Whitstable Town v Sittingbourne

BetVictor Isthmian League South East Division
Saturday 17 August 2019 15.00

Opening Day Draw
Missed chances mean Town have to settle for a point

The first day of the league season saw Sittingbourne visit they Belmont and the game attracted a good crowd of 318 and Whitstable will feel that they had more than enough chances to start with a win. Marcus Elliott and Luke Girt both went close early on, but Sittingbourne took the lead against the run of play when Roman Campbell scored from the penalty spot after the referee adjudged a foul on Chris Barnard to be just inside the box. The goal scorer, who is on loan from Gillingham, then made things harder for his team, when he was sent off just before half time for picking up two yellow cards for needless off the ball challenges. Whitstable failed to make the most of their numerical advantage for much of the second half, but did eventually find an equaliser when goalkeeper Tom Benham spilled a low shot by Osman Proni and TJ Jadama reacted the quickest to fire home the loose ball. Whitstable had a number of opportunities to find a winner, but often failed to hit the target and in the closing minutes Sittingbourne threatened at the other end with several late breaks, but in the end the points were shared.

Full report and photos to follow…

Whitstable Data Sittingbourne
10 Shots on target 1
10 Shots off target 4
2 Shots blocked 3
7 Corners 3
12 Fouls conceded 17
0 Offside 1
0 Penalties 1

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, Jake Mackenzie, John Walker, Luke Girt, Marcus Evans, Tom Bryant (c), Liam Gillies (Alex Anderson 63), Tijan Jadama, Marcus Elliott (Tarik Ibrahim 63), Aaron Millbank, Osman Proni.
Subs (unused): Josh Spencer, Danny Patterson, Muhammed Cham.
Goal: Tijan Jadama 72

Tom Benham, Lewis West, Abdel Ndew, Lewis Chambers, Cory Walters-Wright, Lex Allan, Enoch Ako-Adjei (Shaun Brown 46), Chris Webber (Tyrone Guthrie 60), Roman Campbell, Tommie Fagg, Chris Barnard (Festus Lori 75).
Subs (unused): Jason Fregene, Johan Caney-Bryan.
Goal: Roman Campbell 27 pen
Yellow card: Tyrone Guthrie 76
Red card: Roman Campbell (two yellows 30, 42)

Attendance: 318
Referee: Graeme Ions
Assistants: Joshua Smith & Bo Wang

Whitstable Town v New Romney

Pre-season friendly
Saturday 10 August 2019 11.00

Kent County League Premier Division team New Romney were the visitors to the Belmont Ground for this recently arranged pre-season game. Liam Dickson was named the home captain for the day, with Tom Bryant unable to make the morning kick off. The game started quietly, with Whitstable getting into a few promising positions without really testing the New Romney goalkeeper. In fact, the visitors might have taken the lead in the 9th minute from a corner, when some poor marking allowed a free header, but the ball deflected off John Walker by the post and went wide. Whitstable gradually got on top and opened the scoring on 19 minutes from a good right wing cross by Jake Mackenzie that Aaron Millbank headed into the corner of the net. New Romney were still in the game and Billy Sommerville was allowed to get past his marker and try a shot that was well saved by Dan Eason. Millbank had a shot saved by Paul Egan at the other end, but Whitstable doubled their advantage in the 33rd minute. The ball was played in from the left and TJ Jadama twisted and turned to make space for a shot before finding the far corner, giving Egan no chance. On 41 minutes, the home side added a third when Mackenzie delivered a good ball into the near post and it was neatly controlled and finished by Osman Proni. As half time approached, a Millbank shot was deflected behind and from the resulting corner, Dickson was able to force the ball into the net from close range. Whitstable continued to apply pressure to the New Romney goal, but the score remained 4-0 at the break.

Aaron Millbank’s header finds the corner of the net for the opening goal
Paul Egan denies Aaron Millbank this time
TJ Jadama doubles the lead with a good finish
Osman Proni scores to make it 3-0
Liam Dickson is about to get the fourth

Danny Patterson replaced Liam Gillies in the Whitstable midfield at the start of the second half and there was almost an early goal when Proni got his foot to a Marcus Elliott cross, but the ball just cleared the bar. Elliott then had a shot saved by the New Romney goalkeeper before being substituted by Tarik Ibrahim, who nearly made an immediate impact following a strong run and shot that was deflected over the bar. Whitstable did score again on 66 minutes after the ball was initially cleared off the line and eventually came out to the 18 yard line where Luke Girt hit an unstoppable first time shot straight into the top right corner. Millbank was then played through and shot past Egan from the right edge of the area, only to see the ball rebound off the far post. New Romney had one more chance for a consolation goal when Whitstable lost the ball in midfield and Reece Palmer ran through with just Eason to beat, but the goalkeeper got down well to turn his shot away for a corner. There was a late opportunity for Owen Fitt, who had come on for Proni, after he was set up following a driving run through the middle by Girt, but his attempted lob failed to find the net. The final whistle came a few minutes later with Whitstable running out 5-0 winners.

