Category: 2018-2019 Match Reports

Derby Day Blues For Town

Bostik League South East
Saturday December 8 2018 15.00

Whitstable failed to turn up for this long anticipated derby against Herne Bay and were deservedly beaten by a team that had struggled in the league all season, but are better than their lowly position would suggest. There was little goalmouth action in a poor first half, but Whitstable did actually go closer to taking the lead on a couple of occasions, despite looking second best for most of the game. Simon Overland made a great save to prevent what would have been an own goal and Rob Gillman hit the woodwork. Herne Bay had created a few decent chances that they failed to take, but they were given a boost just before the break when a reckless tackle by Harry Brown brought a red card and Bradley Schafer headed in the resultant free kick. Jake Embery added a good second soon after the restart as the visitors grew in confidence. Whitstable did have a better spell as they tried to get back into the game, but it was Herne Bay that scored two more late goals through Miles Cornwell and Thomas Carlton, who was the best player on the pitch and his long distance effort was a reward for his performance in midfield.

This was the first game between the two local rivals since Whitstable won 2-0 at Herne Bay in December 2015, during a season that was to end in relegation for the Oystermen. The visitors arrived in bottom place, apart from the sadly defunct Thamesmead Town, having lost their last eight league games. Whitstable had lost their previous two matches, both tricky away fixtures in Sussex. James Morrish, Stephen Smith, Tom Bryant and Chris Saunders returned after missing the defeat at Horsham, but John Walker and Louis Sprosen remain out and were joined by Ricky Freeman, who needed to rest his injury, although Danny Williams made his first start of the season, having taken some time away from Saturday football. Herne Bay made four changes from their previous game and included new signing Ole Bankole.

Chairman Joe Brownett presents a Whitstable Town shirt to long time supporter Micky Dye prior to the game

An early run by Saunders was ended by a foul and Brown’s free kick was met by the head of Bryant at the far post, but it was easily gathered by Overland. Herne Bay broke quickly, but the ball was eventually overhit and Dan Eason was able to collect. Whitstable won a corner, but as with a number of set pieces throughout the game, failed to make the most of it. The two Smiths, playing up front for the home team, combined well and the ball dropped to Brown just outside the box, but he shot well wide. The Herne Bay defender and captain, Matt Fry, limped off with an injury on 13 minutes, to be replaced by Jamie Chamberlain. Simon Kabamba galloped down the right and sent over a cross that just dropped on top of the goal, as Herne Bay started to see more of the ball, after what had been a scrappy opening to the game. They won a corner when a shot from distance by Carlton took a slight deflection and Danny Rumbol met the ball at the near post, but his wayward effort failed to test Eason. On 24 minutes, some clever play by Stephen Smith on the edge of the box saw him flick the ball over his marker and volley it just wide of the far post.

Tom Bryant tries with an early header
Herne Bay go close as this Simon Kabamba cross just clears the bar

Carlton went close when he shot powerfully just past the left post from 25 yards, following a strong run from midfield. Whitstable nearly took the lead in the 32nd minute when Bryant and Bankole jumped to meet a Brown free kick and the ball came off the Herne Bay player and looked like finding the top corner, but Overland managed to get a hand to it and turn it around the post. Herne Bay broke quickly from the resulting Whitstable corner kick, but the cross by Kabamba was headed wide by Cornwell, who should really have hit the target. Charlie Smith was forced to leave the field with a foot injury on 35 minutes and Williams came off the bench for his seasonal debut. Whitstable again went close to claiming the vital first goal just afterwards, when a Brown free kick was helped towards goal and only cleared as far as Gillman, who turned and hooked the ball past Overland, but it came back off the bar. The game took a decisive turn on 40 minutes when Embery broke down the right and Brown caught him with a poor challenge that brought an instant red card from the referee. The free kick was clipped in by Carlton and glanced past Eason by the head of Schafer. In added time, Carlton tried another shot, but Eason was able to get down to make the save, so the teams went in with Herne Bay 1-0 ahead.

Whitstable trying for the important first goal
Dan Eason is beaten as Bradley Schafer heads Herne Bay in front

Whitstable manager Scott Porter made a change for the second half, with Teddy Nelson replacing Michael Jenner. After an early home corner came to nothing, Schafer shot just wide after playing a one-two with Carlton. Herne Bay did double their advantage in the 54th minute when they won the ball in midfield and Leonard sped forward before slipping the ball to his right for Embery, whose shot gave Eason no chance. Leonard did pick up a booking as he celebrated a vital second goal for his team. Carlton had a great game in midfield and forced Eason to make two more saves in the space of a few minutes.

Jake Embery makes it 2-0

Whitstable did play with a bit more promise for a period of time and Morrish was at the heart of most of this. He set up Williams who tried his luck from distance, but Overland was able to save. The Whitstable captain then shot just past the post himself after receiving a pass from Stephen Smith. Whitstable were not helped by some inaccurate set pieces, but were still looking for a way back into the game and a good run by Jordan Wright led to his cross being fired just wide by Williams at the near post. Saunders and Stephen Smith both had efforts that were comfortably dealt with by Overland, before Herne Bay made the game safe on 80 minutes with a quick break. Carlton crossed from the right and Cornwell collected the ball and curled a good shot into the top right corner, as Whitstable defended poorly. Things got worse in the 86th minute when a mishit clearance by Eason went straight to Carlton and although he was about 40 yards from goal, he drove the ball perfectly back into the unguarded net to make it 4-0 and that was the end of the meaningful action.

