Man of the Match Nick Shaw saves penalty

Whitstable Town 2 Harrow Borough 0

FA Trophy 1st Qualifying Round

Whitstable Town put away their recent poor performances in cup competitions to ease past Harrow Borough by two goals to nil to make it through to the next round of the FA Trophy on Saturday.  It all started well when Damian Abel finally finished his goal drought after 5 minutes. He was able to get on the end of a Josh Hare cross and hooked the ball into the back of the net.  The Red’s continued to press and could have been two up in 8 minutes following a melee in the penalty area.  After 17 minutes Dane Luchford pulled the ball back to Jake Beecroft who sent a shot towards the corner of the net but Elvijs Putmins in the Harrow Borough goal was able to palm the ball wide.  There continued to be further opportunities as Town swept forward against their Ryman Premier League opponents.  It wasn’t until the 33rd minute that Harrow had their first opportunity when they fired high and wide.  Again in the 35th minute when a shot bound for the bottom corner was pushed round the post by Nick Shaw in the Whitstable goal.

Damian Abel fires home

Then, in the 41st minute Town increased their lead when, Beecroft weaved his way through the defence and let loose with a shot that smashed in to the back of the net from 25 yards to take the home side in at 2-0.

Borough came out in the second half with more purpose and were soon on the attack.  Just 2 minutes into the half the referee spotted an infringement in the penalty area and pointed to the spot. Up stepped Harrow substitute Garry Jones who sent his shot to Shaw’s left but the keeper made a superb vital save that was to keep the two goal lead.  Shaw, who earned a well deserved man of the match award, saved Town again 61 minutes as he pushed a shot round the post.  Two minutes later Harrow found the net but the goal was ruled out due to a push in the penalty area.

Town’s solid defending

Town continued to threaten on the break. An Abel cross after 67 minutes saw a defender put the ball over the bar for a corner. As the game went on the opportunities began rarer and the Town defence were in total control. The game could have been put totally out of the visitors reach when Luchford got on the end some excellent interchange play between Smissen and Heard and fired a shot just over the bar.

Time ran out for Harrow as Town deservedly find themselves in the 2nd qualifying round of the FA Trophy and await the draw on Monday with interest.

Team: Shaw, Hare, Parter, Everitt, Harvey, Gilman, Southall (Hamshare 75mins), Beecroft, Vahid (Heard 65mins), Abel (Smissen 82 mins) Luchford.

Att 161