WHITSTABLE TOWN 4 LORDSWOOD 1
SCEFL Premier Division
Tuesday September 27 2016 19.45
Goals from Kane Rowland, Rob Gillman, Harris Rodgers and a stoppage time deflection following a great run by “Man of the Match” Darren Marsden eased Whitstable to a win at the Belmont. Visitors Lordswood did get on the scoresheet through Regan Payne, but the home side always looked likely to take the points after they took the lead on 19 minutes.
A minute’s silence was held prior to the kick-off in memory of “Dickie” Bird, who sadly passed away recently. He was the club chairman in 1986/7 when he stepped in to save the club at a time when its future was in considerable doubt.
Harry Brown, Ollie Lee, Harris Rodgers and Nick Treadwell all returned to the starting line-up after missing the Cray Valley defeat. Opponents Lordswood had a number of regular players missing, so fielded an inexperienced team on the night. After a quiet opening spell, Lee lost possession on the halfway line and Lordswood broke away, the ball was passed to Regan Payne who shot low across the goal and Dan Eason did well to get down to tip it around the post. Then after the visitors’ captain and ex Oyster Dan Wells was booked for a pull back, Lee’s effort from the resulting free kick was deflected for a corner and this fell to Treadwell, whose shot was turned over the bar by Kane Rowland. On 19 minutes though Whitstable did take the lead following some neat interplay between Rodgers, Rowland and Connor Hood whose low cross from the right was steered into the net by Rowland. Just two minutes later Rodgers played Rowland in again, but his shot was saved by goalkeeper Ryan Chandler’s leg.
Lordswood did break down the right on 31 minutes and a dangerous cross by David Smith was headed over the bar by Michael Dodsworth. Rowland then almost managed to get his header on target from another Hood cross at the other end. An accurate long ball forward by Rob Gillman reached Aaron Quain, but his shot was cleared for a corner which almost fell to Rowland, but he was blocked. Whitstable won a further couple of corners late in the half and another ball into the box by the impressive Hood was cleared from just under the bar by a defender and the score at the interval remained 1-0.
Steven Mills was injured and had to be replaced by Lordswood under 18 and Maidstone Academy player Jake Everett soon after the restart. After 57 minutes a good cross from the left by Quain found an unmarked Rowland in the box, but play was called back and a free kick awarded for an earlier foul and Quain’s low delivery found its way right across the box to Gillman who finished well at the far post to double the advantage. On 66 minutes it became 3-0 as a Harry Brown free kick was helped on by Rowland and the ball fell nicely for Rodgers to shoot past Chandler. At this point it was all Whitstable as Lordswood continually lost possession and did not look like getting back into the game. However on 72 minutes, the referee spotted a handball just outside the box by Callum Wraight who was booked and although the free kick was blocked the ball rebounded to Payne who fired it past Eason amid claims for offside to give the visitors some hope. This seemed to unsettle the home side who had looked in control up to that point and the remainder of the game became more even with Lordswood winning several corners and suddenly looking more of a threat.
Substitute Ian Pulman did get himself into a good position for Whitstable, but his attempt was saved. Then in the last minute of stoppage time Marsden picked up the ball on the left and headed for the corner drifting past a couple of defenders. He then turned and ran along the line towards the goal amazingly dribbling past several more attempted tackles before squaring the ball from a tight angle. It appeared to strike Bode Olajide and rebound into the net to make the final score 4-1.
It was a comfortable win in the end and manager Scott Porter will be happier after some disappointing recent performances as his reshaped team worked hard on the night and got back to winning ways, although tougher challenges will no doubt lie ahead.
Dan Eason, Connor Hood, Harry Brown, Callum Wraight, Rob Gillman, Ollie Lee, Harris Rodgers (Craig Thompson 79), Nick Treadwell, Kane Rowland (Ian Pulman 75), Darren Marsden, Aaron Quain (Charlie Smith 61).
Subs (unused): Grant McIlheron, Harry Brooks
Goals: Kane Rowland 19, Rob Gillman 57, Harris Rodgers 66, Bode Olajide (own goal) 90+4.
Yellow card: Callum Wraight 72.
Ryan Chandler, Steven Mills (Jake Everett 50), Ehis Izokun, Bode Olajide, Charlie Plummer, Dan Wells (c), Michael Dodsworth (Alex McKay 68), Josh Bray, Regan Payne, David Smith, Tom Carter (Danny Smith 61).
Subs (unused): Sam Lovage, Harry Sheridan.
Goal: Regan Payne 72.
Yellow card: Dan Wells 14.
Referee: Joe Stokes
Assistants: Tom Chivilo & Daniel Barham