Whitstable Win In The Wind

Bostik League South East
Saturday March 16 2019 15.00

Whitstable completed the league double over Sittingbourne, winning by the same score as in the earlier meeting back in November, on a very blustery afternoon at the Belmont. It was Whitstable who showed more intent for the majority of the first half and they were rewarded when Harry Stannard scored with a great strike from around 25 yards to give them a single goal advantage at the break. Jordan Wright added a second early in the second half, when his ball in from the left sailed into the top corner over the Sittingbourne goalkeeper Patrick Lee. Stannard then had a good opportunity to extend the lead following a poor clearance from Lee, but lifted his shot over the bar. Almost immediately though at the other end, Timmy Babbington beat Dan Eason with a good dipping shot into the far corner from just outside the box to give Sittingbourne hope. Miles Cornwell was twice sent clear by Stannard, but could not find the finish that would have made the game safe and it needed a good save by Eason to deny Roman Campbell a stoppage time equaliser to ensure his team claimed the win that their overall performance deserved.

Since the two teams last met, Sittingbourne have appointed a new manager, Chris Lynch, and his team have gradually been climbing the table. They arrived at the Belmont, having won their last five games, with only Chris Webber and Lewis Chambers remaining in their starting eleven from the reverse fixture. Miles Cornwell replaced Taylor Fisher in the Whitstable team, but otherwise there were no changes from the team that beat Guernsey 3-1 the previous week. There were some major problems on the Kent roads and with the wind gusting at over 50 mph, the crowd of 177 was probably a little lower than might otherwise have been anticipated.

Seeking shelter from the gusty wind

The home side started in confident fashion, presumably helped by the success against Guernsey in the previous game, after a long run without a win. Stuart West shot over from distance in the opening minutes and then provided a good right wing cross to the near post for Cornwell, but his header was off target. There were a couple of scrambles in the Sittingbourne area leading to corners, but the visiting goalkeeper was not really tested. Cornwell made a promising run, but his left footed shot went over the bar and then Stannard ran on to a good through ball before volleying just wide from 20 yards. Sittingbourne were slow to get into the game and rarely threatened in the first 30 minutes, although Chris Webber shot wide from distance and Babbington made room for himself before shooting straight at Eason.

Harry Stannard tries to break through
Whitstable go close, but the ball goes behind for a corner

The visitors made an early change with Johan Caney-Bryan replacing Izzy Adebayo, but Whitstable took the lead on 33 minutes when Stephen Smith and Wright combined well to set up Stannard, whose shot from 25 yards curled in off the far post. Campbell cut in from the right, but could only hit a weak shot that failed to trouble Eason. Whitstable won two late corners, the second of which came out to Harry Brown and he crossed for Tom Bryant, who was unable to direct his header on target, but it did not matter as an offside flag was raised. Whitstable were well worth their 1-0 lead at the interval, but with conditions making things a little unpredictable, a tricky second half seemed quite likely.

Harry Stannard hits a great shot towards goal to put Whitstable ahead
The home bench celebrate

Sittingbourne introduced Henry Woods at the restart to give them an extra option up front and they were awarded an early free kick for a handball on the edge of the box, but Campbell hit it straight into the defensive wall. Connor Sanders was having a good game in midfield, but needed some treatment after a challenge by Lewis Chambers, for which he was booked. Whitstable found themselves 2-0 ahead in the 54th minute when Wright delivered a ball from the left and it curled right into the top corner just out of the reach of Lee. Sittingbourne almost pulled a goal back straightaway when Campbell made a good run down the right and his cross almost brought an own goal, but Eason was able to push the ball to safety. At the other end, Lee kicked the ball straight to Smith, who passed to Stannard and he took a touch before lifting his shot over the top. What might have been a three goal lead was soon only one, as Sittingbourne immediately made it 2-1 when Babbington stepped past his marker and found the top right corner with a good shot from just outside the area.

