Another Win For Reserves

Pre-season friendly
Saturday August 10 2019 17.30

The reserves were in for a very tough test against a Division One club who fielded a very experienced side. It was always going to be a strong challenge, as the first team only beat them 2-0 early in July in what also proved to be a hard game. The conditions throughout were tough for both sides, with a very strong wind making it challenging in one half for each team. Whitstable started slowly and struggled to get going in the first 10 minutes which led to them being 1-0 down on the 10 minute mark. Both teams were trying to play some nice football in difficult conditions which would have been tough for any team. Whitstable soon started to settle down and play some good football with the midfield three of Billy Mason, Josh Algar and Charlie Vass starting to get a hold of the game, creating chances for the forward three of Muhammed Cham, Mike Budu and Peter Sharpless. Whitstable soon got themselves back into the game through a good finish from Peter Sharpless, after the ball bounced in the box and he reacted quickly and finished superbly past the keeper into the bottom corner of the goal. The goal settled Whitstable down and they looked more comfortable in possession. Thanet United were keeping the ball well but doing little with it. A second goal came before half time, when a fantastic long ball from Luke Barrass put Charlie Vass in and he calmly slotted it past the Thanet United keeper to make it 2-1 to the Town at half time.

Both sides came out of the blocks quickly in the second half and both stuck to playing good football in the conditions. Substitutions were made by both teams, with Whitstable bringing on a number of academy players and they had five academy players on the pitch in the second half. They brought energy to the game and Whitstable were using the pace and trickery of Muhammed Cham and Mike, who caused a real threat down both sides. Whitstable created a number of chances, but were just not clinical enough in front of goal. The game started to become stretched, with both teams looking to get another goal and there were chances at both ends, but assured Whitstable goalkeeper Ryan Birch kept Thanet United from adding a second. The Whitstable back four, Callum Tydeman, Jack Sutton, Luke Barrass and Callum Mason, were all working well with the wind against them for this half. Thanet United equalised through a good 20 yard shot from their striker, which fired into the roof of the net. The pace and skill of 17 year old Glen Bain was causing lots of problems for Thanet United, with great runs down the right hand side. Neither team was settling for a draw, with both still creating chances. A last minute break by Whitstable down the left hand side saw Muhammed beat two players before cutting the ball back into the box for academy graduate Callum Mason to fire a great finish into the goal, leaving Whitstable the 3-2 winners with just 30 seconds to go.

This was a fantastic win for the reserves, which just shows how far they have come as a side, to make it three wins out of three, beating a Kent County premier division side and a division one side in the process. The smiles at the end of the game were clear to see from all players and the management team of manager Josh Algar and his assistant Ian Grieves.

Starting line-up:
Ryan Birch, Callum Tydeman, Teddy Nelson, Luke Barrass, Callum Mason, Billy Mason, Josh Algar, Charlie Vass, Peter Sharpless, Muhammed Cham, Mike Budu.
Jack Scott, Gerald Kwaku, Keegan Wickham, Glen Bain, Jack Sutton.

Thoughts from Josh Algar

“A terrific performance and win against a very good, experienced side. Thanet United had some very good players in their ranks who have played at a good level in the semi-professional game. The conditions were challenging for both sides, making it difficult to play football, so credit to both teams who tried to play the right way even in these circumstances. The squad we are creating here is something very pleasing and fantastic to work with. They are all good players with a great attitude, wanting to learn, and we have a very young but experienced side who have played at good levels. We have only trained twice, but the progression made shows we are going in the right direction, as proved by the performances displayed so far. It is still early, but we are pleased where we are at before heading into our first league game at home to Bearsted on August 31st. Once again we had six academy players involved in this fixture, with six U18s on the pitch in the second half, which is massive for me as they are gaining vital men’s experience and the learning they are gaining from this is vital to their development. I and my assistant Ian Grieves are pleased with the progress made so far and hopefully we will see some progress into the first team with Lloyd over this coming season.”