WHITSTABLE TOWN 2 CANTERBURY CITY 0
SCEFL Premier Division
Tuesday September 19 2017 19.45
Whitstable were back in league action for the first time since their defeat at Deal, having since scored ten goals in two cup wins. They collected all three points thanks to two second half goals against local rivals Canterbury City, whose squad contained eight ex Whitstable players. In a tight first half, there were few chances at either end. Whitstable had one loud penalty shout for a handball, but too often picked out the Canterbury goalkeeper Jack Delo with their final ball. The best chance actually fell to the visitors, after Dan Eason had parried a long shot into the path of Gary Mickelborough, but he failed to hit the target. Whitstable took control after the break and were rewarded with two goals in two minutes by Stuart West and Danny Williams. Canterbury rarely threatened to get back into the game, apart from a few long range attempts that failed to test Eason, as Whitstable climbed up to second place in the league table.
Harry Brown was unable to play for Whitstable, having had a scan on the injury sustained in the previous match, and was replaced at left back by Tom Bryant, while Nick Treadwell was unavailable. There were a lot of familiar faces in the Canterbury team, with no fewer than seven former Oystermen in the starting eleven and Ian Pulman, scorer of exactly 100 goals in 190 appearances for Whitstable, on the bench.
An early move down the right ended with Williams having an attempt deflected behind for a corner that was comfortably caught by Delo. Jack West and Ricky Freeman both collected yellow cards for fouls near to the touchline in the first 20 minutes and Mickelborough sent a header wide from one Canterbury free kick. Freeman shot just past the post for Whitstable after being put through by successive headers from Shaun Welford and Williams.
The Canterbury captain Laurence Harvey limped off after 26 minutes to be replaced by Cory Walters-Wright at the heart of their defence. Matt Martin caught Craig Cloke with a late challenge and became the third and final name to go into the book shortly afterwards. Shots on target were scarce in a hard fought first half, but the only one from the visitors almost brought the first goal on 38 minutes when Eason was forced to make a save low to his right from a well struck shot from distance and the rebound fell to Mickelborough, but he was unable to find the net. Stuart West got his head to a Bryant free kick at the far post, but Delo was on hand to make the save. In added time a Stuart West shot struck a hand in the box, but the penalty appeals were waved away by the referee and then from a Bryant corner, Cloke found himself in space on the six yard line, but he was unable to keep his shot down and it went just over the bar, so the half ended goalless.
At the start of the second half, Freeman was fouled on the edge of the area, sparking some heated exchanges before Bryant saw his free kick deflected wide for a goal kick. A shot by Stuart West from distance went just wide and then a good low strike by Williams was well saved by Delo, with the follow up attempt blocked. Ollie Lee was introduced in the 59th minute for James Morrish and he brought a fresh impetus to the home midfield, as the visitors seemed to run out of steam a little. Whitstable took the lead on 65 minutes when a mistake in the Canterbury defence allowed Williams to pick up the loose ball and pass it to Stuart West on the right and he found the top corner of the net just inside the far post, giving Delo no chance.
Martin had a shot comfortably saved by Eason at the other end before Whitstable scored again in the 67th minute. Some great build up play led to Louis Sprosen playing the ball in to Welford who in turn passed to Williams and he did well to make room and shoot past Delo just inside the near post, leading to some jubilant scenes behind the goal.
A couple of minutes later, Welford got into a good position, but saw his shot saved by Delo. The Whitstable back four, who all played well, were by now relatively untroubled and Canterbury were restricted to a few shots from distance. Joe Nelder and Dave Pilcher both had a go, but were well off target. Charlie Smith came on for Sprosen and Whitstable then won three successive corners that were all dealt with by the Canterbury defence. Pulman replaced Nelder for the last few minutes in an attempt to find a goal for the visitors, but it was Whitstable who went close again when Smith sent a dangerous ball across the box that just eluded the advancing Welford. Harris Rodgers was the last substitute, replacing the hard working Freeman. Welford twisted and turned in the box before being crowded out and Lee had a shot saved by Delo. Eason had one final cross from Martin to deal with before the final whistle. It had been a good second half performance by the home side that enabled them to take the points.
Whitstable will be hoping that they can make it three home wins in eight days when they entertain Lancing in the FA Vase on Saturday.
|11||Free Kicks Won||9|
Dan Eason, Jack West, Tom Bryant, Rob Gillman, Craig Cloke (c), Stuart West, Louis Sprosen (Charlie Smith 72), James Morrish (Ollie Lee 59), Ricky Freeman (Harris Rodgers 82), Shaun Welford, Danny Williams.
Sub (unused): Dean Ruddy
Goals: Stuart West 65, Danny Williams 67.
Yellow cards: Jack West 12, Ricky Freeman 17.
Jack Delo, Josh McCallum, Gary Sayer, TJ Moncur, Laurence Harvey (c) (Cory Walters-Wright 26), Joe Kennett, Sam Conlon, Joe Nelder (Ian Pulman 80), Gary Mickelborough, Dave Pilcher, Matt Martin.
Subs (unused): Rob Lawrence, Michael Turner, Perry Cray.
Yellow card: Matt Martin 30
Referee: Bobby Kwatt
Assistants: Matt McCaughan & Chris Cannon