Herne Bay celebrate their third goal
The returning Danny Williams tries a late header

It was a poor performance all round from Whitstable, despite a few first half chances to get in front, and Herne Bay were good value for the three points that they badly needed in their battle to get away from the foot of the table. Whitstable face the long trip to Guernsey next week and will need to get back to their early season form in they wish to halt their slide down the table.

Whitstable   Herne Bay
11 Attempts 13
6 On Target 7
5 Corners 2
1 Offside 1
9 Free Kicks Won 14

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, Jordan Wright, Harry Brown, Stuart West, Rob Gillman, Tom Bryant, Chris Saunders, James Morrish (c), Charlie Smith (Danny Williams 35), Stephen Smith, Michael Jenner (Teddy Nelson 46).
Subs (unused): Tom Walmsley, Sam Welch, Chris Elliott.
Yellow cards: Stephen Smith 42, Danny Williams 47, Chris Saunders 67.
Red card: Harry Brown 40

Herne Bay
Simon Overland, Simon Kabamba, Danny Rumbol, Matt Fry (c) (Jamie Chamberlain 13), James White, Ole Bankole, Bradley Schafer, Thomas Carlton, Jake Embery (Connor Wilkins 76), Miles Cornwell, Danny Leonard.
Subs (unused): Raphe Brown, Michael Freiter, Leshawn Clifford-Awoyemi.
Goals: Bradley Schafer 41, Jake Embery 54, Miles Cornwell 80, Thomas Carlton 86.
Yellow card: Danny Leonard 54

Attendance: 368
Referee: Jack Packman
Assistants: Nick Dunn & George Lowe

Town Well Beaten By Horsham

Bostik League South East
Saturday December 1 2018 15.00

In form Horsham moved into the play off places as they strolled to a sixth win in their last seven league matches against a severely depleted Whitstable team that offered little on a miserable, wet afternoon on the south coast. There were very few goal attempts in a poor first half, although Horsham looked the more likely to break the deadlock. The Sussex team improved after the interval  and were soon ahead, when Stuart West unfortunately headed a corner past his own goalkeeper and it was soon 2-0 as the Whitstable defence stood and watched a Charlie Harris cross curl straight in at the far post. Substitute Lee Harding crashed a shot against the bar, before adding a third when his cross sailed into the net and the impressive Harvey Sparks completed the scoring in added time. Whitstable failed to register a single shot on target and it might have been worse, but for some good saves by Eason.

Whitstable had been without a game for two weeks, but the break since the game at Hastings did not seem to have helped much, as they arrived here with only thirteen players, to the disappointment of those supporters that had made the long journey on a gloomy afternoon. The two new signings, Michael Jenner from Faversham and Sam Welch from Chatham, both started. Captain James Morrish and striker Stephen Smith were both suspended, Tom Bryant was unwell, John Walker and Louis Sprosen were still side-lined through injury and Chris Saunders was away. Horsham play on a 3G pitch at Lancing, the Sussex FA headquarters, whilst they await the completion of their new ground. They are one of the form sides of the division and also had a good run in the FA Trophy, before losing 2-1 to Bath City. Their new loan signing from Dorking Wanderers, Kieran Lavery, started, but was unable to partner the absent Chris Smith, who is currently Horsham’s top scorer. The two prolific strikers previously played together at South Park.

This game was played in persistent misty drizzle and started quietly, with too many long balls from both teams not hitting the right areas. There was an early booking for Rob O’Toole for a bad challenge on the touchline, just before Whitstable had their best chance of the half when a weak back pass was collected by Ricky Freeman, but after taking the ball past goalkeeper Josh Pelling, he could only hit the side netting from a tight angle. At the other end, Tyrell Richardson-Brown was making a few threatening runs without really finding an end product, but he did combine with O’Toole to set up Jack Brivio, who lifted his shot well over the bar.

Ricky Freeman intercepts a back pass and takes the ball around the goalkeeper

The attempt goes into the side netting

Horsham were beginning to settle and had the majority of the possession, but the Whitstable defence were coping reasonably well. On 30 minutes a good low cross by Sparks was parried by Eason and then Richardson-Brown sent over a low ball from the right that was pushed out at the far post by the Whitstable goalkeeper. As half time approached, Jenner became the first Whitstable player to be cautioned for a foul, then a flick on by Richardson-Brown found O’Toole, whose shot was well saved by Eason and Will Hoare could only strike the rebound straight at the goalkeeper. A late Whitstable corner was safely gathered by Pelling and the teams went off with the score still 0-0.