Osman Proni puts this effort just over the bar
The ball is cleared off the line
Jumping high
Luke Girt sends the ball towards goal…
Into the top corner for the fifth Whitstable goal
Aaron Millbank hits the post

It was a useful work out on a very blustery day and Whitstable now move on to their opening league fixture at home to Sittingbourne, followed by a midweek trip to Hythe Town and a home FA Cup tie against Newhaven.

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, Jake Mackenzie, John Walker, Luke Girt, Josh Spencer, Liam Dickson (c), Liam Gillies (Danny Patterson 46), TJ Jadama, Aaron Millbank, Marcus Elliott (Tarik Ibrahim 59), Osman Proni (Owen Fitt 79).
Subs (unused): Marcus Evans, Ryan Birch.
Goals: Aaron Millbank 19, TJ Jadama 33, Osman Proni 41, Liam Dickson 44, Luke Girt 66.

New Romney
Paul Egan, Niall Jackson, Dale Harding, Jacob Holden, Wayne Rogers (c), Harry Carr, Warren Smith, Reece Palmer, Billy Sommerville, Josh McCue, Reece Mortimer.
Subs: Luca Corbo, Roy Godden, Charlie Negus, Dan Binder, Lewis Butler, Jamie White.

Attendance: 75
Referee: Piotr Zachweija
Assistants: Kirsty Dowle & Paul Hussey

Whitstable Town v Bromley XI

Pre-season friendly
Tuesday 6 August 2019 19.45

With the league season fast approaching, Whitstable took on a young Bromley team in their latest pre-season fixture. Once again, Whitstable shuffled their team around, due to several players being unavailable, but they began brightly. Some good play down right led to a good low cross by Jake Mackenzie that was stabbed just wide of the near post by Aaron Millbank and shortly afterwards Liam Dickson glanced a header over the bar. Still inside the first 10 minutes, Whitstable won a free kick that was swung into the box by Osman Proni and headed just over by Dickson. The opening goal arrived on 16 minutes, when the Bromley goalkeeper dropped a high ball and it fell invitingly for Proni, who rolled it into the net. Dan Eason was called into action in the 20th minute, when he got down well to make a save from a low strike. Proni was creating a few opportunities for the home team and played a through ball for Millbank, but Emmanuel Nwosu was quickly out to claim. A few minutes later, Proni fed Millbank again and the Whitstable striker made space for a shot, but dragged it just wide of the far post. Marcus Elliot then collected another Proni pass and laid the ball back for Liam Gillies whose low shot was saved. The pressure eventually brought a second goal in the 28th minute, when a long throw by Sanders went over Dickson at near post, but was headed home by the late arriving Tom Bryant. Bromley started to carry some attacking threat and Eason saved well from Jaedon Phillips and two follow up efforts were cleared off line by John Walker and Bryant, then two more shots were off target. Millbank tried one speculative attempt that went wide, but the home team finished the half poorly, as Bromley won two late corners, before a deep right wing cross by Dwyer was clawed out from under bar by Eason. Half time score 2-0

Aaron Millbank is just wide with an early chance
Liam Dickson heads over
Osman Proni scores the first
Tom Bryant heads in the second for Whitstable
Dan Eason punches the ball away

Bromley continued to press from the restart, with a couple of early shots. Bryant tried an overhead kick at the other end that had to be saved by Nwosu. In the 56th minute, the visitors got some reward for their efforts when a good move was finished off by Dwyer. Phillips then tested Eason again, prior to his team making some substitutions. Proni was replaced by Mike Ampofo, just before Whitstable had an attempt cleared off the line. On 68 minutes, some poor defensive work led to an equaliser for Bromley, when the ball eventually dropped kindly for Amari Robinson-Jones, who had a relatively simple finish. Both teams made further changes and Whitstable finished the game as they had started, in the ascendancy. A strong run into the left of box by Elliott created a chance for Millbank, who tucked away the low cross to put Whitstable back in front after 76 minutes. Whitstable extended their led on 83 minutes when a Danny Patterson free kick was headed in at back post by the trialist substitute. Whitstable made some late substitutions, including a few minutes on the pitch for reserve goalkeeper Ryan Birch. One late Whitstable free kick on the edge of the box was cleared and another saw a Gillies shot deflected behind, but there were no further goals and the final score remained 4-2 to Whitstable.

Tom Bryant goes close with an overhead kick
Aaron Millbank restores the lead from a Marcus Elliott cross
Whitstable make it 4-2 with a late header

Whitstable have arranged one final friendly at home to New Romney on Saturday 10 August, with an 11 a.m. kick off.

