Whitstable Town 0-4 Herne Bay - The players have let me down, let the supporters down, let the club down, admits embarrassed and apologetic Whitstable Town boss Scott Porter

Saturday 08th December 2018
Whitstable Town 0 – 4 Herne Bay
Location The Belmont, Belmont Road, Whitstable, Kent CT5 1QP
Kickoff 08/12/2018 15:00

Bostik South East Division
Saturday 8 December 2018
Stephen McCartney reports from Belmont Road

WHITSTABLE TOWN manager Scott Porter apologised to his supporters after his side were thrashed by bottom-of-the-table Herne Bay in a game that brought ugly scenes of crowd trouble following the first goal.

Whitstable Town’s left-back Harry Brown was sent-off for a nasty challenge on Jake Embery and Bradley Schafer headed in the resulting free-kick to give the visitors a deserved lead four minutes before half-time.

Both sets of vocal fans were housed inside or beside The Bruce Smith Stand behind the goal where Herne Bay were attacking and with inadequate stewarding, crowd trouble flared up immediately after Herne Bay took a deserved lead.

For such a high-risk fixture, the stewarding was very inadequate and the home club should have brought in qualified and trained stewards from a higher league club for the game.

At the end of the first half, an announcement was made over the public address system, saying, “I understand there’s been a disturbance. If this carries on the Police will be involved and you don’t watch another Whitstable game so watch the match and let it flow.”

Herne Bay were the better side throughout and took advantage of Whitstable’s lack of discipline and rattled in three second half goals, scored by striker Embery, notching his 14th goal of the season, Miles Cornwell, who scored his second of the season and the impressive Thomas Carlton who scored his fifth of the campaign from 40-yards.

Whitstable Town have now suffered three defeats on the spin and are in 12th place in the Bostik South East Division table with 18 points from 15 games, while Herne Bay bounced back after suffering seven defeats on the spin, winning their second league game of the season, but still remain four points behind Greenwich Borough at the foot of the table with eight points on the board.

“Embarrassed, pi**ed off. I could go on all night! The players have let me down, let the supporters down, let the club down,” said a furious Porter.

“It’s just knocked me for six really. It means a lot to me these games, every game means a lot to me and to conduct ourselves the way we did today is unacceptable!

“I could sit in there all night tonight, tomorrow and it probably wouldn’t sink in. There was no passion, no heart, no desire from any of my players. That’s the thing that hurts me the most because take out all the ability and the footballing side out of it, if you can’t give me heart, passion, desire in a local derby in front of 400 people, you shouldn’t be playing football and it frustrates me a lot.

“They’re bottom of the league and they’re up for the game and if you can’t get up for a game like this, you shouldn’t be playing football!

“I apologise. The buck stops with me at the end of the day, I’m the manager and I take responsibility.  I’m disappointed and I can’t apologise enough.

“I know what it means to them, I’ve got a good relationship with the Oyster boys and I know what it means and I can only put my own view across to the players all week, which I have because I’m passionate about what I do.  I’m passionate about the football club and I’m passionate about winning football games and I’m afraid my players didn’t show the same passion as I’ve got so I can only apologise.

“It will take a long time to sink in this will because it hurts today because I want to win football games.”

Herne Bay joint-manager John Embery said: “It was good. We worked hard. We knew it would be hard, a derby game. We know what they’re going to do, they’re going to launch the ball at us and we had to cope with that and we knew if we can do that and compete we will be able to get the ball down and play and hopefully get a result, which it did.

“Of course it does (ease the pressure) when you win, especially the mannerism which we won, we could’ve won by a lot more.  The goalkeeper’s made some great saves, we’ve missed a few, we’ve missed a glancing header from Miles (Cornwell) in the first half.  We could’ve won that by seven or eight easily. It was one of those games where I’d like us to score more but four goals away from home, especially when we’ve been a bit low on confidence, it’s a massive platform for us to build on.”

Both manager’s were asked what they said to their troops before the game.

