Isthmian League

Preview | Faversham Town (H)

Whitehawk are welcomed back to the colourful home comforts of The Enclosed Ground on Saturday afternoon. Following forays far and wide of this green and all rather similar part of the country, it’s the Hawks’ turn to host some Kentish opposition as Faversham Town shimmy on over.

Manager Ross Standen heaped the praise onto the loyal supporters that travelled in their numbers to East Grinstead Town, as he explains how they have been at the forefront of importance so often this season. From Hythe to Ramsgate, Chichester to Tooting, the noise has been wonderful, and a similar atmosphere is expected on Saturday.

It is a meeting that assures recognition and pride. Not so much for the result, or for the hurricane-style winds that continue to overpower the city, rather the deeply progressive, profoundly imperative, ‘Football v Homophobia’ initiative that celebrates inclusion and diversity. Football is for everyone.

Last time out

Right, where did we go….ah! East Grinstead of course. Following a procession of 2-2 draws, it was a return to the binary code of old with a 1-1 stalemate on a typically cold February day at East Court. An opening half restricted of action and threat, there was only one figure in blue to break such a deadlock minutes prior to the pause. Step up, Javaun Splatt.

Capitalising on his opposing defender’s woeful touch, the forward curled emphatically and precisely into the far-corner stanchion. Reminders of his wonder goal in this season’s reverse fixture, it would count for only a point as Andrew Briggs made up for his missed penalty with a dipping drive from range that snuck in under the crossbar. Another point, that’s three consecutive draws for the Hawks.

The opposition

Having played the two sides that sandwich Whitehawk in 16th and 14th position respectively, it’s time for another foe in close proximity as 13th placed Faversham zip along a few speedy roads to make a Sussex coast arrival. Goalless in their past fixture on this recent Saturday with VCD Athletic, it stretched the unbeaten run to two following their 2-0 win over Burgess Hill the week before.

But inconsistent nonetheless. Joining the many whose form has been chequered, erratic, weird, they lie just two points above the Hawks having played a game less. Victory for the hosts will see them jump up into their current position, provided East Grinstead come away from Lancing empty handed.

Marcus Elliot has seven league goals this campaign, although six came in the green and white shirt of VCD. Harry Harding’s five have all been scored for The Lilywhites, who, for a touch of thrilling trivia, are the only side in England apart from the national team to have three lions on their badge. Told you it was fun.

Previous meetings

It was back in late October that these two sides last met: a dreary, dull affair that Faversham claimed 1-0. Even reflecting back a few months into the future now there is nothing of note that springs to mind, with the exception of Joe Denny’s close-range rifler, of course.

364 full rotations of the Earth before this witnessed the previous encounter between the clubs, at The Enclosed Ground no less. In a season that has been wiped from memory, and indeed record, it was the loyal Harding who gave his side a 59th minute lead that was instantly cancelled out by an intuitive Marvin Hamilton back-heel in front of 400 sated football-desperate faces. A share of the spoils it was to be.

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