Late Drama But Town Lose Again

SCEFL Premier Division
Saturday 8 October 8 2016 15.00

A last twenty minutes full of incident and controversy could not disguise a poor display by Whitstable as they slumped to their sixth defeat in eleven league games. Second best for most of the match and trailing to a first half header by Jack Miles, Kane Rowland equalised with around a quarter of an hour remaining. Sevenoaks were soon back in front though as appeals for offside were dismissed and Byron Walker found himself with plenty of room in the box to shoot past Dan Eason. Whitstable had a great chance to grab a point deep into stoppage time, as Rowland won a penalty. Aaron Quain put the ball in the net, but the officials asked for it to be retaken as the goalkeeper was off his line and his second attempt was well saved by Oshane Brown.
Grant McIlheron replaced the unavailable Darren Marsden in midfield, otherwise the Whitstable team was unchanged from the previous two games. Lee Winfield was serving the last of his three game ban. The home side started slowly and Sevenoaks caused early problems down the right through Harrison Carnegie, who drew two fouls by Harry Brown that saw him earn a yellow card after just 4 minutes, but both free kicks were headed clear by Nick Treadwell. The home side had their first attempt on 9 minutes as a Rowland cross was met by Harris Rodgers, who could only loop his header into the hands of goalkeeper Brown. Shortly afterwards Corey Holder was penalised for jumping into the back of Rodgers, who sustained a cut to his head and Harry Brown fired the free kick over the bar from 25 yards. On 18 minutes a cross from Jimmy Rogers was met by the head of the unmarked Walker and Eason made a great save, but the resulting corner was headed past the diving Eason by Miles to give Sevenoaks the lead.

Rowland turned and hit a left footed shot from just outside the box that was tipped over the bar as Whitstable tried to respond. Then Dane Luchford played the ball into the box and amidst shouts for handball, the ball rebounded to Rodgers whose shot was saved. Ashley Brown, who had an impressive game at the back, twice brought the ball forward, firstly passing to Ollie Lee who scuffed a shot wide and then finding Luchford who was brought down and then struck the free kick too high. As the interval approached Whitstable won a couple of corners but were unable to really test Brown and Sevenoaks had a late effort saved by Eason and then shot just over the bar following a corner of their own. The away side were well worth their 1-0 lead at half time.

Quain replaced Rodgers for the second half and Whitstable had some early pressure without causing too many alarms for the visiting defence, although Rowland headed a Luchford cross just wide after some good play by Treadwell. Luchford fed Lee who surged through a couple of challenges but was unable to find a way past Brown. Eason was then called upon at the other end to make a couple of saves from Billy Bennett. Whitstable manager Scott Porter brought on Craig Thompson for McIlheron in an effort to find a goal. Rowland had worked hard up front, but lacked support at times as the midfield struggled to find a way through the resolute Sevenoaks defence. The game did then open up a bit in the latter stages.

Ashley Brown headed a corner just wide and Eason had to make a couple of clearances form dangerous crosses. On 76 minutes Quain hit a ball across the pitch to Luchford on the right and his delivery found Rowland who shot into the bottom left corner to bring the scores level.

Kane Rowland scores
Kane Rowland scores


Byron Walker gets the second for Sevenoaks
Byron Walker gets the second for Sevenoaks

Only 2 minutes later Sevenoaks were back in front, as the ball was played forward into the box to Walker, who was all on his own and, as Whitstable appealed vociferously for offside, he calmly finished past the outstretched right hand of Eason. The assistant kept his flag down and Lee talked his way into the book for his protests. Both teams had a few half chances to score as the 90 minutes ticked away, but the real drama was to take place during the 8 minutes of stoppage time. After 5 added minutes, Connor Hood and Charlie Smith got the ball into box and as Rowland chased what looked like a lost cause the goalkeeper appeared to push him over and a penalty was awarded. Quain sent Brown the wrong way but the assistant spotted the goalkeeper had been off his line and instead of allowing the goal, the referee asked for a retake. This time Quain went for the opposite corner, Brown got down well to save and the game was lost.

A penalty is given...
A penalty is given…
Aaron Quain tucks the ball away
Aaron Quain tucks the ball away
Oshane Brown saves the retake
Oshane Brown saves the retake

Eason and the back four all had solid games and Rowland got another goal in a hard-working display, but there is still some work to be done to find the right formula if the team are to climb the table.

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, Connor Hood, Harry Brown, Ashley Brown, Rob Gillman (c), Grant McIlheron (Craig Thompson 69), Harris Rodgers (Aaron Quain 46), Ollie Lee, Kane Rowland, Nick Treadwell, Dane Luchford (Charlie Smith 79).
Subs (unused): Scott Punton, Harry Brooks
Goal: Kane Rowland 76.
Yellow cards: Harry Brown 4, Ollie Lee 79.

Sevenoaks Town
Oshane Brown, Chris Edwards, Greg Benbow, Jimmy Rogers, Jack Miles, Corey Holder, Harrison Carnegie, Mikey Dalton, Byron Walker (Stephen Camacho 90+3), Billy Bennett, Kieron McCann.
Subs (unused): John Brown, Gary Stock, John Lord, Jerson Dos Santos.
Goals: Jack Miles 19, Byron Walker 78.
Yellow card: Mikey Dalton 80, Byron Walker 90+1.

Attendance: 160
Referee: Craig Burton
Assistants: Bo Wang & Matt McCaughan