New signing Sam Welch sends the ball into the box

The home team started the second half brightly and a great 25 yard strike by Steve Metcalf was brilliantly tipped around the post by Eason and from the resultant corner curled in from the left by Harris, West jumped with O’Toole at the near post, only to divert the ball into his own net to give Horsham the lead in the 48th minute. Lavery then created some space for himself on the right and curled a good effort just wide. The pressure was all coming from Horsham and when one of several corners was headed out by Welch, the ball came back to the taker Harris and his right footed cross bounced past everyone in the box and found the far corner of the net, much to the annoyance of the Whitstable bench. A struggling Freeman then had to be replaced by Kyran Connolly, no doubt with upcoming games to consider. A Harry Brown free kick was only cleared as far as Jenner, whose shot from outside the box curled wide and that was as close as Whitstable were to get to pulling a goal back.

Horsham get their first goal as Stuart West (obscured) heads into his own net

Michael Jenner has Whitstable’s only shot in the second half

A good sequence of passes by Horsham ended with a shot by Sparks that sailed over the bar and the home side then introduced Harding from the bench and he was soon to cause more problems for the overworked visiting defence. On 70 minutes, a ball played in from the right by Harris was headed past the near post by O’Toole. Harding then fired in a powerful rising drive from the right edge of the box that crashed back off the bar, but when he next whipped over a cross, the ball flew straight into the roof of the net to make it 3-0 in the 79th minute. Horsham continued to look for more goals and after Whitstable had cleared a couple of corners, Sparks played a one-two before bringing another good save out of Eason and then Brivio headed over the top. Sparks was determined to get in on the goal action and in stoppage time, he had another shot blocked by Eason before the offside flag came to the rescue as the ball rebounded into a dangerous area. He finally got his reward in the last added minute, when a good pass from substitute Joey Taylor found him in the box again and he fired in off the legs of Eason to wrap things up at 4-0.

A busy Dan Eason saves this effort

Harvey Sparks makes it 4-0 in added time

Horsham deservedly took the points to move up the fifth, but Whitstable will hope to have a much stronger squad to choose from for their next match, which is the big local derby against Herne Bay, who themselves will be desperate for something from the game after a terrible recent run of results.

Horsham Whitstable
22 Attempts 2
11 On Target 0
9 Corners 2
3 Offside 0
17 Free Kicks Won 7

Josh Pelling, Steve Metcalf, Harvey Sparks, Charlie Harris (Joey Taylor 84), Joe Shelley, Dylan Merchant (Lewis Hyde 84), Jack Brivio, Will Hoare (c), Rob O’Toole, Kieran Lavery, Tyrell Richardson-Brown (Lee Harding 68).
Subs (unused): George Hayward, Tom Baxter.
Goals: Stuart West o.g. 48, Charlie Harris 57, Lee Harding 79, Harvey Sparks 90+4.
Yellow card: Rob O’Toole 8

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, Sam Welch (Chris Elliott 75), Harry Brown, Stuart West (c), Rob Gillman, Teddy Nelson, Jordan Wright, Charlie Smith, Ricky Freeman (Kyran Connolly 60), Tom Walmsley, Michael Jenner.
Subs (unused): none
Yellow cards: Michael Jenner 41, Charlie Smith 53, Kyran Connolly 74.

Attendance: 162
Referee: Alexander Mathieson
Assistants: Garry Hodgkinson & Richard Sargeant

Sam Adams Enjoys Special Day

Bostik League South East
Saturday November 17 2018 15.00

Hastings United kept their perfect record in home league games on a chilly day when their captain, Sam Adams, made his 500th appearance for the club. In a first half of few chances, Hastings looked the more likely to score, winning eight corners, but Ajakaiye shot wide with just Dan Eason to beat and the Whitstable keeper managed to save a good low shot by Jack Dixon. Just before half time, Youssouf Bamba did give Hastings the lead when he collected a cross by Ajakaiye and shot past Eason. A well worked second goal by Sam Beale just after the break left the crowd of 512 expecting a routine home win, but Whitstable did their best to spoil the party. Tom Bryant soon pulled a goal back when a Jordan Wright free kick reached him at the back post and that lifted the visitors, who then created several more good chances. Charlie Horlock denied Elliott Hartnell-Baker after a great Kyran Connolly cross left him through on goal, two close range headers were cleared off the line, Harry Brown beat Horlock with a low strike that went just wide and Charlie Smith fired over the bar. Hastings had a couple of further chances themselves, with Eason saving well from Bamba, but it was a Whitstable mistake that finally gifted them a third goal to seal the win, when Ajakaiye intercepted a back pass by Bryant and rolled the ball into the net.

Whitstable travelled to 2nd placed Hastings, having won their previous three games, but still without a full squad. Captain James Morrish was serving the first of a two game ban, whilst Louis Sprosen and Chris Ellottt were injured. Ricky Freeman was originally named in the starting eleven, but had to pull out prior to the kick off. Tom Bryant took over as captain for the day and lined up next to Adams, who was joined on the pitch by his children prior to the game, before receiving an award from his club. Hastings had won all six previous home league matches, the most recent being a 5-0 triumph over Herne Bay. Leading scorer Daniel Ajakaiye had scored 20 goals in 19 appearances.

