connor Hefferman hit a snap shot but Jack Delo in the Herne Bay goal for the second half collected the ball easily.   Herne Bay continued to look dangerous on the break and Town keeper Brett Mills had to be at his best to save at full stretch.  Town however continued to

The squad celebrate their win with Bruce
The squad celebrate their win with Bruce

press and after 83 minutes Kane Rowland hit a rasping shot that Delo fended away.  With two minutes to go Bay had the opportunity to take the lead but a shot went straight across the goal mouth and away.  Then came the decisive moment when a Tom Loynes corner found Aaron James who headed in. The ball was cleared but had crossed the goal line and was enough for Town to take the Trophy for another year.

The Whitstable supporters behind the goal gave a fitting tribute as Bruce presented the trophy with the cry of “there is only one Bruce Smith”

Squad: Watkins, Ulph, Wedgeworth, Kennett, Gray, Petitt, Heard, Girt, Pulman, Golding, Mackenzie, Connor Hefferman, Loynes, James, Crimmen, Rowland, Woollcott, Cameron Hefferman, Ryan Freedman, Aaron Skinner, Brett Mills