WHITSTABLE TOWN 1 LYDD TOWN 1
SCEFL Premier Division
Tuesday November 14 2023 19:45
This was a game that both teams will feel they might have won, but in the end neither could find a winner despite their best efforts in an entertaining second half. The two teams played some nice football in the first half, with little end product, although Whitstable were just about worth their single goal advantage at the break, given to them by Harvey Smith with a smart finish from the edge of the box. Whitstable passed up several good opportunities to add to their score after the interval and it was Ronnie Dolan who brought the scores level for Lydd who then had their best spell of the game, during which Johan Ter Horst headed against the bar. A mix up in the Lydd defence almost let Josh Williams in for a late home winner, but he could only hit the side netting from a tight angle, so the points were shared.
This was the first SCEFL Premier Division meeting between Whitstable and newly promoted Lydd Town. The visitors have assembled a very strong squad for their first season at Step 5, fielding a number of players with experience of higher level football and several that have featured for Whitstable in former seasons: Calvin Sedenu, Ronnie Dolan, Billy Robbins, Sammi Takaloo and Richard Atkins. Their start has been a little mixed, but their potential already demonstrated with a league double over Faversham Town as well as knocking Deal Town out of the FA Cup. The Whitstable team showed two changes from the win at Rusthall with Josh Williams replacing Tyler Anderson and as skipper Tom Mills was unwell, Jahmal Howlett-Mundle was signed to make his debut in central defence alongside Will Thomas who was making his 100th Whitstable appearance. The earlier heavy rain had cleared and a crowd of 273 watched the game.
There were few early opportunities as the game began quietly, although Whitstable did win two early corners and from the second, Connor Collins had to push Josh Oliver’s in swinging delivery out from under the bar. Dan Eason was called into action in the 18th minute when he saved Tyler Sterling’s shot after he had been played in by Johan Ter Horst. A high ball forward by Sedenu was not dealt with by the Whitstable defence and collected by Dolan who failed to get enough power in his shot to trouble Eason. The pace of Williams was starting to cause some problems for Lydd and Ryan Smith was cautioned for bringing him down as he was about to race clear. The free kick went right across goal without anyone getting a head on it before being cleared, but Mikey Dalton sent the ball forward again and Howlett-Mundle, who made an assured debut, rose with Ryan Smith on the edge of the box and the ball fell to Harvey Smith who swept it past Collins into the bottom left corner from 18 yards to put Whitstable ahead. Williams then sped past Charlie Dickens again before being fouled just outside the box, earning the Lydd left back a yellow card. Just before the break, Emmanuel Oloyede crossed from the right for Harvey Smith, but his shot lacked power, then Williams twisted and turned before picking out Oloyede just outside the box, but he lifted his shot over the bar, so the score remained 1-0 when the players left the pitch.
Whitstable had a great chance to double their lead right at the start of the second half when Harvey Smith headed the ball out to Williams on the right and he took the ball forward before his cross was met on the six yard line by Smith who had continued his run but failed to make a proper connection and Collins was able to make an easy save on his line. Lydd then won a free kick around 25 yards out, but Eason got down to save Dolan’s low shot. Both teams then went close as firstly Troy Howard sent over a low cross with nobody in the middle to take advantage, then at the other end Oloyede got free on the right and crossed for Oliver at the back post, but Sedenu made a timely interception. Lydd equalised if the 54th minute, when the referee, who had a good game, played on following a collision between Howlett-Mundle and Sterling as they challenged for a high ball that then dropped for Ter Horst who passed to Dolan and he beat Eason with a low strike from 25 yards. Play was then halted for several minutes while the injured Sterling was attended to before having to be substituted.
Lydd almost had a second when Dolan’s corner from the left was headed onto the bar by Ter Horst at the near post. A quick break by Williams and Oloyede went unrewarded as another ball went across goal with no one there. A promising period for Lydd saw Amin Gorgol head wide and Eason save a long range effort by Ter Horst. The game became very open towards the end and Collins denied Williams, then Oloyede did well to block a Dickens shot following a corner and Malachi Hudson shot over, then he crossed for Ryan Smith who glanced wide. An Oliver cross was headed wide by Harvey Smith as the chances kept coming for both teams. In the 84th minute, a curling shot by Hudson was tipped over by Eason and Dickens flicked the resulting corner just over. Eight added minutes were signalled and when Dickens headed the ball past his own goalkeeper to let in Williams, it looked like Whitstable would get a late winner, but the angle was too tight and he steered the ball just wide. Neither team could find a way through and a good, competitive game ended 1-1.
Whitstable next make the trip to London to play Fisher on Saturday in another league fixture.
|5||Shots on target||6|
|4||Shots off target||7|
Dan Eason, Jake Mackenzie (c), George Sheminant, Mikey Dalton, Will Thomas, Jahmal Howlett-Mundle, Josh Oliver (Tyler Anderson 85), Reece Gillies, (Liam Gillies 68), Emmanuel Oloyede, Harvey Smith (Steadman Callender 90+7), Josh Williams.
Subs (unused): Josh Robson, Jack Palmby.
Goal: Harvey Smith 37
Yellow card: Jake Mackenzie 70
Connor Collins, Calvin Sedenu, Charlie Dickens, Ryan Smith (c), Jahmahl King, James Rogers, Troy Howard (Amin Gorgol 67), Ronnie Dolan, Malachi Hudson, Tyler Sterling (Kenny Pogue 58), Johan Ter Horst (Sammi Takaloo 79).
Subs (unused): Billy Robbins, Richard Atkins.
Goal: Ronnie Dolan 54
Yellow cards: Ryan Smith 36, Charlie Dickens 38.
Referee: Jacob Miller
Assistants: Nick Wheeler & Mitchell Jukes