Porter said: “Just give me everything that you’ve got! It’s a local derby, it means massive to the fans of the club, give me everything that you possibly can! Don’t leave nothing in the changing room. We left everything in the changing room, absolutely everything. We didn’t bring anything to take table apart from turning up!”

Embery added: “Just said, look if you show heart and desire in these kind of games and heart and desire and will to win, if you can do that and you’re technical abilities you’ll do well in this game and that’s exactly what we did.”

Whitstable Town created the first chance of the game inside the opening eight minutes.

Brown floated in a deep free-kick which was met by unmarked centre-half Tom Bryant, but his downward header bounced into Simon Overland’s gloves for a comfortable collection.

Porter said: “It was comfortable! It was important to get the first goal today and we are a first goal team. If we get the first goal our heads are up high and all the chances, we had two chances. I think we hit the crossbar and he pulled off a save, that’s the only thing I could think off.”

Embery added: “You expect your goalkeeper to deal with that and that was the only kind of threat they offered us, free-kicks and corners.  They swing them in, there were a couple that went into the far post.”

Herne Bay immediately went up the other end and just 46 seconds later Danny Leonard flicked released Embery and he laid the ball into Leonard’s path but Dan Eason came off his line to smother the ball at his feet.

Herne Bay lost centre-half Matt Fry to a pulled hamstring injury during the build-up to Whitstable’s next chance.

Goalkeeper Eason launched a big kick straight down the middle of the pitch, the ball was flicked on by Charlie Smith (who had to go to hospital after the match with a cracked bone) and Fry slid in to tackle and Stephen Smith teed up Brown who hit his first-time volley over the crossbar from 22-yards.

Embery said: “Matt’s been suffering with it for a little while, we just can’t keep him fit. It’s so disappointing because he’s such a good player and he’s such an influence on the group. We just can’t get him keep fit at the moment, which is disappointing from his point of view and ours because he’s a leader as well.”

Herne Bay weathered the early storm and almost grabbed the lead in the 17th minute.

Holding midfielder Ole Bankole fed the ball into Carlton who sprayed the ball out wide to right-back Simon Kabamba, who floated in a cross which skimmed the top of the crossbar and bounced behind for a goal-kick.

“He was unlucky, he’s gone for it the lad,” said Embery.

“He’s an unbelievable athlete and we tell him to get in the box, get forward and do that and he’s gone to cross it and when you get crosses in you never know what happens. That one almost went in and it skimmed the bar and went flying away.”

Herne Bay were now on the front foot and Leonard laid the ball off for Carlton, whose right-footed drive deflected past the right-hand post from 25-yards. 

Carlton swung in the resulting corner but centre-half Danny Rumbol failed to keep his effort on target as he ghosted in at the near post.

Whitstable Town played their route-one style and they went close to grabbing the lead in the 24th minute.

Eason launched a big free-kick from outside his penalty area and Stephen Smith flicked the ball up in the air with his head before hooking his left-footed volley on the turn, which flashed across the stranded keeper and just missed the far post from 15-yards.

“We didn’t have nothing in front of goal today,” fumed Porter.

“No disrespect to you Steve, to go over the whole scenario of this game because I’ve watched it and I don’t want to go back over it because it’s embarrassing! I feel embarrassed standing here to say they’re my football players because that’s not my sort of team and I don’t know where this has sort of come from!”

Herne Bay went close to taking a deserved lead when Leonard released Carlton and the outstanding midfielder drove forward and was given time and space to drill his right-footed shot sailing just past the far post from 25-yards.

Embery said: “That was really close! The keeper was at full-stretch. He literally said it almost shaved the post, it was that close from where we was, we thought it was in!”

Whitstable Town were to be denied the lead in the 32 minute, thanks to an outstanding diving save from visiting keeper Simon Overland.

Brown floated in a left-footed free-kick which was hit deep and Bryant rose and his planted header skimmed off Bankole and was destined to sail into the top far corner from 16-yards, only for Overland to pull off an outstanding save, diving high to his left to claw out.

