Category: 2018-2019 Match Reports

Three Draws In A Row

Bostik League South East
Saturday February 9 2019 15.00

Whitstable drew their third successive game, but needed an improved second half performance against third placed Hastings United to claim a point. The first half saw the visitors control most of the play, but there were very few chances of note until just before the break, when Dan Eason had to make a couple of routine saves before some sloppy play by Whitstable led to the opening goal, as Jordy Mongoy cleverly lifted the ball over Eason after being left clear on the right. Whitstable had barely threatened in the first half, but came into the game more after the break. Jordan Wright equalised directly from a free kick that went in off the post and Tom Walmsley almost added a second when he just failed to find the net at the back post from a Stephen Smith cross. Eason saved well from Mongoy at the other end, but neither side could find a winner. There was a red card for each side in added time, as tempers flared unnecessarily following a foul in midfield.

Despite their relative league positions, with Hastings 3rd and Whitstable 14th, both teams came into this game with two draws and a loss from their previous three outings. Hastings had won the reverse fixture 3-1 back in November when a misplaced back pass ended hopes of a Whitstable comeback. Whitstable were missing the unavailable Tom Bryant and Louis Sprosen for this game, but Rob Gillman and Tom Walmsley returned to the starting eleven. Teddy Nelson and Harry Brown were back in the squad and on the bench. Hastings also had selection problems, with some injury concerns and suspensions for Jack Dixon and Ollie Black.

This match survived an inspection in the morning, with the pitch quite good in some areas, but soft and heavy in others after the recent heavy rain. The first half was very quiet, with both goalkeepers having little work to do. There was almost a goal in the opening minute however, when the ball was played through to Mongoy, who skipped by the challenge of Stuart West and rolled the ball past Eason from the edge of the box, but it went into the side netting outside the right hand post. That was the only real goal threat until the final few minutes of the half. Hastings passed the ball around tidily, without an end product and Whitstable defended in numbers, with a Wright free kick that was caught by Charlie Horlock the closest action at the other end.

Charlie Horlock punches clear

As the interval approached, Sam Adams side stepped a challenge 20 yards out and tried a shot that was saved by Eason just under the bar and then Sam Cruttwell had a go from a little further out, without seriously troubling the home goalkeeper. Almost immediately afterwards though, Whitstable were caught trying to play out from the back and the ball was passed to an unmarked Mongoy on the right and as Eason tried to come out, he coolly lobbed the ball over him into the net to give his team the lead on 41 minutes. Hastings went close to a second a few minutes later when Daniel Ajakaiye fed Mongoy, who danced in from the right and sent the ball across goal and just past the far post with Adams closing in. The teams went in at half time with Hastings leading 1-0 and Whitstable could have few complaints, although they would have been unhappy with the goal they conceded.

Dan Eason catches safely

The home supporters amongst the 222 crowd may have feared the worst for the second half, but Whitstable performed much better when play restarted. Stephen Smith, who toiled away up front despite often being short of support, was booked for a challenge on Horlock as he chased the ball into the box and he then had a low shot easily saved following a one-two with Miles Cornwell. West made a good run down the left after an interception, but a good covering tackle prevented Smith getting on to the cross. Youssouf Bamba then delivered a cross after a good run, but no Hastings team mate could reach it. Whitstable did score in the 61st minute when Wright took a free kick around 25 yards out and curled a low shot through the crowd into the right corner, off the inside of the post. There was a delay while the referee spoke to his assistant, who had raised his flag, but after confirming that the ball had gone straight in, the goal was given. Horlock continued the debate with the assistant and talked his way into the book.

Stephen Smith tries a shot
Jordan Wright is about to score from a free kick
The ball is on it’s way to the far corner
Charlie Horlock is beaten and Whitstable equalise

Taylor Fisher broke down the left, but could only shoot at Horlock. It was then the turn of Smith to make a run and hook over a great cross from the left corner to the back post, where Walmsley arrived with the goal at his mercy, but at full stretch, he could only divert the ball wide. Hastings then worked the ball through the middle to leave Mongoy clear on goal, but Eason got down well to save. Eason also saved a long free kick by Adams that may just have been heading for the top corner. The play went from end to end for the last 10 minutes or so, as both managers made substitutions, but there were no clear chances to break the deadlock. In added time, West slid in to win the ball in midfield, catching Cruttwell as he followed through, leading to a coming together of a number of players. West was shown a yellow card for the challenge, substitute Ricky Freeman was sent off for his part in the melee that followed and Temi Eweka also had to depart for collecting a second yellow card. The game ended shortly afterwards and both teams had to settle for a point, which was probably a fair result on the day.

Tom Walmsley tries to get on the end of a great cross by Stephen Smith
The connection is not enough to find the net
Dan Eason saves from Jordy Mongoy
A Sam Adams free kick is saved
Stuart West catches Sam Cruttwell as well as the ball and earns a yellow card

Whitstable now have a two week break before entertaining Horsham at the Belmont.

