Category: 2017-2018 Club News

Early Smith Goal Earns Win

Pre-season friendly
Saturday August 4 2018 15.00

Whitstable started brightly and Tom Bryant headed a corner down for Charlie Smith to score the only goal in the first few minutes. The home side might well have scored again soon afterwards when Brett Ince headed another Jordan Wright corner wide. Grays gradually got into the game and caused some problems with good approach play, but Whitstable defended well throughout with a number of timely blocks and interceptions. When the Essex team did get a sight of goal, they only managed to test Dan Eason on a couple of occasions. Stuart West put a Whitstable chance wide just after the break and Lloyd Anderson later prevented Rob Gillman and Tom Walmsley adding to the score. It was a good workout for both teams, with the competitive season now only a week away.

Grays Athletic play at the same level as Whitstable in the Bostik League North Division and currently ground share at Aveley FC. Whitstable had a number of players returning for this game, although were still without Josh Burchell. Tom Walmsley, a young striker from Folkestone Invicta, started his first match for Whitstable on the bench.

The home team pushed forward well in the opening exchanges, creating several good openings and winning five corners. It was from the third of these that the decisive goal came after only 4 minutes. Bryant met the cross from Wright and the ball dropped for Smith, who made no mistake from close range. A few minutes later, Ince rose unchallenged to meet another corner, but his header flew the wrong side of the left hand post. The Essex team first threatened in the 14th minute, when the Whitstable defence did well to make three blocks in quick succession, before Adeyinka Cole curled a free kick just over the bar from 20 yards. A good ball then released the tall striker Shomari Barnwell, but Eason was quickly off his line to make the save. Whitstable won a free kick in a promising position, but Ince lifted his shot over the top. Back at the other end, Geofrey Okonkwo tried an overhead kick from a Grays corner that was only just off target. Whitstable were then awarded a free kick, from which Bryant had a header comfortably saved by Lloyd Anderson. As the interval approached, Eason had to block a Cole effort from a narrow angle and Ricky Freeman was flagged offside before he put the ball in the net.

Tom Bryant heads the ball down
Charlie Smith is first to react
Whitstable take an early lead
Brett Ince heads just wide
Dan Eason cuts out a low cross
Ricky Freeman finds the net, but the flag is raised for offside

At the start of the second half, a Wright free kick from the right reached West at the back post, but his shot was off target. Some good play by Grays eventually led to a free kick right on the 18 yard line, but Cole struck it just wide. A Whitstable free kick from the halfway line caused a few problems in the box, before the ball fell nicely for Gillman, whose low shot was blocked on the line. Both teams made a number of substitutions and one of the home replacements, Nathan Hardwick, made a good run down the right, but no one was able to meet his cross. On 68 minutes Whitstable sent over a couple of crosses and from the second, a Walmsley header towards goal from 3 yards was kept out by Anderson. Grays continued to strive for an equaliser and had several corners, one of which was rolled tamely behind for a goal kick, but it was from a Whitstable corner that they came closest to scoring. The ball was headed across goal by West, but then Grays broke quickly only for Aron Gordon to curl his shot over the bar after getting into a promising position. Chris Saunders had a late shot easily gathered by Anderson, before the referee blew the final whistle.

Lloyd Anderson keeps this effort out
This attempt by Grays is just the wrong side of the post
Tom Walmsley’s header is kept out by the goalkeeper

The season really starts next Saturday for these two teams, as Grays Athletic begin their league campaign with a visit to Witham Town and Whitstable travel to Deal Town in the FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round.

Whitstable Grays
9 Attempts 8
5 On Target 2
6 Corners 5
2 Offside 3
8 Free Kicks Won 9

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, Jordan Wright, John Walker, Teddy Nelson, Rob Gillman, Tom Bryant, Brett Ince (Jai McKinlay 61), James Morrish (c) (Chris Saunders 61), Ricky Freeman (Nathan Hardwick 55), Charlie Smith (Tom Walmsley 55), Stuart West.
Subs (unused): Chris Elliott, Kyran Connolly.
Goal: Charlie Smith 4
Yellow cards: Ricky Freeman 30, Charlie Smith 41.

