Town Win Seven Goal Thriller

Emirates FA Cup – Extra Preliminary Round Replay
Wednesday August 15 2018 19.45

Whitstable progressed to the next round of the FA Cup, after a very entertaining replay against Deal Town. In contrast to the original match at Deal, Whitstable were mainly in control in the first half and will probably feel they should have led at the interval by more than the one goal scored by the head of Josh Burchell. When Brett Ince drove forward and fired in a long range second just after the restart, it looked as though the home team were going to ease through to an away tie at CB Hounslow. Deal though had other ideas and Ben Cardwell replied with a similar effort at the other end, running from midfield and finding the top corner with an unstoppable shot. Substitute Charlie Walsh then beat Dan Eason with a great free kick to bring the scores level at 2-2. Jordan Wright converted a Ricky Freeman cross to put Whitstable back in front, only for Deal to equalise again as Whitstable failed to deal with a run and low shot from the right of the box that somehow found the back of the net. The decisive goal was another special free kick by Ince from around 35 yards that flew past everyone and into the net and this time Whitstable were able to see out the remaining minutes with few alarms.

Whitstable had to make some late adjustments to their defence, when both Rob Gillman and Teddy Nelson withdrew due to illness and injury. Stuart West therefore dropped back with Brett Ince starting in midfield and Charlie Smith up front. Deal had several players available who missed the first game, including their captain Luke Bigginton.

Deal had much the better of the first half in the previous game, but not in this replay, as Whitstable created some early opportunities. James Morrish was played in from the right, but shot too close to James Tonkin. Jordan Wright, Ricky Freeman and Tom Bryant all had attempts and Smith had two shots saved by Tonkin, the second of which almost rolled over the line before the goalkeeper got back to gather. Apart from a Steve O’Brien free kick that was held by Dan Eason, Deal had rarely threatened. Whitstable eventually took the lead on 36 minutes when a good deep cross from the right was headed over Tonkin and into the net by Josh Burchell at the far post. There were no further goals before the break, although a Burchell corner flew dangerously across the box with no one able to make contact.

An early chance for James Morrish
Dan Eason saves a free kick
James Tonkin denies Charlie Smith

Ince soon added a second just after half time when he was allowed to take the ball forward and shoot from around 25 yards and he hit it sweetly into the far corner with Tonkin unable to get near it. Deal got themselves back in the game shortly afterwards when Ben Cardwell ran from the halfway line and smashed the ball past Eason. Deal then had a very good spell and Ben Chapman had a shot deflected behind for a corner that was headed over the top by Kane Smith. Freeman did have a free kick well saved by Tonkin at the other end after Wright was fouled just outside the box. Deal were soon level though, when Ince was penalised for a foul and Charlie Walsh, who had only been on the pitch for a short time, curled the free kick into the top left hand corner.

Brett Ince shoots for goal
Whitstable lead 2-0 as Ince finds the net
Tonkin saves this Ricky Freeman free kick
Charlie Walsh beats Eason to make it 2-2

Nathan Hardwick replaced Smith as Whitstable went in search of another goal. It arrived in the 70th minute when Freeman did well on the left and delivered a perfect cross to the near post for Wright, who tucked the ball past Tonkin. Hardwick had a shot saved, but then Deal were allowed to take the ball into the Whitstable penalty area from the right and Sam Wilson brought the scores level once again. The game was swinging end to end and when Whitstable won a free kick midway inside the Deal half on 81 minutes, Ince stepped forward and powered the ball through the crowd and past Tonkin. There were a couple of half chances at either end, but Whitstable managed to prevent Deal from taking the game into extra time, running out 4-3 winners and securing their place in the Preliminary Round.

Jordan Wright restores the lead for Whitstable
Sam Wilson’s shot makes it 3-3

The night was a good advert for FA Cup football and there were some great goals for the 236 crowd to enjoy. Deal deserve a lot of credit for their part in the tie, firstly going close to a win at their own ground and then for their spirited performance in a thrilling second half at the Belmont.

Whitstable Deal
14 Attempts 9
10 On Target 5
6 Corners 1
4 Offside 1
14 Free Kicks Won 15

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, John Walker, Josh Burchell, Jai McKinlay, Stuart West, Tom Bryant, Jordan Wright, James Morrish (c), Ricky Freeman (Chris Saunders 84), Brett Ince, Charlie Smith (Nathan Hardwick 66).
Subs (unused): Rob Gillman, Kyran Connolly, Chris Elliott.
Goals: Josh Burchell 36, Brett Ince 46, 81, Jordan Wright 70.
Yellow card: Brett Ince 62

Deal Town
James Tonkin, Ben Chapman, Steve O’Brien, Luke Bigginton (c), Kane Smith, Lee Scott (John Brayne 71), Connor Miller (Charlie Walsh 52), Ben Cardwell (Harris Rodgers 81), Connor Coyne, Sam Wilson, Steve Butcher.
Subs (unused): Harry Alexander, Danny Smith, Trinn Brisley.
Goals: Ben Cardwell 49, Charlie Walsh 63, Sam Wilson 75.
Yellow card: Steve Butcher 61

Attendance: 236
Referee: Richard Joss
Assistants: Michael Donnelly & Joe McKay