Category: 2017-2018 Club News

Presentation Night Details

Whitstable Town held their end of season presentation night at the Marine Hotel, Tankerton on Saturday 2nd June. It was a great evening enjoyed by the players, team management, club officials, supporters and their families with around a hundred guests in total. The event included an introduction by Tony Rouse, followed by some words from the chairman Joe Brownett and manager Scott Porter. Scott gave special thanks to Craig Cloke and Dean Ruddy, neither of whom will be returning next season. The Kent Reliance Senior Trophy and SCEFL Challenge Cup were both on display and there were also the runners up medals for the league campaign that earned the team promotion to the Bostik League.

The club awards were followed by the Belmont Bar staff making a presentation to Oscar, who has recently stood down from his role as clubhouse manager after a successful two years. Oscar and his successor Tracey then presented an award to Steve Long in recognition of all the work he has put in at the ground. Andy Bruce and the Oysterboys then took over to present their own awards, plus a bottle of champagne or a voucher to the manager and all of the winners on the night.

There was a buffet and music to complete the proceedings. The club would like to thank all of those involved in the organisation of a successful evening, including Scott, Helen and Zoe for booking and decorating the venue, Tony for his role on the microphone, Richard Baines at City Awards for all his help with the trophies, the Oysterboys for their generous sponsorship and participation, Les for all of the photographs, Mel and Aaron for selling lots of raffle tickets, Scott for some karaoke and most importantly everyone for coming along to help celebrate a memorable season.

The award winners are listed below.
Players’ Player: Tom Bryant
Manager’s Player: Tom Bryant
Committee’s Player: John Walker
Supporters’ Player: Dan Eason
Goal of the Season: Ricky Freeman (SCEFL Cup Final Winner)
Golden Boot: Danny Williams (28 goals)
Young Player: Teddy Nelson
Unsung Hero: Steve Long (awarded by bar staff)
Oysterboys’ Player Winner: Dan Eason
Oysterboys’ Player Runner-Up: Danny Williams

Some of the attendees
Tony Rouse behind the trophies
Steve receives his award from Tracey and Oscar
James Morrish presents the players’ award to Tom Bryant
Les Biggs gives John Walker his award
Ricky Freeman collects the goal of the season trophy from Bob Reardon
Danny Williams wins the Golden Boot, presented by Doug Bubb
Young Player of the Year Teddy Nelson (right), Owen Fitt and Rhys Brain with Andy Bruce
Dan Eason won the Oysterboys award

This Week – A Reminder

Don’t forget the two events taking place this week for Whitstable Town supporters.

Tonight, Wednesday 30th May at 7.30 pm, the supporters meeting takes place in the Belmont clubhouse, with the bar opening at 7 pm. Come along to hear the latest news and ask questions of the manager and committee.

The End Of Season Presentation Night at the Marine Hotel follows on Saturday 2nd June. Please get in touch if you would like to attend, but haven’t yet booked a place. More details are available here:
Presentation Evening

Wembley Lights Up For Whitstable Town

Ahead of this weekend’s Emirates FA Cup Final, Wembley Stadium has lit up its iconic arch in the colours of all of the teams that took part in the competition this season.

A total of 737 teams from Step 6 of the National League system through to the Premier League took part in the 137th edition of the world’s oldest domestic cup competition, involving over 11,000 players and resulting in over 3,000 goals.

Days before the showpiece final which will be played at Wembley Stadium connected by EE, the stadium’s arch and big screen lit up to celebrate every one of the clubs, from the 370 who started in the Extra Preliminary Round in early August through to the two Premier League finalists who will be battling it out for the trophy this weekend.

This final between Chelsea and Manchester United will take place on Saturday 19th May at 17.15. The journey for Whitstable Town ended abruptly on the first day of the season, Saturday 5th August 2017, with a 2-3 home defeat to Croydon.

