Whitehawk 1 Faversham Town 1
Javaun Splatt’s early strike was cancelled out by goal machine Harry Harding’s 75th minute equaliser as Faversham Town fought back to earn a valuable point on a chilly Tuesday evening at the TerraPura Ground.
The game kicked off after a traffic delay with a frenzy of activity as both teams looked to impose themselves from the start. Left-back Charlie Dickens clipped balls over the top for Emmanuel Oluwasemo, who worked hard to stretch the Whitehawk defence.
Lewis Chambers operated from the base of midfield for Faversham Town. Whitehawk bombarded down their right in the early minutes. Tyrese Mtunzhi combined effectively with Harry Reed and Ollie Munt to create openings.
The Hawks had an early chance in the ninth minute, when Leon Redwood’s in swinging left-footed free-kick bounced dangerously in the box for David Ijaha to lash a thunderous strike, which was expertly saved by Kei Plumley.
The floodlights failed for 15 minutes at the quarter-hour mark and, as the players headed back to the backdrop of pitch-black darkness, the speakers blared Tom Walker’s Leave A Light On.
Faversham began the restart by overloading the spaces in their wide left but Whitehawk held all the aces as Javaun Splatt blasted in a fine finish. The forward pounced on Charlie Dickens’ miscued header and found the bottom right corner in the 22nd minute to hand the lead to the hosts.
The scrappy exchanges that followed were a repetitive pattern of both teams sitting deep with a narrow shape and waiting eagerly to hit back on the counter. The congested midfield lines were broken only by the occasional flick-on to a forward looking to lead the break.
Harry Harding and Sam Bewick were extremely busy, monitoring the central midfield areas and looking to pounce on loose clearances and second balls. Faversham’s fluid forwards kept interchanging positions as they pushed hard for an equaliser before half-time.
The Hawks began the second half on the front foot. The returning Jamie Splatt, who came on before half-time for Ijaha, slotted himself into midfield. His presence allowed captain Omarr Lawson the freedom to make late runs into the box. Alex Malins thwarted Faversham with a crucial double block. Tyrell Richardson-Brown showed flickers of his blistering pace, but the delivery to him was inadequate.
Both sets of centre-backs were impressive while recovering under pressure and found their way past the attackers’ presses with relative ease. Alex Malins dealt with everything the Lilywhites threw at him at the near-post.
Faversham, who proudly wear the Three Lions on their badge, piled on the pressure with a series of long throws from Lewis Chambers. The big targets hurled themselves, and there was the inevitable sense of danger looming for Whitehawk.
The 71st minute saw an almighty goal-mouth scramble involving more Whitehawk bodies on the line and an effort cannon off the cross-bar, as a poorly cleared corner saw the visitors pounce as a pack. Four shots on target were blocked, at least two by Henry Blackmore.
Four minutes later, captain Harry Harding’s shot crept past the hapless Nathan Stroomberg-Clarke, sending the visiting fans into raptures. Plumley was called into action again, and the keeper delivered. James Frazer’s quick free-kick found Ollie Munt, who squared the ball to Omarr Lawson. Lawson made good contact and diverted the ball on target, but Plumley’s fingertips came to the rescue as the ball sailed over for a corner.
Faversham’s barren away run continues but they are now unbeaten in three. They remain 13th in the Isthmian South East Division table, one place above Whitehawk. Faversham travel to Sevenoaks Town on Saturday (2 April) when Whitehawk travel to Kent to face bottom-of-the-table Whitstable Town.