DEAL TOWN 3 WHITSTABLE TOWN 0
SCEFL Premier Division
Tuesday September 12 2023 19.45
Whitstable slipped to a disappointing midweek away defeat when they failed to match the effort of a hard working Deal team in the first half and found themselves three goals down at half time. A succession of errors gifted Deal a very early lead when Billy Munday headed home. The home team continued to threaten, but had to wait until a generous penalty decision before extending their advantage when Aaron Millbank tucked away a retaken spot kick. Whitstable were left with a mountain to climb as Tom Chapman added a third just before the break with a great strike. It was a different game in the second half, with Whitstable playing much better, but there were no further goals despite both teams hitting a post. The unfortunate Liam Gillies was shown a second yellow card just before the end to add to the frustrations of the visitors’ bench who felt that some key decisions hadn’t gone their way on the night.
Whitstable arrived hoping to build on their 3-0 win at the weekend, whereas Deal were still seeking their first league win of the season after a disappointing start. Whitstable had lost 2-1 on a September evening in the corresponding fixture last season. There were two changes to the Whitstable team that won at Sutton Athletic, with Liam Gillies and Josh Oliver replacing Rodney Eruotor and Tyler Anderson. Deal had suffered some early season player unavailability, but were able to field a strong team for this fixture that was watched by a crowd of 448 on a pleasant evening.
The game could hardly have begun more poorly for Whitstable as a misplaced pass by Gillies led to a throw that slipped out of the hands of Alex Green and looped up in the air before being put behind for a corner. Rory Smith’s delivery was met by the head of Kane Smith and his close range effort rebounded off Dan Eason to Billy Munday who looped a header into the net to give his team a 3rd minute lead. There was an early caution for Alfie Foster for a foul on Josh Williams in a rare Whitstable attack during the early stages of the game. Deal are a threat from set pieces and they were given too many opportunities to exploit this, with a couple of headers from free kicks off target before Rory Smith had a long shot saved. Tom Chapman found himself with just Eason to beat after Whitstable conceded possession again, but he shot straight at the Whitstable goalkeeper. There was one great chance to equalise in the 24th minute when Jake Mackenzie did well on the right and crossed to the back post where Steadman Callender arrived to head the ball down, but it bounced up and over the bar. When the referee deemed a Will Thomas challenge worthy of a yellow card, frustrations grew on the bench and the Whitstable manager joined him in the notebook. The mood darkened further in the 37th minute when Aaron Millbank went down in the box to earn the softest of penalties and got up to beat Eason twice from the spot, with his first effort having to be retaken due to encroachment. Gillies tried his luck from distance, but Whitstable failed to register a shot on target in the first half. Deal added a third in the 43rd minute when Munday found space on the left and his cross was only headed out to Tom Chapman who struck a perfect half volley past Eason. It had been a poor half for Whitstable who trailed 3-0 at the break.
Deal went close just after the restart when Millbank met a low free kick at the near post, but lifted the ball over the bar. Whitstable made their first change in the 53rd minute, bringing on Harvey Smith and he was the first to test Sam Hignett in the home goal when he fired in a shot from the left following a great run by Oliver. Whitstable had a penalty shout turned down after a challenge on Williams, then a low Harvey Smith cross was scrambled away as for the first time the Deal defence were put under pressure. Just after the hour mark, Millbank headed a Rory Smith cross over, then as Whitstable were appealing for a foul on Jack Palmby, play continued and a Max Niblett cross from the right was headed against the post by a diving Rory Smith. Some good work in the box by Harvey Smith almost led to a Whitstable goal, but when his low cross to the far post reached Gillies, his shot from close range hit the post. With regular substitutions disrupting play, Whitstable saw plenty of the ball, but were unable to find a goal, although felt they should have had a penalty in the 74th minute when Williams was caught as he tried to cross the ball after a good run into the area. There was one more moment of controversy in the 89th minute when Gillies seemed to have his shirt pulled as he ran forward, but the referee saw it differently and showed him a yellow card, and then a red, as he had already been cautioned in the first half, which left Whitstable to finish the game with ten. It was a night to forget for Whitstable with their lacklustre first half display ultimately decisive.
Whitstable will hope to bounce back when they return to the Belmont on Saturday for a home league fixture against Rusthall.
|7||Shots on target||2|
|8||Shots off target||7|
Sam Hignett, Max Niblett, Alex Green, Alfie Foster, Kane Smith (c), Billy Munday, Tom Chapman (Josh Byford 69), Jack Hanson (Alex Smith 75), Aaron Millbank (Connor Coyne 87), Ben Chapman (Liam Hark 85), Rory Smith (Jack Penny 79).
Subs (unused): none
Goals: Billy Munday 3, Aaron Millbank (pen) 37, Tom Chapman 43.
Yellow cards: Alfie Foster 5, Aaron Millbank 86.
Dan Eason, Jake Mackenzie, George Sheminant, Jack Palmby, Will Thomas, Tom Mills (c), Josh Oliver (Rodney Eruotor 64), Liam Gillies, Steadman Callender (Harvey Smith 53), Harry Gamble (Eri Akintimehin 68), Josh Williams.
Subs (unused): Josh Robson, Gus Barnes.
Yellow cards: Tom Mills 7, Will Thomas 31.
Red card: Liam Gillies (two yellows (40, 89)
Referee: Stuart Beadle
Assistants: Bradley Godden & Luke Sidaway