Whitstable Reserves Win First Game

Pre-season friendly
Saturday July 27 2019 14.30

The new Whitstable Town men’s reserves side managed by academy manager Josh Algar had their first pre-season game today, which on paper looked to be a tough away game against Kent County Premier Division side Hawkinge Town. It was going to be a challenging game for the reserves in their first game together since being formed as a team two weeks ago and with quite a number of players absent, including two, Muhammed Cham and Owen Fitt, who were both with the first team in their fixture away to Folkestone.

The players started a tad nervously, which was expected, but soon grew into the game. On the 10 minute mark, some good build up play starting with our 16 year old academy goalkeeper, in the posts today for the absent Ryan Birch. The ball was played out from the back into Jack Sutton, who found centre midfielder Charlie Vass and he played a sublime through ball into striker Peter Sharpless who went through one on one, but just put wide. Whitstable started playing some flowing football in one and two touch, moving the Hawkinge Town players around and their persistence prevailed with a great cross from academy graduate Callum Mason into the box that led to an own goal through a well whipped in cross. This goal seemed to lift Whitstable even more and a second goal soon came 5 minutes later through Peter Sharpless, when a cut back from 17 year old Glen Bain was met by Peter Sharpless who fired into the bottom of the goal. At 2-0 Whitstable looked comfortable and really threatened and the third goal soon came down the right hand side. A good combination between Callum Tydeman and Glen Bain saw right back Callum get into a good position in the Hawkinge penalty box before firing a great strike into the bottom corner of the goal. Whitstable looked comfortable, both in and out of possession, with the two centre backs Jack Sutton and Luke Barrass winning their aerial battles. A lack of concentration just before half time led to Hawkinge hitting the post in the last few seconds. Half time 0-3

The second half saw the town make five substitutions, including bringing on another two current academy players, which meant there were five players on the pitch under 18 years old. Whitstable started slowly and conceded 3 minutes into the half through a great chip from the Hawkinge striker to make It 3-1. A bit of panic crept into Whitstable, who were struggling to get out of their own half for a 15 minute period and the fluent football was lacking. It soon became 3-2 with a 20 yard strike that lobbed goalkeeper Jack Scott. Whitstable made a couple of changes with 15 minutes to go and a goal soon came. A great twist and turn past his player from Josh Neaves and then a splendid 25 yard switch over to the right hand side to Charlie Vass, who brought down the ball well, cut inside and on his left foot curled the ball into the far bottom corner. This relaxed Whitstable for the remainder of the game, which should have been out of sight in the first half. Full time 2-4

Thoughts from manager Josh Algar:

“A fantastic performance from the players in our first game together. It is always difficult to think how the first game will go when we have only been together for two weeks and we haven’t worked on any real shape or tactics yet. It was always going to be a difficult task playing against a team two leagues above us and with a very young side, but I thought we handled the task superbly playing some real eye catching football with build-up play that was pleasing to see. The most pleasing thing to see was how much the players wanted the ball under pressure and no one went hiding against a physical side. It was great for the young players to gain some vital men’s experience, especially with 16 year old academy goalkeeper playing the full 90 minutes today who did himself no harm. We had four academy players in the side today and at one point had five players under the age of 18 on the pitch and for me this is a real positive and something I am keen to progress throughout the season. If they are good enough, they are old enough in my opinion and today they were a credit to the academy and the club. There are some real prospects coming through the academy and in the reserves this season, who I believe with more time and experience will be ready to step into the first team. We have a really attacking team which I think spectators will be excited to watch. We have another fixture away to Woodnesborough next week which we look forward to, with hopefully another strong performance all round.”

Team that started:
Jack Scott, Callum Tydeman, Jack Sutton, Luke Barrass, Callum Mason, Kyle Wisker, Charlie Vass, Josh Neaves, Glen Bain, Max Leach, Peter Sharpless.

Subs all used:
Keegan Wickham, Bailey Collin, Billy Shearer, George Potter, Scott Banks.