WHITSTABLE TOWN 2 DEAL TOWN 0
SCEFL Premier Division
Tuesday December 27 2016 13.00
Whitstable completed the double over their East Kent rivals by the same margin they achieved in the game at the Charles Ground back in August. Both teams struggled at times with plenty of misplaced passes and created very few chances. Deal had plenty of the ball but only forced Dan Eason to make a couple of saves and their best effort was a very late Charlie Walsh free kick that hit the bar. Whitstable took the lead just before half time as Tom Bryant scored on his debut, finding the back of the net after a cross had been headed across goal. The 240 holiday crowd had to wait until the end before the points were secured as Kane Rowland provided a neat finish from a narrow angle following a good run.
New Whitstable signing Tom Bryant started in midfield with Harry Brown and Aaron Quain returning to the squad after injuries, although Harris Rodgers and long term injury victim Jack Mahoney were unable to play. Craig Thompson began his two game suspension. It was the visitors who started the better with a spell of early pressure, but neither goalkeeper was tested during the first 15 minutes as both teams regularly gave the ball away with a number of misdirected passes. On 18 minutes Ryan Philpott got in on goal after a defensive slip, but Eason was able to save and Ashley Brown blocked a follow up attempt by Walsh. Bryant, Charlie Smith and Darren Marsden combined to release Rowland but he sliced his first time shot wide. Whitstable won a couple of corners, but were unable to test James Tonkin in the Deal goal. There was a brief panic in the home defence after Joe Kennett miscued an attempted clearance, but an offside flag ended the danger.
With half an hour played Harry Brown found Smith, who brought the ball down well and fired just over from the edge of the box. Whitstable were forced into an early change with Quain replacing the injured Harry Brown on the left. After 40 minutes Whitstable took the lead following a corner won by Kane Rowland on the right. The initial ball in from Connor Hood was too short, but the ball came back to him and this time his cross was headed down and Bryant found himself with the space at the far post to fire the ball high into the net from the six yard line.
Deal threatened on a couple of occasions just before the break, but Eason was able to deal comfortably with the balls into the box and Whitstable went in 1-0 ahead. Neither team had particularly impressed, but Jack Paxman and Philpott had shown some promise for the visitors and Marsden and Smith looked the main threat for Whitstable.
Soon after the restart Whitstable found themselves with two players down injured. The referee allowed play to continue and Deal worked the ball to Philpott in space on the 18 yard line, but he shot straight at Eason. Marsden then collected a ball from Kennett and played in Rowland whose shot was too high as Tonkin came out quickly to try to block. On 52 minutes Rob Gillman picked up an injury and had to be replaced by Calvin Sedenu with Ollie Lee taking over as captain. Aaron Quain, who was getting forward well down the left, shot wide of the near post after one good attack and then Bryant had an effort blocked on the edge of the box.
Deal substitute Joe Reeves wasted a free kick in a dangerous position by clearing everyone in the box and then Rowland sent in a cross from the right at the other end, but there was no one in a position to finish. On 82 minutes Kristin Gregory hit a great shot from 25 yards that Eason, at full stretch, just managed to tip over the bar.
Kennett then had a header saved as he met a Hood cross before Deal had a good chance as the ball bobbled around in a crowded area, but they were unable to find a way through. In the last minute Bryant found Rowland on the left and he worked his way past Paxman and slotted the ball past Tonkin from a narrow angle to make the game safe with his 15th goal of the season.
Deal were awarded a free kick in stoppage time and Walsh saw his strike from the edge of the area come back off the bar with Kennett slicing the rebound behind for a corner. After a final punched clearance by Eason the game ended and Whitstable now have six wins from their last seven games, although this was perhaps not one of their most convincing performances.
Dan Eason, Connor Hood, Harry Brown (Aaron Quain 34), Joe Kennett, Rob Gillman (c) (Calvin Sedenu 52), Ashley Brown, Tom Bryant, Ollie Lee, Kane Rowland, Darren Marsden, Charlie Smith (Brendon Cass 82).
Sub (unused): Harry Brooks
Goals: Tom Bryant 40, Kane Rowland 90.
Yellow card: Ashley Brown 81
James Tonkin, Jack Paxman, Liam Hark (c) (Harry Alexander 64), Lee Scott, Grant Bagley, Joe Anderson, Ryan Philpott (Kristin Gregory 73), Charlie Walsh, Connor Coyne, Dan Adams (Joe Reeves 58), Steve O’Brien.
Subs (unused): Luke Bigginton, Carl Munday.
Referee: Glen Childs
Assistants: Wayne Dunn & Stuart Marriott