Sam Adams lines up before his 500th Hastings game next to Whitstable captain Tom Bryant

The game began relatively slowly, with the home team having a lot of possession and Whitstable defending well, getting the ball forward quickly when the chance arose. Hastings won a number of corners that were mostly played short, perhaps because of the height advantage of Whitstable, who were rarely troubled by crosses into the box. Stephen Smith tried an early low shot from the edge of the box that was gathered comfortably by Horlock. Bamba, Lanre Azeez and Emmanuel Mensah were all causing some problems with their runs out wide and the ball went dangerously across the Whitstable box on a few occasions, but Rob Gillman and Stuart West looked assured alongside Bryant in the Whitstable defence. The first real opening came in the 22nd minute when Ajakaiye stole the ball from Bryant and drove forward, but shot wide with just Eason to beat. Just afterwards another Hastings corner was cleared quickly to Stephen Smith and Horlock raced out to intercept, with the two players colliding as the ball was cleared. Dixon tried a low shot from 20 yards that was parried by Eason into the path of Ajakaiye, who looked certain to find the net, but put the ball wide, although it would not have counted as the assistant had raised his flag for offside.

Tom Walmsley tries to break through

An offside Daniel Ajakaiye puts the rebound wide after a Dan Eason save

A Whitstable free kick was swung in by Brown and headed across goal by West to Chris Saunders, who was unable to divert the ball towards goal. Saunders then picked up the first caution of the game for a challenge as Hastings tried to break. Tom Walmsley, who had been a late replacement for Freeman up front, then had to be substituted himself by Hartnell-Baker. As half time approached, Whitstable won their only corner of the game and Bryant was first to the ball, but could not direct his header on target. In the 44th minute, as Whitstable appealed in vain for a foul, Ajakaiye broke down the right and sent over a good cross to the far post, where Bamba arrived to collect the ball, evade the challenges of West and John Walker and shoot low past Eason to give Hastings a 1-0 lead at the break.

Tom Bryant heads wide

Hastings score the first goal just before half time

Both teams made changes for the second half, as Hastings replaced Mensah with Jamie Fielding and Connolly was introduced for the injured Walker by Whitstable. On 49 minutes, Hastings scored their second goal following a long sequence of passes that ended with Beale playing a one-two with Dixon and calmly slotting the ball low past the left hand of Eason. Whitstable did respond well however and made it 2-1 in the 51st minute, when a free kick near the left corner flag was taken by Wright and as several players challenged at the near post the ball dropped nicely for Bryant to sweep left footed into the net. Brown then swung in another free kick from the opposite corner that was cleared from under the bar. After Charlie Smith had received a caution for a robust challenge, the Whitstable injury curse struck again and Gillman, who had made some great interceptions at the back, had to be replaced by Teddy Nelson. The visitors were now having their best spell of the game and on 65 minutes, West swept the ball out to the impressive Connolly on the right, who curled over a perfect cross that cut out the covering defenders and left Hartnell-Baker one on one with Horlock, but he could not get enough power on his shot and the goalkeeper gathered at the second attempt.

Sam Beale finishes a good move to make it 2-0

The defence fail to deal with Jordan Wright’s free kick

Tom Bryant pulls a goal back for Whitstable

Elliott Hartnell-Baker sees his shot saved by Charlie Horlock

A good run by Bamba down the left then took him into the Whitstable box, but his curling shot was well saved by Eason. Just afterwards another Hastings attack saw a shot by Azeez cleared as far as Adams on the edge of the box, but he skied his shot over the bar. Bamba was the next name into the book, before Whitstable won another dangerous free kick that once again caused problems for the home defence. This time Brown crossed and the ball was nodded back to Stephen Smith who saw his header cleared off the line by Beale, then a follow up header was again hacked away to safety. A few minutes later, as Whitstable pressed high up the pitch, Hastings eventually lost possession on the edge of the own box and a first time shot by Brown beat Horlock, but went just the wrong side of the post. Charlie Smith was the next to try his luck, but shot just over from 20 yards. Just as the hopes of the Whitstable supporters amongst the large crowd were rising, an attempted back pass by Bryant failed to reach Eason and Ajakaiye nipped in, went past the goalkeeper and stroked the ball into the net to make it 3-1 in the 77th minute. Other than a booking for Stephen Smith, two further home substitutions and a few half chances for both teams, the game drifted to its inevitable conclusion, with the main interest being a late free kick for Hastings. Adams stepped up to see if he could add a goal to his memorable afternoon, but lifted his shot over the bar.

Stephen Smith’s header is cleared off the line by Sam Beale

Harry Brown shoots from the edge of the box

The ball goes just the wrong side of the post

Hastings were worthy winners in the end, but things might just have been different had Whitstable taken one of their chances when the score was 2-1. The sad demise of Thamesmead Town now gives Whitstable a two week break and a chance to get some injured players back before another tricky game at Horsham.







On Target









Free Kicks Won


Hastings United
Charlie Horlock, Emmanuel Mensah (Jamie Fielding 46), Sam Beale, Jahmal Howlett-Mundle, Sam Cruttwell, Daniel Ajakaiye, Sam Adams (c), Youssouf Bamba (Antonio Walker-Barth 83), Hassan Ibrahim, Lanre Azeez (Charlie Curran 88), Jack Dixon.
Subs (unused): Adam Lovatt, Tommy Taylor.
Goals: Youssuf Bamba 44, Sam Beale 49, Daniel Ajakaiye 77.
Yellow card: Youssuf Bamba 68

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, John Walker (Kyran Connolly 46), Harry Brown, Stuart West, Rob Gillman (Teddy Nelson 60), Tom Bryant (c), Chris Saunders, Charlie Smith, Tom Walmsley (Elliott Hartnell-Baker 32), Stephen Smith, Jordan Wright.
Sub (unused): Ricky Freeman
Goal: Tom Bryant 51
Yellow cards: Chris Saunders 28, Charlie Smith 57, Stephen Smith 79.

