Whitstable Win Local Derby

Bostik League South East
Saturday September 29 2018 15.00

After three home draws, Whitstable made the short trip to local rivals Faversham Town and returned with all three points after a good performance. Whitstable looked the most likely to score throughout the first half, with Dan Eason rarely called into action at the other end. Louis Sprosen arrived to score the first goal from a Stuart West cross and Chris Elliott went close to doubling the lead from a free kick just before half time, hitting the post. Stephen Smith turned and shot past Tom Benham soon after the restart to put Whitstable firmly in control. Faversham had made a couple of substitutions at half time that provided them with a little more threat and Dean Grant lifted a great chance over the bar following a rare mistake in the Whitstable defence. Matt Bourne did pull a goal back on 65 minutes when his header from a corner was adjudged to be over the line by the assistant. That was the only effort on target from the home team, although they continued to look dangerous from set pieces, as Whitstable were pushed back late in the game. It was Whitstable who came the closest to another goal however when a good strike by Stephen Smith almost slipped through the hands of Benham, but the ball went just past the post.

John Walker was the latest injury absentee after picking up an ankle problem at the end of the previous game and Ricky Freeman was still not completely fit, so started on the bench. Whitstable were also without Jai McKinlay and Chris Saunders, who was starting a seven match ban. Aiden Enver, who has signed for the club on loan from Bromley was included in the squad for the first time. It was a welcome return to Salters Lane for a popular local derby that was missed during the two years Whitstable spent in the Southern Counties East League. Faversham had a poor last season by their recent standards, finishing 19th, but had started quite well this time with 10 points from their first 6 games and included former Whitstable players Ashley Miller, Harry Goodger and Dean Grant in their team.

Whitstable pressed forward from the kick off and Elliott delivered a couple of long throws into the box, the second of which was headed over the bar by Tom Bryant. Sprosen and Elliott tried their luck from free kicks, one off target and another saved by Benham. Faversham had not really offered a threat apart from one George Monger corner that was eventually cleared by the commanding Whitstable defence. In the 12th minute, Whitstable took the lead following a good build up down the right, as James Morrish and Jordan Wright combined to give Stuart West the chance to send over a cross and Sprosen arrived behind the defence to shoot past Benham.

Tom Bryant heads over from an early throw in
Stephen Smith challenges Tom Benham
Louis Sprosen scores the first

After an injury delay for Tom Walmsley, Wright ran on to a pass and carried the ball forward before shooting over from 20 yards and then Stephen Smith headed another West cross over the bar. Both teams failed to make the most of several corners and throws into the box and there was another delay as Smith was treated on the pitch. Goodger was booked for a foul on Morrish and the free kick that followed was headed wide. Smith was causing a few problems for the home defence and, as half time approached, had one shot easily saved and then had a promising run blocked by Bourne 25 yards from goal, earning the Faversham defender a booking. Elliott took the free kick and with Benham diving to his left to try to make the save, the ball struck the right hand post and Whitstable went into the break well worth their one goal advantage.

Stephen Smith heads over the bar
Chris Elliott goes close with a free kick

Faversham made two changes at the start of the second half, with Renford Tenyue replacing Ben Wilson on the left and defender Dan Carrington coming on for striker Goodger, who alongside Jack Harris had been well handled by the Whitstable defence. On 48 minutes though, Whitstable doubled their lead as Miller gave the ball away to Bryant in the Faversham penalty area and he squared the ball for Smith, who controlled it, turned and shot past Benham into the far corner from 10 yards. Morrish created another chance for Smith, but this time Benham was able to make an easy save.

Stephen Smith turns and shoots
Whitstable lead 2-0

Faversham had their first real opportunity on 57 minutes when a long ball forward by Carrington was misjudged by the Whitstable defence and bounced nicely for Grant just inside the box, but as Eason came out he lobbed the ball over him and the bar. Walmsley, who had picked up an injury in the first half, went off and Freeman made his return to the team. Tenyue, who had started to cause a few problems with his running down the left, cut inside and shot over the bar. Faversham then won two corners in quick succession and the second was met by the head of Bourne and although Elliott, who was standing just inside the goal at the back post, cleared the ball, the assistant signalled that it was already over the line. Smith was then injured in an incident on the edge of the box, before both teams made further substitutions as Michael Jenner came on Faversham and Enver replaced Elliott to make his Whitstable debut. On 72 minutes a good run by Smith down the left gave him the chance to test Benham with a powerful low shot that the goalkeeper failed to hold, but did just enough to see the ball roll wide of the right post and Smith headed the resultant corner over the bar. Harris had a shot deflected over the Whitstable bar at the other end. Enver showed some nice touches to win two late corners, but Rob Gillman was injured in a heavy challenge and had to be replaced by Charlie Smith. Faversham had a couple more opportunities from set pieces, but Whitstable held on for a deserved win.

Tom Benham is relieved to see his save from Stephen Smith go just wide
Dan Eason claims a high ball
New loan signing Aiden Enver watches Stephen Smith on the ball

The three points leave Whitstable in 8th place in the early table, as Faversham drop to 10th with a game in hand. Whitstable defended well as a team to restrict Faversham to very few chances, but will be concerned they picked up a couple more injuries that will need to be assessed ahead of Tuesday’s Kent Senior Cup tie at home to VCD.

Faversham Whitstable
4 Attempts 13
1 On Target 6
6 Corners 6
2 Offside 1
12 Free Kicks Won 13

Faversham Town
Tom Benham, Ryan Cooper, Ben Wilson (Renford Tenyue 46), Dave Cook, Matt Bourne, Danny Walder (Michael Jenner 68), Ashley Miller, George Monger, Harry Goodger (c) (Dan Carrington 46), Jack Harris, Dean Grant.
Subs (unused): Luke Griffiths, Simon Overland.
Goals: Matt Bourne 65
Yellow cards: Harry Goodger 40, Matt Bourne 45+1.

Whitstable Town
Dan Eason, Jordan Wright, Chris Elliott (Aiden Enver 72), Teddy Nelson, Rob Gillman (Charlie Smith 83), Tom Bryant, Louis Sprosen, James Morrish (c), Tom Walmsley (Ricky Freeman 58), Stephen Smith, Stuart West.
Subs (unused): Kyran Connolly, Harry Brown.
Goals: Louis Sprosen 12, Stephen Smith 48.

Attendance: 362
Referee: Graeme Ions
Assistants: Paul Hitchcott & Matt Charles