Report by Andy Short

It was an afternoon of entertainment and incident as Whitstable Town fell three goals behind in 18 minutes. They then fought back to get back on level terms only to lose the match with a speculative shot beating Nick Shaw to give the visitors a four-three victory. With a number of players missing Justin Luchford put out an experimental side. Canterbury who start their league campaign next week started the stronger and it was no surprise after six minutes that they took the lead. Ex Whitstable midfielder Stephen Baines sent in a cross ball to find Alex Waugh who put Canterbury one ahead.  Two minutes later City went further ahead when after a goal mouth melee Chris Elliott found the back of the net.

Town could have got back in the game after 17 minutes when Dean Grant was brought down whilst weaving his way along the by line. Stuart Vahid stepped up and fired the penalty sky high over the bar. Within a minute another ex-Whitstable player Jake Gess was left one on one with Shaw and was able to lob the ball over the keeper to find the back of the net.

At half time the team talk worked wonders as after only one minute of the second half Shane Hamshare crossed in to find Jake Beecroft who fired home. Then after 52 minutes Town nearly got another goal but the first of three great saves from ex Whitstable keeper denied Dean Grant. Four minutes later Hamshare had a shot push over the bar by the in-form City keeper.

Then after 68 minutes a cross ball was handled in the Canterbury penalty area. The referee had no hesitation but to point to the spot and this time Jake Beecroft slammed the ball into the back of the net.  Two minutes later the fight back was complete as a mistake in the City defence was punished by Dane Luchford slammed the ball home.

But after Town had done all the hard work a speculative shot from outside the box the ball slid in the corner of the net past Shaw to score Canterbury’s winner. A couple more opportunities for Town and one more great save from Lamprell but Whitstable could not find the net and were disappointed to lose 3-4.

Team: Shaw, Sayer, Suter, Beecroft, Lloyd, Healey, Heard, Hamshare, Vahid, Morrish, Grant. Subs Abel, Luchford, Pulman


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