Attendance: 512
Referee: Isaac Searle
Assistants: Aaron Conn & Joseph Dann-Pye

Whitstable Edge Cup Thriller

Velocity Trophy Third Round
Tuesday November 13 2018 19.45

Whitstable continued their progress in the Velocity Trophy at the Belmont Ground, as they beat Cheshunt in a very entertaining game that produced seven goals. Stephen Smith provided a great start with two goals in the opening few minutes. On each occasion he ran through and finished coolly past goalkeeper Harry Girling. The score remained 2-0 through to half time, although Cheshunt created a number of good opportunities, but Dan Eason made three important saves and several other efforts failed to hit the target. Charlie Smith missed a good chance to put Whitstable further ahead early in the second half and shortly afterwards, Cheshunt cut the deficit when Asher Silverman curled an unstoppable shot into the top corner. Stephen Smith then completed a well-taken hat-trick, powering a shot into the far corner. Girling made two great saves to deny both John Walker and Tom Bryant and keep his side in the game, before Cheshunt fought back to level at 3-3 with two goals in five minutes. The first was a low shot by Giuseppe Re that went through the crowd into the bottom corner and then Oluwole Akinsanya scored from the penalty spot. It looked as though the tie was heading to penalties, but Chris Saunders produced a late winner when he rolled the ball past an unsighted Girling after the ball fell to him in the box.

Whitstable continue to suffer from injury and illness, with Ricky Freeman and Kyran Connolly the latest to miss out, joining Louis Sprosen on the list of absentees. Rob Gillman was also missing for this midweek fixture and John Walker once again continued his return to fitness from the bench. Jai McKinlay has departed and will look to find more regular football at a club nearer his home. Cheshunt, currently 5th in the South Central division, arrived at the Belmont for only the second time in their history. The teams met twice in the 1959-60 season in the Aetolian League, with Cheshunt winning both games. Whitstable finished bottom that season when the division also included fellow Kent clubs Deal, Faversham, Chatham, Cray Wanderers, Herne Bay, Sheppey and Snowdown Colliery. Cheshunt, the Ambers, are now managed by the experienced Craig Edwards, whose previous clubs include Billericay, Kingstonian and Dulwich Hamlet.

Whitstable made the perfect start when Stephen Smith ran from the halfway line, keeping just ahead of the last defender, before slipping the ball past the goalkeeper to open the scoring in the 2nd minute. In what was to prove an action packed game, Eason had to make an early save from Re at his near post to preserve the lead. In the 8th minute though, Stephen Smith doubled the advantage racing on to a good header by Charlie Smith and this time, when he got into the box, he checked back on to his right foot and lobbed the ball perfectly over Girling into the roof of the net. Whitstable suffered another injury blow, when Teddy Nelson had to depart after 9 minutes with a tight hamstring, to be replaced by Chris Elliott with Harry Brown moving to an unfamiliar centre back role.

Stephen Smith slips the ball past Harry Girling

Whitstable have an early lead

Dan Eason keeps out a shot from Giuseppe Re

Stephen Smith lobs the ball over the goalkeeper

Whitstable lead 2-0

Cheshunt won a couple of corners, the second of which was headed into the net, but the referee had spotted an infringement and the effort was ruled out. Cheshunt were starting to push Whitstable back and when another corner was not properly cleared, Toby Aromolaran tried an overhead kick that went over the bar. Brown was booked for a foul on the touchline and the free kick was headed just wide by David Kendall. Just after the half hour mark, a Brown free kick was flicked over the bar by James Morrish, but it was the visitors that continued to look more threatening and a through ball to Aromolaran put him clear, but Eason was quickly out to block. The two Smiths then both had half chances for Whitstable that failed to work the goalkeeper, but after a long throw by Elliott, Girling twice failed to clear and the ball eventually came back out to Elliott who lifted his shot over the bar. The last action of the half saw Eason make another good save, before Silverman put a shot wide.

Tom Bryant rises high to clear

Jordan Wright on the ball

After a relatively quiet start to the second half, there were a couple of yellow cards produced and then the referee played an advantage after Stephen Smith was brought down by Nick Symons and Jordan Wright laid on a great chance for Charlie Smith, but he sliced a left footed shot wide with just the goalkeeper to beat. Whitstable were made to pay for that miss when in their next attack, Silverman curled the ball into the top right corner off the post from outside the box to make it 2-1 in the 56th minute. Whitstable soon restored their two goal advantage however when Stephen Smith completed his hat-trick. He broke clear on the right and although the ball was initially blocked, the rebound struck him and he immediately thumped it across Girling and into the far corner.

