Category: 2019-2020 Match Reports

Draw At Star Meadow

Pre-season friendly
Saturday July 13 2019 15.00

Whitstable travelled to Gillingham to play SCEFL premier division opposition, Hollands and Blair. Closure of the M2 and roadworks on the alternative A2 contributed to a difficult journey for some. There were a number of familiar faces in the Hollands and Blair team, including former Whitstable players Harry Goodger, Darren Marsden, Sam Welch, Reiss Crimmen and Calvin Sedenu. They are now managed by Simon Halsey, who has had a couple of spells in the dugout at the Belmont. Whitstable were without a couple of players that had picked up injuries in the previous game. There was a minute’s silence before the kick-off, in memory of the late Hollands and Blair vice chairman Kevin Chelton.

A minute’s silence for Kevin Chelton
Whitstable pay their respects

Whitstable made a perfect start when Tarik Ibrahim broke into the box, went round a defender and fired the ball past the home goalkeeper inside the 1st minute to open the scoring. He looked lively and went down inside the box when challenged shortly afterwards, but unfortunately had to be substituted a few minutes later, due to injury, to be replaced by the returning Harry Stannard. Hollands and Blair had one effort ruled out for a foul on Dan Eason, but equalised in the 38th minute through a Goodger header, although there was more than a hint of offside, but the strong Whitstable protests were waved away.

Tarik Ibrahaim breaks into the box
The keeper is beaten
A first minute lead for Whitstable
Harry Goodger scores for the home team as Whitstable appeal for offside

The second half saw the usual wave of substitutions from both teams. Whitstable had a great shout for a penalty turned down and Hollands and Blair had another goal chalked off for offside. Whitstable showed some good touches in midfield, but were struggling to add to their score, with trialist Alex Anderson getting into some good positions on several occasions without testing the goalkeeper. He finally put his team back in front in the 61st minute, finding the net after some good play by Liam Gillies. Whitstable looked likely to increase their lead, but it was the home team that scored after the ball was given away in midfield and eventually fell kindly for Caleb Bearman-Dyce in the box and he shot past Eason to make it 2-2 on 81 minutes. Whitstable played out the remaining time with ten men, generally keeping possession quite well with a 4-4-1 shape, which will be useful practice should the team find itself in this position during the months ahead. There were no further goals, although James Trueman and Muhammed Cham both threatened to find a winner.

Liam Dickson had a good game
Alex Anderson shoots past the goalkeeper
Whitstable lead 2-1
Reiss Crimmen blocks a shot by Liam Gillies
Muhammed Cham tries to find a late winner

It was a useful workout on a tricky playing surface against a physical team containing some good players and we wish Simon Halsey and his new squad all the best for the season ahead. The next game see champions Cray Wanderers visit the Belmont on Saturday afternoon.

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, Jake Mackenzie, Taylor Fisher, Connor Sanders, Liam Dickson, Tom Bryant (c), Osman Proni, Luke Girt, Marcus Elliott, Tarik Ibrahim, Alex Anderson.
Subs: Owen Fitt, Danny Patterson, James Trueman, Liam Gillies, John Walker, Muhammed Cham, Harry Stannard, Ryan Birch.
Goals: Tarik Ibrahim 1, Alex Anderson 61.

Hollands and Blair
No team line up received
Goals: Harry Goodger 38, Caleb Bearman-Dyce 81.

Attendance: n/a
Referee: Piotr Zachweija

The manager’s thoughts:

“On Saturday we took part in our second pre-season game, away at Hollands and Blair. Simon Halsey has had a busy summer constructing a very competitive side and I knew they would present us with a whole different set of challenges and problems than what we encountered against Thanet United. Up against a physical and strong opposition on a very difficult pitch was going to be a test of our bravery, both physically and tactically.

What impressed me was the players weren’t phased and continued to look do to the right things that we’ve been working on. Yes, there were obviously things we need to work on but considering we’ve only been together for four sessions, I was immensely pleased with our work. Players are taking information on at a rate quicker than I expected.

It was great to see Harry back and we were forced to give him more minutes then we would’ve ideally liked when Tarik Ibrahim felt some tightness in his hamstring. Tarik took his first goal very well and I was pleased with how we started.

There were areas I felt we needed to do better in the first half and after a chat during the break I was pleased with how we then controlled the game and to be honest had it not been for a couple of dodgy refereeing decisions then we would’ve found ourselves three maybe four up, but I’d rather those dodgy calls now than in a month’s time.