Whitstable Hastings
5 Attempts 7
4 On Target 5
0 Corners 1
1 Offside 4
11 Free Kicks Won 14

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, John Walker, James Trueman, Stuart West, Rob Gillman, Jordan Wright, Taylor Fisher (Harry Brown 77), James Morrish (c), Stephen Smith (Ricky Freeman 78), Miles Cornwell, Tom Walmsley (Charlie Smith 85).
Subs (unused): Michael Jenner, Teddy Nelson.
Goal: Jordan Wright 61
Yellow cards: Stephen Smith 47, Miles Cornwell 60, Tom Walmsley 66, Stuart West 90+3.
Red card: Ricky Freeman 90+4

Hastings United
Charlie Horlock, Temi Eweka, Tom Climpson, Jahmal Howlett-Mundle, Sam Cruttwell, Adam Lovatt, Daniel Ajakaiye, Sam Adams (c), Jordy Mongoy, Youssouf Bamba (Charlie Curran 85), Jamie Fielding.
Subs (unused): Daniel Hull, James Pool, Panache Makwiramiti, Kian Moynes.
Goals: Jordy Mongoy 41
Yellow card: Charlie Horlock 63
Red card: Temi Eweka (two yellows: 74, 90+4)

Attendance: 222
Referee: Daniel Procter
Assistants: Joseph Dann-Pye & James Macleod

Sevenoaks Equalise Late Again

Bostik League South East
Tuesday February 5 2019 19.45

For the second time this season, a Sevenoaks substitute scored in added time to earn a 1-1 draw after a Stephen Smith goal had given Whitstable the lead. After the weather had given them a weekend off, Whitstable, playing with a different formation that gave them more width, started in promising fashion. Despite seeing a lot of the ball in the Sevenoaks half, there were very few chances at either end in the first half, although Dan Eason was called upon to make one good save just before the break. A well worked goal gave Whitstable the lead just before the hour mark, when Smith fired home after being played in by Jordan Wright. Both teams went close with good crosses, although chances remained limited. Sevenoaks looked more threatening towards the end after both teams had made substitutions and Eason did well to save one effort by Tommy Whitnell at his near post. Substitute Ainsley Everett finally found a way through with a great low strike into the bottom corner in the first minute of stoppage time and a draw was probably the right result in the end.

The two teams promoted from the SCEFL Premier Division in the summer met for their second Bostik League fixture. The game at the Belmont had ended 1-1 back in September with Sevenoaks scoring in the 6th minute of added time, after Whitstable had earlier been reduced to ten men for much of the second half as a result of a red card for Chris Saunders. The referee was interestingly the same for both fixtures, as was the case for the two Faversham games. Whitstable started with a different formation, playing unusually a back four with Louis Sprosen and Taylor Fisher providing extra width in midfield. The hard working Smith played a lone role up front. Sevenoaks included recent signings Dan Parkinson from Sittingbourne, Tommy Whitnell, previously with Tonbridge Angels, Makhosini Ryan-Khanye, a left back who started as a youngster at Brentford and on loan Gillingham goalkeeper Louie Catherall.

It was Whitstable that started the better and they had the ball in the net in the opening minutes when John Walker found Sprosen, whose cross was helped on by Miles Cornwell to the back post, where Smith came in to put the ball into the net, but it was ruled out by an offside flag. The first real action at the other end came in the 9th minute, when Kenny Pogue had a shot deflected over for a corner. Whitstable attacked down the right again and when the ball reached Sprosen just outside the box, his shot was blocked by Tom Ripley and Wright dragged his shot past the post from the rebound. A good run by Ryan-Khanye created a chance for Frankie Sawyer, but his long shot was comfortably saved by Eason. A dangerous Walker cross was headed behind for a corner, but Whitstable could not get the delivery right.

Stephen Smith jumps with Tom Ripley
Louis Sprosen has a shot blocked

Alec Fiddes sent over a cross from the Sevenoaks left that was met by Ripley, but he could only give Eason some more catching practice. The home team then had a couple of corners that came to nothing, but they were given a chance by some sloppy play in midfield by Whitstable and the ball was knocked forward to Sawyer, but again Eason was able to gather at the second attempt. Just before the break, it was Sawyer who set up Fiddes and he forced Eason to dive to his right to turn the ball around the post. The Whitstable supporters who had made the trip were relatively happy with their team’s performance in the first half, which had been an improvement after some below par games. Despite playing the ball around quite well at times however, the home goalkeeper had not really been tested, so 0-0 was no great surprise as the team left the pitch.