It’s a great hat-trick for Stephen Smith as he thumps the ball into the far corner

Chances were now coming at both ends and after Aromolaran had headed a left wing cross just wide. Walker replaced Morrish for Whitstable just before Stephen Smith shot wide from 25 yards. Whitstable were almost punished when a rare error by Bryant left Yvan Jourdan through on goal, but Eason came to the rescue and pushed his shot around the post. Cheshunt made their first change, but it was the home substitute Walker who nearly scored the next goal after Charlie Smith caused problems for the Cheshunt defence and the ball fell to Walker, whose curling right foot shot was well stopped by the outstretched hand of Girling. Eason was almost caught out by a 40 yard attempt that flew just wide as he tried to scramble back. On 73 minutes, a ball into the Cheshunt box fell to Bryant, but his well struck shot from 12 yards was again brilliantly saved by Girling.

Harry Girling makes a fine save to deny Tom Bryant

The Cheshunt goal scorer, Silverman was replaced by Akinsanya on 74 minutes, but it was Whitstable that created the next chance when Stephen Smith and Wright combined to give Charlie Smith another sight of goal, but he blazed his shot wide. Cheshunt won a free kick on the right that was taken by Patrick Adamson and the ball was cleared as far as Re, whose low shot from 20 yards went past everyone into the bottom right corner to make it 3-2 in the 78th minute. Eason then saved a deflected shot, as Cheshunt pressed for the equaliser, but they got their chance in the 82nd minute when Stuart West conceded a penalty and Akinsanya stepped up to beat Eason. The game had a final twist however when Whitstable swung a free kick into the box in the 87th minute and as the ball dropped to Saunders, he managed to place it into the right hand corner with Girling unable to get across. Whitstable managed to see out the remaining time, despite a late corner, to secure a thrilling 4-3 win.

A low shot by Giuseppe Re (out of shot) finds the bottom corner to make it 3-2

Olu Akinsanya ties it up at 3-3 from the penalty spot

Chris Saunders finds the net with the goalkeeper unable to react and Whitstable score their fourth

Chris Saunders celebrates his late winner

Whitstable are the first team to qualify for the quarter finals, so will have to wait a while before discovering their next opponents in this competition. They return to league action, with a visit to second placed Hastings United on Saturday.

Whitstable Cheshunt
13 Attempts 17
7 On Target 8
3 Corners 8
1 Offside 4
15 Free Kicks Won 9

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, Tom Walmsley, Harry Brown, Stuart West, Teddy Nelson (Chris Elliott 9), Tom Bryant, Chris Saunders, James Morrish (c) (John Walker 65), Charlie Smith (Elliott Hartnell-Baker 89), Stephen Smith, Jordan Wright.
Sub (unused): Rhys Brain
Goals: Stephen Smith 2, 8, 60, Chris Saunders 87.
Yellow cards: Harry Brown 24, Stephen Smith 53.

Harry Girling, Kojo Awotwi, Patrick Adamson, Asher Silverman (Oluwole Akinsanya 74), Henry Musaj, David Kendall, Yvan Jourdan (Ali Cheranti 74), Nick Symons, Al-Hafeez Sanusi, Toby Aromolaran, Giuseppe Re.
Subs (unused): Taylor McKenzie, Mark Hughes, George Casey.
Goals: Asher Silverman 56, Giuseppe Re 78, Oluwole Akinsanya pen 82.
Yellow cards: David Kendall 53, Nick Symons 54.

Attendance: 91
Referee: Kane Dempster
Assistants: Richard Joss & Nick Dunn

Whitstable Win At Woodstock

Bostik League South East
Saturday November 10 2018 15.00

Whitstable collected three valuable points on the road, beating Sittingbourne 2-1 at Woodstock Park. Whitstable looked the most likely to open the scoring in the early stages, pushing forward and winning a number of corners and free kicks in dangerous areas. The pressure finally told when Stuart West rose to head in a corner, but the goal seemed to change the momentum and Sittingbourne started to threaten. Ira Jackson equalised with a good shot past Dan Eason and the home team finished the first half in the ascendancy. Both teams were reduced to ten men when James Morrish and Dan Parkinson were dismissed by the referee after an incident in the 59th minute. Whitstable gradually regained some control of a somewhat scrappy game and Jordan Wright scored a good goal to put them back in front. Stephen Smith nearly added a third when he thumped a header against the post from a corner. Sittingbourne did create a couple of opportunities to come back for a second time, but Nathan Elder shot straight at Eason and a couple of late headers from set pieces were off target and Whitstable held on for the win.

This Bostik League fixture for Whitstable was sandwiched between two midweek Velocity Trophy games and Rob Gillman and Stephen Smith returned to the starting eleven. John Walker continues his recovery and had a place on the bench, but Louis Sprosen is still troubled by his ankle injury and Elliott Hartnell-Baker has joined Lordswood on loan to get some additional game time. Old rivals Sittingbourne started this season with four wins in their first six league games, but had not won in the league since September 23rd. Their squad contained former Whitstable players Reiss Crimmen, Ira Jackson, Tom Loynes and Bola Dawodu, whilst back in September 2012, player coach Nathan Elder scored four headed goals for Ebbsfleet in a 5-1 Kent Senior Cup win at the Belmont. There was a short ceremony for Remembrance Sunday, featuring the British Legion, in the centre of the pitch prior to kick off.

The ceremony before the game for Remembrance Sunday.