Dan Eason’s distribution was outstanding and he has really taken what I have asked him to do in his stride. Myself and Laney have had plenty of conversations and Dan really has impressed me with the role I have asked of him.

Girty looked like the Girty we know in the second half and having worked with Luke before he knows the things I require and fair play to him, he’s taking it all on board.

Senior players are really standing up to the task and the younger lads are learning quickly and it was definitely a game that was more representative of a league game and we all agreed afterwards, a fantastic workout.

Best of luck to Simon and his staff. We were made to feel really welcome and I wish them all the best for the season.

We know have a full week of training before we entertain last season’s champions Cray Wanderers. There’s no doubt it will be an extremely tough challenge but one we look forward to.


Whitstable Start With A Win

Pre-season friendly (at Hartsdown Park, Margate)
Tuesday July 9 2019 19.45

Whitstable played their first pre-season game at Hartsdown Park, the home of Margate FC. It was also Lloyd Blackman’s first game as Whitstable Town manager and there were a number of new players and trialists on view. Thanet United, previously known as Margate Sports, will compete in the Kent County League, but their team did include several players with experience of higher levels of football and three had previously appeared for Whitstable: Nick Treadwell, TJ Jadama and Jack Tanner.

Another season about to start

The game was played on the relatively new 3G surface and both teams played some neat football, although there were few clear chances. There were a couple of moments of hesitation in the Whitstable defence, as might be expected at this stage of pre-season, although the home team were unable to take advantage. Whitstable generally looked the more threatening however and a good run down the right by the lively Tarik Ibrahim led to a low cross that was neatly flicked into the net by new striker Marcus Elliott on 12 minutes. Carl Munday had the best opportunity for Thanet United, when he intercepted an attempted header back to Dan Eason, but lobbed the ball over the bar.

Nick Treadwell challenges Tom Bryant
Tarik Ibrahim crosses from the right
Marcus Elliott flicks the ball towards goal
Whitstable take the lead

There were a number of changes made in the second half and Whitstable added a second goal in the 61st minute, when Ibrahim pulled the ball back for Elliott to find to far corner. Academy player Muhammed Cham, who was introduced as a substitute, might have added a third, but shot just wide. John Walker was also denied by the home goalkeeper. Thanet had a late chance when a Jadama was brought down just outside the box following a good run, but the free kick was just off target. It was a useful outing for both teams, as they continue their early preparations for the coming season.

Under pressure
Marcus Elliott scores his second
Whitstable looking for another goal
John Walker is denied by the Thanet United goalkeeper
Muhammed Cham goes close
A late free kick almost brings a consolation goal for Thanet

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, Jake Mackenzie, John Walker, Danny Patterson, Marcus Evans, Tom Bryant (c), Liam Gillies, Luke Girt, Marcus Elliott, Tarik Ibrahim, Taylor Fisher.
Subs (used): Osman Proni, James Morrish, Connor Sanders, Liam Dickson, James Trueman, Muhammed Cham, Owen Fitt, Ryan Birch.
Goals: Marcus Elliott 12, 61.

Thanet United
Wes Miller, Damo Todd, Niall Salisbury, Lewis Toomey, Andy Johnson, Jake Munday, Adam Turton (c), TJ Jadama, Nick Treadwell, Jack Tanner, Jacob Jackson-Wells, Jonny Hindley, Jordan Anderson, Dom Crawford, Kristin Gregory, Neil Hoggart, Wes Hennersey, Carl Munday, Kane Hemmings, Mitch Laing.

Attendance: 111

After the game, the Whitstable manager gave his comments on the game:

“On Tuesday we started off our pre-season campaign against new outfit Thanet United. Even though they play several divisions below us, they have constructed a very, very strong side and it was a perfect fixture to start things off.

It was all about giving players minutes to build up their fitness and sharpness levels. I wasn’t too concerned about the result, rather the process and style of our play, as well as making sure we didn’t walk away with any injuries.

I was impressed with certain passages of our play, although others highlighted areas needing more work, but that’s what these games are about.

So far, the players are listening to what us staff are trying to get across and I’m pleased with how they’re taking on the information.

Impressive displays from Jake Mackenzie and Tarik Ibrahim, as well as debut goals from Marcus Elliott were probably the stand out performances but overall I was pleased with all the group.

A couple of players received a few knocks so we’ll access those on Thursday at training before heading to Hollands and Blair on Saturday which should be another tough test.”