Sussex Trip Ends In FA Vase Exit

Buildbase FA Vase First Round Qualifying Replay
Tuesday September 13 2016 19.45

For the second time in three weeks, Whitstable went out of an FA competition on a Tuesday night in Sussex. Unlike the Eastbourne defeat when they managed to take the tie to penalties despite being on the back foot for most of the evening, this was a game that they will perhaps feel they should have won. Chichester took the lead in the first half, but were then reduced to ten men on the stroke of half time. Whitstable fought back well after the break to take the lead with twenty minutes remaining, but were then undone by two set pieces.

Whitstable had to make the long journey without several key players for a variety of reasons, meaning four changes to the starting line up with Harry Brooks taking over in goal from captain Dan Eason, although Aaron Quain did return to the side. The game began in warm, humid conditions at a soulless Oaklands Park in front of a meagre crowd. Only 4 minutes had passed when a ball whipped in from the right was met by the home number nine Scott Jones, but Brooks pulled off a wonderful save low to his right just inside the far post. Jamie Horncastle’s diving header was just off target from the first of six Chichester first half corners. In the 10th minute though Quain broke clear with Kane Rowland alongside and only one home defender back; he elected to shoot, but didn’t get enough on it to trouble keeper Dave Hook. After surviving a succession of Chichester corners, good work by Darren Marsden put Rowland through but his shot was comfortably saved. Quain was then brought down earning Horncastle a yellow card, but the free kick was cleared.

The first goal arrived on 34 minutes in strange circumstances as Brooks raced out to clear one of the home side’s balls over the top. He got there first but his clearance struck a nearby player and fell at the feet of Jones, who made no mistake in finding the unguarded net from around 35 yards. The visitors won their first corner after 42 minutes but it went straight behind for a goal kick. Just before half time Nick Treadwell was caught by an awful challenge in midfield by Max Thoms, who was inevitably shown a straight red card. Treadwell was down for a couple of minutes before being helped off the pitch with a badly bruised shin and despite his desire to continue, he was unable to return and Charlie Smith took his place for the second half.

Soon after the restart Marsden went down in the box when challenged, but penalty claims were waved away by the referee. After the home side had collected another couple of yellow cards in an otherwise quiet spell, Whitstable found an equaliser on 60 minutes as a corner from the right was firmly headed past Hook by Ollie Lee. Marsden then managed to hit a good low ball right across the home side’s goalmouth with no one able to get a touch. After Smith had been booked for a seemingly innocuous tackle, Lee was across well to cut out a dangerous ball. The referee then played the advantage after a foul as Rowland found himself in the clear, but Hook blocked his attempt. Then on 71 minutes right back Connor Hood sent in a deep cross which Rowland headed firmly back across goal and into the far corner to give Whitstable the lead.

Any hopes of seeing he game out were soon dashed however, as just three minutes later a free kick from the right was met by Jones and his header flew over Brooks into the far corner to make it 2-2. Then in the 82nd minute, after Lee had made another timely interception, Josh Clack’s in swinging corner from the left went over Brooks and was headed out from under the bar, but the assistant flagged to indicate it had crossed the line and despite the protests the game had turned again and Chichester were back in front. Whitstable made a couple of late substitutions to no avail and after just three added minutes the final whistle ended Whitstable’s FA Vase campaign.

Although a depleted Whitstable side battled back well in the second half, scoring a couple of good goals, defensive mistakes were ultimately costly and they will need to tighten up considerably at the back in the coming weeks as they return to league action.

Chichester City
Dave Hook, Harry Williams, Ellis Martin, Josh Case (Dan Watts 66), Jack Lee (c), Jamie Horncastle (Ben Pashley 45), Josh Clack, Chris Hooker, Scott Jones, Jimmy Wild, Max Thoms.
Subs (unused): Jake Gale, Kieran Hartley, Omar Barry.
Goals: Scott Jones 34, 74, Josh Clack 82.
Yellow cards: Jamie Horncastle 28, Jimmy Wild 57, Jack Lee 59, Ben Pashley 69.
Red card: Max Thoms 44.

Whitstable Town
Harry Brooks, Connor Hood, Callum Wraight, Ollie Lee, Grant McIlheron, Aaron Quain, Nick Treadwell (Charlie Smith 45), Michael Yianni (c) (Brendon Cass 86), Craig Thompson (Harris Rodgers 83), Darren Marsden, Kane Rowland.
Sub (unused): Harry Brown.
Goals: Ollie Lee 60, Kane Rowland 71.
Yellow cards: Aaron Quain 45, Charlie Smith 63.

Attendance: 68
Referee: Declan Elliott
Assistants: Alex Howard & Jonathon Wilks