Early Goal Enough For Gills

Pre-season friendly
Tuesday July 17 2018 19.45

Gillingham won this entertaining pre-season game thanks to a very early goal, when Dan Derbyshire reacted the quickest to fire a loose ball into the far corner after the home defence failed to clear. The young Gillingham team had a few good chances to increase their advantage in the first half, but were denied by Whitstable goalkeeper Dan Eason on three occasions, including a good penalty save from Miguel Scarlett. Whitstable had a great chance to equalise at the start of the second half when Teddy Nelson shot over after the ball had come back off the bar. Home captain James Morrish, who worked hard in midfield throughout, created a chance for George Goodwin, but his shot was too high and Ricky Freeman fired a free kick just wide. The Whitstable defence prevented the visitors extending their lead, with Eason making a couple more saves, but the one goal proved sufficient.

Whitstable made four changes to their starting eleven from the opening game, but were still missing a few regulars. Gillingham had two matches on the night with the majority of their first team playing against Dartford, but they arrived at the Belmont with several first team squad members and trialists. The game was only 2 minutes old when Whitstable failed to deal with a ball into the box from the right and Derbyshire took the opportunity to shoot across goal and into the bottom left hand corner, giving Eason no chance. The Whitstable defence looked a little hesitant on a couple of occasions in the first 20 minutes, but Eason saved well each time. Whitstable rarely threatened, but did send a few dangerous balls into the box, although nobody managed to get a decisive touch. The visitors won a series of free kicks, giving Darren Oldaker some opportunities, but he failed to really test Eason. The best chance for a second Gillingham goal came after 34 minutes, when the referee awarded a penalty after Nelson halted a promising attack with a mistimed tackle. Scarlett stepped up, but Eason got down well to his left to make the save.

Challenging for the ball
Tom Bryant clears as Gillingham press
Teddy Nelson tries to get a header on target
Dan Eason saves the penalty taken by Miguel Scarlett

Whitstable started the second half brightly and Freeman was left in a good position following a mistake and he tried to set up his fellow striker, but the ball was cleared. A few minutes later, a ball in from the right dropped onto the bar and was played back across goal where the unmarked Nelson lifted his shot over the bar from close range. After Goodwin had shot over from the edge of the box, Eason had to be alert to keep out a good effort at the other end. Both teams made a number of changes during the second half. On 70 minutes Whitstable did well to block a number of attempts in quick succession as Gillingham tried to get a clear shot on goal. A good one-two between substitute Rhys Brain and Freeman won Whitstable a late opportunity when the Gillingham goalkeeper fouled Brain as he raced into the box. The referee awarded the free kick right on the 18 yard line and Freeman curled the ball just wide of the left hand post. A final chance for the Gills followed a misplaced back header, but Eason deflected the shot behind for a corner. There were to be no further goals though and Gillingham finished 1-0 winners, but the game which was watched by 180 people was a good early pre-season work out for the players of both teams.

Louie Catherall makes a save
Rhys Brain is fouled by the Gillingham keeper
Ricky Freeman takes the free kick
The ball goes just wide

Kent County League team Ashford FC are the next opponents for Whitstable, making a first visit to the Belmont on Saturday.

Whitstable Gillingham
7 Attempts 14
3 On Target 6
3 Corners 3
1 Offside 2
17 Free Kicks Won 17

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, Kyran Connolly, James Webb, Stuart West, Teddy Nelson, Tom Bryant, Dan Stubbs (Josh Spencer 77), James Morrish (c) (Rhys Brain 80), Ricky Freeman, George Goodwin (Nathan Hardwick 73), Jordan Wright (Chris Saunders 73).
Subs (unused): John Walker, Mark Sipton.

