Sunday 28th August 2005

A game of two halves for Oystermen


If ex-England International, Andy Sinton's Fleet Town won the honours for the first 45 minutes, Whitstable Town player/manager Marc Seager certainly had the better of the second, in Saturday's enthralling FA Cup tie at the Belmont, writes Stephen McCartney.

The Kentish Observer League side found themselves 3-0 down at the break but goals from Sam Prett, Steve Marshall and Andy Constable clawed back a draw to earn a replay at Calthorpe Park, Crookham Road on Tuesday night.

"We just seemed to go to sleep," Seager, an FA Vase winner with Deal Town in 2000, told the club's website www.whitstabletownfc.co.uk after the game.

"The first time they venture into our half and we conceed from a free kick.  Blow me then we let in another despite having a couple of chances to clear the ball inside our box, and no-one takes responsibility.  I was not very happy."

But goalscorer Marshall insists his team-mates won't play as poorly in the replay with a home tie against Thatcham Town awaiting the winners in the first qualifying round on 10th September.

"At 3-3 we knew that we had the chance of the replay, sure we'd have liked to have won it, but," said Marshall.

"You would not normally see me back in our own area by the corner post defending, it would have been foolish to press for the winners at all cost after we'd clawed ourselves back into the game.

"Forty-five minutes earlier at the break, they were already celebrating going into the next round.

"We know what to expect from them now on Tuesday at their place for the replay.

"We will not play as poorly as we did first half mark my words."

Thatcham disposed of Cove by three goals to nil yesterday.