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Herne Bay bounce back from FA Cup exit with two league wins, including derby victory over Whitstable Town

Herne Bay manager Ben Smith got just the response he was looking for after their early FA Cup exit.

Smith’s side went out of the FA Cup at the preliminary round stage last weekend against Bedfont Sports but bounced back with a thumping 6-0 win over Three Bridges on Saturday and a 2-1 derby victory at Whitstable on Monday.

Zak Ansah scored four goals in two games for Herne Bay. Picture: Keith Davy
Zak Ansah scored four goals in two games for Herne Bay. Picture: Keith Davy

Both Isthmian League wins could have been more emphatic, according to the Bay boss.

Smith said: “When you lose a game you can read so much into it and you can panic but the week before we had put in a very good performance at Hastings and were gutted not to take the three points.

“We knew it wasn’t panic stations, we went out to a side who did a number on us on the day and every time we tried to change things we got an injury at the wrong times. It was one of those days.

“It was a case of, could we get a reaction out of the players? It was a good early opportunity to see what mental capacity the players have got when things are not going well. Can they go up a gear and find solutions to it? They came up trumps.”

Bay might have been expected to win Saturday’s game but Three Bridges are still capable of making it tough for teams.

“It could have been quite an historic scored in the end,” said Smith.

“We probably scored the harder chances but it was good to have created a lot and we changed the formation because we were coming up against sides trying to stop us, all very similar. We adapted what we were doing and it worked a treat.”

JJ Naiwo opened the scoring on 17 minutes while Dan Johnson and Zak Ansah extended the lead before the break. Chinedu McKenzie made it four, substitute Dean Grant added a fifth and Ansah bagged another to complete the rout.

Herne Bay followed it up with a derby win on Monday as Ansah struck twice more, including one from the penalty spot. Danny Walder had equalised for the home side.

“Second half we should have put them to bed,” said Smith. “It was good, they had a 20-minute spell in the first half after they scored (to make it 1-1) where they looked the better side but as soon as we got in we regrouped and passed the football.

"We got away from this derby-day playing tennis with them and smashing it long. They had the odd breakaway but we were camped in their half.

“Dan Eason pulled off some saves to keep them in it as we had quite a few opportunities to add to the scoreline.”

The defeat in front of a bumper 852 crowd at The Belmont means Whitstable are still looking for their first points.

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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