AFTER SUCCESSIVE league wins, Stansfeld arrived at Whitstable in a confident mood despite being slightly depleted with suspensions, injuries and work commitments robbing the side of key players.
It was the home side who started the brighter and they soon had Stansfeld on the back foot. In the tenth minute the Whitstable pressure nearly paid off but Lewis Collier in the Stansfeld goal pulled off a fine double save to keep the game level.
Nine minutes later Stansfeld had the clearest of the early chances, Jake Williams getting to the by-line and pulling the ball back for Billy Shinners but his first-time effort was blocked by the goalkeeper.
Just as the game was settling down Whitstable took the lead in the 24th minute with a disputed penalty with the referee seemingly one of the few in the ground who saw the infringement.
Ricky Freeman calmly slotted the ball to the right bottom corner to nudge his side ahead. Despite the setback Stansfeld kept pushing forward and five miunutes before the break Shinners nearly levelled, beating the offside trap but his effort was weak and Whitstable escaped. In the 50th minute Whitstable got another dubious penalty, after a cross into the box led to both a Stansfeld and a Whitstable player hitting the turf.
After initially giving a throw-in to Whitstable the referee had a lengthy conversation with his assistant and gave another penalty. This time Charlie Smith fired down the middle to double the lead. With a two-goal lead Whitstable were prepared to sit back, soak up the pressure and play on the counter-attack.
With Stansfeld now forcing the game, Nathan Flaher had a decent chance to reduce the arrears but his testing shot was well saved again by the Whitstable stopper.
Stansfeld were playing FC Elmstead in their SCEFL Challenge Cup on Wednesday evening before the league derby against Fisher on Saturday. This Saturday’s fixtures: 1st Team – Stansfeld entertain Fisher in the return league fixture at Foxbury Avenue, Chislehurst, Kent, BR7 6SD – KO 3pm. 2nd Team – No Game 3rd Team vs FC Baresi – Away – London Junior Cup – KO 2pm