Jordan Wright’s effort beats the Sittingbourne goalkeeper and Whitstable lead 2-0
Timmy Babbington’s shot makes it 2-1

Smith then headed a West cross wide, as the game became a little more open. On 76 minutes, Caney-Bryan sent a dangerous ball into the box that caused a few problems before being cleared to Stannard, who did well to send Cornwell clear, but he was stopped by Lee as he tried to take the ball around him. Ricky Freeman made his return from suspension on 80 minutes, replacing the hard working Smith. Bryant was cautioned for a foul, but from the resulting Sittingbourne free kick, Stannard did well to bring the ball out and once again release Cornwell, who ran through only to drag his shot the wrong side of the post as Lee came out to close him down. Some good work by West got him into the box, but nobody could get on the end of his cross. A throw in then reached Freeman who tried to turn the ball in from a tight angle on the right, but his shot was blocked by a defender on the ground and the referee waved away appeals for handball. In added time, a quick turn and low shot by Campbell was saved low to his left by Eason and the follow up attempt went wide. It was the last meaningful action and Whitstable had done enough to secure their second consecutive win.

Miles Cornwell tries to take the ball past Patrick Lee, but the goalkeeper makes the save
Miles Cornwell runs through again, but this time shoots wide
Penalty appeals are turned down, as Ricky Freeman’s shot from a narrow angle is blocked
Dan Eason gets down well in added time to deny Roman Campbell a late equaliser

Next up for Whitstable is the rearranged home game against VCD that has already suffered one postponement and one abandonment, so the teams will be hoping for better luck on Tuesday evening. This is followed by a trip to Whyteleafe at the weekend.

Whitstable Sittingbourne
12 Attempts 7
4 On Target 5
7 Corners 2
3 Offside 1
15 Free Kicks Won 8

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, Stuart West, Harry Brown, Jordan Wright (Nick Treadwell 84), Rob Gillman, Tom Bryant, Connor Sanders, James Morrish (c), Harry Stannard (James Trueman 88), Stephen Smith (Ricky Freeman 80), Miles Cornwell.
Subs (unused): Taylor Fisher, John Walker.
Goals: Harry Stannard 33, Jordan Wright 54.
Yellow card: Tom Bryant 82

Patrick Lee, Chris Webber (c), Kwasi Amoah (Henry Woods 46), Jack Morrell, Harry Barkaway, Lewis Chambers, Izzy Adebayo (Johan Caney-Bryan 31), Chris Barnard, Roman Campbell, Billy Lewins, Timmy Babbington (Liam Middleton 71).
Subs (unused): Rob Lofting, Frankie Phipps.
Goal: Timmy Babbington 57
Yellow card: Lewis Chambers 50

Attendance: 177
Referee: Isaac Searle
Assistants: Chris Price & Andy Simmonds

Friendly Off Tonight

The proposed home friendly match against Folkestone Invicta tonight has been cancelled due to the poor weather forecast for this afternoon and the current condition of the pitch.

The next game at the Belmont will be a Bostik League fixture against Sittingbourne on Saturday at 3 p.m.

Three Goals And Three Points

Bostik League South East
Saturday March 9 2019 14.30

The long wait is over, as Whitstable picked up three points for the first time since Boxing Day with a deserved win over their visitors from the Channel Islands. Despite looking the better team in the first half, a number of missed opportunities left the home supporters fearing the worst when Guernsey took the lead, very much against the run of play, from the penalty spot to give them a half time lead. Whitstable continued to press after the break, but had Dan Eason to thank for a good double save to prevent Guernsey doubling their advantage. That proved crucial, as Stuart West then equalised from close range following a Stephen Smith cross. Another Smith shot from the right reached Harry Stannard, who turned the ball in at the back post to put Whitstable ahead and Smith wrapped things up himself, cleverly heading home after a sliced clearance by Frank Tobin looped back to him in the box.

Both teams came into this game badly needing a win, following poor runs of form that had seen them fall dangerously close to the bottom of the table. In fact, since the reverse fixture, which finished 1-1 in Guernsey on December 15th, the teams had identical league records of one win, four draws and five defeats. Whitstable were able to field their two recent signings from Ramsgate, Harry Stannard and Connor Sanders. The “Green Lions” arrived with a fourteen man squad, but they were without Tom De La Mare and Charlton Gauvain and target man William Fazakerley only started on the bench.

Whitstable showed more determination from the start and a long throw by Sanders bounced across the box before being nodded wide at the back post by Stannard, then a one-two between Jordan Wright and Smith won a corner from which a Tom Bryant header grazed the top of the bar. Smith was next to try to get on the end of a West cross, but could only head over the top at full stretch. James Morrish then tried a shot, but was off target, before Wright threaded a pass through to Smith, but Callum Stanton was able to make a save as the Whitstable striker tried to flick the ball past him. Guernsey were struggling to get any meaningful possession, but on 20 minutes Dave Rihoy tried a shot from 25 yards that was deflected for a corner. This was headed behind for a second corner that was glanced wide by Glyn Dyer. Whitstable still looked the more likely to score though and some casual play at the back allowed West to step in and win possession, before driving forward and trying a shot that was well saved by Stanton.

Tom Bryant heads for goal
The ball clips the top of the bar
Stephen Smith is denied by Callum Stanton
Stuart West shoots
The Guernsey goalkeeper makes a good save

Harry Brown fired a free kick well over, then a poor header back by Tobin was collected by Stannard, who tried to lift the ball over Stanton, but he got a hand to it before it was headed behind for a corner by Dyer. The referee took a tumble in the box following the corner, before the ball was safely gathered by Stanton. Tobin was booked for bringing down Stannard, Smith had a shot blocked and Stanton saved a low shot by Bryant. Despite almost constant pressure from the home side, it was Guernsey who opening the scoring in the 33rd minute from the penalty spot. Rihoy ran on to a long ball and shot into the side netting as Eason raced out to block, but a collision followed, leaving the Guernsey player seeking treatment and the referee decided to bring play back to award the penalty and Loaring stepped forward to shoot confidently into the roof of the net. Whitstable went close just afterwards from a Sanders throw, but the ball was scrambled clear and then Morrish again shot wide from distance. Guernsey won a late corner that was cleared and then Carlos Canha shot well over after a promising run. Dyer collected a booking for fouling Stannard after initially losing possession in midfield, but the free kick by Brown was comfortably saved by Stanton, so Whitstable trailed 0-1 at half time, although could certainly consider themselves a little unfortunate.

This time Harry Stannard’s effort is saved
This shot is blocked
Matt Loaring scores from the spot to give Guernsey the lead

Whitstable won a couple of early second half corners, the first of which was stabbed just wide by a Whitstable boot as Guernsey struggled to clear and the second was headed over by Bryant. Eason came to the rescue in the 55th minute, when a strong run by Loaring created an opening and his shot was pushed out by the goalkeeper to Canha, whose follow up was also saved and turned behind for a corner. Canha then held the ball up, before playing it into the path of Paris Pereira who shot over. Guernsey were having their best spell of the game and then introduced Fazakerley to give them a different option up front. Whitstable got back on track though and good play by Stannard gave Morrish another chance, but he curled his shot wide from 20 yards. Finally on 62 minutes, Whitstable found the net when a good build up saw Smith cross from the right and West was on hand to provide the finish.

Close at the start of the second half
Stuart West makes it 1-1

A mistake by Brown led to a chance for Canha, but his shot was well blocked by Sanders. Whitstable brought on Miles Cornwell and Nick Treadwell, as they went in search of the win. Bryant found Smith in the box, but Stanton denied him. A quick Guernsey break saw Fazakerley knock the ball wide after a cross by Canha and then Morrish did well to clear a corner. Whitstable got their second on 75 minutes, when Bryant found Smith on the right and his shot travelled across the box and was turned in by Stannard from just outside the far post. Morrish and Cornwell both had attempts that went wide, before the win was confirmed on 88 minutes. Tobin tried to clear, but only succeeded in slicing the ball high and back into his own penalty area, where Smith was able to head the ball over Stanton into the net for a really well controlled finish. In stoppage time, an attempted clearance struck the referee and rebounded to substitute James Trueman, but his shot was saved, leaving the final score at 3-1.

Another save by Stanton
Harry Stannard puts Whitstable 2-1 ahead from a tight angle
Smith heads a high ball towards goal
It’s perfectly judged and drops into the net to seal a 3-1 win

It was the first time that the lowest goal scorers in the league had scored three goals in a game this season, but more importantly the points lifted Whitstable above Guernsey and further away from the relegation spot. The next league game sees in-form Sittingbourne visit the Belmont on Saturday.

Whitstable Guernsey
21 Attempts 8
10 On Target 3
7 Corners 5
3 Offside 5
16 Free Kicks Won 16

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, Stuart West, Harry Brown, Jordan Wright (Nick Treadwell 70), Rob Gillman, Tom Bryant, Connor Sanders, James Morrish (c), Harry Stannard (James Trueman 90), Stephen Smith, Taylor Fisher (Miles Cornwell 66).
Sub (unused): Tom Walmsley
Goals: Stuart West 62, Harry Stannard 75, Stephen Smith 88.
Yellow cards: Stephen Smith 59, Nick Treadwell 83.

Callum Stanton, Thomas Dodds, Jamie Dodd (c), Kieran Mahon, Frank Tobin, Liam Mahon (Sebastian Skillen 86), Glyn Dyer (Keanu Marsh 81), Paris Pereira (William Fazakerley 56), Dave Rihoy, Carlos Canha, Matt Loaring.
Subs (unused): none
Goal: Matt Loaring pen 33
Yellow cards: Frank Tobin 29, Glyn Dyer 45, Jamie Dodd 47, William Fazakerley 86.

Attendance: 170
Referee: Alexander Emery
Assistants: Josh Smith & Dan Friar

Latest Player And Fixture News

Manager Scott Porter has completed the signing of Connor Sanders, who becomes the latest addition to the Whitstable Town squad. Connor has featured for Ramsgate this season and has also previously played for Herne Bay, Carshalton, Canterbury and Hythe. He will be available for the home game against Guernsey today, which kicks off at the slightly earlier time of 2.30 p.m. The visitors from the Channel Islands are level on points with Whitstable, having played one game more, so it should be an interesting afternoon. When the teams met in Guernsey earlier in the season, the game ended in a 1-1 draw, with the home team rescuing a point with a late penalty.

Whitstable have also arranged a friendly fixture for Tuesday (12 March) at 7.45 p.m. Folkestone Invicta will be the visitors to the Belmont. Admission to this game will be free.

Injury Causes Early Abandonment

Bostik League South East
Tuesday March 5 2019 19.45

Whitstable and VCD will have to rearrange this fixture after referee Ian Fissenden took the decision to abandon the game after just 8 minutes, with a VCD player lying injured on the pitch and a predicted wait of over an hour for an ambulance.

VCD spent the early minutes pressing forward and had one good opportunity when a dangerous free kick was curled into the box by Ali Fuseini, but his team were unable to get a shot on target. New signing Harry Stannard collected a pass down the right and with the assistant flagging for a Whitstable free kick as he was challenged, the referee played a good advantage. The ball was played to Stephen Smith and then back to Jordan Wright, who rolled it into the path of Taylor Fisher and he finished well past Max Hunter into the right corner of the net to give the home team the lead on 7 minutes. It was a well worked goal, but meanwhile Dominic Odusanya had gone down at the other end of the pitch following an earlier collision. It was decided not to move the player, because of a possible back injury and an ambulance was called. On being informed that it would take a long time to arrive, the referee abandoned the game. The ambulance eventually got to the ground about 55 minutes later and the player was taken to Margate hospital to be assessed. Everyone at Whitstable Town wishes him well and hopes that the injury is not too serious and that he is back playing in the near future.

Rob Gillman defends an early corner
Taylor Fisher shoots past Max Hunter
The ball is on its way into the net
Whitstable score a 7th minute goal

A new date for the game to be replayed will be announced in the coming days.

Whitstable VCD Athletic
1 Attempts 0
1 On Target 0
0 Corners 1
0 Offside 2
0 Free Kicks Won 1

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, Stuart West, Harry Brown, Jordan Wright, Rob Gillman, Tom Bryant, Nick Treadwell, James Morrish (c), Harry Stannard, Stephen Smith, Taylor Fisher.
Subs (unused): Tom Walmsley, Miles Cornwell, Rhys Brain, John Walker.
Goal: Taylor Fisher 7

VCD Athletic
Max Hunter, Bradley Simms, Jake McIntyre, Dominic Odusanya, Joe Denny, Jack Steventon, Mekhi Leacock-McLeod, Alastair Gordon, Ali Fuseini, Charlie MacDonald (c), Usman Adeniji.
Subs (unused): Alex Gaggin, Malachi Hudson, Liam Rosenfield, Aymun El-Moyhalbel, Junior Baker.

Attendance: 136
Referee: Ian Fissenden
Assistants: Joseph Dann-Pye & Jak Hill