A time-lapse video of the activity is available from the following link:

Whitstable Town Clubhouse News

Everyone at Whitstable Town Football Club would like to thank Oscar for his hard work over the past two years as manager of the Belmont Clubhouse. As many people may already be aware, Oscar decided to stand down from his position at the end of April, although you will probably still see him around the club. One of the familiar faces behind the bar, Tracey, has now taken over the role as manager. The venue continues to be steadily improved and there is currently some redecoration being undertaken. The prices remain very competitive and it will be available for use throughout the summer, as well as during the football season.

If you would like to use the hall, or want any further information:

The hall can be decorated to suit the occasion.

Eason Stars In New Role

SCEFL Premier Division
Monday May 7 2018 12.00

A long and successful season finally ended on a hot and sunny May Bank Holiday at Lordswood. The game felt more like a benefit match and was played in a relaxed manner by two teams waiting for their summer holidays. There were a number of absentees for both teams and Whitstable goalkeeper Dan Eason played on the right wing, with coach Dean Ruddy taking his place in goal. It was Eason who fired Whitstable ahead early on, finishing well after being set up by Shaun Welford. Whitstable passed the ball around quite tidily under little pressure during the first half and Rhys Brain might have added to the lead before the break. Lordswood came out for the second half with a little more determination and Jordan Wells gave Ruddy no chance when he found the top corner to equalise. Whitstable substitute Brendon Cass thumped a shot against the bar, before Louis Sprosen nodded Whitstable back in front after an Eason shot had rebounded off the bar. Ruddy made a couple of good saves to deny the home team another goal and ensure that Whitstable finished the season with a win.

With this game being rescheduled for after the expected end of season, both teams were without some of their regular players. Whitstable were missing eight, with Josh Burchell, Rob Gillman, Tom Bryant, Craig Cloke, James Morrish, Chris Saunders, Macauley Murray and Danny Williams all unavailable for a variety of reasons. Coach Dean Ruddy played in goal with Dan Eason taking up an unfamiliar outfield role. After scoring the winning goal in the cup final, striker Ricky Freeman spent his 50th game for Whitstable playing at right back, whilst Shaun Welford was made captain. Academy players Teddy Nelson, Owen Fitt and Rhys Brain all started and assistant manager Brendon Cass was the only named substitute. Whitstable had nothing to play for, although a Lordswood win would have lifted them above Deal Town into seventh place in the final standings. Amongst the absentees for the home team were skipper Gary Cook and ex-Whitstable favourite Joe Kane, although another former Whitstable player, Adam Hooper, was made captain on his 200th Lordswood appearance.

The game started at a leisurely pace, but in the 6th minute a good run forward and low shot by Jack Mahon forced Ruddy into a save, as he touched the ball around the post. Adam Hooper took the resulting corner and after the ball was returned to him, he swung over another cross that Freeman almost headed into his own net, but the ball flew just over the bar. Charlie Smith created a chance for Welford, but he was unable to get the ball under control. Whitstable did take the lead in the 14th minute though, when Fitt crossed the ball from the left to Welford and he helped it on to Eason, who took it past a couple of defenders before firing it past Ryan Chandler from the right side of the penalty area. It was a first Whitstable goal for Eason on his 135th appearance.

Dan Eason fires in a shot
Whitstable take a 1-0 lead

Fitt and Nelson were playing some nice football on the left, with Lordswood applying little pressure, and Nelson crossed for Welford on 22 minutes, but his effort went just over. After a break for drinks, Eason and Welford combined to create a great chance for Brain, but he skied the ball from 6 yards with the goal at his mercy. Smith then tried a long shot that also went over the bar. Wells and Frank Griffin played a one-two, but the low shot by Wells was easily saved by Ruddy. Bradley Webb and Mahon both shot wide and then Grant McIlheron struck a free kick into the wall, as Lordswood tried to find an equaliser. John Walker sent Eason away again and his cross reached Brain, who had made a good run to the near post, but he shot wide and Whitstable went into the break leading 1-0.