Jack Miles clears the ball
Dan Eason saves

In the 53rd minute Smith did well to hold up the ball and play it into the path of Sprosen, but his shot flew over the bar. Stuart West then rose to meet a free kick, but there was no one there to take advantage when the ball dropped. Whitstable did eventually take the lead with a good goal on 59 minutes, as Cornwell found Wright who threaded a neat pass through for Smith and he clipped it over the advancing Catherall into the far corner. West did well to clear a Pogue cross at the back post and then after Wright was booked for catching an opponent as he stooped to head the ball, Ryan-Khanye curled in the free kick that was headed over by Jack Miles. Words were then exchanged between the referee and the Whitstable bench after they felt a foul had been missed, before Sevenoaks introduced Everett in place of Pogue. Ryan-Khanye curled his shot wide after receiving a cross from the right.

Stuart West challenges for the ball
Stephen Smith lifts the ball over Louie Catherall
The shot is on its way into the net
Whitstable celebrate taking the lead

Ricky Freeman came on in place of Smith, who had given his all for the cause. A great cross by Sprosen was headed just over his own bar by Osman Proni. Sevenoaks were gradually increasing the pressure, without really looking as though they were going to beat Eason, who made a smart block to deny Whitnell as he tried to finish a cross from the left. Sprosen and Freeman worked an opening for James Morrish, but the Whitstable captain shot just wide from 20 yards. Both managers made their second substitutions as the clock ticked down and a foul by Tom Bryant in a central position just outside the penalty area gave Everett a chance, but his free kick went straight into the defensive wall. He made up for it though just after the 90 minute mark, when Whitstable missed a chance to clear following a run by Ryan-Khanye and the ball was played to Everett who hit a dipping shot past Eason into the bottom right corner from 30 yards. There were few alarms in the remaining minutes and at 1-1, the points were shared.

Osman Proni heads a good Louis Sprosen cross just over his own goal
The Whitstable wall blocks this late free kick
Sevenoaks equalise in stoppage time

Whitstable have not managed a win since Boxing Day, but this was a better performance and some confidence can be taken into the next games, starting with a visit from Hastings on Saturday.

Sevenoaks Whitstable
10 Attempts 5
7 On Target 1
7 Corners 3
4 Offside 3
11 Free Kicks Won 12

Sevenoaks Town
Louie Catherall, Fraser Walker, Makhosini Ryan-Khanye, Dan Parkinson (Ryan Fowler 86), Tom Ripley (c), Jack Miles, Tommy Whitnell, Alec Fiddes, Kenny Pogue (Ainsley Everett 70), Frankie Sawyer, Osman Proni.
Subs (unused): Mikey Dalton, Josh Dorling, Luke Holness.
Goal: Ainsley Everett 90+1

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, John Walker, James Trueman, Stuart West, Louis Sprosen (Tom Walmsley 83), Tom Bryant, Jordan Wright, James Morrish (c), Stephen Smith (Ricky Freeman 75), Miles Cornwell, Taylor Fisher.
Subs (unused): Charlie Smith, Michael Jenner, Rob Gillman.
Goal: Stephen Smith 59
Yellow cards: Stephen Smith 51, Jordan Wright 63, Tom Walmsley 86, Tom Bryant 89.

Attendance: 162
Referee: Kane Dempster
Assistants: Chris Price & David Lunani

Points Shared On Dull Afternoon

Bostik League South East
Saturday January 26 2019 15.00

Greenwich Borough and Whitstable Town had to settle for a point each after a hard fought goalless draw that is unlikely to be remembered fondly by any of the 92 people in attendance. Both teams looked short of confidence after poor recent results and rarely looked like scoring. New goalkeeper Oliver Webber just managed to prevent the ball crossing the line after a Whitstable corner in the 15th minute and that was as good as it got for the Oystermen, despite a couple of promising efforts from John Walker. Greenwich created little themselves until the last few minutes, when Whitstable seemed to fade badly. Tushaun Tyreece-Walters went down in the box after a long run, but the penalty claims were waved away and Dan Eason had to make a couple of saves to ensure his team held on for a draw.

Having lost to both Herne Bay and Faversham when each were bottom of the table at the time, Whitstable might have feared history would repeat itself as they travelled to play the current basement team, Greenwich Borough, particularly in the week they appointed a new management team. Steve O’Boyle, who led Phoenix Sports into the Bostik League, was joined by experienced coach Steve Sallis and Ben Kotey is their new first team coach. They wasted no time in adding to their squad, with Northern Ireland youth international goalkeeper Oliver Webber joining on loan from Crystal Palace, together with young Leyton Orient defender Mason Hall. Ryan Green, Jardel Francis-Adeyinka, Fidan Fejzi and Frank Popoola also made their debut appearances for the Borough. Despite conceding 14 goals in their last two games, the changes meant it was always likely that this would be a closer affair. Whitstable fielded the same starting eleven and substitutes for the second consecutive match, which is the first time this has happened this season.