Embery added: “It was our player (Ole Bankole) who headed it. He got in front of him and it skimmed off him and the goalkeeper made a great save. It would have been a great own goal!  It’s just been our luck at the moment to go in but the goalkeeper’s showed his worth and it’s a great save.  We needed that little bit of luck.”

Herne Bay missed a glorious chance just 50 seconds later, one that should have been buried by Cornwell.

Embery played the ball out to Kabamba, who whipped in a great cross towards the far post but Cornwell flicked his header across the keeper and past the far post from six-yards out.

“Should’ve scored, should’ve scored! Bad miss and he knows it!  He scored so he makes up for it.  You’re on the six-yard line, the balls on your head, you’ve got to hit the target, as least hit the target. He’s headed it wide so that was disappointing,” admitted Embery.

Whitstable Town were a threat from set-pieces and Herne Bay received a huge slice of luck.

Overland failed to come out and catch Brown’s free-kick and Bryant’s flick was cleared out to Brown, who pounced on the ball on the edge of the box and his shot on the turn clipped the angle of top of the right-hand post and crossbar.

“We did have a couple of chances early on but it was important to get the first goal,” said Porter.

“We hit the crossbar and if it goes in it might be a different game. It might’ve perked us up a little bit. Apart from that there was nothing else to cheer about!”

Both managers were disgusted by Brown’s nasty challenge on Embery down the right-hand channel which forced referee Jack Packman to pull out a deserved red-card in the 40th minute.

A furious Porter said: “Embarrassing! Absolutely embarrassing! He’s let himself down, he’s let me down, he’s let his team-mates down and he’s let this football club down!

“We spoke about discipline in a big way at training on Tuesday and we spoke about it for a length of time today before the game. You can’t do that in football. You could break the geezer’s leg! It’s a coward tackle. It’s embarrassing and I don’t agree with it at all.”

The Herne Bay joint-boss added: “It’s a bad tackle, don’t get me wrong, I don’t like to see that. I know he’s my son but any of the players. If he made proper contact it’s a leg breaker and I don’t like that in football. There’s no need for that and he got his just rewards and he deserved to get sent-off, simple.”

Herne Bay took a deserved lead following the resulting free-kick, which was timed at 40 minutes and 44 seconds on the clock.

Carlton swung in a quality free-kick and put it on a plate for Schafer who glanced his free-header from 12-yards across Eason to find the far corner.

Herne Bay’s fans ran over to their fans to the right of the goal to celebrate with them and there were ugly scenes as both sets of fans clashed bringing shame on their two clubs.

“It’s a great header.  Tom’s deliveries are brilliant. Brad’s tremendous in the air. He’s tiny and his heading is second-to-none to be fair. He’s not the tallest in the world either but he does get on the end of stuff,” said Embery.

“We should be more in front but we just wanted to get in front, settle all the players down, relax them and that’s what they needed. They needed to get in front, get 10 minutes when they’re in front and stay in front and settle them and play, which they did.”

Porter added: “It doesn’t matter if you’ve got nine men on the pitch, 10 men or 11 men, you can’t let the geezer have a near post header! It should be dealt with! We’ve got experienced lads out there, it should be dealt with. We shouldn’t be conceding goals from set-pieces with the players I’ve got.”

Herne Bay were denied a second on the stroke of half-time when Cornwell’s diagonal set up Carlton, who hit a low drive across the keeper and Eason dived low to his right to prevent the ball nestling into the bottom far corner.

Porter laid it on the line during the interval and read his side the riot act during the interval as Herne Bay deserved their lead.

“Just give me more than you’ve given me because what you’ve given me in the first half was poor!

“We’re down to 10 men, sometimes it’s harder to play against 10 men and don’t leave nothing in the changing room! Just show me you’ve got something about you, show me you’ve got the passion and desire and it wasn’t there!”

Embery said: “You’re doing really well, just keep playing, you’re broken them down a lot and they’re not offering anything. Just keep playing and be patient with it and just keep the right tempo and keep believing and just keep passing the ball and more opportunities will appear and that’s exactly what happened.”