Shaun Welford’s cross reaches Rhys Brain in front of goal
Disbelief as the ball sails high over the bar

Lordswood brought on Jake Creed in place of McIlheron for the second half and an early foul by Sprosen produced an unexpected yellow card, which turned out to be the only one in a game played in a good spirit by both teams. A dangerous cross by Tom Wooldridge was headed wide by Mahon, but in the 58th minute the scores were level when Wooldridge played the ball across to Wells, who hit a great shot into the top corner from outside the box, giving Ruddy no chance. Lordswood were having a better spell and some good defending by Stuart West denied them the opportunity to take the lead. Whitstable were gifted a chance however, when Lennie Laker failed to cut out a forward pass, but Chandler saved from Eason at the near post. Lordswood made their second substitution, with Junior Alade returning to their team in place of Mahon, as they continued to chase a winner. Ruddy was called upon to gather a couple of crosses, but just before another drinks break, Smith put Eason through and he shot past Chandler, but wide of the near post. When play resumed, Brendon Cass replaced Brain, who had been injured earlier in the half. Eason won a corner on the right and from the ball in by Fitt, Welford had a shot blocked, before Chandler pushed a West shot out for another corner, from which Freeman shot well over.

Ryan Chandler saves from Stuart West
Dean Ruddy tips this effort over the bar

Cass then thumped a shot against the Lordswood bar from 20 yards. A quick break by Lordswood gave them a three on one opportunity, but Tom Carter had his shot saved by Ruddy and next, the Whitstable goalkeeper tipped a Wooldridge shot over the bar. Whitstable scored the winner in the 81st minute, after West made a driving run to win a corner on the left. The ball came right across to Eason, who crashed his shot past Chandler and against the underside of the bar, but Sprosen was on hand at the far post to nod the rebound home as it bounced up.

Dan Eason smashes the ball against the underside of the bar
The ball bounces down and back out towards Louis Sprosen
His header from the rebound finds the net

The game continued to be very open and Wooldridge had a shot blocked by the Whitstable defence, then Ruddy saved well from Wells. Cass and Eason had further attempts for Whitstable before goalkeeper Chandler went forward for a late Lordswood corner that Ruddy dealt with. Welford, who had a good game for Whitstable, tried a left footed shot from 25 yards that was tipped over by Chandler. Eason rose to head the ball into the net from the corner, but the referee had already blown to halt play and ordered Sprosen to take the kick again and this time the ball went right across goal with no one able to get a touch. A final interception by Chandler in stoppage time stopped the lively Eason from latching on to a Welford pass and Whitstable finished with a 2-1 away win.

Coach Brendon Cass made a rare appearance as a substitute and hit the bar with one attempt
Dan Eason rises to head home a corner, but the referee had already whistled for the kick to be retaken

So, after a somewhat tame end to the season, Whitstable can be proud of their efforts from mid-December that produced a record of P30 W23 D6 L1 F59 A17, despite a late fixture pile up. The rewards were two cup wins in finals watched by 1666 people and a return to the Bostik League after two challenging, but enjoyable seasons in the SCEFL.

Lordswood Whitstable
14 Attempts 15
8 On Target 5
4 Corners 7
2 Offside 2
8 Free Kicks Won 7

Ryan Chandler, Frank Griffin, Lennie Laker, Adam Hooper (c), Peter Huggens, Grant McIlheron (Jake Creed 46), Tom Carter, Bradley Webb, Jack Mahon (Junior Alade 65), Jordan Wells, Tom Wooldridge.
Subs (unused): None
Goal: Jordan Wells 58

Whitstable Town
Dean Ruddy, John Walker, Teddy Nelson, Dan Eason, Stuart West, Owen Fitt, Charlie Smith, Louis Sprosen, Shaun Welford (c), Rhys Brain (Brendon Cass 73), Ricky Freeman.
Subs (unused): None
Goals: Dan Eason 14, Louis Sprosen 81.
Yellow card: Louis Sprosen 46