These Canada geese decided to look elsewhere for their entertainment

An early Whitstable corner was confidently claimed by Webber and the first attempt at the other end was a Kayne Roberts header from a free kick that sailed well over the bar. A mistake by Hall allowed Stephen Smith the chance to break, but when the ball reached his strike partner Miles Cornwell, he failed to hit the target. Whitstable came closest to scoring when a Jordan Wright corner dropped to Stuart West in the box, but Webber was able to get down and claw the ball away as it was about to cross the line. Walker was getting forward well down the right and a good cross was headed over by Smith.

Stuart West tries to force the ball in from a corner
New Greenwich goalkeeper Oliver Webber is on loan from Crystal Palace
This cross is just too high for Stephen Smith

James Morrish tried a shot from 20 yards, but scooped the ball over the bar. Walker and Smith combined to send in a low cross that was cut out by a diving Webber. Former Chelsea under 18 player, Tyreece-Walters, caused the Whitstable defence a few problems with his runs and after a quick break down the right, he found Ryan King-Elliott, who shot just wide. After a brief delay while Smith received treatment for an injury, half time arrived with no goals and indeed very few real opportunities created by either team.

A low cross by John Walker is cut out

A good ball forward by Rob Gillman just after the break picked out the run of Smith, whose attempt was blocked for a corner, but not for the only time, the delivery was very poor. A long clearance by Eason was headed on by Wright to Walker, who struck a first time shot from distance that flew just over the bar. Another Walker cross was fired across goal with no one able to get a touch. Whitstable won another couple of corners that came to nothing, before a misplaced pass by Michael Jenner gave Greenwich the chance to break, but the defence was able to clear. The home team were starting to look more threatening and won their only corner of the game on 64 minutes. Whitstable did create a chance just afterwards however when a great cross field ball found Taylor Fisher, but he was unable to find a clear opening and shot just wide from the edge of the box.

Taylor Fisher with Mason Hall
Another Whitstable corner is safely cleared

Tom Bryant made a good defensive block to stop the next Greenwich attack, before both teams made changes. Former Croydon and Ashford player Fejzi came on for Greenwich and Whitstable made a double change up front, introducing Ricky Freeman and Tom Walmsley. Morrish then limped off, to be replaced by Charlie Smith and Fejzi only managed a few minutes on the pitch before also having to depart with an injury. The final quarter of an hour was played mainly in the Whitstable half, as Greenwich appeared to grow in confidence. A long run across the pitch by Tyreece-Walters only resulted in a goal kick, despite some vocal appeals for a penalty, as he went over in the box and Eason had to make a couple of routine saves. King-Elliott then fired in a good low shot from the right that Eason did well to push out. When Whitstable did manage to break and win a free kick, the delivery failed to pass the first defender and Greenwich were soon back on the attack. Fisher and Bryant were both cautioned in stoppage time for unfairly stopping promising runs, but there were to be no goals and in truth 0-0 was a fair reflection of game that lacked any real quality throughout.

Whitstable now move on to a run of challenging looking fixtures and will be hoping to find some form sooner rather than later, as they seek to climb away from the lower reaches of the table.

Greenwich Whitstable
7 Attempts 6
3 On Target 1
1 Corners 6
2 Offside 5
13 Free Kicks Won 9

Greenwich Borough
Oliver Webber, Deandre Golding, Briggs Ojeman, Dquame Copeland, Ryan Green, Mason Hall, Tushaun Tyreece-Walters, Ryan King-Elliott (c), Jardel Francis-Adeyinka, Kayne Roberts, Andrew Sesay (Fidan Fejzi 68, Frank Popoola 77).
Subs (unused): Jordan Stansbury, Simba Kudyiwa.

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, John Walker, Taylor Fisher, Stuart West, Rob Gillman, Tom Bryant, Michael Jenner, James Morrish (c) (Charlie Smith 74), Stephen Smith (Tom Walmsley 70), Miles Cornwell (Ricky Freeman 70), Jordan Wright.
Sub (unused): James Trueman
Yellow cards: Taylor Fisher 90, Tom Bryant 90+3.

Attendance: 92
Referee: James Simpson
Assistants: Leo Del Rosso & Dan Friar

Poor Run Goes On

Bostik League South East
Saturday January 19 2019 15.00

It is now just one win in ten for Whitstable after Faversham recovered from a slow start to take the points at the Belmont. Whitstable began well and Jordan Wright scored a great goal from outside the box after a Stephen Smith attempt had come back off the upright. The home team missed several more good chances to increase their lead, but Faversham began to find some big gaps in the Whitstable defence on the break and after a couple of warnings, Liam King crossed for Ashley Miller to score at the far post with ease. Despite winning the first half corner count 9-0, Whitstable were unable to test Godmon and it was Faversham who scored again on the stroke of half time, when a unfortunate deflection gave Dave Cook a chance and Dan Eason was unable to prevent his low shot finding the net. Whitstable could not produce any consistent threat in the second half, with their best chance falling to substitute Ricky Freeman, who shot straight at Godmon. Faversham had the better opportunities with Cook finding himself well placed on a few occasions, but he failed to find a way past Eason. They did not need any further goals however and clinched a vital win to lift them off the bottom of the table.

