ERITH TOWN 0 WHITSTABLE TOWN 2
Kent Reliance Senior Trophy Quarter Final
Wednesday January 31 2018 19.45
A depleted Whitstable Town team set up a home semi-final against Cray Valley PM on Saturday 10th February with a straightforward win at Oakwood, the ground Erith Town share with VCD Athletic. Ricky Freeman gave them an early lead from the penalty spot after he was brought down in the box. Stuart West almost found the net with a header shortly afterwards, before Dan Eason was called upon to deal with the only shot on target from Erith. The home side made things difficult for themselves with a red card in each half, both for rash challenges by players who had already been booked. Whitstable should have won more comfortably and Freeman had his second penalty saved by Adam Molloy after West had been fouled. Rob Gillman eventually wrapped things up by finding the net following a corner. Substitute Shaun Welford twice went close to adding to the score, but Whitstable had done enough with the defence looking solid throughout.
This was the third attempt to play this cup tie, following a couple of failed pitch inspections. Whitstable were short of numbers with James Morrish serving the final game of his ban, Charlie Smith and Macauley Murray were unavailable, Teddy Nelson was cup tied, Rhys Brain had a knee injury and the hat trick hero of the previous game, Danny Williams, had to withdraw for family reasons. There were returns for Rob Gillman and Louis Sprosen, with Stuart West moving into a forward role. Erith Town had drawn twice with Whitstable in the league this season, although they had lost their last two matches and were also missing a couple of their players and without Stuart Zanone, appeared to have a reduced goal threat.
Erith had an early sight of goal when a throw in was partially cleared and Osman Proni lifted a shot high over the bar from 20 yards. Whitstable soon started to press forward though and Freeman had an effort blocked, then the hard working West won a corner that was cleared by the home defence. Freeman did well to control a long ball forward down the right and burst into the box, where Dan Palfrey came across and brought him down and the referee blew for a penalty. After some protests that earned a yellow card for Harrison Hume, Freeman stepped up and struck the ball into the right hand corner, sending Molloy the wrong way and Whitstable had the perfect start after just 10 minutes.
A few minutes later West rose to beat Molloy to a high ball as the goalkeeper jumped into him and the ball just went past the left hand post of the open goal. The collision left Molloy needing some treatment before being able to continue. Erith had their only real attempt on goal in the 17th minute when a long ball was helped on to Andres Tobon and his cross reached Proni, whose shot was kept out by Eason and the follow up was sent way over the top. West then got into a good position and shot low across the goal, but Molloy was able to make the save. Erith were reduced to ten men on 23 minutes when a poor challenge by Hume on Josh Burchell left the Whitstable player on the ground after he had cleared the ball. It was a tackle that might well have earned him a straight red card, but he still had to leave the pitch as the referee brandished a second yellow.
Some good play by West created another opening for Freeman and his shot was pushed around the post for a corner by Molloy. Freeman won another corner a few minutes later after being played in by Ronnie Dolan, but Whitstable could not capitalise on the chances they were creating. A mistake by Jack Duffy allowed West a clear run on goal, but he was forced wide to the right by Molloy and was unable to get a shot on target from a narrow angle. West then turned provider to release Freeman, but his shot was too high. As half time approached, Palfrey slipped over on the halfway line and pulled the ball back with his hand whilst on the ground to earn himself a caution. West turned and shot low, but was again denied by Molloy and the last chance of the half fell to Freeman from a Burchell cross, but his shot across goal went past the far post.
Whitstable will have been disappointed with the single goal to show for their efforts before the interval and the second half continued in similar fashion. A dangerous cross from Burchell found West in a good position, but he was unable to get on the end of it. A one-two between Freeman and West resulted in a good long distance strike by Freeman that was tipped around the post by Molloy. There was a rare chance for the home team on 54 minutes when a Sidney Warden corner was headed well over the bar by Jim Day. Whitstable had a great opportunity to double their advantage when a Tom Bryant pass was flicked on by Freeman to West and he was pulled down in the box by Jack Hooper, earning the defender a booking and Freeman another chance from the penalty spot. This time he tried to beat Molloy to his right, but the goalkeeper got down to make a save. The ball ran loose and Freeman was booked for catching Molloy as he gathered it at the second attempt.
