Late Goals Knock Whitstable Out

BRENTWOOD TOWN 3 WHITSTABLE TOWN 1
The Buildbase FA Trophy First Round Qualifying
Saturday October 27 2018 15.00

The game kicked off 45 minutes late due to the match officials being delayed by an accident on the M11, but it was Whitstable who started the better on a very cold afternoon. Ricky Freeman was brought down by goalkeeper Rob Budd and got up to give Whitstable an early lead. Tom Bryant had a header well saved and Charlie Smith struck two shots over the bar. Dan Eason did make a couple of good stops, doing especially well to deny Brentwood an equaliser just before half time. Bryant volleyed a chance over soon after the restart and Ayrton Coley scooped a great chance over the bar at the other end. It began to look as though one goal would be enough to see Whitstable into the next round, until a poor, undisciplined last few minutes. Slack defending allowed Brentwood to turn the match around, as Kojo Apenteng and Charlee Hughes were both gifted opportunities to shoot past Eason in quick succession and then a foul on the edge of the area was punished when Mitchel Hunter struck a great free kick in off the bar to make it 3 goals in 6 minutes and seal a home win.

Teddy Nelson returned after serving a one game ban and Stuart West moved into midfield as Aiden Enver was unavailable under the terms of his loan. Whitstable had a couple of players on the bench, who were not completely fit and Tom Walmsley and Kyran Connolly were both unwell. Bostik North team Brentwood Town, like Whitstable, had won through to this round with a 4-1 win over Bostik South Central opponents, in their case Marlow. It was a bitterly cold afternoon at the Brentwood Centre and, for a time, there was some doubt whether the game would go ahead because the three officials were severely delayed on their journey down from Cambridgeshire.

The teams come out, with mascots, 45 minutes late

When play did eventually get underway, a good early run by James Morrish created a chance for Stephen Smith, but his shot was comfortably saved by Budd, the former Thamesmead and VCD goalkeeper. A Chris Elliott free kick was not properly cleared by the home defence and the ball eventually fell to West, who turned and fired a shot over the bar. Whitstable took the lead in the 12th minute, after Budd and his full back put themselves under pressure and Freeman nipped in, only to be brought down by the home goalkeeper. The referee had no hesitation in awarding a penalty and Freeman powered the spot kick past Budd. Brentwood had been slow to get into the match, but the lively Ayrton Coley forced Eason into a low save shortly after going behind. Whitstable were soon on the attack again and Budd raced out of his goal to intercept, twice making attempts to get the ball, but he did enough to see the ball behind for a corner.

Stephen Smith and Connor Martin challenge for the ball
Stuart West shoots over the bar
Ricky Freeman is brought down for the penalty
Rob Budd is beaten from the spot and Whitstable lead

Tony Stokes shot just wide at the other end, before some good interplay between the two Smiths saw a dangerous low cross just cleared for a corner that was met by the head of Bryant, but Budd pulled off an important save, pushing the ball around the post. Whitstable continued to look as though they may increase their lead, particularly from several corners and Charlie Smith hit a long shot on to the top of the net, before volleying a good chance over the bar after the ball was chipped into the box. Stephen Smith headed an Elliott corner wide as the interval approached. Brentwood had their best spell of the half in the last few minutes. Jordan Wright was penalised for a high kick on the edge of the box and Apenteng struck the free kick over the bar. Charlie Smith was then booked for a tackle, Hunter sent the free kick into the box and Eason made a great double save, as the ball first struck him in the face, but he managed to recover and somehow get a hand to the follow up by Coley and push the ball over the bar. Whitstable went in ahead at the break and despite the late saves by Eason, may feel that they could have had more than a one goal advantage.

Tom Bryant’s header is well saved
Dan Eason pulls off a great one handed save

Both teams had early second half attempts well off target, before a long throw by Elliott almost led to a second Whitstable goal on 55 minutes, but Bryant was unable to keep his volley down and the ball went over the top. Brentwood made two substitutions just after the hour mark and after Morrish had dragged a shot past the far post for Whitstable, a good low cross by Hunter found Coley in space in the six yard box, but he lifted his shot over the bar. Brentwood made their final change on 71 minutes and the changes seemed to give them a boost as Whitstable started to get pushed back deeper towards their own goal. Charlie Smith and Elliott were substituted as the visitors tried to inject some fresh legs, but possession was being conceded too quickly and the pressure grew.

In the 82nd minute, an attempted clearance by Morrish dropped to Apenteng on the edge of the box and he had the space to shoot low into the bottom left corner to bring the scores level. Within a minute, a ball in from the left reached substitute Hughes and the unfortunate Eason was unable to keep his deflected shot out of the net and the game had been turned around to the delight of the home supporters. On 87 minutes, an increasingly tired looking Whitstable team conceded a soft free kick just outside the penalty area and Hunter struck a great left footed shot into the top left corner off the underside of the bar. Apenteng and Jack Mitchell had further shots as Whitstable lost all their composure and needless fouls resulted in two more late yellow cards. The final whistle signalled the end of the FA Trophy campaign for Whitstable, who need to learn to manage games more effectively in the latter stages when defending a lead, although a lack of fit options from the bench did not help the cause on this occasion.

Brentwood score their first
Dan Eason is beaten for the second time a minute later
Mitchel Hunter’s free kick makes it 3-1

The late comeback by Brentwood has earned them a home tie against Poole Town in two weeks and Whitstable are next in action against Tonbridge Angels in the Kent Senior Cup on Wednesday.

Brentwood Whitstable
14 Attempts 14
7 On Target 4
4 Corners 7
0 Offside 4
15 Free Kicks Won 12

Brentwood Town
Rob Budd, Connor Martin, Mitchel Hunter, Albert Levett, Quba Gordon, Sam Carter, Ryan Mallett, Harry Doyle (Charlee Hughes 63), Ayrton Coley (Jack Mitchell 71), Kojo Apenteng, Tony Stokes (Alfie Hilton 61).
Subs (unused): John Easterford, Zack Littlejohn.
Goals: Kojo Apenteng 82, Charlee Hughes 83, Mitchel Hunter 87.

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, Jordan Wright, Chris Elliott (Harry Brown 79), Teddy Nelson, Rob Gillman, Tom Bryant, Charlie Smith (Jai McKinlay 75), James Morrish (c), Ricky Freeman, Stephen Smith, Stuart West.
Subs (unused): John Walker, Louis Sprosen.
Goal: Ricky Freeman pen 12
Yellow cards: Stephen Smith 25, Charlie Smith 44, Ricky Freeman 72, Harry Brown 89, James Morrish 90+3.

Attendance: 147
Referee: Thomas Hancock
Assistants: Gavin Jolley & Joseph Karram