WHITSTABLE TOWN 4 VCD ATHLETIC 1
Bostik League South East
Tuesday March 19 2019 19.45
After going almost 11 weeks without a win, this result gave Whitstable their third in 11 days. A bright start saw Harry Stannard go close, before a great Stephen Smith strike gave Whitstable an early lead. Stannard then lifted another good chance over the bar, before VCD struck back through Ali Fuseini, who curled the ball into the net as Whitstable appealed in vain for a free kick. Stannard put the home team back in front, before a poor tackle by Malachi Hudson sparked a mass confrontation in front of the VCD bench, after which the referee sent off Hudson and his team mate Usman Adeniji, leaving Whitstable with a two man advantage. The remaining nine VCD players gave a spirited display, as Whitstable struggled to make sure of the win, despite Stannard, Miles Cornwell and Jordan Wright all having chances. Fuseini clipped the top of the bar from a free kick, as the home crowd grew frustrated. Nick Treadwell eventually headed the third Whitstable goal from a Wright cross and although Junior Baker shot over after a promising VCD break, it was Ricky Freeman who had the last word, making it 4-1 in the closing minutes.
Whitstable were beaten 3-1 in the reverse fixture back in October, but the scheduled games between the two teams at the Belmont this season have been eventful for a variety of reasons. The Kent Senior Cup tie was postponed on the evening because a number of VCD players were delayed in heavy traffic, before Whitstable won the rearranged tie after a penalty shootout. The league game was first postponed due to the weather, then the next attempt was abandoned after 8 minutes awaiting an ambulance for the injured Dominic Odusanya, so it was good to see him back playing in this game. Whitstable had to make a change to the team that beat Sittingbourne, as Rob Gillman was unable to play due to family reasons, so there were a couple of positional changes and Nick Treadwell started in midfield.
The home team began on the front foot and Stannard made space for himself on the right before curling his shot wide of the far post. Whitstable continued to press forward and when the ball fell to Smith, his shot from outside of the box beat Jordan Beeney and went in off the post to give his team the perfect start after just 2 minutes. A long throw by Connor Sanders caused some problems for the VCD defence, but when the opportunity arrived for Stannard, his shot was too high. The visitors had taken some time to get into the game, but when Harry Brown failed to cut out a long ball, Aymun El-Moyhalbel was able to deliver a cross from the right. A couple of players ended up on the ground in the box following a collision, creating the perfect opening for Fuseini to fire the ball into the net from 20 yards, as Whitstable looked for a free kick. Shortly afterwards Fuseini tried his luck again, but only succeeded in sending the ball high into the night sky. Miles Cornwell then shot just past the post following a good through ball and Stannard hit a free kick straight at Beeney after Alastair Gordon had been booked for a foul on James Morrish, who also went into the book shortly afterwards for a foul. Whitstable were ahead again in the 26th minute, when Brown sent over a low cross from the left that was helped on by Sanders into the path of Stannard, who finished well from inside the box.
Any hopes VCD may have had of another comeback were severely dented around the half hour mark when Hudson lunged in on Morrish, leaving the Whitstable captain on the floor and sparking a reaction, with a number of other players getting involved. When things eventually calmed down and the officials compared notes, there was a red card for Hudson and also Adeniji for stamping on an opponent. Smith was shown a yellow card for his part in the aftermath. Smith had the ball in the net again a few minutes later, but the whistle had already blown for offside. Brown and Smith had further attempts before half time, which arrived with Whitstable leading 2-1 and having a two man advantage.
Thoughts of a comfortable second half were soon dispelled as the nine VCD players put in a determined performance, although Whitstable went close in the 49th minute when the initial attempt from a corner was blocked and the ball came out to Cornwell, but Beeney did well to push his shot around the post for a corner that Tom Bryant then headed wide. Smith next created a good chance when he headed the ball down for Stannard, but he put his shot wide and then Wright had a shot blocked. Whitstable continued to press without being able to find a way through, but VCD were doing enough to still be a threat, with Fuseini seeing a lot of the ball in midfield. They won a couple of corners and then a missed clearance by Brown led to them being awarded a free kick right on the edge of the penalty area. As the home crowd held their breath, Fuseini curled the ball over the wall, but it just grazed the top of the bar and went over.
The nerves continued for a few more minutes, until a cross from Wright was met by the head of Treadwell on 71 minutes and the ball flew into the net to give Whitstable a two goal cushion. All three substitutions were made by the home team, with James Trueman, Freeman and Taylor Fisher introduced. There was one more good chance for VCD, when Bradley Simms made a good burst down the right and crossed for Baker, but he scooped his shot well over the bar. The final goal was scored by Whitstable, when a Morrish cross somehow found its way to Freeman and he diverted the ball towards goal, where despite the efforts by Joe Denny to clear, the assistant ruled that it was over the line and with little further action, 4-1 was the final score.
Overall, it had been a good display by Whitstable, although for a time they appeared to find it more difficult playing against nine than they did eleven, until the decisive third goal. The table is looking healthier now for Whitstable after three consecutive wins, although some tough fixtures remain, starting with a visit to Whyteleafe, before the champions elect Cray Wanderers visit the Belmont.
|21||Free Kicks Won||13|
Dan Eason, Jordan Wright, Harry Brown (James Trueman 68), Nick Treadwell, Stuart West, Tom Bryant, Connor Sanders, James Morrish (c), Harry Stannard (Ricky Freeman 75), Stephen Smith (Taylor Fisher78), Miles Cornwell.
Sub (unused): John Walker
Goals: Stephen Smith 2, Harry Standard 26, Nick Treadwell 71, Ricky Freeman 87.
Yellow cards: James Morrish 23, Stephen Smith 31.
Jordan Beeney, Bradley Simms, Dominic Odusanya, Junior Baker, Joe Denny, Jack Steventon (c), Aymun El-Moyhalbel, Alastair Gordon, Ali Fuseini, Malachi Hudson, Usman Adeniji.
Subs (unused): Victor Caicedo, Alex Gaggin, Liam Rosenfield, Dominic Vincent, Ricardo Joseph.
Goal: Ali Fuseini 10
Yellow cards: Alastair Gordon 20, Joe Denny 58.
Red cards: Malachi Hudson 30, Usman Adeniji 30.
Referee: Kane Dempster
Assistants: Harry Wager & Simon Cutler