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Whitstable Town chairman Gary Johnson and manager Nicky Southall issue rallying cry to get fans back to The Belmont

Gary Johnsonby Alex Hoad

Whitstable Town chairman Gary Johnson has launched an impassioned plea to get fans back to The Belmont.

Mr Johnson and boss Nicky Southall were left dismayed after the crowd for Town’s goalless draw with Crawley Down on Saturday was well down on the previous week’s romp against Worthing.

The 4-0 victory against a side with one of the best away records in the division earned Town the Macron Team Performance of the Month award for January.

However, despite expecting a hike in attendance from the 174 present on January 26, the turnout dropped to just 122 for Saturday’s visit of the high-flying Sussex side.

Mr Johnson said: "We produced a fantastic effort to win 4-0 against Worthing and even though they brought a few fans, and Crawley didn’t really bring anyone, we were hoping to see the gate go up. To get 122 was disappointing.

"To run a club competitively in the Ryman League you need gates nearing 200. How some teams survive on crowds of 40 or 50 is beyond me."

Mr Johnson said he was "open to listen to any ideas" about how to boost gates and added: "There is lots of good stuff going on here, we need to build on it.

"I am not trying to frighten anyone but we need the support of the Town to help us move forward."

Boss Nicky Southall added: "It was a bit deflating when we ended up with fewer fans than the week before.

"A football club is a vital part of a community and we need the town to come out and support us."

How do you think Town should improve their gates? Have your say below.

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