Isthmian League

Preview | Faversham Town (A)

And then it was onto Faversham Town, the league’s lowest side, where Whitehawk’s journey continues as the battle for playoffs intensifies with each fleeting week.

Handing forward Kris Oti a first start for the Hawks on Tuesday evening, manager Shaun Saunders has options aplenty as the squad depth continues to increase with Alfie Rogers, Rob O’Toole and Charlie Lambert all on the bench in midweek.

In Faversham they find a team completely changed from that 6-1 mauling at The Enclosed Ground earlier in the season, and the points are as pivotal as ever for the Kent club fighting to remain in the division.

But four points from a possible six against two top six sides have the Hawks flapping just a little more than before as we take to the road again.

Last time out

A tricky, testing battle beneath the bright bulbs on Tuesday spawned a 2-2 draw with fellow promotion-rivals Ashford United.

A result that, once zoomed out a touch, looks a deserved and fair point following a first half onslaught by the visitors that likely should’ve seen the Kent side in the lead.

Charlie Harris opened the scoring with the most perfect of corners, angling it in toward the near post, before a resurgence from the tourists saw the Hawks 2-1 down with half time rapidly approaching.

But a fine volley from Joel Daly evened things up just before the break, yet there would be no more goals in a second half that was commandeered by the hosts. Harris saw a spot-kick expertly saved as Saunders’ side were forced to settle for a point – “A game of two halves,” coined the colonel. Indeed it was, good sir.

The opposition

Right, who do we have here? We shan’t be making any references to their brewery this time (thought they do indeed have a rather large one), for this is about the club scrapping for their life at the bottom of the division.

Three management teams and a panoply of players – no, not the current government – for this is a team very much in transition, with a bright future ahead of them. Results may not have gone their way in recent times but the current crop is one of high quality.

With Sammy Moore at the helm there is a ray of hope shining on the Aquatherm Stadium. Just the one league win since November 8 — this coming against Littlehampton Town a few weeks ago — but performances have been better, slicker, shrewder.

Zak Ansah is a perennial threat in attack, and has played for clubs in the divisions above whilst Kieron Campbell has found the net in back-to-back matches.

For the club that have recorded the third-fewest number of goals this campaign, Bradley Schafer and Nathan Wood, two players that left the club in October, still lead the goalscoring charts with four apiece. Campbell is a close third….

Previous encounters

That October one, of course, where a stellar Hawks showing earned a memorable 6-1 win over The Lilywhites on a mild afternoon that saw O’Toole bag a brace, and multiples others ripple the netting.

Since the 2019-20 season the two sides have met on six occasions, with Faversham edging the head-to-head with two wins to Whitehawk’s one, with a further three draws that have all come at The Enclosed Ground. Tantalising stuff!

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