Chipstead 2 Whitstable Town 2
Ryman Football League Division One (South)
Saturday 20th April 2013
Buster Smissen’s 73rd minute strike sealed Ryman League football next season at the Belmont as Town drew with fellow strugglers Chipstead on Saturday afternoon.
Town had the best of the early exchanges and as early as the 7th minute had their first opportunity as Jake Beecroft sent in a shot which was deflected for a corner. Player-manager Nicky Southall sent in an in swinging corner which found Micheal Everitt whose well timed header gave the visitors a deserved lead. The game then settled into a midfield battle with neither side taking control. Chipstead had their first chance after 24 minutes when a confusing melee resulted it the ball being ricocheted onto the bar and away. Chipstead actually pulled back into the game after 40 minutes when the ball ran free to Devon Williams who hooked the ball past Dean Ruddy in the Town goal. A minute later Town nearly regained the lead when Southall took a quick free kick which appeared to be well saved by Martin Grant in the Chipstead goal but the referee awarded a free kick. Then just before half time Beecroft found Buster Smissen with a cross but the Reds’ striker could only head wide. The half time score was a fair reaction of the first half.
Town started the second half on the front foot. Micheal Everitt got on the end of a Southall cross but could not convert. The hosts then took the lead against the run of play after 52 minutes. A long ball was played into the Whitstable Town 18 yard box. Confusion in the Town defence ensued and ball was lashed home by Williams for his second goal of the afternoon. This sent an air of concern around the Whitstable supporters as with results elsewhere relegation was still a possibility. Chipstead then had another opportunity after 70 minutes when Sam Robinson sent a shot high and wide of the target. Then came the decisive moment as Smissen broke free and toe pocked a shot against the inside of the post and the ball slid over the line to provide the equaliser. News at this stage came in that Walton Casuals had fallen behind against Maidstone so safety looked well in reach. Town did have three opportunities to seal a victory. Firstly Ollie Lee sent a header wide after 77 minutes and then a minute later Adam Woollcott fired over the bar and finally in the last minute Smissen could not convert a chance.
The final whistle signalled safety for the Town and another season in the Ryman League.
Team: Ruddy, Axford, Brunt (Cobb 72 mins), M Everitt, Harvey, Lee, Southall (Woollcott 62mins), Beecroft, Smissen, J Everitt (Crimmen 65mins),+ Heard.