WHITSTABLE TOWN 0 HYTHE TOWN 0
Bostik League South East
Monday April 22 2019 15.00
Whitstable and Hythe had to settle for a point apiece in this Easter Monday fixture in front of 307 spectators at a warm and sunny Belmont Ground. Whitstable created the best chances in a relatively quiet first half, with the big Hythe goalkeeper, George Kamurasi having to make a few saves, the best being when he touched a James Morrish shot past the post. The second half was far more eventful and Sid Sollis headed against the post when he seemed certain to score, before Harry Stannard clipped he bar with a long shot at the other end. Whitstable went close again when another effort hit the post and then Kamurasi produced a good save to deny Stannard. Dan Eason saved shots from Kieron Campbell and Tom Carlton as Hythe tried to find a way through the home defence. Whitstable had to play the latter stages with ten men when Connor Sanders was sent off for a challenge on Ryan Palmer in the 79th minute. Hythe rarely looked like taking advantage of their extra man though and it was Whitstable that almost found a winner when Nick Treadwell headed wide at the back post in added time.
The home crowd contained a number of representatives from the junior teams, ahead of the changes being made within Whitstable Town Football Club in the summer. This was the final home fixture for Whitstable in their first season back in the Bostik League and neither team had anything to play for at the top or bottom of the table. It was also the last game at the Belmont with manager Scott Porter in the dugout, before he takes up a new role at the club next season. Given his former association with Hythe, together with a number of players who have played for both teams, this meant a little more than a typical end of season game. Whitstable brought John Walker, Taylor Fisher, James Morrish and Stephen Smith back into the team, after the loss at East Grinstead. Hythe did not have a game on Easter Saturday, but fielded the same team that had drawn with Hastings the previous week.
The first real opportunity was created by the home team in the 13th minute, when a Ricky Freeman corner found Rob Gillman at the far post and his header was blocked by the goalkeeper and Sanders was unable to score from the rebound. Sanders tried a long throw in the 21st minute and when the ball came out to Stannard, he made space for himself before shooting straight at Kamurasi. Morrish then made a promising run and tried a shot from distance that was well saved by Kamurasi, who managed to turn the ball around the post for a corner that was headed over by Smith.
Dan Eason had not been troubled, but had a routine save to make in the 34th minute when former Whitstable player Kieron Campbell, who looked the principal threat for the visitors, made a good run from the left before trying a shot. Campbell then played a one-two in the box with Zak Ansah, but Eason was quickly out to thwart the danger. Tom Bryant felt he was pushed over just inside the box as he tried to get on the end of a Fisher free kick, but the referee was not interested. A couple of minutes before the break, Jordan Wright sent a long ball forward down the left to Smith and Kamurasi rushed across and brought the striker down with a reckless challenge just outside the penalty area. A yellow card was the result, but Whitstable were unable to make anything of the free kick and the score remained 0-0 at half time.
The opening minutes of the second half contained more meaningful action than the whole of the first. Smith picked up a loose ball, but dragged his long shot well wide of the Hythe goal. Former Herne Bay midfielder Tom Carlton, who had scored a spectacular goal in his last game at the Belmont, delivered a good cross from the left to an unmarked Sollis at the back post and he headed past Eason, but the ball struck the left upright and came back out. Carlton then curled a shot into the hands of Eason. Just a minute later, Smith found Stannard and he struck the ball towards goal from outside the box, but was unlucky as the ball hit the angle of post and bar and went behind. The chances continued and a long shot by Campbell was easily saved by Eason. The second half was still only 7 minutes old when a Stannard free kick was cleared out to the right, where it was sent back into the middle by Walker and a stretching Bryant saw his effort hit the near post, before a follow up attempt was blocked by the Hythe defence. Freeman was booked for a trip in midfield and the resulting free kick was headed out by Bryant. In the 55th minute, Freeman caught Kamurasi as he challenged for the ball and the big goalkeeper chased him across the pitch sparking a bit of an altercation, but both players escaped any further action by the referee.
