Unbeaten Run Continues

Bostik League South East
Saturday October 6 2018 15.00

Whitstable took their unbeaten run in the league to seven games, as they eventually overcame Greenwich Borough in an entertaining game at the Belmont. Both goalkeepers made some good saves in the first half, with Tom McGill somehow keeping out efforts from Jordan Wright, Rob Gillman and Chris Elliott, whilst Greenwich had a great spell of pressure just before the break and Dan Eason had to be at his best to keep the score goalless. The visitors had a lot of possession in the second half, but the home defence did a great job and Eason only had a couple of shots to deal with. Whitstable took the lead when a corner was only partially cleared and Stuart West was on hand to beat McGill from close range. This seemed to change the game and Whitstable started to play with more confidence, eventually making sure of the points when Stephen Smith was first to a Harry Brown free kick and scored for the third consecutive game.

Once again, Whitstable had to reshuffle the team due to player absences. John Walker and Louis Sprosen were still recovering from ankle injuries, Tom Bryant was unavailable and Chris Saunders remained suspended. Ricky Freeman, Tom Walmsley, Charlie Smith and Chris Elliott had all suffered recent injuries, but were able to feature. Greenwich Borough went through some changes behind the scenes in the summer after finishing fourth last season and are now managed by Luke Medley. They had collected six points from their first six matches, with their two wins coming against Herne Bay and Guernsey.

In contrast to most matches so far this season, this was played in gradually worsening wet and windy conditions. Whitstable started quite well, with Charlie Smith, Freeman and Wright all having early attempts, but in the 7th minute Greenwich went close when Teshuane Tyreece Walters cut in from the right and curled a left footed shot just past the far post. Laurent Mendy headed a left wing cross just off target and then collected an early yellow card for a challenge on Charlie Smith. James Morrish had to depart due to injury in the 15th minute and was replaced by Kyran Connolly and the young substitute put in a good performance. Freeman was just off target with an overhead kick from a Connolly cross, then at the other end Kayne Roberts saw his good strike deflected wide by a team mate. On 23 minutes Wright chipped the ball into the path of Stephen Smith, who hit a firm shot just the wrong side of the right post.

Stephen Smith shoots just the wrong side of the post

Teddy Nelson was cautioned for stopping a Greenwich break down the right, but the free kick that followed raised a few smiles when Solomon Taiwo managed to launch it into the tall trees beside the neighbouring Gorrell Stream. Ryan King-Elliott then had two shots saved by Eason, whilst Connolly almost sent Freeman clear for Whitstable, but the last defender just managed to intercept. Jai McKinlay won possession and found Wright, who turned on the edge of the box and shot for the far corner, only to see McGill touch the ball around the post. Gillman powered a header towards goal from the corner, but the goalkeeper, who is on loan from Brighton, pulled off another great stop and tipped the ball over the bar. Greenwich had their most threatening period in the closing minutes of the half, winning seven corners and forcing Eason into a succession of saves. Phil Brown-Bampoe had a 30 yard shot tipped over by the impressive Whitstable keeper, who next had to deal with a deflected shot that bounced awkwardly towards the goal and then another Brown-Bampoe chip from 20 yards. The last chance of the half fell to Whitstable however when Elliott collected a cross-field ball, beat his marker and his shot from a narrow angle was just deflected past the far post by McGill. An entertaining half ended 0-0, thanks in no small part to the two goalkeepers.

Tom McGill saves a Jordan Wright shot
Rob Gillman heads a corner towards goal
McGill tips the ball over the bar
Chris Elliott tests McGill from a tight angle
The goalkeeper does just enough to deflect the ball past the far post

The second half started quietly in comparison, although Greenwich got themselves into some promising positions without making the most of them. King-Elliott did deliver a good cross that flew right across goal after Freeman had been cautioned for a foul. There were chances at both ends in the 65th minute, when Eason saved a weak shot and then a quick Whitstable break gave Stephen Smith a sight of goal, but his shot was saved by McGill at his near post. Brown replaced Elliott just before Whitstable took the lead in the 66th minute. Brown swung in a corner that was cleared as far as Freeman, who sent the ball back into the box and West had the space to collect and shoot past McGill.

Stuart West shoots for goal
Whitstable lead 1-0

The goal inspired Whitstable to look for a second and Stephen Smith had one effort blocked and put another just wide. Walmsley came on for Freeman for the final home substitution. After some good play, a Connolly cross was headed wide by Wright. The Whitstable defence dealt well with a couple of Greenwich attacks, but on 87 minutes it was 2-0 when Stephen Smith arrived to fire a Brown free kick into the net. There was no further action of note, apart from a late booking for Brown following a sliding challenge on the halfway line.

Stephen Smith is first to meet Harry Brown’s free kick
Whitstable have their second goal

The win pushed Whitstable up to 6th in the table with 15 points after 9 games and they are now unbeaten since losing their first 2 games. Attention for Whitstable now turns to cup action, with away games at Ramsgate in the Velocity Trophy and Bedfont Sports in the FA Trophy.

Whitstable Greenwich
14 Attempts 10
8 On Target 7
4 Corners 10
1 Offside 1
10 Free Kicks Won 12

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, Jordan Wright, Chris Elliott (Harry Brown 66), Stuart West, Rob Gillman, Teddy Nelson, Charlie Smith, James Morrish (c) (Kyran Connolly 15), Ricky Freeman (Tom Walmsley 72), Stephen Smith, Jai McKinlay.
Subs (unused): Rhys Brain, Aiden Enver.
Goals: Stuart West 66, Stephen Smith 87.
Yellow cards: Teddy Nelson 29, Ricky Freeman 58, Harry Brown 90.

Greenwich Borough
Tom McGill, Liam Garlinge, Connor Peters, Solomon Taiwo (c), Mo Kamara, Simba Kubyiwa, Teshuane Tyreece Walters, Phil Brown-Bampoe, Laurent Mendy, Kayne Roberts, Ryan King-Elliott.
Subs (unused): Theo Osinfolarin, Malakai Field, Cameron Reardon.
Yellow card: Laurent Mendy 11

Attendance: 151
Referee: Peter Cruise
Assistants: Jack Owen & Nick Dunn