Whitstable began well, causing the home team some problems by getting the ball forward down the wings and winning several free kicks. A long throw by Chris Elliott led to a header being deflected behind for a corner that resulted in the ball going just wide after a sequence of headers. Crimmen was then cautioned for conceding another free kick that was cleared by Sittingbourne after being headed down into the crowded box. Another free kick in the 13th minute was only partially dealt with and Kyran Connolly planted a header just over the bar. Ricky Freeman had to be substituted in the 22nd minute due to injury and was replaced by Tom Walmsley. Whitstable did eventually make the most of a set piece on 29 minutes, when West was first to an Elliott corner and headed the ball past Matt Funnell.

Matt Funnell takes the ball off the head of Ricky Freeman

Stuart West rises to meet a corner

The ball finds the net and Whitstable lead 1-0

Celebrating the opening goal

Sittingbourne had not really got going at all in an attacking sense, but suddenly Loynes did well to make the space for himself to test Eason, but his shot was straight at the Whitstable keeper. Smith latched on to a long ball at the other end and shot just wide of the near post, but the home team were improving and in the 36th minute Tommie Fagg played a good ball out to Jackson on the right, giving him the chance to take it just inside the box and unleash a powerful drive that beat Eason and found the far corner to make it 1-1. Sittingbourne then tried another long throw that was misjudged by Eason, who came out but was unable to reach the ball, although Rob Gillman was on hand to clear the danger. Jackson had another chance when a clearance by Eason went straight out to him, but his shot was deflected for a corner. The last action of the half saw a decent strike by Fagg parried by Eason before the ball was cleared away.

Stephen Smith is just off target with this effort

Sittingbourne had an early opportunity in the second half after Connolly was booked for a foul by the corner flag, but the free kick was headed wide. Gillman then suddenly departed the action after being informed of a family emergency, which thankfully was nothing too serious, with Teddy Nelson coming on to replace him. Tom Bryant was clumsily knocked over in the box when challenging for the ball, but the referee waved away penalty claims. Neither team was really playing with any consistency and there were too many aimless balls being given away. A challenge by Morrish led to a reaction by Parkinson that eventually resulted in both players being shown a straight red card. After things had calmed down, it was Whitstable who began to play with a little more composure and a period of possession and close passing around the home penalty area led to Wright collecting the ball and firing it into the net past Funnell and Loynes, who made an unsuccessful attempt to clear off the line.

Jordan Wright (obscured) scores the second for Whitstable

The shot beats the goalkeeper and Tom Loynes on the line

Sittingbourne almost struck back quickly when a Loynes shot was defected into the path of Elder, but he shot directly at a grateful Eason. Both teams made further changes before Wright swung over a corner from the left that was headed against the far post by Smith in the 83rd minute.  Walmsley then played the ball into the path of Chris Saunders, who curled a shot wide from outside the box. West was booked for a foul on the left edge of the area and the free kick by Jackson was headed wide at the back post. Wright and Saunders combined well to win a late Whitstable corner that was scrambled away and the last chance of the afternoon came in added time, when a Sittingbourne corner was headed over the bar by Bola Dawodu, leaving Whitstable 2-1 winners.

Dan Eason holds on to this low shot

Stephen Smith heads against the post

Whitstable had started and finished the better, although there was a period either side of the break when Sittingbourne had threatened to get something out of the game that was often scrappy. The attendance of 198 was the highest for a league game at Woodstock Park so far this season. Whitstable are next in Velocity Trophy action on Tuesday evening when Cheshunt make the long trip to the Belmont.

Sittingbourne Whitstable
9 Attempts 8
4 On Target 2
3 Corners 7
1 Offside 2
10 Free Kicks Won 14

Matthew Funnel, Chris Webber (c), Reiss Crimmen, Dan Parkinson, Lex Allan, Ben Fitchett (Johan Caney-Bryan 87), Ira Jackson, Lewis Chambers, Nathan Elder (Bola Dawodu 76), Tommie Fagg, Tom Loynes.
Subs (unused): Josh Dorling, Harrison Hatfull, Patrick Lee.
Goal: Ira Jackson 36
Yellow cards: Reiss Crimmen 11, Tommie Fagg 40.
Red card: Dan Parkinson 59

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, Kyran Connolly, Chris Elliott (Harry Brown 78), Stuart West, Rob Gillman (Teddy Nelson 50), Tom Bryant, Chris Saunders, James Morrish (c), Ricky Freeman (Tom Walmsley 22), Stephen Smith, Jordan Wright.
Subs (unused): Charlie Smith, John Walker.
Goals: Stuart West 29, Jordan Wright 71.
Yellow cards: Kyran Connolly 47, Stuart West 86.
Red card: James Morrish 59

Attendance: 198
Referee: Simon Finnigan
Assistants: Jak Hill & George Lowe

Second Half Goals Win Tie

Velocity Trophy Second Round
Tuesday November 6 2018 19.45

Whitstable recovered from a very poor first half display against ten man Greenwich Borough to reach the Third Round of the Velocity Trophy. The visitors arrived at the Belmont with a depleted team, but caused Whitstable some early problems, forcing Dan Eason to make two early saves before taking the lead with a good finish by Phil Brown-Bampoe. Whitstable could not find any rhythm and deservedly trailed at the break. The game was turned around in the second half, when Whitstable scored four times in a 15 minute spell to continue their interest in the competition. Tom Walmsley and Ricky Freeman both scored with headers, then Walmsley fired in his second from a good Teddy Nelson cross and Tom Bryant added the fourth when Greenwich failed to clear a corner. Whitstable will play South Central Division team Cheshunt at the Belmont in the next round.

