If there was a criticism of Whitstable in the first half it was only in their collective failure to put the ball into the back of the net, a couple of missed chances by Andy Constable and John Utterson they came apart from two sterling efforts from Andy Kier. One, a goal bound header from a Seager corner hit Lee Whitehead on the back of the head whilst he stood on the goal line and rebounded out of play with keeper Steve Northwood beaten.
There were moans around the ground less than three minutes into the second half after Peter Deadman’s far post cross evaded Town’s keeper Mark Lane to be headed in at the far post by the tall Michael Powers.
Two minutes later Lane was picking the ball
out of his net a second time after Jason Clews waltzed through Town’s defence
slotting the ball home from close range.
The game was effectively dead for Whitstable at that point, they lost their shape their heads dropped and Thamesmead to their credit took a firm grip on the game, never allowing Whitstable to regain a any proper rhythm.
It was hard to see what manager Toms had done
wrong judging by the first half performance, when his half time team talk must
have been of the order: “We’ve done everything right, we just need a goal, just
keep playing the way you have been”, instead 5 minutes into the second half they
needed a miracle.
Things got worst for Town in the minute Power’s made it 3-0 after neat ball from Marc Merriden split Town’s defence giving the tall centre forward time to drive the ball beneath Lane. It was only a matter of time before goal number four was scored Power’s netting his third with ease after a Deadman long throw was allowed to bounce in the area Power’s spun and hit a first time shot in off Lane’s left hand post to round off his hat trick.
There was little cheer for Town in the second
half and it was not until the 80th minute they tested Thamsmead’s keeper Steve
Northwood and then it was blasted straight at him or wayward.