DCSIMG

Whitstable Town 0 Crawley Down Gatwick 0

This game turned out to be a war of attrition as both sides battled away on a difficult a pitch.

Down introduced new boy Matt Geard who replaced the recently departed Miles Mitchell.

Whitstable opened quickly with home striker Scott Heard having his shot hacked away, then came a Buster Smissen header well taken by Anvil keeper Tony Di Bernardo.

It took Down a while to get use to the cloying surface, with Jack Page having a lobbed shot taken by keeper Nick Shaw, and a Ross Morley free-kick hacked away.

Di Bernardo then had to move quickly to stifle a Dan Hanshaw header as the Oystermen upped the workrate with Smissen and James Morrish the main instigators.

The Anvils under the cosh continued to press forward with a Fraser Logan ball finding Gaby Odunaike but a cruel bounce denied him, just after another Morley free-kick caused Shaw to flap the ball away.

Tom Bingham replaced the under-par Odunaike at half-time, but it was the Kent side who continued to press with Jack Parter’s cross finding Jake Beecroft who in turn could only find the Gatwick keeper, then just after he produced a brilliant save to deny Morrish, it was rapidly becoming Di Bernardo versus the Oysters as time and time again he was called on to deny the homesters.

Crawley Down were now on the backfoot were not helped by Jack Page getting sent-off another yellow card.

There were more changes on the Anvils’ bench with Tom Graves replacing Logan.

Their back-four plus the unbeatable Di Bernardo continued to repulse the Oystermen. while Byron Napper and Morley fought hard for midfield control, and strikers Blewden and Jamie Cade battled gallantly in the mud with the latter frequently being bounced around by the Oyster centre-backs.

Further efforts by Blewden and Cade were not enough to trouble change the scoreline as both sides had to settle for a draw.

Down: Tony Di Bernardo, Charlie Slocombe, Matt Geard, Craig Richards, Jack Page, Ross Morley, Gaby Odunaike (Tom Bingham), Byron Napper, Jamie Cade, Luke Blewden, Fraser Logan (Tom Graves).

Attendance: 122

Man of the Match: Tony Di Bernardo

 

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