Whitstable Town v VCD Athletic

This was a rare chance to see Whitstable play. It would also turn out to be Lloyd Blackman’s final game in charge before stepping down.

The report I’d put together was the hurried kind. I’d watched VCD the previous Saturday and got a report done by Monday morning. It was one of those where you put in what you can and hope it’s enough to be useful.

It also meant I could check whether what I’d put in was accurate or not: Did VCD play how I said they’d play? Did they do what I said they’d do?

Or was I totally and utterly wrong?

I thought I’d at least get the line-up about right. I thought the wingers would start on opposite sides. Bamba had looked dangerous switched to the right against Hayward’s Heath and I thought he’d stay there. But he started on the left again.

Black had gone off injured against Haywards Heath so was doubtful to start. I also thought Probert might be in at left back, but he was still on the bench (I think recovering from injury). That meant Theo McKenzie was in again.

Then came an exhilarating first half. It might have been my imagination but for 45 minutes we stopped VCD do everything they’d done against Hayward’s Heath. They weren’t able to attack down the right, and we caused them problems on their left. We also managed to reduce the effectiveness of their number ten Ayman El-Mogharbel.

It meant at half time it was 0-0 and we looked like we could turn this into a win.

The second half was tougher though.

VCD is a good side and quickly made the changes to start moving the ball forward again with their two wingers and get El-Mogharbel into the game.

It did stay close though. We were competitive, even as an error in communication at the back led to an own goal to put VCD ahead.

But then without dodgy own goals and all the accompanying disappointment, you don’t get the euphoria of a cracking finish from Gus Barnes of the under 18s, rounding the keeper to equalise in the closing minutes.