Erith Town 5 Whitstable Town 2
The Dockers recovered from a difficult start with a statement-sending thrashing of Whitstable Town at the Stadium.
Whitstable came straight out of the blocks and didn’t look in need of the gift given to them in the third minute.
Mackenzie Foley miscued his kick straight to Oystermen striker Matt Gething.
Gething was closed out as he bore down on the Dockers goal, but squared for Kyle Lightfoot to tap home.
The visitors continued to dominate as Erith struggled to impose themselves on the game and Foley produced an excellent save to deny Lightfoot a second.
Midway through the half Adam Woodward changed the formation with Tola Odedoyin sent up front, and the big centre back immediately announced his presence as he let Dan Eason know he was in a battle with a challenge that was penalised.
There is no doubt that the change worked as the Dockers started to look effective in the opposition half and in the 34th minute they were level.
Ladic Melconian was pushed inside the area and referee Anastaysia Voloshchuk immediately pointed to the spot.
Steadman Callender is always a good bet from the penalty spot and sent Eason the wrong way for his third in four games from 12 yards.
That earlier encounter could have been on Eason’s mind two minutes later as a through ball left him and Odedoyin on a collision course again, but Eason lost out again leaving the Erith man to walk the ball into the net and make it 2-1.
Game management has looked much improved recently, but with half-time approaching the ball was given away needlessly and Jason Goodchild was penalised as he tried to win it back.
The free-kick was swung high to the edge of the area and Freeman Rogers’ looping header eluded everyone to drop in at the far post.
Woody is never slow to voice his opinions, so the players are unlikely to have relished the impending half-time team talk, but whatever he said, it worked.
Unphased by the setback, the Dockers started the second half positively and in the 54th minute Melconian’s perfectly timed pass put in Alfie Eldridge who restored the lead via the far post.
That was the start of a nine-minute blitz and five minutes later Callender found himself in the same position and made it four with a clinical finish.
Whitstable’s earlier confidence had crumbled and four minutes later Melconian added to their agony with a superb 20-yard effort.
While there were no further goals, the Dockers ensured that the visitors had no way back with a professional last quarter of the game, that saw one of the best results of in recent times.