Hythe Town 2 – 5 Whitstable Town
Kent Youth League Under 18 South
Sunday 6th December 2015
Whitstable Town under 18s overcame some difficult conditions today in what was a real game of two halves to beat Hythe Town by five goals to two.
With the rain coming down sideways and high winds blowing across the pitch, it was far from ideal conditions for a game of football. Both teams struggled to get going in the opening exchanges, but it was Hythe who took the upper hand and managed to grab the opening goal. A second soon followed after a corner was whipped into the box, evading everyone and finding its way directly into the goal. It’s fair to say the wind added even more venom to what was already a great delivery. The only real sight of goal Whitstable had in the opening 45 was a shot that nearly took the goal out of the ground after rattling the post from Kailan Webb. That’s how the score remained until half time, as The Oysters went in 2-0 down.
Whitstable came out in the second half like a different team. Substitutes Khaled Alshamri and Ben Black added pace and a more direct approach to goal, causing havoc on both flanks. It was Black who got the first goal back for Town after Webb played him through just three minutes into the half. Five minutes later Webb was chasing more assists as he whipped the ball into the box where the ever impressive Josh Howland was waiting to come alive. Howland worked himself a couple of yards and the rest was never in doubt as he slotted home in the bottom corner to make it 2-2. Town were now flying with Hythe camped inside their own half for long periods. Debutant Liam Minter came on to make a real impression, getting in dangerous positions and moving the ball around nicely. It was Minter who got the next goal after a long winded one-two with Black on the wing. Minter fed Black who beat his man and delivered a great cross into the box, to find the on rushing Minter rising above his man to head home past the diving goalkeeper. Minter was then mobbed by his team mates after finally giving Town the lead. The next 10 minutes turned into the Howland show as he gave a master class in finishing, grabbing another two goals to claim his hat trick. On 80 minutes, Khaled Alshamri was unlucky to see his shot pushed wide by the keeper, only to see Howland finish from a tight angle to take the game away from Hythe. Howland’s hat trick goal came after some nice foot work from Jordan Bartlett who beat two men before delivering into the box. The ball was slightly behind Howland who turned to bring the ball down from chest height with his left foot, then all in one movement twisted his body to rifle the ball into the top corner from 15 yards.
Today also saw the return of centre half Scott Dale to the team who got a twenty minute run out as his recovery from injury continues. It was good to see Dale’s calmness and composure on the ball spread confidence throughout the team.
This win cements Town’s third place in the table with the unbeaten and top Dover Athletic next up.
TEAM: Birch, Foulger, Fitt, Davies, Kupperblatt, Fairweather, Webb, Dale ©, Howland, Bartlett, Allen. SUBS: Dale, Black, Minter, Alshamri