At the other end, a dangerous curling cross from Tobon might have made Whitstable pay for their missed chances, but nobody could get a touch and it went out for a goal kick. In the 65th minute, a reckless challenge by Hooper on Chris Saunders left the referee with no option but to show him a second yellow card and he walked off leaving nine men to battle on. The young Erith team did work hard and pass the ball around well, but just could not find a way through the experienced Whitstable defence, with Gillman, Bryant and captain Craig Cloke leaving Eason with little to do.
John Walker and West combined down the right to create another chance for Freeman, who turned and shot from just inside the box, but once again Molloy got down to save. Welford came on to replace Freeman on 71 minutes and he was soon in the action as his downward header from a Cloke delivery fell to Saunders, whose shot was blocked. A miscued clearance by Eason led to a corner for Erith, which the Whitstable goalkeeper had to tip over for another that he caught safely. In the 75th minute, West won a corner that was swung in by Burchell and the ball dropped to Gillman who shot through the crowd into the far corner to finally put Whitstable 2-0 up.
A great cross field pass by the impressive Dolan picked out Burchell and his ball in was acrobatically tipped around the post by Molloy. Whitstable introduced the young Owen Fitt for Saunders and Erith made three substitutions in the final 15 minutes. Another Burchell cross found Welford at the back post, but his header was deflected behind for a corner. Welford had one other opportunity, turning and shooting after receiving the ball from Burchell on the edge of the box, but the effort went wide. In stoppage time, Sprosen sent in a dipping shot from distance, but the ball just went the wrong side of the post.
Whitstable will be happy to progress to a home semi-final with few alarms, but should really have scored a few more goals, although credit must go to the way that Erith fought and their goalkeeper for a number of saves to keep his team in the game for so long.
|14||Free Kicks Won||11|
Adam Molloy, Ben Fitchett, Daniel Palfrey, James Day (c), Jack Duffy, Jack Hooper, Andres Felipe Losada Tobon (Lewis Risk 84), Harrison Hume, Ken Charles (Ollie Milton 76), Sidney Warden, Osman Proni (Hamid Bangoura 80).
Subs (unused): Lewis Scotter, Cameron Lovatt.
Yellow card: Daniel Palfrey 42
Red cards: Harrison Hume 23 (two yellows 10, 23), Jack Hooper 65 (two yellows 57, 65).
Dan Eason, John Walker, Josh Burchell, Rob Gillman, Craig Cloke (c), Tom Bryant, Ronnie Dolan, Chris Saunders (Owen Fitt 78), Ricky Freeman (Shaun Welford 71), Stuart West, Louis Sprosen.
Sub (unused): Brendon Cass
Goals: Ricky Freeman (pen) 10, Rob Gillman 75.
Yellow card: Ricky Freeman 57
Referee: Jamie Eacott
Assistants: Liam Vittoria & Daniel Blades
ERITH TOWN 1 WHITSTABLE TOWN 1
SCEFL Premier Division
Saturday January 6 2018 15.00
Whitstable earned a point at Erith Town on a chilly afternoon in a game that started quite well, but ended with numerous stoppages and cards and neither team able to find a winner. Stuart West headed just over and Rob Gillman struck the outside of the post for Whitstable, but it was the home side who generally had the better of things during the first half and poor defending allowed Stuart Zanone a simple finish to open the scoring in the 41st minute. Erith could have been two up at the break, but Dan Eason saved a Daniel Palfrey penalty after James Morrish was penalised for holding in the box. Whitstable were better in the second half and pushed Erith back for long periods, but were unconvincing in front of goal, although West turned the ball in at the far post to equalise after 52 minutes. Craig Cloke went close with a couple of efforts and there were loud shouts for a penalty when Charlie Smith was knocked over, but Whitstable were reduced to ten men late on when Morrish was sent off and the game ended scrappily with a series of yellow cards for minor offences and little goalmouth action.
There were a few changes to the Whitstable starting eleven, with Morrish and John Walker returning, but Louis Sprosen was ruled out through injury and Danny Williams started on the bench having been unwell during the week. Shaun Welford continues his recovery from long term injury and was also named as a substitute. Erith Town had drawn 2-2 at the Belmont in December with Stuart West earning Whitstable a point, scoring two late goals.