Grays Athletic
Lloyd Anderson, Ryan Mahal (Jamie Stuart), Callum Thompson (Anton Johnson 57), Barry Cogan (Jack Curtis 57), Geofrey Okonkwo, Stanley Muguo (c), Mitchel Hahn, Adeyinka Cole, Shomari Barnwell, Usman Adeniji (James Hawkins 73), Aron Gordon.
Sub (unused): Anthony Page
Yellow card: Barry Cogan 54

Attendance: 113
Referee: Jack Fagg
Assistants: George Lowe & Ryan Andrew

Game Today Plus Fixture News

There is just one week to go before the 2018-19 season starts with an FA Cup fixture at Deal Town. Today, Saturday 4th August at 3 pm, we welcome Bostik North Division club Grays Athletic to the Belmont Ground for a pre-season friendly.

In other news, the Velocity Trophy First Round tie at Ramsgate has been scheduled for Tuesday 11th Spetember at 7.45 pm.

The Velocity Trophy Draw

The draw for the first two rounds of the Velocity Trophy was made yesterday. This is the cup competition for Bostik League clubs and Whitstable have not been drawn to play in the Preliminary Round and so will enter the competition in the First Round with an away tie at Ramsgate. The match is to be played by September 20.

The full draw is available on the Bostik League website under the link below.

Velocity Trophy

Folkestone Friendly Off

Unfortunately the next scheduled pre-season friendly at Folkestone on Tuesday 31st July has been cancelled, as Whitstable are now unable to field a competitive team due to player injuries and unavailability. We would like to apologise for the short notice, but fortunately Folkestone have been able to find alternative opponents, as Herne Bay will now provide the opposition.

The next Whitstable first team fixture will be at the Belmont on Saturday against Grays Athletic. There is also an academy friendly at the Belmont tomorrow (Tuesday) evening.

Smith Double In Away Win

Pre-season friendly
Saturday July 28 2018 15.00

Whitstable revisited the scene of their final Southern Counties East League match in May and returned with the same result. Charlie Smith scored both goals in the first half, when the team played some good football at times and might have added further goals. Lordswood improved after the break, although the home goalkeeper had to make a good save to deny Smith a hat trick. Michael Freiter did pull a goal back from a free kick, but there were few other chances at either end as the strong wind made conditions quite testing.

With several players and the manager unavailable, Whitstable had to make a few changes to their line-up on a blustery afternoon, which was in great contrast to the hot and humid weather of recent days. Lordswood have added a few players to their squad in the summer and will be hopeful of improving on their eighth place finish of last season.

Whitstable started well with Ricky Freeman, Jordan Wright and Smith causing problems for the home defence. One Freeman cross from the right was just beyond the reach of Smith, but on 14 minutes Smith rose at the back post to meet another Freeman cross and head Whitstable in front. Wright was fouled on 21 minutes and after the Brett Ince free kick came back off the wall, Freeman lifted the ball back into the box and Josh Burchell saw his header tipped over the bar by the goalkeeper, who also saved a Stuart West header from the resulting corner. Whitstable added a second in the 34th minute when Wright slipped a clever ball through for Smith, who calmly chipped the goalkeeper and found the net. Lordswood created little in the first half, although Jordan Wells did threaten with a few good runs, but their best chances were a couple of free kicks that missed the target.

Charlie Smith heads the ball in at the far post
Whitstable are 1-0 up
Josh Burchell’s header is saved
Charlie Smith beats the goalkeeper
It’s 2-0

Whitstable almost scored again early in the second half, when Kyran Connolly just failed to reach a good ball across goal and then he turned provider, sending over a cross for Smith, whose header down brought a good save at the far post. Both teams made substitutions and Lordswood started having more meaningful possession in midfield. On 68 minutes, Freiter struck a free kick through the Whitstable wall and past Dan Eason to score from what was the first Lordswood shot on target. In the 80th minute, Freiter curled in another dangerous free kick, which was cleared to the edge of the box, where one of the home substitutes fired in a good low shot, but Eason got across to save. At the other end, Tom Bryant almost got on the end of a good free kick by Chris Elliott, but there were to be no further goals and Whitstable finished 2-1 winners.

Kyran Connolly almost gets on the scoresheet
Michael Freiter (8) scores from a free kick
Tom Bryant goes close

Whitstable next play on Tuesday evening at Bostik Premier League team Folkestone Invicta.