Attendance: 76
Referee: Peter Conn
Assistants: Max Sollis & Bo Wang

Stunning Freeman Volley Wins Cup

(Played at Longmead Stadium, Tonbridge)
Southern Counties East Football League Challenge Cup Final
Saturday May 5 2018 13.00

A wonderful goal by Ricky Freeman won the SCEFL Challenge Cup for Whitstable Town on a very warm afternoon at Longmead Stadium in front of 749 spectators. The victory rounded off an almost perfect season for Scott Porter and his team, having already won the Kent Senior Trophy and achieved promotion by finishing runners up in the league. The great support for both finalists, Tunbridge Wells and Whitstable, together with many other football fans and officials from across the county, created a good atmosphere in the ground. The game itself had few moments of excitement however and the defences were generally in control. Whitstable had the better of the chances, with a Freeman shot hitting the post early in the first half and Danny Williams also heading against the post in the second. Cameron Hall denied Chris Saunders with his chest and Dan Eason tipped a long range effort from Jon Pilbeam over the bar, but neither goalkeeper had many other saves to make. Hall had no chance with the spectacular volley by Freeman that eventually decided the contest in the 66th minute, after a clearance had reached him about 25 yards from goal. The Whitstable defence made sure that there was to be no way back for Tunbridge Wells, despite them getting into promising positions on a couple of occasions, so the cup is back at the Belmont for the first time since its Kent League equivalent was won in 1980.

For the first time since mid-March, Whitstable had a whole week between games and almost their whole squad available, although Rob Gillman was away and Craig Cloke not fully fit. Seventeen year old academy defender Teddy Nelson was included in the starting eleven, having been cup tied for the Kent Senior Trophy final. Tunbridge Wells may only have finished in 15th place in the league, but produced some good performances to reach this final, knocking out Cray Valley and Crowborough in the last two rounds. Games between the two finalists in recent times have all been close affairs.

Denise Richmond makes a presentation to Joe Brownett before the game
Ronnie Porter takes part in the pre-match greetings

Whitstable started in promising fashion, pushing Tunbridge Wells back with James Morrish, Macauley Murray and Saunders winning most of the balls in midfield, whilst Freeman and Williams looked a threat up front. It was Williams who turned well and shot just over the bar from 25 yards in the 1st minute. The first effort from Tunbridge Wells was a flicked header by Jarred Trespaderne that went harmlessly over the bar following a Josh Stanford free kick in the 5th minute. Williams then did well to find Morrish, who passed to Freeman and his first time shot from outside the box beat the dive of Hall, but the ball struck the outside of the post.

Ricky Freeman beats the goalkeeper, but the ball hits the post

On 12 minutes, a miscued clearance by Stuart West fell to Trespaderne, but his low shot was easily gathered by Eason. A neat through ball in the 18th minute put Saunders clear on goal, but Hall did well to quickly come out of his penalty area to block his shot with his chest. The closest that Tunbridge Wells came to scoring was in the 26th minute when Pilbeam collected a loose ball in midfield and ran forward, before trying to beat Eason from outside the box, but the Whitstable keeper was able to tip the ball over the bar.

Dan Eason tips a Jon Pilbeam attempt over the bar

The latter stages of the first half were largely forgettable, as the early energy shown by Whitstable seemed to fade and there were too many easy balls played straight to the tall opposing defenders, whilst Tunbridge Wells themselves offered little threat to the impressive Whitstable defensive trio Tom Bryant, West and Nelson. Josh Burchell did come close to getting on the end of a great curling ball into the back post by Morrish, but Alexx Kendall just managed to deflect the ball behind for a corner kick. Both teams had promising dead ball opportunities from central positions as the interval approached, when firstly Freeman hit the defensive wall with his effort and then Harris did the same from slightly closer to the goal at the other end in added time, so the teams went in with the score still 0-0.

