Hollands & Blair Fight Back To Win

SCEFL Premier Division
Tuesday September 6 2016 19.45

After coming back from two goals down to win at Erith & Belvedere in the previous game, the roles were reversed this time with Whitstable giving up a two goal lead to end well beaten by visitors Hollands & Blair.

A Darren Marsden penalty and a cool finish by the returning Ian Pulman seemed to have put the home side in control midway through the first half. After 38 minutes however, Hollands & Blair were gifted a route back into the game with a penalty of their own, converted by their captain Ben Brown. Whitstable were second best after the break and conceded three further goals from set pieces. There was some doubt as to who got the final touch to the first as a corner was adjudged to have crossed the line, but two James McDonald headers from another corner and then a Bryan Greenfield free kick sealed the points.

Scott Punton was injured at Erith & Belvedere and unable to play, so Ollie Brown came in at right back. Pulman started up front with his loan from Ramsgate agreed the day before. An early Callum Wraight corner was met by Ollie Lee, but his header went over the bar. Marsden slipped the ball through to Pulman in the 11th minute and he turned and put the ball in the net, but he was flagged offside. Then Sean Bremner headed a free kick over the bar at the other end. Whitstable were ahead in the 18th minute as Wraight’s free kick was handled in the box by Bremner and Marsden scored the resulting penalty, sending Tom Benham the wrong way.

Darren Marsden scores from the spot
Darren Marsden scores from the spot
Keeper is beaten
Keeper is beaten

The visitors’ number nine, McDonald, shot straight at Dan Eason before Whitstable doubled their advantage in the 24th minute, as a misplaced pass fell to Pulman who took the ball forwards and lobbed it over the advancing keeper.

Ian Pulman lifts the ball over Tom Benham
Ian Pulman lifts the ball over Tom Benham

Ten minutes later Nick Treadwell put Marsden through and he saw off a couple of challenges but couldn’t beat Benham. In the 38th minute came the incident that seemed to change the course of the game. Wraight got on the wrong side of his opponent before pulling him back near the touchline and the referee awarded a penalty that was converted by Brown. A deep cross from Bryan Greenfield then found an unmarked McDonald who headed straight at Eason. Whitstable went in at the break 2-1 ahead, but there were signs that Hollands & Blair were very much in the game.

Ben Brown scores for Hollands & Blair
Ben Brown scores for Hollands & Blair

In the 57th minute Whitstable failed to deal with a corner and the ball was eventually deemed to have crossed the line by the officials, the goal being credited later to McDonald. Pulman was brought down just outside the box after he latched on to a through ball, but Marsden’s free kick was comfortably caught by Benham. The dangerous McDonald then hit a shot that struck the bar and fellow striker Gary Lockyer had a shot that Eason turned past the far post for a corner. Michael Yianni had an effort deflected for a corner, but the visitors were getting on top with Justin Ascheri finding space down the right. After he had a shot just over the bar, a long throw was flicked on and forced in at the far post by McDonald.

Marsden found Pulman as Whitstable tried to reply, but Benham was out to make the save. In the 78th minute Hollands & Blair added a fourth as a Greenfield free kick was headed in by an unmarked McDonald. Lockyer broke clear down the right, but Eason was able to save his attempt. Marsden and Pulman had half chances to pull one back, but it was the visitors that looked most likely to add to their tally as Whitstable struggled to cope with their movement, allowing far too much space for their wide players to run into. A good defensive tackle by Charlie Smith prevented Jack Simon adding a fifth just before the final whistle.

It was a disappointing performance by the home side, particularly after going two goals ahead, but they have an early opportunity to bounce back against Chichester City in the FA Vase on Saturday.

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason (c), Ollie Brown, Callum Wraight, Ollie Lee, Grant McIlheron, Lee Winfield, Nick Treadwell, Michael Yianni (Craig Thompson 71), Ian Pulman, Darren Marsden, Kane Rowland (Charlie Smith 79).
Subs (unused): Harry Brown, Harris Rodgers, Harry Brooks
Goals: Darren Marsden (pen) 18, Ian Pulman 24.
Yellow card: Callum Wraight 38.

Hollands & Blair
Tom Benham, Lewis Taylor, Bryan Greenfield, Sean Bremner (Sam Prescott 65), Ben Brown (c), Sam Adgie (Sam Gutridge 78), Justin Ascheri, Jack Simon, James McDonald, Gary Lockyer, Louis Valencia.
Subs (unused): George Hadley, Ross Webb.
Goals: Ben Brown (pen) 38, James McDonald 57, 75, 78.
Yellow cards: Sean Bremner 18, Jack Simon 47, Sam Adgie 60, Gary Lockyer 61.

Attendance: 120
Referee: Kirsty Dowle
Assistants: Matthew Sell & Ryan Chantril-Smith