Report: Whyteleafe 1-1 Whitstable Town
Whyteleafe ended their 5 match losing run with a draw against an improving Whitstable side who have been climbing up the table in recent weeks.
Leafe welcomed back captain Nathan Campbell after a lengthy spell away from the game following an operation, and he was outstanding in defence, dominating in the air and cleared danger from long throws and corners on several occasions. A man of the match performance.
Whitstable had the better of the early exchanges, with Jordan Wright having a shot cleared off the line and Stephen Smith going close. Leafe however took the lead in the 19th minute. Ashley-Paul Robinson returning to the side after 7 months out with an injury looked far from match fit, but his distribution when he had the ball was superb, and it was his defence splitting pass that set up Junior Aikhionbare for Leafe's goal. He picked up Robinson's pass in the area, turned and shot past Dan Eason into the net.
Matt O'Donoghue had a chance to increase the lead in the 30th minute but was off balance when Aikhionbare's cross found him and he couldn't get any power into his shot. Robinson was also close when his 37th minute cross come shot was palmed away at the far post by Eason.
At the other end Smith had a 41st minute effort blocked by Campbell, then Harry Stannard was fouled inside the box in the 44th minute. Stannard stepped up himself for the penalty kick and hammered it past Sheikh Ceesay.
Bradley Wilson had a shot saved on the stroke of half time following good work from O'Donoghue.Aikhionbare was Leafe's biggest threat up front. He had a penalty appeal turned down in the 48th minute and a 56th minute shot blocked after a strong run into the box. Miles Cornwall looked destined to score when he was sent clear in the 66th minute, but Campbell made a great saving tackle to deny him.
Both sides made changes and the game became a bit scrappy but Leafe came strong in the closing minutes and had 3 late opportunities. Two came from Wilson corners in the 84th and 87th minutes, both finding Bryan Akongo. His header was saved by Eason and the second was headed wide.
The final chance in the last minute of normal time fell to Aikhionbare, but he was stretching to reach a cross from Andre McCollin and his effort went over the bar.
Whyteleafe Team: Ceesay, Armstrong, O'Donoghue, Campbell, Thompson (Akongo 80), McGeoghegan, Wilson, Mensah, Aikhionbare, Hector (McCollin 73), Robinson (Aziz 60). Subs not used Carpene, Ogboe.