Wright and Morrish set up Stannard, who hit another good shot that was again well saved by Kamurasi and from the corner, an in-swinger by Freeman was headed clear and when the ball came back into the box, Sanders went down as he tried to turn, but his appeals were waved away. Smith helped the ball on for Freeman, who hooked the ball just past the far post. Carlton struck a low curling shot in the 66th minute that was parried by Eason, with Gillman safely clearing the loose ball for a corner. Mitchell Dickenson was cautioned for halting a good move between Freeman and Stannard, who then struck the 30 yard free kick into the safe hands of Kamurasi. Carlton fired a Hythe free kick into the wall and Palmer sliced the rebound wide. Whitstable were reduced to ten men in the 79th minute, when the referee decided a tackle on Palmer by Sanders was worthy of a red card. When play restarted, Dickenson headed the deep free kick over the bar. Tom Walmsley, who scored 5 goals in 32 appearances for Whitstable before recently joining Hythe, was introduced for the last few minutes. A late Hythe corner was well defended by Gillman and Wright, but the last chance of the game fell to Whitstable substitute Treadwell, who got his head to a Fisher free kick from the right corner, but his back post effort bounced over the bar.
Hythe are in 7th place and Whitstable 11th with just one game remaining. The Whitstable team and management went over to thank their supporters as the season at the Belmont came to an end and their final game is at Three Bridges on Saturday.
|13||Free Kicks Won||17|
Dan Eason, John Walker, Taylor Fisher, Jordan Wright, Rob Gillman, Tom Bryant, Connor Sanders, James Morrish (c), Ricky Freeman (Nick Treadwell 85), Stephen Smith, Harry Stannard (Miles Cornwell 77).
Subs (unused): James Trueman, Stuart West.
Yellow cards: Ricky Freeman 54, Tom Bryant 76.
Red card: Connor Sanders 79
George Kamurasi, Salvyn Kisitu (Jack Smith 76), Charlie Webster, Elliott Capel (Tom Walmsley 82), Ollie Rowe, Mitchell Dickenson, Ryan Palmer (c), Tom Carlton, Zak Ansah, Sid Sollis, Kieron Campbell.
Subs (unused): Chris Kinnear, Alistair Carney.
Yellow cards: Zak Ansah 32, George Kamurasi 43, Mitchell Dickenson 73, Sid Sollis 86.
Referee: Ian Fissenden
Assistants: Joseph Mckay & Nick Dunn
WHITSTABLE TOWN 2 PHOENIX SPORTS 1
Bostik League South East
Saturday April 13 2019 15.00
Whitstable completed the league double over their opponents in an entertaining game at a bright and breezy Belmont Ground. Whitstable started well and almost took the lead from a long Connor Sanders throw, although Zak Bryon and Jeff Duah-Kessie both put good chances wide for the visitors. Ricky Freeman opened the scoring from the penalty spot after Miles Cornwell had been fouled. Phoenix improved in the second half and Solomon Taiwo equalised at the back post following a right wing cross. They continued to threaten and Dan Eason had to make a couple of saves to prevent his team falling behind, while Steve Phillips somehow managed to keep out a low strike by Stephen Smith at the other end. It was Whitstable that eventually claimed all three points, when Sanders fired home the winner in the 90th minute.
Tenth played ninth in this game and both teams were already set for a respectable finish with just four games remaining. When they met at the Mayplace Ground back in mid-September, two Freeman goals had given Whitstable the points in a confident display. Stuart West has been ruled out for the remainder of the season and Harry Stannard started on the bench, trying to shake off a niggling injury. Phoenix named an unchanged team after beating East Grinstead 5-1 in their previous game.
Whitstable spent the early stages of the game on the attack and the ball was frequently in the Phoenix penalty area from several free kicks, corners and long throws, but the closest they came to taking the lead was from a Sanders throw in the 11th minute, when the ball almost found its way into the net through a congested box. Home goalkeeper Eason was first called into action with a routine stop from Duah-Kessie on 15 minutes. After Phillips had saved a Smith shot, Kenny Aileru made a good run down the right, before sending over a low cross for Lee Bird, who miskicked the ball when well placed at the back post. Freeman had a couple of shots, as the home team continued to look the most likely to score, but a misdirected header left Bryon with a clear run at goal in the 24th minute, but he lashed the ball over the top with only Eason to beat. Jack Hopkins then set up Duah-Kessie, who controlled the ball well before slicing his shot badly wide. Freeman played the ball through to Cornwell, but his low shot lacked the power to beat Phillips.