Herne Bay linked up through Carlton and Kabamba down the right and Kabamba ran into the centre of the pitch, slipped the ball to left-back James White who played the ball up to Schafer and Carlton and Schafer drilled his right-footed shot just past the left-hand post from 25-yards inside six minutes.

“It was just another one that we maybe should’ve hit the target but it’s hard when your team is lacking in confidence. We ain’t lacking it now after today,” admitted Embery.

Herne Bay doubled their lead with eight minutes and 20 seconds on the clock and you could see more confidence coming back for the first time in a long time.

Bankole won the ball in his holding midfield role and played the ball up to Cornwell, who did well to hook the high ball back to Leonard, who drove through the heart of the pitch for some 25-yards before rolling the ball on the outside for Embery to drill his right-footed shot into the roof of the net from 14-yards and Embery picked up a deserved yellow card for almost jumping into the crowd as he was mobbed by his ecstatic team-mates.

Embery said: “Getting that second goal was so important!

“Ole Bankole came in today, it was his first game with us. We needed someone in there who will get involved in the technical side but just be a runner or win tackles and break things up, someone who is good in the air and just keep it simple and give it to the players who are technically very good but those kind of players you’ll always find they’re not the best defensively because they’re more offensive minded players.

“We needed someone in there and he done it confidentially today. For me he was brilliant. He came in first game and he’s understood what we wanted him to do.

“He won the ball deep, he’s given it to Miles. Miles has set it back inside to Danny. That’s what we want Danny to hurt people because he’s drove inside, he’s drew three players and he’s reversed it around the corner for Jake and you always know with Jake that you put the ball in the right area and he finishes and that’s exactly what he did.”

Porter added: “They hit us on the break and scored. Good goal and then it’s an uphill struggle. It’s a good finish but I think that was from our corner so it’s come from our mistake. We just didn’t have the legs today, we didn’t have anything today, nothing and that’s the disappointing thing.”

Carlton was released down the left and he cut inside and as space opened up in front of him, his right-footed angled drive was held by Eason as he dropped to his knees to make a comfortable save at his near post.

Jamie Chamberlain, who slotted in at right-centre-half after Fry’s withdrawal, floated in a deep cross from the right wing and Carlton retrieved the ball on the other side of the pitch and his driven shot was parried by Eason as he dived low to his left.

Whitstable Town then enjoyed a good spell and the returning striker Danny Williams hit a right-footed half-volley from 30-yards, which was plucked out of the air by Overland as he comfortably caught the ball as he got down low to his right.

Williams then showed desire to win the ball off a Herne Bay defender down the left-channel and Stephen Smith played the ball out to James Morrish, who swept his shot towards the bottom far corner from 22-yards, which only just cleared the post.

It was only a matter of time that Whitstable Town pulled a goal back and their best chance came in the final 15 minutes.

Right-wing-back Jordan Wright drove forward, skipped past White, and centred low towards the near post but Williams first time swept right-footed shot flashed just past the right-hand post from 12-yards.

Porter said: “We had two or three chances and dominated for 10-15 minutes. They go down the other end and they scored!

“We wasn’t good in front of goal. Our set-pieces were poor. Corners were poor. Everything was poor.  You drive to a game of football like I was today, I was very confident today with the side I had. It was my strongest said we had for a long time and you just get knocked for six because the performance is not where I wanted it to be.”

On Willams, Embery added: “He worked hard, he’s a busy player in and around the box. He chases things, he gets on the ball and looks to get shots away. I thought we dealt with him pretty well. I don’t think he had a shot which didn’t have any substance. I don’t think the goalkeeper’s really worked second half at all.”

Herne Bay caught Whitstable Town on the break as they scored their third goal of the game with 34 minutes and 32 seconds on the clock.

Carlton broke down the right and cut the ball back across goal for Cornwell at the far post and he took a touch before curling a beauty into the top far corner with his right-boot from 12-yards. A quality finish!

“We was on top and in control of the game. We just felt another goal would make a massive difference and we scored the third,” said Embery.