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason (Ryan Birch 87), Jake Mackenzie, John Walker, Connor Sanders (Danny Patterson 71), Liam Dickson, Tom Bryant (c) (Trialist12 73), Liam Gillies, Trialist8, Marcus Elliott (Owen Fitt 84), Aaron Millbank (Muhammed Cham 84), Osman Proni (Mike Ampofo 65).
Goals: Osman Proni 16, Tom Bryant 28, Aaron Millbank 76, Trialist12 83.

Bromley XI
Emmanuel Nwosu, Brandon Chambers, Riphi Kalala, Ollie Tanner, Harry Thomas, Tyrone Kirunda, Billy Craske, Bobby Mills, Anthony Dwyer, Spencer Cripps, Jaedon Phillips.
Subs: AJ Martin, Jude Arthurs, Tosin Akinbobola, Fiky Atewologun, Amari Robinson-Jones, D’Jean Spencer, Emmanuel Brefo, Kerry Ogbeifun.
Goals: Anthony Dwyer 56, Amari Robinson-Jones 68.

Attendance: 115
Referee: Richard Joss
Assistants: Matt Williams & Mike Donnelly
Fourth official: Alan Faulkner

Whitstable Town v Bowers & Pitsea

Pre-season friendly
Saturday 3 August 2019 15.00

Whitstable once again played a team from the Isthmian Premier League, having previously lost to Cray Wanderers, Folkestone Invicta and Margate, all from the same division. Newly promoted Essex team Bowers and Pitsea comfortably won the North Division last season, so provided another difficult test for the new look Whitstable side. The home team were again missing a number of players, although recent signing Aaron Millbank started for the first time and there were three young trialists on the bench.

The home defence began a little hesitantly, conceding a couple of early corners, but Whitstable gradually managed to get into the game and Liam Gillies shot wide following a corner in the 14th minute. Bowers almost scored just afterwards when a good cross was curled in from the right and met by Kenzer Lee, but Dan Eason made a great save, tipping the ball over the bar at full stretch. After a quiet period, Whitstable lost the ball in midfield in the 29th minute and it was played through to Bradley Warner who rolled it past Eason for a neat finish, whilst the home defence appealed in vain for an offside flag. Danny Patterson tried his luck with a long distance volley after a Whitstable free kick had come back to him outside the box, but it was well wide. On 33 minutes, the visitors made it 2-0, when possession was again lost in midfield, Dan Trendall ran down the right before crossing for Warner to score at the back post. Bowers had two further opportunities before the break, firstly when David Knight lifted a free kick on the 18 yard line well over the bar and then with almost the last action of the half, Trendall cut in from then right and shot wide. The score remained 2-0 to Bowers at half time, despite some casual play at times by Whitstable.

Alex Anderson on the ball
Whitstable trying to find a way through
Aaron Millbank battling for the ball
Bradley Warner scores the first
Danny Patterson tries a shot
Dan Eason clears the ball

The second period began in similar fashion, with Eason having to save a long range effort from Ben Sartain after a misplaced pass by Patterson. Bowers added a third goal in the 53rd minute when Eason got down to save a low Warner free kick and from the resulting corner, Jamie Dicks headed in despite the efforts of John Walker on the line. The usual pre-season substitutions then started, with Walker the first to be replaced. Whitstable won several corners, but failed to really test Callum Chafer in the Bowers goal, as Tom Bryant headed one wide and then Alex Anderson almost pulled a goal back when he curled a right footer just past the far post from tight angle. Chafer then dropped a cross under pressure and the ball fell to Anderson, who lifted his shot over the bar. Bowers brought on three substitutes and then had a couple of off target attempts, before Knight turned and shot past Eason, but it was ruled out for offside. Both teams made further changes, as the game drifted to a close. Whitstable had rarely looked like scoring and a blocked shot by Muhammed Cham was the closest they came to getting a late consolation goal.

The Whitstable goalkeeper saves this free kick
Jamie Dicks headed the third goal
Danny Patterson tries again
Tom Bryant tries a header
Jake Mackenzie stops this late attack

Whitstable now have two pre-season games left to play, with a Bromley XI visiting on Tuesday, followed by a newly arranged game at home to New Romney on Saturday, with the first league match against Sittingbourne fast approaching.

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, Jake Mackenzie, John Walker (trialist 59), Danny Patterson, Marcus Evans, Tom Bryant (c), Liam Gillies, Osman Proni (Owen Fitt 72), Marcus Elliott (trialist 80), Aaron Millbank (Muhammed Cham 85), Alex Anderson (trialist 85).

Bowers & Pitsea
Callum Chafer (Tom Ballard 83), Tom Hine, James Thomas, Martyn Stokes (c), Kenzer Lee (Lewis Clark 74), Callum Leahy, Dan Trendall (Quentin Monville 68), Ben Sartain (Max Cornhill 74), Bradley Warner, David Knight, Jamie Dicks (Tom Stephen 68).
Goals: Bradley Warner 29, 36, Jamie Dicks 53.

Attendance: 115
Referee: Simon Finnigan
Assistants: Jack Watson & Morgan Davis