Lordswood Whitstable
8 Attempts 10
2 On Target 7
5 Corners 2
0 Offside 1
18 Free Kicks Won 13

Team not provided
Goal: Michael Freiter 68

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, Kyran Connolly (Rhys Brain 77), Josh Burchell (James Webb 81), Stuart West, Rob Gillman, Tom Bryant (c), Brett Ince (Chris Elliott 64), Jai McKinlay, Ricky Freeman, Charlie Smith (Trialist 70), Jordan Wright.
Goals: Charlie Smith 14, 34.

Attendance: Not available

Lydd Fightback Not Enough

Pre-season friendly
Tuesday July 24 2018 19.45

First half goals from Jordan Wright and Nathan Hardwick proved enough to beat Lydd Town in this latest pre-season game at the Belmont. In very warm and humid conditions, Whitstable created some good chances in the first hour and might have added to their score, although Dan Eason saved well from Ryan Philpott. After a number of substitutions, Lydd finished quite strongly and eventually grabbed a consolation goal when Tom Draper scored.

Southern Counties East League Division One Lydd Town were the visitors to the Belmont in the fourth home pre-season friendly for Whitstable, who will play their first away game next when they make the trip to Lordswood. Player unavailability left Whitstable with a squad of fourteen for the evening.

The returning Charlie Smith made a good run before his well struck 25 yard shot was saved by James Atkins, then he headed a good left wing cross just wide of the goal. Wright, who looked a threat for the home side throughout, created a couple of early chances, but Lydd almost took the lead on 15 minutes when Philpott got on the end of a good through ball and Eason had to be alert to block his shot. Whitstable opened the scoring after 20 minutes, when a nice pass by skipper James Morrish released Wright and he finished well past Atkins. Smith tried another shot from outside the box that went just over. As half time approached, Hardwick finished off another Whitstable move by nodding the ball home to send his team in 2-0 ahead.

Dan Eason prevents Ryan Philpott from putting Lydd ahead
Jordan Wright opens the scoring
Whitstable are 1-0 ahead
Nathan Hardwick heads the second

After the break, a Smith cross was headed wide by Hardwick, before Morrish collected the first yellow card of this pre-season after committing a few early second half fouls. Hardwick broke through again, but was unable to beat Atkins. The usual series of substitutions began and Lydd had two attempts at beating Eason from distance, but failed to hit the target. There were few chances as the warm evening seemed to be affecting everyone, but as the game entered the final few minutes Reece Mortimer had one shot easily saved and then had a great chance to score when the ball was headed down for him in the box, but he shot over the bar. Morrish picked up a Lydd clearance in midfield and tried to send the ball back into the net, but his shot was too high. Just after Eason had been replaced in the home goal, Lydd scored, when a ball out of the Whitstable defence was collected by Philpott, who ran down the right and crossed for Draper and although the substitute goalkeeper got a hand to his shot, the ball ended in the net. Just before the final whistle, Josh Burchell made an interception and found Rhys Brain, but his shot was well saved by Atkins and the game ended 2-1.

Tom Draper scores for Lydd
James Atkins saves from Rhys Brain

Whitstable now have two away games, at Lordswood on Saturday and then Folkestone Invicta on Tuesday evening.

Whitstable Lydd
11 Attempts 7
6 On Target 3
5 Corners 2
6 Offside 0
7 Free Kicks Won 12

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason (Mark Sibton 81), Kyran Connolly, Josh Burchell, Stuart West, Rob Gillman, Tom Bryant, Chris Saunders, James Morrish (c), Nathan Hardwick (Rhys Brain 75), Charlie Smith (James Webb 76), Jordan Wright.
Subs (unused): none
Goals: Jordan Wright 20, Nathan Hardwick 39.
Yellow card: James Morrish 51

Lydd Town
James Atkins, Jordan Tomsett (c), Kieran Shrimpton, Jamie Hurst, Alex Coyne, Owen Kessack, Harry Carr, Craig Calvert, Ryan Philpott, Dale Horton, Reece Mortimer.
Subs: Dan Wanstall, Tom Draper, Luke Stanley, Piers Futcher, Guy Connolly.
Goal: Tom Draper 82

Attendance: 88
Referee: Alex Emery
Assistants: Daniel D’Urso & Ryan Chantril-Smith