Louie Catherall, Miguel Scarlett, Ryan Huckle, Jack Tucker, Jack Morrell, Darren Oldaker, Ben Chapman, Henry Woods, Dan Derbyshire, Noel Mbo, Jordan Brown.
Subs: Leroy Hlabi, Roman Campbell, TJ Bramble, Charles Noyelle, Emmanuel Yeboah.
Goal: Dan Derbyshire 2

Attendance: 180
Referee: Isaac Searle
Assistants: Tom Chivilo & Lou Saunders
Fourth Official: Tom Fennelly

A Winning Start In The Heat

Pre-season friendly
Saturday July 14 2018 15.00

The first pre-season fixture brought Tunbridge Wells to the Belmont on a very warm Saturday afternoon. The two teams had met at the end of last season in the SCEFL Challenge Cup Final, when a great Ricky Freeman goal settled a tight game. Freeman was on target again in this fixture, adding the second goal after a Brett Ince free kick just before the interval had opening the scoring.

Whitstable were missing six regulars for this opening game and Chris Saunders was nursing a minor injury and started on the bench. The home team started well and an early cross led to a header being saved and then a loose ball was picked up by Freeman, but he was denied by the goalkeeper. Tunbridge Wells won a couple of corners and from the second, the ball was rolled back only for a curling shot to clip the top of the Whitstable bar. Both teams had efforts just over the top before play was briefly stopped for a drinks break. When play resumed John Walker set up Freeman, who tried from distance and his shot was pushed behind for a corner. The delivery from Dan Stubbs was met by Tom Bryant, but his header was tipped over the bar. Freeman found himself with just the goalkeeper to beat when a through ball was missed by the last defender, but his effort was saved. Whitstable won two late free kicks, the first of which was struck into the wall by Freeman. On 45 minutes though, Ince struck a 35 yard free kick beautifully and it flew into the top corner beyond the reach of the stretching Tunbridge Wells goalkeeper.

An early Whitstable chance
Ricky Freeman is denied
Fighting for the ball on a hot afternoon
A Brett Ince free kick gives Whitstable the lead

An early Whitstable free kick in the second half gave Ince another chance, but this time his shot was deflected behind for a corner. Tunbridge Wells had a good spell, winning several corners and had another effort strike the top of the bar before Dan Eason was forced into a good save, turning a 20 yard shot around his right hand post. At the other end, Freeman almost finished off a good Whitstable move, but he did get on the scoresheet after 66 minutes, finishing well after being found by strike partner Nathan Hardwick. Both teams made a number of substitutions to give everyone an opportunity and the game ended quietly as the heat made conditions testing on this mid-July afternoon.

Ricky Freeman scores the second

Whitstable next play on Tuesday evening, when a Gillingham XI visit the Belmont.

Whitstable Tun Wells
10 Attempts 7
5 On Target 4
5 Corners 7
5 Offside 2
5 Free Kicks Won 9

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, Dan Stubbs, James Webb, John Walker, Teddy Nelson, Tom Bryant, Jai McKinlay, James Morrish (c), Ricky Freeman, Nathan Hardwick, Brett Ince.
Subs (all used): Josh Spencer, Harry Saunders, Kyran Connolly, Chris Saunders, Rhys Brain, Mark Sipton.
Goals: Brett Ince 45, Ricky Freeman 66.

Tunbridge Wells
Team not provided

Attendance: 73
Referee: Mike Marsh
Assistants: Matt McCaughan & Chris Cannon

Bostik League Fixtures

The Bostik League fixtures were released this morning and a summary of the Whitstable Town games is shown below.


Saturday, August 11th, 2018
Deal Town                 v.  Whitstable Town

Sunday, August 19th, 2018
Cray Wanderers           v.  Whitstable Town

Tuesday, August 21st, 2018
Whitstable Town          v.  VCD Athletic

Saturday, August 25th, 2018
Whitstable Town          v.  Haywards Heath
Sutton Common Rovers or CB Hounslow United  v.  Deal Town or Whitstable Town

Monday, August 27th, 2018
Ramsgate                 v.  Whitstable Town

Saturday, September 1st, 2018
Whitstable Town          v.  Ashford United

Saturday, September 8th, 2018

Saturday, September 15th, 2018
Phoenix Sports           v.  Whitstable Town

Saturday, September 22nd, 2018
Whitstable Town          v.  Three Bridges

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018
Whitstable Town          v.  Sevenoaks Town

Saturday, September 29th, 2018
Faversham Town           v.  Whitstable Town

Saturday, October 6th, 2018
Whitstable Town          v.  Greenwich Borough

Saturday, October 13th, 2018
Bedfont Sports           v.  Whitstable Town

Saturday, October 20th, 2018
VCD Athletic             v.  Whitstable Town

Saturday, November 3rd, 2018
Whitstable Town          v.  Whyteleafe

Saturday, November 10th, 2018
Sittingbourne            v.  Whitstable Town

Saturday, November 17th, 2018
Hastings United          v.  Whitstable Town

Saturday, November 24th, 2018
Whitstable Town          v.  Thamesmead Town

Saturday, December 1st, 2018
Horsham                  v.  Whitstable Town

Saturday, December 8th, 2018
Whitstable Town          v.  Herne Bay

Saturday, December 15th, 2018
Guernsey                 v.  Whitstable Town

Wednesday, December 26th, 2018
Whitstable Town          v.  Ramsgate

Saturday, December 29th, 2018
Hythe Town               v.  Whitstable Town

Saturday, January 5th, 2019
Whitstable Town          v.  East Grinstead Town

Saturday, January 12th, 2019
Ashford United           v.  Whitstable Town

Saturday, January 19th, 2019
Whitstable Town          v.  Faversham Town

Saturday, January 26th, 2019
Greenwich Borough        v.  Whitstable Town

Saturday, February 2nd, 2019
Whitstable Town          v.  VCD Athletic

Tuesday, February 5th, 2019
Sevenoaks Town           v.  Whitstable Town

Saturday, February 9th, 2019
Whitstable Town          v.  Hastings United

Saturday, February 16th, 2019
Thamesmead Town          v.  Whitstable Town

Saturday, February 23rd, 2019
Whitstable Town          v.  Horsham

Saturday, March 2nd, 2019
Herne Bay                v.  Whitstable Town

Saturday, March 9th, 2019
Whitstable Town          v.  Guernsey

Saturday, March 16th, 2019
Whitstable Town          v.  Sittingbourne

Saturday, March 23rd, 2019
Whyteleafe               v.  Whitstable Town

Saturday, March 30th, 2019
Whitstable Town          v.  Cray Wanderers

Saturday, April 6th, 2019
Haywards Heath           v.  Whitstable Town

Saturday, April 13th, 2019
Whitstable Town          v.  Phoenix Sports

Saturday, April 20th, 2019
East Grinstead Town      v.  Whitstable Town

Monday, April 22nd, 2019
Whitstable Town          v.  Hythe Town

Saturday, April 27th, 2019
Three Bridges            v.  Whitstable Town

Gillingham Friendly Brought Forward

The pre-season match between Whitstable Town and Gillingham at the Belmont Ground has now been moved to Tuesday 17th July from Wednesday 18th July. The kick off will still be 7.45 pm.

Admission prices to this match will be £5 adults, £3 concessions and £1 under 18s. Anyone who purchases a Whitstable Town season ticket on or before the date of the game will of course be admitted free of charge.

Gillingham Friendly Added

Whitstable will now play a Gillingham XI on Wednesday 18th July at the Belmont Ground with a 7.45 pm kick off. This match has been added to the pre-season schedule, which begins when Tunbridge Wells visit on Saturday 14th July.

World Cup Semi-Final

The Belmont Clubhouse will be opening at 6 pm on Wednesday (11 July) for the World Cup semi-final between England and Croatia, which kicks off at 7 pm.

If you would like to come down to support, we now have a larger screen and the bar will be open with special prices for the occasion. Foster’s lager and draught cider will both be £2.70 a pint and there will be similar reductions on most other drinks.