Football: ‘Moment of magic’ is enough to beat Tunbridge Wells

Football: 'Moment of magic' is enough to beat Tunbridge Wells

Whitstable Town 1 Tunbridge Wells 0

TUNBRIDGE WELLS lost to Whitstable Town in the final of the Southern Counties East League Challenge Cup after Ricky Freeman produced a stunning strike for the in-form Oystermen.

So Whitstable completed a successful season after winning the Kent Reliance Senior Trophy and finishing runners-up to Sevenoaks Town in the Premier League.

Jason Bourne, the Wells manager, said: ‘It’s a cup final, I’m obviously disappointed. I don’t think either manager will be fully satisfied with how their team played and it went down to a moment of magic, to be honest with you.

‘It was always going to peter out. We didn’t have many chances. They hit the foot of the post out of nothing really, and Ricky goes and does that.’

Bourne added: ‘We looked like we choked a little bit. It took us a good 30 minutes, I think, to get settled and start to develop a pattern of play.

‘To be fair to Whitstable, they do what they do well. They’re certainly the most consistent in the league and probably the hardest working team.’

Whitstable’s 28-goal striker Danny Williams struck a dipping drive just over the crossbar from 25 yards with only 44 seconds on the clock.

Inside the opening five minutes Wells’ Josh Stanford swept in a free-kick and Jarred Trespaderne flicked his near post header looping over the crossbar.

Freeman clipped the foot of the far post, sweeping a shot across the keeper from 25 yards.

Wells’ best chance came in the 26th minute when right-winger Jon Pilbeam hit a right-footed dipping drive which was tipped over the bar by keeper Dan Eason.

At the start of the second half Tommy Lawrence floated over a deep free-kick from the right and the outstanding Perry Spackman headed into Eason’s hands at the far post.

Whitstable struck the woodwork for the second time in the 58th minute when Stuart West crossed for Williams to plant a free header against the right-hand post from eight yards.

A throw-in was flicked on by Williams at the near post and Chris Saunders hooked the ball towards the far post, where Josh Burchell ghosted in to head straight at Cameron Hall from eight yards.

Twenty minutes into the second half Teddy Nelson was given time and space to punt a left-footed ball into the box, which was headed away by Spackman.

But Freeman hooked a stunning right-footed volley from 30 yards which looped into the top far corner of the net, leaving keeper Cameron Hall rooted to the spot.

Bourne said: ‘He won’t strike another ball as good as that. It was one of them. I said it was a moment of magic that settled a pretty poor affair but they were effective.

‘They play long balls, they work on getting on the end of second balls and that’s what Ricky did, and the keeper didn’t have a chance.’

Macauley Murray played a shot pass inside and along the deck to James Morrish, who drove his low shot flashing past the foot of the left-hand post from 30 yards.

Tommy Lawrence’s free-kick was punched away by Eason, Stanford lofted the ball back into the box and substitute Josh Biddlecombe hooked his shot over the far post from a tight angle.

Bourne reflected: ‘We’re not here for a day out, We want to win games, we want to win big games. This club is big in stature, it’s got a great population, got a great fan base.

‘We need a little reality check and we need to make sure we build the club properly before we can start winning leagues.’

PICTURE: HEADS YOU WIN: Stuart West heads clear from Wells’ Perry Spackman PHOTO: Alan Coomes

Share this article

Recommended articles


Please enter a search term below.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter