Whitstable Town 1st Team
Sat 20 Jan 2024
Whitstable Town Football Club
Whitstable Town 1st Team
E Oloyede (66'), L Gillies (102'), J Williams (106')
Faversham Strike Force
M Wratten (50')
Whitstable Reach Cup Semi-Finals

Whitstable Reach Cup Semi-Finals

Ron Martin23 Jan - 23:49
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Extra time needed to overcome Strike Force in Kent Senior Trophy

(after extra time - score at 90 minutes 1-1)
The DFDS Kent Senior Trophy Quarter-Final
Saturday January 20 2024 15.00

A large crowd at the Belmont saw Whitstable book their place in the Kent Senior Trophy semi-finals, but they were made to work hard for it by a determined Faversham Strike Force team. Goalkeeper Harry Earls and the frame of the goal kept the game goalless at half time despite plenty of Whitstable pressure and when Marshall Wratten took advantage of some hesitant defending to put the visitors ahead early in the second half, a cup surprise seemed possible. Emmanuel Oloyede levelled things up when Strike Force were caught trying to play out from the back and despite carving out numerous chances, Whitstable were unable to find a winner in 90 minutes. In extra time, Jordan Perrin made a vital save from a rare Strike Force attack, before Liam Gillies finally put Whitstable in front and a fine solo effort by Josh Williams soon followed to give them a two goal cushion just before the teams changed ends. The last 15 minutes passed with few alarms and Whitstable were safely through.

Faversham Strike Force currently sit in the top half of the SCEFL Division One, a few points adrift of the play off places. They reached this stage after edging out Southern Amateur League leaders West Wickham 1-0 in a replayed game after the floodlights went out during extra time in the original fixture. Marshall Wratten, who made 23 appearances for Whitstable in the Covid hit 2020-21 season, was in the Strike Force team. Whitstable had overcome Tunbridge Wells and Bearsted to earn their quarter final place. Jordan Perrin made his debut in goal for Whitstable, but George Sheminant joined Josh Oliver on the injured list and recent addition Eniye Amgbaduba was cup tied. Emmanuel Oloyede was back from his injury and there was a first start for Jabari Christmas. There was an impressive attendance of 528 at the Belmont for this local derby.

The game began relatively quietly with Whitstable enjoying plenty of possession and they almost took the lead in the 16th minute when Oloyede laid the ball back for Josh Williams to shoot from 25 yards, but his shot cannoned off the bar and Jake Mackenzie was just unable to divert the rebound on target. The only real opportunity of the half for Strike Force came on 30 minutes when Beau Landau played a ball over the top for Wratten, but under pressure from the advancing Perrin, his shot went wide. Tom Mills got his head to a Christmas corner at the back post, but Harry Earls managed to keep the ball out with a bit of help from the frame of the goal. Earls was called upon again when Williams did well on the right before coming inside and hitting a low shot that was turned around the post by the goalkeeper. Strike Force appealed in vain for a penalty when Lewis Wood went down in the box as he tangled with Mills, but referee Jordan Rant, who had a good game, was unmoved. Williams and Liam Gillies both hit shots as half time approached, but were denied by Earls.

Whitstable threatened early in the second half as Christmas got to the by-line on the right and crossed to Reece Gillies who volleyed over the top, then a Mackenzie cross was pushed out by Earls to Tyler Anderson and his shot was kept out by a stretching Jack Smith who managed to divert the ball over the bar. Then, somewhat against the run of play, Strike Force scored in the 50th minute when Wood chipped the ball into the Whitstable box and Wratten got between Mackenzie and the advancing Perrin to nod the ball into the net. Whitstable kept pushing forward and Williams was denied again by Earls at the near post. Substitute Harvey Smith glanced a header wide, but then Strike Force undid a lot of their hard work by playing themselves into trouble at the back as Liam Gillies robbed Kane Taylor on the edge of the area with the ball rolling kindly for Oloyede to bring the scores level in the 66th minute. Whitstable created enough chances in the remainder of the half to have sealed the win without the need for extra time, but a combination of good defending and wayward finishing kept Strike Force in the tie. Ali Wren made two great blocks in quick succession from Liam Gillies and Harvey Smith, who then fired another effort over after a return pass from Liam Gillies. Earls safely gathered two Smith headers and a cross by Harrison Carnegie was headed back across goal by Mackenzie but headed off the line by Wren. Added time saw plenty more action in the visitors’ box, with a long kick by Perrin sending Oloyede through, but Earls was just able to make a save, then Smith saw his 30 yard lob rebound off the bar and several follow up attempts failed to find a late winner, so with the score still 1-1, extra time was needed.

It felt as though the extra half an hour might benefit Whitstable, with several of the Strike Force players seemingly feeling the effects of all their hard work. Williams, Oloyede and Carnegie each tried shots and at the other end a long range attempt by Wratten flew wide. In the 97th minute, a Wren shot was heading into the top corner before being expertly tipped over the bar by Perrin. Whitstable eventually made the breakthrough in the 102nd minute when a Williams cross from the right was pushed out by Earls, but Liam Gillies had continued his run into the box and fired in the loose ball. The last action of the first extra time period effectively settled the game and it was a great solo run by Williams who beat two opponents to a Mikey Dalton pass deep inside his own half before sprinting away and as he rounded Earls it looked like the goalkeeper might have fouled him, but he regained his balance to roll the ball home.

Strike Force never really looked like responding in the final 15 minutes, during which Harvey Smith tried a lob from distance that sailed over an unguarded net and, at the very end, Dan Lott exchanged passes with Wratten before shooting just over, but Whitstable were through to a semi-final.

League football returns on Saturday with Whitstable hosting Punjab United, hoping for a better performance than in the 4-2 defeat when the teams met in Gravesend before Christmas.

WhitstableDataStrike Force
14Shots on target3
11Shots off target4
9Shots blocked0
9Fouls conceded9

Whitstable Town
Jordan Perrin, Jake Mackenzie, Reece Gillies, Mikey Dalton, Will Thomas, Tom Mills (c), Tyler Anderson (Harvey Smith 62), Liam Gillies, Emmanuel Oloyede (Ed May 111), Jabari Christmas (Harrison Carnegie 71), Josh Williams.
Sub (unused): Josh Robson
Goals: Emmanuel Oloyede 66, Liam Gillies 102, Josh Williams 105+1.
Yellow card: Liam Gillies 81

Faversham Strike Force
Harry Earls (c), Jack Smith, Adam Benfield (Hayden Bunch 77), Ali Wren, Cian McCormack, Beau Landau, Kane Taylor (Jack Sayer 78), Adam Sheepwash, Marshall Wratten, Tom Carter, Lewis Wood (Dan Lott 74).
Subs (unused): Lee Sayer, Joe Kay.
Goal: Marshall Wratten 50

Attendance: 528
Referee: Jordan Rant
Assistants: Byron Beard & Kiran Bailey

Match details

Match date

Sat 20 Jan 2024




DFDS Kent Senior Trophy
Quarter Final


Team overview
Further reading

Team Sponsors

First Team Sponsor - FibreTech UK Ltd
Management Sponsor - The Tony Rouse Mispronunciation Society
Management Sponsor - The Tony Rouse Mispronunciation Society
Management Sponsor - Stuart Kingston