“It was a great finish to be fair to him. He’s picked it out top corner. He’s taken a touch, opened his body and he’s put it in to the top corner. What can you say? Just a very, very good strike.

“We’ve been getting at Miles to get more shots off. He pulled the trigger and put it in top bins, so brilliant!”

Porter was devasted by the poor piece of defending from Morrish, who failed to clear his lines from inside the six-yard box and Cornwell pulled out a quality strike.

“Bad clearance, it’s a clearance from our six-yard box, we didn’t clear the 18-yard box. If you don’t clear your lines you’re going to get punished. If you’re clearing the ball from the six-yard box to the edge of the 18-yard box there’s going to be someone there. It’s another mistake, just not clearing your lines.”

Morrish slid the ball out to Williams, who crossed from the right and Stephen Smith’s back-heeled attempt from eight-yards was picked up by Overland.

The home fans started heading for the exits when Herne Bay notched their fourth goal of the game with 40 minutes and 3 seconds on the clock.

It came from a gift from keeper Eason, who used to play for Herne Bay. His clearance was poor and landed at Carlton’s feet and he capped off an outstanding game to control the ball before stroking his right-footed drive over the keeper’s head and into the back of the unguarded goal from 40-yards.  A goal that he deserved and he will be an instrumental player in Herne Bay’s survival bid.

“Do you know what? He’s absolutely pinged it! Sometimes you have to take your hat off and take a bow,” said his manager.

“He’s the best technical player in this league and when you see him do things like that you just have to take your hat off and say well done son!

“It ain’t easy.  He ain’t dinked it because it would’ve got caught in the wind. He had to drive it because the wind and the rain was swirling and it was a pleasure to see it go in. He had a very good game and he deserved it.”

Porter admitted: “Sums it up, sums it up! Thomas Carlton done well and made them tick today. He’s hit one what 40 yards? It’s a mistake from the goalkeeper but like I say today has been a complete whitewash.”

Porter demands a reaction when his side fly over to Guernsey next Saturday. The Green Lions came away from Crayford with a 3-2 win today and are in eleventh-place in the table with six wins and 10 defeats in the league this term.

“You can’t bring 11 in by the end of the week and if I could bring in 11 I would especially after today’s performance but I’ll sit down with my backroom staff, we’ll wrap our heads together. I’ve been in this situation before and I’ll work hard to get this football club back to winning games.”

Herne Bay host Gillingham in the Kent Senior Cup Quarter-Finals at Winch’s Field on Tuesday night before hosting fourteenth-placed East Grinstead Town – who lost 3-1 at home to Greenwich Borough today – arrive next Saturday.

Herne Bay looked much better than their current league position suggests but Embery is confident his side can turn things around and start to climb up the table.

“I’m pleased, relieved because the boys have got that monkey of their back now. We needed that psychologically. I think that will be a big, big step forward for us now.

“I’m pleased because it’s the boys Christmas party tonight so they’re going to have a good old night so I’m pleased for them.”

Whitstable Town: Dan Eason, Jordan Wright, Harry Brown, Tom Bryant, Rob Gillman, Stuart West, Chris Saunders, Michael Jenner (Teddy Nelson 46), Charlie Smith (Danny Williams 35), Stephen Smith, James Morrish.
Subs: Tom Walmsley, Sam Welch, Chris Elliott

Booked: Stephen Smith 42, Danny Williams 48

Sent Off:  Harry Brown 40

Herne Bay: Simon Overland, Simon Kabamba, James White, Ole Bankole, Danny Rumbol, Matt Fry (Jamie Chamberlain 13), Bradley Schafer, Danny Leonard, Jake Embery (Connor Wilkins 76), Miles Cornwell, Thomas Carlton.
Subs: Raphe Brown, Michael Freiter, Leshawn Clifford-Awoyemi

Goals: Bradley Schafer 41, Jake Embery 54, Miles Cornwell 80, Thomas Carlton 86

Booked: Jake Embery 54

Attendance: 368
Referee: Mr Jack Packman (Margate)
Assistants: Mr George Lowe (Canterbury) & Mr Nick Dunn (Deal)