WHITSTABLE TOWN 2 LORDSWOOD 2
SCEFL Premier Division
Saturday March 11 2023 15.00
Whitstable had to settle for a point against a hard working Lordswood team despite some late pressure. There was very little action of note in the first half, with probably the best chance falling to Dean Grant from one of several good crosses by Gus Barnes, but his shot went wide. Whitstable took the lead early in the second half when Archie Risdon put a George Sheminant corner into his own net. The home side were unable to capitalise however and will be disappointed with the two goals conceded that put Lordswood in front. Mason Morgan’s shot looped over Dan Eason, who then saw his clearance deflect to Ethan Stewart and he did well to find the empty net from distance. Whitstable responded positively and James Jeffrey stabbed in an equaliser, but they were unable to find a winner despite going close on a couple of occasions.
Lordswood had won the reverse fixture 3-1 just four weeks earlier, so Whitstable were looking for an improved performance to maintain their top six spot. Helge Orome departed again in the week after his second two game stay of the season and Rodney Eruotor has also moved on – to Erith Town. Josh Oliver returned from his two game ban and Gus Barnes was given a start on the right. Zack Jennings, from the under 18s, was included in the squad for the first time and given a place on the bench. Another Whitstable under 18 player, Archie Risdon, was in the Lordswood team, who also named Whitstable Academy player Alex Kokoshi among their substitutes. Former Oyster Harry Goodger was missing for the visitors on this occasion.
There was another good attendance of 426 on a dry afternoon following a very wet and cold week. Whitstable began the game with long periods of possession, but there were few early goal opportunities. Barnes was causing some problems on the right wing and sent over several dangerous crosses and in the 26th minute the defence failed to deal with one which fell to Grant 6 yards out, but he put his first time shot wide of the far post. Eason was only really called into action once in the first half and that was from a corner that seemed to be incorrectly awarded, but Stewart’s header was easily caught. Oliver then made a great run down the left and into the box before his shot from a narrow angle was pushed behind. Tom Mills got his head to two successive corners without being able to find the target. After a few wayward, long range shots at both ends, as half time neared, some good football by Whitstable led to a Will Thomas shot being deflected wide. The final action saw Ryan Neal booked for a challenge on Oliver whose free kick was safely held by Tom Crump.
Soon after the restart, Lordswood had a good chance to open the scoring when a Todd Brand cross from the right was headed over the bar by Stewart. It was Whitstable though that went ahead in the 52nd minute from a Sheminant corner curled in from the right. Risdon headed the ball against the bar with the rebound striking him before going into his own net. Jefferson Aibangbee then had two chances to extend the lead, firstly having a shot blocked, then he was unable to direct his header on target after a great cross by Grant. Lordswood were still well in the contest and a quick break led to Julian Kuhr finding Luke Medley who turned and shot, but Eason was down to save. The Whitstable goalkeeper was unable to prevent the equaliser in the 65th minute when Brand passed to Morgan 25 yards out and his left footed shot, which looked as though it was deflected off Thomas, sailed over him and dropped into the top left corner of the net.
After a number of substitutions by both managers, things got worse for Whitstable in the 82nd minute when Eason came out of his area to meet a Mills back pass and his clearance hit Kuhr and deflected into the path of Stewart who lobbed the ball straight into the net from around 40 yards. That appeared to produce a bit more, much needed, urgency from the home team. Jennings came on for his debut in the 84th minute and soon afterwards it became 2-2. Another substitute Jeffrey laid he ball off for Thomas to shoot from 20 yards, Crump was unable to hold it and as Jennings and Neal tangled, the ball rolled across for Jeffrey to prod home. Whitstable pushed for a late winner and won a free kick near the right corner that was partially cleared to Caoilte Deakin who crossed to the back post where Thomas sent it back in and Jennings volleyed over from close range. In added time Oliver made a positive run down the right before being brought down by the goal line right on the edge of the penalty area. Some thought it inside the area, but not the referee, and Oliver’s free kick was headed over by Jennings shortly before the final whistle and the teams had to settle for a hard-fought point each.
Whitstable have arranged a midweek friendly at home to Ashford FC on Tuesday evening before travelling to face league leaders Erith and Belvedere on Saturday.
|6||Shots on target||5|
|8||Shots off target||6|
Dan Eason, Jake Mackenzie, George Sheminant, Josh Oliver, Will Thomas, Tom Mills (c), Harry Gamble, Liam Gillies (Caoilte Deakin 79), Dean Grant (Zack Jennings 84), Gus Barnes (Victor Aiyelabola 59), Jefferson Aibangbee (James Jeffrey 70).
Sub (unused): Cameron Chamberlain
Goals: Archie Risdon o.g. 52, James Jeffrey 85.
Tom Crump, Todd Brand, Will Dempsey (Lucas Mvongo 69), Joel Odeniran, Ryan Neal, Mason Morgan (Billy Marsh 73), Josh Reid (Ola Adegbulugbe 79), Archie Risdon, Luke Medley (c), Julian Kuhr, Ethan Stewart.
Subs (unused): Alex Kokoshi, Artem Kuchkov.
Goals: Mason Morgan 65, Ethan Stewart 82.
Yellow cards: Ryan Neal 45+2, Billy Marsh 88, Ola Adegbulugbe 90+2.
Referee: Jack Phillips
Assistants: Daniel Payton & Steve Gorman