I've never been involved in something as dramatic as that, says Whitstable Town joint-boss Jim Ward
Monday 06th October 2014WHITSTABLE TOWN joint-manager Jim Ward praised his younger brother Danny for pulling off the Great Escape on Saturday.
The Oystermen were losing 3-1 at the break and were down to ten-men after having Luke Doherty sent off.
Walton Casuals were coasting at 4-2 with 12 minutes to go, but Whitstable Town caused one of their biggest fight-backs in their history to win the Ryman League Division One South clash 5-4.
“Everything you thought could have happened, did happen,” said Jim Ward.
“We made three changes to the side before the game because we keep leaking goals and we were 2-0 down within 23 minutes to a goalkeeper error and a defensive error in our own box.
“We got a penalty, Ian Pulman, but within a couple of minutes they made it 3-1 and we were all over the shop to be honest with you.
“We had a man sent-off and at half-time we were 3-1 down.
“We looked to try to win the game. Me, Danny and Will Graham stood outside the changing room for ten minutes at half-time, trying to work out a formula to give us a chance.
“Danny came up with a formation, going 4-2-3 and we just went for it!
“We kept changing it as it went on. We kept bringing players on and taking players off. Our hands were tied with what we had.
“We got another penalty, Pulman made the penalty and scored and they’ve scored again to make it 4-2 with fifteen minutes left.
“But we went for it. Danny said ‘let’s go for it all together,’ with a 4-1-4 formation.
“The bunch of lads that I’ve got here just don’t give up! Fair play to them!
“Pulman had a couple of shots from inside the box and it rebounded to Kane Rowland and he tucked it away brilliantly. He’s only a young lad, he’s only eighteen.
“In the last minute we got a free-kick and Peter Wedgeworth got a free-kick on target and the goalkeeper palms it in his own net!
“As much as we don’t want to take anything away from the players, tactically Danny, myself and Will Graham done really well to weather the storm.
“When you get a man knocked down teams tend to take their foot of the pedal.
“We were down to ten-men, that’s the reason why we went for it. It’s great for the players, but to the coaching staff as well.”
Ward admitted he has never been involved in such a thrilling game every before.
He said: “I’ve never been involved in anything as dramatic as that. I’ve had last minute winners but never three in the last ten minutes.
“We’re fine. We’re a little Jekyll and Hyde. We’ve let a goal in every game so there’s something wrong defensively.”
Whitstable Town lock horns with bitter rivals Herne Bay at Belmont Road on Tuesday to contest the Robert Dyas Ryman League Cup First Round.
“We will be leaving a couple out. There’s a couple with knocks,” revealed Ward.
“Me and Danny have won the League Cup (for Ramsgate) and it’s great fun if we get through it.
“We won it against Sudbury – who ironically we’ve got in the FA Trophy in a couple of weeks’ time – at Dartford.
“You want to win it. You certainly want to win the game.”
Ward revealed he will give some of the club’s youngsters a run out against Sam Denly’s side, who are one place lower in the table in seventh-place.
“It’s not a matter of keeping faith. I’ve got an under 21 side and I’ve got a lot of aspiring players’ and they’ll be at least on the pitch or on the bench.
“We’ll try to win the game. We’re not treating it likely but some of them will be given an opportunity, whether they’ll start or come off the bench.”
Sixth-placed Whitstable Town travel down to Worthing on Saturday and the Rebels are sitting in the bottom-six with four wins from their eleven league games.
“They’ve got a couple of games in hand on us and if they do that they’ll be in the top six, top half at least,” said Ward.
“Worthing are a club that’s underachieved over the last couple of years.
“We’re alright. If we can keep a clean sheet we’ll beat anybody, because there’s not many games that we don’t score in.
“We’re looking forward to it. We’ve got to get better on the road. We’re a bit Jeckyl and Hyde but we’re good at home, but we’ve got the change that.
“I’d take a 1-0 away from home but at home we can win 5-4!”
Whitstable Town are only one point adrift of the play-offs and bringing in the Ward brothers is having the desired effect on a club that usually struggles at the wrong end of the table.
“The best the club have finished was fourteenth in the League so first of all we have to beat that,” said Ward.
“We’ll be happy with top half. Me and Danny have won this division and never been lower than ninth.”
Visit Whitstable Town’s website: www.whitstabletownfc.co.uk
Whitstable Town v Herne Bay
Ryman League Robert Dyas Cup First Round
Tuesday 7th October 2014
Kick Off 7:45pm
At Belmont Road, Whitstable, Kent CT5 1QP