Whitstable had won the away fixture at Faversham at the end of September 2-1, but for the third consecutive match they faced a team that had recently appointed a new management team. At Faversham, the new managers are Phil Miles and Danny Chapman, who the club are hoping will steer them away from the foot of the table. Five starters from the earlier meeting lined up again for the visitors and Michael Jenner, a substitute for Faversham that day was now in the Whitstable team, which included two new signings, Miles Cornwell and Taylor Fisher. Stephen Smith returned from suspension and John Walker was able to start his first game after recovering from injury.Manager Scott Porter made a presentation before the game to Charlie Smith, who made his 200th appearance for Whitstable in the midweek game at AFC Hornchurch.

Charlie Smith receives an award from Scott Porter for making 200 Whitstable appearances

Whitstable started in confident fashion, seeing a lot of the ball and generally pushing Faversham back. Several early free kicks and corners were defended by the visitors, although they did have one opportunity when a Ben Chapman shot was saved by Eason. Stephen Smith had a couple of attempts that just went wide, but then Whitstable took the lead in the 13th minute with a very well taken goal. Stephen Smith ran on to a throw in from the right and lobbed the ball over Godmon from a tight angle, only to see it bounce off the far post before being hacked away by Danny Devine, but the ball was headed forward again by Jenner to Wright, who chested the ball down and hit a great shot on the turn that flew over Godman and into the net from 20 yards. A Faversham free kick saw the ball drop for King just inside the area, but his low shot was parried by Eason, who was then able to gather the ball as it rebounded towards him. Whitstable created a few more chances and one cross went just past the far post with no one able to get a touch, then Jenner and James Morrish both shot wide. Their promising start was undone by a quick Faversham break on 24 minutes. Not for the first time, Whitstable were caught short of numbers at the back and King outpaced Jenner down the right and sent over a cross to the back post that was met by Miller inside the 6 yard box and he fired the ball into the net to bring the scores level.

Tom Bryant can’t quite reach this ball across the goal
Early joy for the home team
Dan Eason blocks this effort from Faversham

Whitstable tried to respond, winning three quick corners, but another Faversham breakaway ended when George Monger shot over from long range. Jenner was booked in the 29th minute for bringing down Miller with a poor challenge as he ran at the defence, but the resulting free kick was curled wide. A great left wing cross was really well defended by Rob Gillman, who just managed to head away from the oncoming Faversham striker. Another Whitstable corner led to Faversham breaking quickly again, but Miller took the ball too close to Eason when he got into the box. Whitstable then had several good chances to retake the lead. Tom Bryant chipped the ball into the box, where it was volleyed just wide by Stephen Smith, then Cornwell helped the ball forward to Wright, who shot over with just Godmon to beat. Devine was booked for a foul on Fisher and following the free kick, two goal attempts were blocked before the danger was cleared. In the 45th minute however, Faversham scored a somewhat fortunate second to take a 2-1 lead into the break. The ball was chipped forward and, as it dropped, deflected off Miller and then Gillman and rolled into the path of Cook, whose low first time shot somehow got past the left hand of the diving Eason and into the net.

New signing Taylor Fisher made a promising start before being forced off by an injury
Stephen Smith watches his shot go agonisingly the wrong side of the post

Whitstable failed to reach the same standards after half time and Faversham rarely looked like losing their hard earned lead. There was an early opportunity for the visitors when it looked as though Whitstable should have been awarded a free kick in their own half, but Faversham were allowed to break and the shot hit the side netting. A Faversham corner was then cleared by Eason as far as King, who worked himself a position to shoot, but his shot was blocked and Eason gathered the follow up. Dan Carrington was introduced from the Faversham bench and Fisher had to leave the field after a promising Whitstable debut, having been injured in an earlier challenge, to be replaced by James Trueman. A Chapman cross was not cut out and the ball reached Cook right in front of goal, but he shot straight at Eason.

Dan Eason gets his hand to this cross

Freeman came on for an injured Bryant and almost had an immediate impact, when a Stuart West header dropped to him on the edge of the box, but he could only steer his volley into the hands of Godmon. Whitstable made their final change, with Charlie Smith coming on for his 201st appearance. An in swinging corner threatened to curl straight in, but was kept out by the Faversham goalkeeper. At the other end though, Cook had two more great chances to make the game safe, firstly having a curling shot saved and then shooting too close to Eason after being played in by Danny Walder. Stephen Smith had dropped back to play in defence when Bryant was substituted and he was shown a yellow card after conceding a free kick in the 90th minute that was lifted over the bar by Chapman. Whitstable sent a few more balls into the Faversham penalty area in the added 5 minutes, but their defence were able to see the game out safely to claim the points.

Ricky Freeman shoots, but can’t beat Will Godmon
Stephen Smith dropped back into the defence after Tom Bryant limped off

Whitstable have in recent weeks now lost to both neighbours, Herne Bay and Faversham, when they were each bottom of the table. Next week they travel to meet Greenwich Borough, who are now the bottom team, having conceded 22 goals in their last 4 games, so Whitstable will be hoping not to make it a hat trick of such results.

Whitstable Faversham
15 Attempts 18
4 On Target 9
13 Corners 2
1 Offside 2
13 Free Kicks Won 13

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, John Walker, Taylor Fisher (James Trueman 60), Stuart West, Rob Gillman, Tom Bryant (Ricky Freeman 68), Michael Jenner, James Morrish (c), Stephen Smith, Miles Cornwell (Charlie Smith 77), Jordan Wright.
Sub (unused): Tom Walmsley
Goal: Jordan Wright 13
Yellow cards: Michael Jenner 29, John Walker 66, Stephen Smith 90.

Faversham Town
Will Godman, Danny Divine, Jamie Maxted, Danny Walder, Matt Bourne (c), Ryan Huckle, Liam King, Ben Chapman, Dave Cook, George Monger (Dan Carrington 56), Ashley Miller.
Subs (unused): Luke Griffiths, Donvieve Jones, Charlie Owen, Harry Day.
Goals: Ashley Miller 24, Dave Cook 45.
Yellow cards: Danny Devine 43, Dan Carrington 88.

Attendance: 273
Referee: Graeme Ions
Assistants: Harry Phillips & Paul Hitchcott

Cup Run Ends In Essex

Velocity Trophy Quarter Final
Tuesday January 15 2019 19.45

Whitstable departed their last cup competition of the season at Bostik Premier League team, AFC Hornchurch. The result was rarely in doubt after an early goal for the home side, but Whitstable kept going and were eventually rewarded with a consolation goal for their efforts. Some hesitant defending allowed Ronnie Winn to open the scoring and Hornchurch always looked likely to add further goals with their neat approach play. Whitstable did win five first half corners, but suffered from the poor delivery of set pieces throughout. James Trueman hit the post with a far post header and the hard working Tom Walmsley forced a good save from Callum Chafer. Dan Eason and his defence were frequently under pressure at the other end though and after a good double save by the Whitstable goalkeeper from the dangerous George Purcell, he was beaten by Sean Marks, who glanced in a good cross to double the advantage before the break. Hornchurch struck the post twice early in the second half, but their third goal was somewhat fortunate when a clearance rebounded of Marks and into the net. Purcell finally got the goal he deserved when meeting a good cross by substitute Charlie Stimson. Whitstable showed some spirit towards the end, with John Walker making a welcome return to action and when Charlie Smith was pushed in the penalty area, Ricky Freeman beat Chafer from the spot to make the final score 4-1. Hornchurch will host Bracknell Town in the semi-finals, who perhaps surprisingly beat Folkestone by the same score.

After winning three games in the league cup competition, the Velocity Trophy, against Ramsgate, Greenwich Borough and Cheshunt, Whitstable travelled to meet Hornchurch in the quarter final. The home team, the Urchins, were sitting in 18th place in the Bostik Premier League and are now managed by former Gillingham manager, Mark Stimson, who took over when long serving manager, Jim McFarlane, resigned a couple of months ago. They were looking to recover from a 5-0 loss at Folkestone in their previous game. James Morrish returned from suspension to play against his former club, whilst another ex-Hornchurch player, Ricky Freeman, had recovered sufficiently from recent injury problems to play. Stephen Smith was serving the last of his three game ban, Teddy Nelson is currently having a trial at Fleetwood Town and Chris Elliott, Rob Gillman and Michael Jenner were also missing.

An early Whitstable corner was headed over the bar by Morrish, but Hornchurch were ahead in the 7th minute. The ball came in from the right and while several Whitstable players hesitated at the near post, the ball was poked across goal by Purcell for Ronnie Winn to slot home. Purcell then turned and shot from the edge of the area, but Eason was able to save comfortably. In the 15th minute, Whitstable won another two corners, the second of which was headed onto the top of the net by Tom Bryant and they went even closer when a right wing cross was met at the far post by Trueman, but his header hit the outside of the post. The lively Purcell then had a penalty appeal waved away when he went down following a Stuart West challenge, then on 26 minutes he was almost in again after playing a one-two with Jordan Clark, but the Whitstable defence did well to block.

