GREENWICH BOROUGH 0 WHITSTABLE TOWN 0
Bostik League South East
Saturday January 26 2019 15.00
Greenwich Borough and Whitstable Town had to settle for a point each after a hard fought goalless draw that is unlikely to be remembered fondly by any of the 92 people in attendance. Both teams looked short of confidence after poor recent results and rarely looked like scoring. New goalkeeper Oliver Webber just managed to prevent the ball crossing the line after a Whitstable corner in the 15th minute and that was as good as it got for the Oystermen, despite a couple of promising efforts from John Walker. Greenwich created little themselves until the last few minutes, when Whitstable seemed to fade badly. Tushaun Tyreece-Walters went down in the box after a long run, but the penalty claims were waved away and Dan Eason had to make a couple of saves to ensure his team held on for a draw.
Having lost to both Herne Bay and Faversham when each were bottom of the table at the time, Whitstable might have feared history would repeat itself as they travelled to play the current basement team, Greenwich Borough, particularly in the week they appointed a new management team. Steve O’Boyle, who led Phoenix Sports into the Bostik League, was joined by experienced coach Steve Sallis and Ben Kotey is their new first team coach. They wasted no time in adding to their squad, with Northern Ireland youth international goalkeeper Oliver Webber joining on loan from Crystal Palace, together with young Leyton Orient defender Mason Hall. Ryan Green, Jardel Francis-Adeyinka, Fidan Fejzi and Frank Popoola also made their debut appearances for the Borough. Despite conceding 14 goals in their last two games, the changes meant it was always likely that this would be a closer affair. Whitstable fielded the same starting eleven and substitutes for the second consecutive match, which is the first time this has happened this season.
An early Whitstable corner was confidently claimed by Webber and the first attempt at the other end was a Kayne Roberts header from a free kick that sailed well over the bar. A mistake by Hall allowed Stephen Smith the chance to break, but when the ball reached his strike partner Miles Cornwell, he failed to hit the target. Whitstable came closest to scoring when a Jordan Wright corner dropped to Stuart West in the box, but Webber was able to get down and claw the ball away as it was about to cross the line. Walker was getting forward well down the right and a good cross was headed over by Smith.
James Morrish tried a shot from 20 yards, but scooped the ball over the bar. Walker and Smith combined to send in a low cross that was cut out by a diving Webber. Former Chelsea under 18 player, Tyreece-Walters, caused the Whitstable defence a few problems with his runs and after a quick break down the right, he found Ryan King-Elliott, who shot just wide. After a brief delay while Smith received treatment for an injury, half time arrived with no goals and indeed very few real opportunities created by either team.
A good ball forward by Rob Gillman just after the break picked out the run of Smith, whose attempt was blocked for a corner, but not for the only time, the delivery was very poor. A long clearance by Eason was headed on by Wright to Walker, who struck a first time shot from distance that flew just over the bar. Another Walker cross was fired across goal with no one able to get a touch. Whitstable won another couple of corners that came to nothing, before a misplaced pass by Michael Jenner gave Greenwich the chance to break, but the defence was able to clear. The home team were starting to look more threatening and won their only corner of the game on 64 minutes. Whitstable did create a chance just afterwards however when a great cross field ball found Taylor Fisher, but he was unable to find a clear opening and shot just wide from the edge of the box.
Tom Bryant made a good defensive block to stop the next Greenwich attack, before both teams made changes. Former Croydon and Ashford player Fejzi came on for Greenwich and Whitstable made a double change up front, introducing Ricky Freeman and Tom Walmsley. Morrish then limped off, to be replaced by Charlie Smith and Fejzi only managed a few minutes on the pitch before also having to depart with an injury. The final quarter of an hour was played mainly in the Whitstable half, as Greenwich appeared to grow in confidence. A long run across the pitch by Tyreece-Walters only resulted in a goal kick, despite some vocal appeals for a penalty, as he went over in the box and Eason had to make a couple of routine saves. King-Elliott then fired in a good low shot from the right that Eason did well to push out. When Whitstable did manage to break and win a free kick, the delivery failed to pass the first defender and Greenwich were soon back on the attack. Fisher and Bryant were both cautioned in stoppage time for unfairly stopping promising runs, but there were to be no goals and in truth 0-0 was a fair reflection of game that lacked any real quality throughout.
Whitstable now move on to a run of challenging looking fixtures and will be hoping to find some form sooner rather than later, as they seek to climb away from the lower reaches of the table.
|13||Free Kicks Won||9|
Oliver Webber, Deandre Golding, Briggs Ojeman, Dquame Copeland, Ryan Green, Mason Hall, Tushaun Tyreece-Walters, Ryan King-Elliott (c), Jardel Francis-Adeyinka, Kayne Roberts, Andrew Sesay (Fidan Fejzi 68, Frank Popoola 77).
Subs (unused): Jordan Stansbury, Simba Kudyiwa.
Dan Eason, John Walker, Taylor Fisher, Stuart West, Rob Gillman, Tom Bryant, Michael Jenner, James Morrish (c) (Charlie Smith 74), Stephen Smith (Tom Walmsley 70), Miles Cornwell (Ricky Freeman 70), Jordan Wright.
Sub (unused): James Trueman
Yellow cards: Taylor Fisher 90, Tom Bryant 90+3.
Referee: James Simpson
Assistants: Leo Del Rosso & Dan Friar