WHITSTABLE TOWN 1 HASTINGS UNITED 1
Bostik League South East
Saturday February 9 2019 15.00
Whitstable drew their third successive game, but needed an improved second half performance against third placed Hastings United to claim a point. The first half saw the visitors control most of the play, but there were very few chances of note until just before the break, when Dan Eason had to make a couple of routine saves before some sloppy play by Whitstable led to the opening goal, as Jordy Mongoy cleverly lifted the ball over Eason after being left clear on the right. Whitstable had barely threatened in the first half, but came into the game more after the break. Jordan Wright equalised directly from a free kick that went in off the post and Tom Walmsley almost added a second when he just failed to find the net at the back post from a Stephen Smith cross. Eason saved well from Mongoy at the other end, but neither side could find a winner. There was a red card for each side in added time, as tempers flared unnecessarily following a foul in midfield.
Despite their relative league positions, with Hastings 3rd and Whitstable 14th, both teams came into this game with two draws and a loss from their previous three outings. Hastings had won the reverse fixture 3-1 back in November when a misplaced back pass ended hopes of a Whitstable comeback. Whitstable were missing the unavailable Tom Bryant and Louis Sprosen for this game, but Rob Gillman and Tom Walmsley returned to the starting eleven. Teddy Nelson and Harry Brown were back in the squad and on the bench. Hastings also had selection problems, with some injury concerns and suspensions for Jack Dixon and Ollie Black.
This match survived an inspection in the morning, with the pitch quite good in some areas, but soft and heavy in others after the recent heavy rain. The first half was very quiet, with both goalkeepers having little work to do. There was almost a goal in the opening minute however, when the ball was played through to Mongoy, who skipped by the challenge of Stuart West and rolled the ball past Eason from the edge of the box, but it went into the side netting outside the right hand post. That was the only real goal threat until the final few minutes of the half. Hastings passed the ball around tidily, without an end product and Whitstable defended in numbers, with a Wright free kick that was caught by Charlie Horlock the closest action at the other end.
As the interval approached, Sam Adams side stepped a challenge 20 yards out and tried a shot that was saved by Eason just under the bar and then Sam Cruttwell had a go from a little further out, without seriously troubling the home goalkeeper. Almost immediately afterwards though, Whitstable were caught trying to play out from the back and the ball was passed to an unmarked Mongoy on the right and as Eason tried to come out, he coolly lobbed the ball over him into the net to give his team the lead on 41 minutes. Hastings went close to a second a few minutes later when Daniel Ajakaiye fed Mongoy, who danced in from the right and sent the ball across goal and just past the far post with Adams closing in. The teams went in at half time with Hastings leading 1-0 and Whitstable could have few complaints, although they would have been unhappy with the goal they conceded.
The home supporters amongst the 222 crowd may have feared the worst for the second half, but Whitstable performed much better when play restarted. Stephen Smith, who toiled away up front despite often being short of support, was booked for a challenge on Horlock as he chased the ball into the box and he then had a low shot easily saved following a one-two with Miles Cornwell. West made a good run down the left after an interception, but a good covering tackle prevented Smith getting on to the cross. Youssouf Bamba then delivered a cross after a good run, but no Hastings team mate could reach it. Whitstable did score in the 61st minute when Wright took a free kick around 25 yards out and curled a low shot through the crowd into the right corner, off the inside of the post. There was a delay while the referee spoke to his assistant, who had raised his flag, but after confirming that the ball had gone straight in, the goal was given. Horlock continued the debate with the assistant and talked his way into the book.
Taylor Fisher broke down the left, but could only shoot at Horlock. It was then the turn of Smith to make a run and hook over a great cross from the left corner to the back post, where Walmsley arrived with the goal at his mercy, but at full stretch, he could only divert the ball wide. Hastings then worked the ball through the middle to leave Mongoy clear on goal, but Eason got down well to save. Eason also saved a long free kick by Adams that may just have been heading for the top corner. The play went from end to end for the last 10 minutes or so, as both managers made substitutions, but there were no clear chances to break the deadlock. In added time, West slid in to win the ball in midfield, catching Cruttwell as he followed through, leading to a coming together of a number of players. West was shown a yellow card for the challenge, substitute Ricky Freeman was sent off for his part in the melee that followed and Temi Eweka also had to depart for collecting a second yellow card. The game ended shortly afterwards and both teams had to settle for a point, which was probably a fair result on the day.
Whitstable now have a two week break before entertaining Horsham at the Belmont.
|11||Free Kicks Won||14|
Dan Eason, John Walker, James Trueman, Stuart West, Rob Gillman, Jordan Wright, Taylor Fisher (Harry Brown 77), James Morrish (c), Stephen Smith (Ricky Freeman 78), Miles Cornwell, Tom Walmsley (Charlie Smith 85).
Subs (unused): Michael Jenner, Teddy Nelson.
Goal: Jordan Wright 61
Yellow cards: Stephen Smith 47, Miles Cornwell 60, Tom Walmsley 66, Stuart West 90+3.
Red card: Ricky Freeman 90+4
Charlie Horlock, Temi Eweka, Tom Climpson, Jahmal Howlett-Mundle, Sam Cruttwell, Adam Lovatt, Daniel Ajakaiye, Sam Adams (c), Jordy Mongoy, Youssouf Bamba (Charlie Curran 85), Jamie Fielding.
Subs (unused): Daniel Hull, James Pool, Panache Makwiramiti, Kian Moynes.
Goals: Jordy Mongoy 41
Yellow card: Charlie Horlock 63
Red card: Temi Eweka (two yellows: 74, 90+4)
Referee: Daniel Procter
Assistants: Joseph Dann-Pye & James Macleod