James Morrish sends an early header over the bar
James Trueman sees his header hit the upright

Taylor Miles helped Purcell to fashion another opening, but Eason made a great double save and then George Saunders, who was causing problems on the right, crossed for Purcell who scooped his shot well over the bar. Whitstable’s luck ran out in the 33rd minute when another Saunders cross was placed past Eason by Marks, the former Maidenhead and Braintree striker. Whitstable forced a good save from Chafer, when the ball fell to Walmsley on the edge of the box, but his low drive was pushed around the right post by the diving goalkeeper. Walmsley was then blocked as he tried to break through again and Brown saw his free kick rebound off the defensive wall, before putting his follow up attempt wide. At the other end, Purcell was sent clear by a flick on, but after going round Eason, the angle was too narrow to find the net. The last chance of the half was from a Whitstable corner that was headed over by Bryant and Hornchurch went in 2-0 ahead.

Sean Marks scores the second for Hornchurch
Callum Chafer gets across well to push Tom Walmsley’s shot past the post
The wall blocks Harry Brown’s free kick

While some of the 88 crowd were still returning to their seats, Clark beat Eason with a great strike that cannoned off the inside of the post and Saunders tried to follow up, but failed to hit the target. A long free kick sent up field by Eason was just out of reach of a stretching Walmsley. It was then the turn of Purcell to rattle the post, after Miles had threaded a good pass through the Whitstable defence. The third Hornchurch goal arrived in the 56th minute, when Whitstable thought they had cleared a Saunders cross, only for the ball to hit Marks and rebound into the net. Both teams then made a change, with the manager’s son, Charlie Stimson, coming on for Hornchurch and Charlie Smith was introduced, making his 200th Whitstable appearance.

Jordan Clark beats Dan Eason, but hits the inside of the post at the start of the second half
The ball rebounds off Sean Marks and into the net to make it 3-0

The home substitution soon had an impact, as Stimson ran down the right and sent over a good cross for Purcell, who finished clinically at the near post. Walker replaced Sam Welch, but it looked like Purcell would score again as he raced clear, but Brown made a great tackle to deny him. The home team made another two changes, with the game safe. Whitstable won several free kicks in threatening positions, although were unable to get the delivery right, but then the referee spotted a push on Smith as he rose to meet a Jordan Wright free kick and Freeman stepped up to drive the penalty down the middle for a consolation goal in the 81st minute. There was little further action of note, apart from a booking for each team, although Whitstable continued to battle to the end, which was appreciated by their supporters who had made the trip to Essex.

George Purcell adds the fourth
Charlie Smith wins a late penalty for Whitstable
Ricky Freeman scores from the spot
“Always look on the bright side of life”

So, Hornchurch ran out the comfortable 4-1 winners to progress to the last four and Whitstable are left to focus on the league, starting with a local derby at home to Faversham on Saturday.

Hornchurch Whitstable
12 Attempts 7
6 On Target 2
1 Corners 6
1 Offside 0
10 Free Kicks Won 11

AFC Hornchurch
Callum Chafer, Alex Bentley (c), Jay Porter, Jordan Clark, George Winn, Taylor Miles, George Saunders (Lee Prescott 71), Jamie Hursit, Sean Marks (Charlie Stimson 59), George Purcell (Sonny Dutton 75), Ronnie Winn.
Sub (unused): Harvey Wright
Goals: Ronnie Winn 7, Sean Marks 33, 56, George Purcell 63.
Yellow card: Lee Prescott 85

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, Sam Welch (John Walker 64), Harry Brown, Jordan Wright, Stuart West, Tom Bryant, Chris Saunders (Charlie Smith 60), James Morrish (c), Ricky Freeman, Tom Walmsley, James Trueman.
Sub (unused): Louis Sprosen
Goal: Ricky Freeman pen 81
Yellow card: Tom Walmsley 90+1

Attendance: 88
Referee: Andreas Anastasiou
Assistants: James Keane & Elliott Mayer

Town Slip To Defeat At Ashford

Bostik League South East
Saturday January 12 2019 15.00

Ashford moved up to fourth after easing to a 2-0 win at Homelands, but were made to wait until late by a resolute Whitstable defence, before finally sealing the three points. The home team always looked the more likely winners, but despite having nine corners and conceding none in the first half, neither goalkeeper had a save to make before the interval. Things livened up in the second half and a well worked move was finished by the much travelled Trey Williams to give Ashford the lead in the 57th minute. Dan Eason made several good saves to keep Whitstable in the game and a couple of substitutions brought a little more threat to the relatively untroubled home defence. The game was settled in added time when Whitstable were left exposed at the back as they sought an equaliser and Danny Parish broke away down the right and finished well to secure his team a deserved win.

When Ashford visited the Belmont at the start of September for the reverse fixture, a late Tom Walmsley goal was enough to give Whitstable their first win since returning to the Bostik League. Only five players that started that day were in the Whitstable eleven this time, but that was more than Ashford, for whom only Sam Mott, Josh Wisson and Sam Corne started both games. Ashford have also changed their manager, with Tommy Warrilow having replaced Gary Alexander, but they were in good form winning seven and drawing one of their last nine games. Whitstable were without the suspended James Morrish and Stephen Smith and several others were still nursing injuries. Young defender Teddy Nelson was on the bench ahead of his trial at Fleetwood Town.

