Leatherhead 1 Whitstable Town 0

With difficulties on the M25 a number of players and supporters were delayed on the M25 but everything cleared on time and we kicked off on schedule. It was a sweltering afternoon that really sapped the strength of the players returning for their first competitive game of the season.  As early as the 4th minute, Town had their first opportunity when Damian Abel sent in a looping shot with was just touched over by the Leatherhead keeper for a corner. Two minutes later former Sittingbourne and Margate striker, Tom Bradbrook had a shot well saved by Town new signing Rob French.

The game remained very even throughout the first half with a couple of chances falling to both sides.  Firstly a 37th minute cross from Jake Beecroft was met with a header from Shane Hamshare who sent his header just wide.  Six minutes later Bradbrook was one on one with French but sent his shot straight at the Town keeper. The nil-nil score line was a fair reflection of the balance of play in the first half.

Town started brightly in the second period with Ian Pulman sending two shots wide in the first two minutes of the half.  The game continued at the same tempo as the first with both defences in control. In the 74th minute Laurence Harvey got on the end of a corner but sent his header over the bar.

Then came the decisive moment of the game when Leatherhead were awarded a controversial free kick just on the edge of the penalty area.  The free kick was met with a delicate header from Bradbrook who found the back of the net. There were few more chances and with five minutes additional time being added Town were unable to fight back in a game where they really deserved a point.  But it was not to be and there was much to encourage for the rest of the season.

Team: French, Hamshare, Hare, Everitt (MacKenzie 72 mins), Groombridge, Harvey, Morrish, Beecroft, Pulman, Abel (Vahid 85 mins) Heard (Guila 90 mins).