Alexx Kendall just prevents Josh Burchell from getting on the end of a ball from James Morrish
Jack Harris sends a free kick into the Whitstable wall

A foul by Nelson soon after the game restarted gave Tommy Lawrence the chance to deliver the ball into the box from the right touchline, but the header by Perry Spackman was safely caught by Eason. Freeman and Bryant both had efforts off target as the sun continued to make conditions tough for everyone. Freeman then set up a good chance for Williams, but he could only lob the ball into the grateful hands of Hall. West swung over a cross from the right and Williams rose unchallenged to head the ball against the near post from around 10 yards.

Teddy Nelson and Tom Bryant rise to meet a corner
Danny Williams heads towards goal
The ball comes back off the post

Tunbridge Wells made the first change on 63 minutes, bringing on Josh Biddlecombe for Trespaderne and soon afterwards a John Walker throw was helped on by Williams to Saunders, whose cross was headed straight to Hall by Burchell at the back post. The decisive goal came when Nelson played a long ball forward that was headed out by Spackman and Freeman volleyed it straight back, out of the reach of Hall and into the far corner of the net from well outside the box. It was certainly a goal worthy of winning any cup final and Tunbridge Wells never really looked likely to find a response in the time that remained.

The players react after Ricky Freeman’s volley flies into the net

Williams won the ball on the left and passed to Murray, who rolled the ball into the path of Morrish and his low shot from distance went wide of the left post. Great battling by Morrish in midfield released Burchell on the left, but his ball across went over the bar. Saunders and Morrish both went off with injuries and were replaced by Louis Sprosen and Charlie Smith. Shaun Welford was also introduced as a substitute for Williams, as Whitstable used all their substitutes in the space of 8 minutes. Tunbridge Wells created a few opportunities to deliver balls into the box, as Whitstable conceded a couple of free kicks in dangerous areas, but they were unable to really test Eason, with Biddlecombe unable to keep his shot down from a narrow angle after one period of pressure. There were several late bookings and a penalty claim at each end, when firstly Whitstable looked for a handball as a Welford header was blocked and then Biddlecombe went down in the box at the other end, but the very good referee was uninterested. In stoppage time, a poor clearance went straight to Freeman, but this time his shot sailed over the bar.

Craig Cloke and James Morrish receive the trophy from League President Ray Brown

The final whistle was greeted with celebrations by the Whitstable players, their families and supporters and the cup was presented jointly to Cloke and Morrish by Ray Brown and Denise Richmond.

Tunbridge Wells Whitstable
5 Attempts 10
3 On Target 4
3 Corners 2
1 Offside 2
18 Free Kicks Won 12

Tunbridge Wells
Cameron Hall, Alexx Kendall, Greg Skinner, Drew Crush, Perry Spackman (c), Tommy Lawrence (Franco Mici 82), Jon Pilbeam, Jonathan Shea, Jarred Trespaderne (Josh Biddlecombe 63), Jack Harris, Josh Stanford.
Subs (unused): Jake Hampson, Ollie Cooke, Alfie Hall.
Yellow cards: Jarred Trespaderne 28, Drew Crush 90+1.

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, John Walker, Josh Burchell, Stuart West, Teddy Nelson, Tom Bryant, Chris Saunders (Louis Sprosen 72), James Morrish (c) (Charlie Smith 76), Ricky Freeman, Danny Williams (Shaun Welford 80), Macauley Murray.
Subs (unused): Craig Cloke, Dean Ruddy.
Goal: Ricky Freeman 66
Yellow cards: Stuart West 45, Tom Bryant 77, Louis Sprosen 81, Ricky Freeman 90+1.

Attendance: 749
Referee: Valentine Anekwe
Assistants: Jerry Annandale & Steve Roots
Fourth Official: Matt Pollington