A good effort by Adem Ramadan won Erith an early corner, as his shot was deflected wide, but it was Whitstable that had the first real chance when West outjumped the home defence to meet a deep Walker cross, but his header just missed the top corner. There was a corner at each end before Macauley Murray tried his luck with a shot from just outside the box that forced Adam Molloy into a low save by his post. Tom Bryant was unable to keep his header down from the next Whitstable corner and then an unnecessary foul by Palfrey on Ricky Freeman gave Murray an opportunity, but his free kick was comfortably held by Molloy. The game was flowing backwards and forwards for most of the first period, although Whitstable were almost caught out a couple of times, being outnumbered on the break and Sidney Warden found himself clear of the defence in the 14th minute, but took too long and the chance was gone. A few minutes later another quick attack by the home side was just cleared for a corner.
On 21 minutes, Walker became the first of many names to go into the referee’s book and Zanone struck the resultant free kick straight at Eason. After Osman Proni was cautioned for kicking the ball away, Whitstable won a couple more corners and then West was wrestled over on the edge of the box. Josh Burchell took the free kick, which was saved by Molloy, and he then became the second Whitstable player to go into the book for a foul. The game began to suffer from a few stoppages, but Burchell and Freeman set up West, who saw his shot blocked and then from a rather soft free kick a long ball into the area by Burchell was touched on by the fingertips of Molloy to the back post where Gillman arrived but just failed to divert it inside the post.
As half time approached, Whitstable conceded possession in midfield and once again were short at the back as Proni raced free down the right and crossed to Zanone who had plenty of time and space to shoot past Eason from close range. Just a couple of minutes later, as the ball was delivered into the Whitstable penalty area, the referee spotted a foul by Morrish and pointed to the spot. Palfrey stepped up, but Eason made a good save low to his right to keep the deficit to a single goal at the break.
From the restart, West played the ball through to Morrish, who flicked it just wide. West was then booked by the referee, who had spoken to him previously a few times for earlier challenges, none of which seemed particularly bad individually. It was West though that brought Whitstable level when the ball came across from the right and he was able to force it home at the far post.
Freeman and West caused a few more problems before West was spoken to again by the referee and immediately signalled to the bench to be substituted and Smith took his place up front. Whitstable were now in control as Erith struggled to keep hold of the ball for any length of time and they won a succession of corners, but the delivery was mostly disappointing, although Cloke did go close from one, with his header going just past the post.
On 70 minutes, Williams came on for Freeman. Zanone then made a good run forward, but shot straight at Eason and this was the first of only two goal attempts by the home side in the second half. Smith went down as he challenged for a high ball in the box, but the referee waved away penalty appeals. Erith sent on Jack Hooper for Lewis Scotter as they reorganised at the back and then a long range, low strike by Cloke just skipped past the post. On 83 minutes a rash challenge by Morrish on Jack Duffy saw the red card brandished and the visitors were down to ten men. Erith replaced Proni with Ken Charles, who had scored in the reverse fixture at the Belmont. There was little action of note for the remaining minutes, except for a succession of yellow cards and the final whistle came as some relief, as a game that started in entertaining fashion ended in near farce and a draw was probably a fair result.
|21||Free Kicks Won||15|
Adam Molloy, Lewis Scotter (Jack Hooper 74), Daniel Palfrey, Harrison Hume, Ben Fitchett, Tamer Bilal, Osman Proni (Ken Charles 86), Jack Duffy (c), Stuart Zanone, Sidney Warden, Adem Ramadan.
Subs (unused): Lewis Risk, James Day, Peter Dale.
Goal: Stuart Zanone 41
Yellow cards: Osman Proni 23, Daniel Palfrey 87, Harrison Hume 90+4.
Dan Eason, John Walker, Josh Burchell, Rob Gillman, Craig Cloke (c), Tom Bryant, Chris Saunders, James Morrish, Ricky Freeman (Danny Williams 70), Stuart West (Charlie Smith 60), Macauley Murray.
Subs (unused): Teddy Nelson, Shaun Welford, Dean Ruddy.
Goal: Stuart West 52
Yellow cards: John Walker 21, Josh Burchell 31, Stuart West 48, Danny Williams 87, Craig Cloke 89, Charlie Smith 90+1.
Red card: James Morrish 83
Referee: Kane O’Beirne
Assistants: Brian Wheatley & Ben Rathe