Greenwich had visited the Belmont exactly one month earlier, when Whitstable ran out 2-0 winners in a Bostik League fixture. Whitstable had four different starters in this Velocity Trophy match, with Chris Saunders finally clear of his lengthy suspension. The visitors’ team contained just four members of their squad from the previous game and they only had ten players take the field, despite having the full eleven on their team sheet, so not everyone realised immediately that they were playing without a full team.

Whitstable did win three corners in quick succession in the opening minutes, but it was Greenwich that created the best chances. Theo Osinfolarin had a shot saved by Dan Eason and then Nikolaos Tsakonas cut in from the right and tried a left footed shot that forced Eason into another save. The home defence was looking a bit vulnerable and when another attack was only partly cleared, the ball came out to Brown-Bampoe just outside the box and he struck a great shot past Eason into the right corner of the net to give Greenwich the lead in the 7th minute.

An early corner slips through the hands of Thomas McGill

Battling for possession

Freeman and Walmsley both had efforts off target for Whitstable, Stuart West headed a corner into the arms of Thomas McGill and then Bryant had a header from a Chris Elliott free kick saved. A poor clearance went straight to Elliott, but his shot was easily saved by McGill. It was the ten men of Greenwich that looked the more likely to score again though, as Whitstable gave the ball away too easily on a number of occasions. Jahvan Howell drove forward and shot just over the bar from 25 yards and, as half time approached, Whitstable played themselves into trouble again and Greenwich broke clear down the right, but with a player unmarked in the box, the final pass was mistimed and an offside flag came to the rescue.

Stuart West heads for goal

The interval arrived with the away team 1-0 up, but it could have been worse and it almost was soon after the restart when Greenwich were allowed to break forward with three against one, but they hesitated and as Whitstable started to get bodies back, the shot eventually hit the side netting. The pattern of the game began to change and Whitstable started to pass the ball around with more composure, as Kyran Connolly provided the width on the right and Elliott and Teddy Nelson on the left. Bryant headed a cross down for West, who dragged his shot past the far post and James Morrish, Freeman and Walmsley all shot wide. In the 56th minute though, Whitstable were back on terms when a long sequence of passing ended with Walmsley rising to head a Nelson cross past McGill.

Stuart West shoots past the far post

Tom Walmsley heads the first Whitstable goal

Greenwich were by now offering little, but Osinfolarin turned and shot over from 20 yards. Connolly delivered a dangerous cross that Greenwich managed to scramble away, but then in the 62nd minute, another good cross by Connolly picked out Freeman and he glanced his header into the far corner to give Whitstable the lead. Charlie Smith came on to replace Elliott and immediately headed a corner at McGill. It was 3-1 in the 69th minute, when a deep left wing cross by Nelson was volleyed in by Walmsley and just a minute later Freeman swung in a corner from the left and when the defence failed to clear, Bryant fired the ball into the net to score the fourth. Elliott Hartnell-Baker and Jai McKinlay came on for the last 20 minutes. Greenwich had a couple of late efforts, one went wide and Eason comfortably saved a low shot by Osinfolarin. Whitstable nearly scored a fifth, when McGill did well to save a back post header from a corner and then in added time, McKinlay played the ball into the box and Walmsley tried a diving header, but McGill saved to deny him a hat-trick.

Ricky Freeman puts Whitstable 2-1 in front with a glancing header

Tom Walmsley arrives to score his second

Tom Bryant makes it 4-1 with a left footed shot from close range

Thomas McGill does well to save this header

It had been a much improved second half display by Whitstable, who played with more width going forward and used their man advantage to keep possession more effectively. The Third Round tie against Cheshunt is likely to be the next home game, but firstly Whitstable return to league action with a visit to Sittingbourne on Saturday.

Whitstable Greenwich
19 Attempts 8
10 On Target 4
7 Corners 0
2 Offside 5
9 Free Kicks Won 10

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, Kyran Connolly, Chris Elliott (Charlie Smith 64), Stuart West, Teddy Nelson, Tom Bryant, Chris Saunders (Jai McKinlay 74), James Morrish (c), Ricky Freeman (Elliott Hartnell-Baker 71), Tom Walmsley, Jordan Wright.
Subs (unused): none
Goals: Tom Walmsley 56, 69, Ricky Freeman 62, Tom Bryant 70.
Yellow card: Ricky Freeman 33

Greenwich Borough
Tom McGill (c), Jahvan Howell, Michael Oshin, Oliver Bennett, Deandre Golding, Nikolaos Tsakonas, Phil Brown-Bampoe, Theo Osinfolarin, Bryan Bentamba, Connor Peters.
Subs (unused): none
Goal: Phil Brown-Bampoe 7
Yellow card: Nikolaos Tsakonas 85

Attendance: 65
Referee: Ian Fissenden
Assistants: Robert Columb & Matt Charles