Bears Mauled At The Belmont

SCEFL Premier Division
Saturday December 10 2016 15.00

Whitstable ran out comfortable winners against Bearsted, despite a very uneventful first half hour. In a game littered with cards, the referee sent off Michael Holliday for kicking out at Charlie Smith after 38 minutes. The ten men soon found themselves 2-0 down as Ashley Brown and Jack Mahoney both scored just before half time. The second half produced more action for the 133 crowd and the home side added three more goals. Connor Hood finished well after some good approach play by Darren Marsden before the young Bearsted goalkeeper Ben Donnelly fumbled the ball into his own net and a late Ashley Brown header completed the scoring. Bearsted substitute Chris Carcary went closest for the visitors as his shot hit the outside of the post. Whitstable also finished the game with ten men after Craig Thompson was dismissed on 66 minutes for picking up a second yellow card.

Manager Scott Porter was still without the injured Harris Rodgers and Kane Rowland had been recalled by Margate a few hours prior to kick off after scoring in the midweek defeat at Ashford. Harry Brown was also unable to play and Aaron Quain took his place at left back. Defender Calvin Sedenu started on the bench having been promoted from the B Team. The first third of the match will not live long in the memory, with one wayward shot for each team and several stoppages in play. Whitstable number nine Thompson was booked after challenging the goalkeeper for a ball into the box – something that was to prove significant later in the game. Hood had a shot blocked after Mahoney pulled a free kick back to him on the edge of the box and at the other end Neil Perkins shot straight at Dan Eason. Then came a moment of madness as former Whitstable player Holliday clashed with Smith and then aimed a kick at the home player as he walked away. This was spotted by the officials and the inevitable red card followed. This seemed to inject some more urgency into proceedings and Donnelly was forced to tip the resultant Hood free kick around the post. Quain received a long cross field ball and his shot was deflected behind for a corner. Hood swung the ball in and Rob Gillman rose at the near post to head on for Brown to force home by the far post to give Whitstable the lead on 42 minutes.

Rob Gillman meets the corner
Ashley Brown scores at the far post

Just 2 minutes later Hood won a corner on the right that was taken by Mahoney. The ball was cleared to Quain on the left and he passed the ball back out to Mahoney who curled a great left footed shot into the top corner of the net beyond Donnelly to send Whitstable into the break with a two goal lead.

A curling shot from Jack Mahoney finds the top corner

Bearsted made their second substitution at half time, but never threatened to get back into the game that became increasingly niggly. On 53 minutes a looping Quain header was cleared of the line as Thompson closed in. Hood sent in three crosses in quick succession, the third effort being headed over by Smith. A rare spell of pressure from the visitors ended with Perkins shooting wide. Thompson was then given his second yellow card for another challenge, having been spoken to a couple of times previously. None of the challenges had seemed particularly bad, but the referee had seen enough and the match was now ten versus ten. On 68 minutes Marsden ran through the middle past several tackles and slipped the ball to Hood who was breaking down the right and he hit it first time with his left foot and beat Donnelly with the ball curling inside the far post.

The shot from Connor Hood flies past Ben Donnelly

Whitstable then failed to clear the ball and it eventually fell to Chris Carcary who struck the post with Eason beaten – that was as close as Bearsted would come to a goal. After Reece Collins had been booked for catching the ball, Mahoney drove through from midfield but dragged his shot wide. Sedenu came on to replace Scott Punton for his debut with fifteen minutes remaining. After 77 minutes a Quain cross from the left corner was initially collected by Donnelly, but he let it slip through his hands and it bounced off him and back into the net to make it 4-0. With a couple of minutes left Stephen Sage was booked for a foul and from the resulting Hood free kick, Brown got up at the near post to head past Donnelly for the fifth. In added time Carcary and Sedenu collected yellow cards after a coming together in the corner. The last action saw the Bearsted captain, another ex-Oyster, bring down Hood on the edge of the box, but Mahoney lifted the free kick over the bar.

Ashley Brown heads his second goal

It was a welcome win after the midweek loss at Ashford and the team need to start putting a consistent run together. Guest for the day Tommy Sampson selected Connor Hood as his Man Of The Match after the game.

Tommy Sampson with his Man Of The Match, Connor Hood

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, Scott Punton (Calvin Sedenu 75), Aaron Quain, Ashley Brown, Rob Gillman (c), Ollie Lee, Connor Hood, Charlie Smith (Newman Poku 78), Craig Thompson, Darren Marsden (Brendon Cass 82), Jack Mahoney.
Subs (unused): None
Goals: Ashley Brown 42, 88, Jack Mahoney 44, Connor Hood 68, Ben Donnelly o.g. 77.
Yellow cards: Craig Thompson 32, 66, Calvin Sedenu 90.
Red card: Craig Thompson (two yellows) 66

Ben Donnelly, Luke Hughes, Craig Lawrence (Chris Carcary 64), Andy Hart (Neil Perkins 16), Rob Lyall (c), Graeme Andrews, Reece Collins, Michael Holliday, Andy Irvine, Sam Flisher, Jack Hayes (Stephen Sage 46).
Sub (unused): Saul Grant.
Yellow cards: Reece Collins 72, Stephen Sage 88, Chris Carcary 90, Rob Lyall 90+2.
Red card: Michael Holliday 38

Attendance: 133
Referee: Leigh Judd
Assistants: Roger Wadhams & Matt McCaughan