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Herne Bay boss Ben Smith says club's management team made wrong decisions as they lose Isthmian Premier Kent derby at Folkestone Invicta

Ben Smith accepts Herne Bay’s management team made some wrong calls on Monday as their side lost at Folkestone.

Goals from Kadell Daniel and Ade Yusuff put Invicta in command at Cheriton Road and, despite Bay skipper Kieron Campbell pulling one back in the club’s first Kent derby of their inaugural Isthmian Premier campaign, the away side couldn’t equalise.

Folkestone's Josh Vincent and Herne Bay captain Kieron Campbell battle it out. Picture: Randolph File
Folkestone's Josh Vincent and Herne Bay captain Kieron Campbell battle it out. Picture: Randolph File

The result came with last season’s top scorer, Zak Ansah, and Mike West named on the bench before they helped Bay stage a late second-half fightback alongside impressive skipper Campbell.

“All of our players are good enough to play for us. [But] I made a few mistakes today that have hampered the team, I won’t go into what they are,” Bay’s boss said.

“There’s some tactical stuff that we have done - which didn’t work. I can’t blame the players.

“Once we reverted back to what we have been doing, suddenly in the second half, I thought we were starting to get on top of them - as much as you can ever get on top of them because they are a good side!

“The players, on the whole, have done well and they have been hampered by the management.

“It’s disappointing, really. It’s a drop-off in performance levels from us and they are a good side, I can’t deny that.

“But we have not given a good account of ourselves today and we gifted them a goal.”

The result came after Herne Bay conceded an 86th-minute equaliser on Saturday against Kingstonian.

Defender Chris Edwards gave Smith's side a half-time lead at Southwood, Bay's temporary home while their new 3G pitch at Winch's Field is completed. But the game ended 1-1 after Tyrese Owen's late leveller.

Herne Bay manager Ben Smith. Picture: Chris Davey
Herne Bay manager Ben Smith. Picture: Chris Davey

Smith insisted: “We are a better side than Kingstonian, I have no doubt in my mind about that. So that was disappointing and maybe I have carried that disappointment into this game.

“We made a couple of tweaks to what we are doing but, really, maybe that’s a bit of a knee-jerk reaction. We’ve spoken about naivety from the players [this season] and that’s naivety on my part.

“But it’s just disappointing today, it’s disappointing we didn’t perform and show a little bit of what we are about.”

Against Folkestone, another to come off the bench for Herne Bay was winger Mason Saunders-Henry who has joined on an initial one-month loan deal from National League South Tonbridge.

“He needed minutes. Jay [Saunders, Tonbridge’s manager] can’t fit him in at the minute so Jay gave me a call,” explained Smith who has allowed striker Rory Smith to join Southern Counties East Premier Division Deal on a dual-registration basis to get regular first-team football.

“We needed Rory to get minutes so it came at a good time for us - it’s something which fell on our laps!

“It was literally after we had agreed with Deal and Kingy [Deal manager Steve King] so we said ‘Yeah, we can do it’.”

Herne Bay play league rivals Horsham in the FA Cup First Qualifying Round this Saturday.

With Bay having been drawn at home and their 3G pitch at Winch's Field still not ready, they will once again play at Ramsgate.

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