The visitors were now asking a few more questions and a Duah-Kessie cross from the left was headed wide by Bryon at the back post when he might have done better. James Morrish made a surging run forward for Whitstable, before cutting inside and trying a low shot that Phillips saved comfortably. A good ball was then played forward, releasing Cornwell into the penalty area, where he went down under the challenge of the two covering defenders and the referee had no hesitation in awarding Whitstable a penalty. Freeman stepped forward to send Phillips the wrong way and give his team a 34th minute lead. The game was now going from end to end and Morrish made a great interception and found Smith, whose cross seemed to be pushed behind for a corner although the officials gave a goal kick, to the frustration of the home bench who were spoken to by the referee. Curiously, Whitstable did not concede a foul until the 43rd minute, but Phoenix then won two late corners, the first of which Ashley Probets almost curled in before the ball was scrambled away and Whitstable went in at half time leading 1-0.
Whitstable had to make a change at the start of the second half, with Harry Brown replacing Taylor Fisher. Smith began the half brightly and played a great cross field ball to Morrish, who strode forward before shooting over. Phoenix went in search of an equaliser though and after a period of pressure Duah-Kessie was given two chances to send over a cross from the right and from the second the ball reached Taiwo at the far post and he was able to squeeze the ball past Eason to level the scores. Duah-Kessie was starting to prove a handful and was denied by a last ditch tackle as he was about the shoot. Aileru then turned and shot from the edge of the box, but Eason touched the ball over the bar and the Whitstable goalkeeper then had to save a long shot from Bryon.
Smith and Freeman combined well at the other end and Smith hit a low shot through the legs of a defender, but Phillips just managed to get down and deflect the ball for a corner. John Walker replaced Tom Bryant in the home defence, before Rob Gillman headed a deep Brown corner over the top. Phoenix won several corners themselves, one of which almost gave them the lead as the in-swinger by Probets missed everyone before curling just past the far post. Bird shot wide after being picked out by Duah-Kessie, then substitute George Whitelock forced a good save from Eason. Smith saw his shot blocked when Morrish found him with a good pass, then Eason denied the dangerous Duah-Kessie once more. Whitstable won a free kick in the 90th minute and Brown curled the ball towards Smith, who did well to play it back for Sanders who found the top corner from 10 yards to put Whitstable in front again. In added time, Sanders found himself in the book for taking a throw from the wrong place and Smith had a shot deflected just past the post, but Whitstable had done enough to secure the win.
Whitstable move to within one point of their opponents, but remain in tenth place. Their last three games see two visits to Sussex to face East Grinstead and Three Bridges, with a home fixture against Hythe Town on Easter Monday sandwiched in between.
|14||Free Kicks Won||9|
Dan Eason, Jordan Wright, Taylor Fisher (Harry Brown 46), Nick Treadwell, Rob Gillman, Tom Bryant (John Walker 63), Connor Sanders, James Morrish (c), Ricky Freeman (Harry Stannard 78), Stephen Smith, Miles Cornwell.
Sub (unused): James Trueman
Goals: Ricky Freeman pen 34, Connor Sanders 90.
Yellow card: Connor Sanders 90+1
Steve Phillips (c), Ryan Andrews, Ashley Probets, Jack Hopkins, Danny Young, Lewis Clarke, Lee Bird (George Whitelock 73), Solomon Taiwo, Jeff Duah-Kessie, Zak Bryon (Ryan Solan 81), Kenny Aileru.
Subs (unused): Oliver Andrews, Jack Barry, Andrew Dythe.
Goal: Solomon Taiwo 53
Yellow cards: Solomon Taiwo 14, Ryan Andrews 35, George Whitelock 81, Danny Young 90+2.
Referee: Peter Cruise
Assistants: Daniel Friar & Joseph Dann-Pye