Chris Elliott swing in an early free kick, but Tom Bryant was unable to get his back post header on target. The first Ashford corner on 10 minutes led to a Parish shot being blocked by Bryant. Ashford spent most of the first half pushing forward, but Bryant, Rob Gillman and Stuart West did a good job of protecting goalkeeper Eason. From the last of three successive corners, Corne’s delivery was volleyed over by Afolabi Coker. Chris Saunders was shown a yellow card on 29 minutes for halting a run by Theo Fairweather-Johnson on the halfway line with a challenge that eventually saw the Ashford player limp off a few minutes later.

Tom Bryant clears the ball

The home team had four more corners in a row, but they were all dealt with by the Whitstable defence. As half time approached, Charlie Smith won a free kick that was taken by Elliott, but was a shade too high for Bryant at the far post. Toby Ajala got into a promising position for Ashford, but his cross was overhit and went out for a goal kick. The interval arrived with the game still 0-0 after a comfortable 45 minutes for both goalkeepers.

Whitstable attack a free kick just before half time

The opening minutes of the second half brought a corner at each end and then in the 50th minute, there was finally a shot on target, when an Elliott free kick was saved low at the near post by Mott. Then it was the turn of Eason, who had to be alert to touch a long shot by Ajala over the bar. The Whitstable goalkeeper was almost embarrassed a couple of minutes later when his attempted clearance hit Usman Adeniji, but the ball rebounded just wide of the goal. Ashford were starting to cause more problems and a fierce Adeniji cross from the left was parried by Eason, but Wisson put the follow up wide. The opening goal arrived in the next attack however, when some neat play by Corne on the left pulled the defence out of position and when the cross came in, Williams, who had already played for Whyteleafe and Ramsgate against Whitstable in recent weeks, was left with a simple finish from close range.

Charlie Smith tries to get a shot in
Sam Mott gets across to save a Chris Elliott free kick

In the 62nd minute, another left wing cross picked out Parish, but Eason did well to save his effort. Ajala tried another strike from 25 yards, but it was off target. Whitstable made two substitutions in the 68th minute, introducing strikers Walmsley and Ricky Freeman in an attempt to get back into the game and they did at least inject a little more pace and asked a few different questions of the Ashford defence. West headed a free kick wide, before Ashford brought on Clark Woodcock. Parish had a shot deflected for a corner and then Eason caught an attempted overhead kick. Bryant headed an Elliott long throw over the top and then, back at the other end, Eason did well to tip a good curling shot by Wisson over the bar. With time running out, another long throw by Elliott almost fell to a Whitstable boot in the box, but Ashford managed to scramble the ball clear. As the game moved into stoppage time, a Whitstable corner was cleared and the ball was played to Parish just inside his own half on the right, as Ashford suddenly found themselves breaking with four players against two defenders. Parish drove on, but did not need his supporting team mates as he took the ball across the six yard line before firing the ball into the net for a great solo goal. A late, late substitution saw an Ashford debut for Kundai Munyama, who was only on the field for a few seconds before the referee brought the game to an end.

Dan Eason under pressure
Stuart West heads wide
A last attack for Whitstable before Ashford break to score their second

Whitstable now have a break from league action, with a midweek Velocity Trophy quarter final at AFC Hornchurch. Their following two league fixtures are against the two bottom sides, so they will be hoping to return to some more consistent form, after a number of recent injuries and suspensions have done them no favours.

Ashford Whitstable
18 Attempts 4
8 On Target 1
14 Corners 4
2 Offside 2
11 Free Kicks Won 12

Ashford United
Sam Mott, Jerald Aboagye, Tom Carlse, Josh Wisson, Afolabi Coker, Mohammed Kamara, Sam Corne (c), Toby Ajala, Danny Parish (Kundai Munyama 90+3), Usman Adeniji (Clark Woodcock 71), Theo Fairweather-Johnson (Trey Williams 35).
Subs (unused): Tony Oladipupo, Charlie Wealands.
Goals: Trey Williams 57, Danny Parish 90+1.
Yellow card: Josh Wisson 86

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, Sam Welch, Chris Elliott, Stuart West, Rob Gillman, Tom Bryant (c), Chris Saunders (Tom Walmsley 68), Michael Jenner, Charlie Smith (Ricky Freeman 68), Jordan Wright, James Trueman.
Subs (unused): Harry Brown, Teddy Nelson, Louis Sprosen.
Yellow cards: Chris Saunders 29, Charlie Smith 63.

Attendance: 333
Referee: Jack Fagg
Assistants: Jak Hill & Richard Joss