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Herne Bay manager Ben Smith has plenty of defensive options this season

Defender Mo Kamara is available to Herne Bay manager Ben Smith for the first time this weekend following a four-match ban.

The summer signing brought his suspension with him following a sending-off for Ashford United, seven months ago. It’s been a long wait to play league football again for Kamara but Smith’s impressive collection of defenders means his place is not guaranteed.

Mo Kamara will be looking to make his first appearance for Herne Bay since moving from Ashford Picture: Paul Amos
Mo Kamara will be looking to make his first appearance for Herne Bay since moving from Ashford Picture: Paul Amos

Bay won with a clean sheet last time out, beating Phoenix Sports 3-0, as they put to bed the heavy home defeat against Whyteleafe the week before.

Smith said: “We have made good signings at the back this year but they didn’t really get to show themselves in the Whyteleafe game (losing 4-1 the week before after conceding two early penalties).

“We have Dan Johnson back and Mo Kamara is a massive signing for the club. He is in contention now for Saturday. He has done pre-season with us and looked brilliant but couldn’t play in any of the games so I have felt sorry for him.

“We have real depth at centre-half, which is good. We have Callum Adonis-Taylor and he is back after missing a lot of pre-season, Dan Carrington is back from injury and he was outstanding on Saturday, I have a lot of headaches at centre-half.”

Helping them out defensively is the addition of midfielder Jordan Hibbert. The former Chelsea youngster made his debut on Saturday. He’s previously been at Dulwich and Carshalton but hasn’t played for over a year while concentrating on his music.

He’s a house-mate of striker Zak Ansah so won’t need much time to settle in and Smith was delighted to have him onboard.

Smith said: “He’s been concentrating on other things but is now really keen to get back into it. He came in and had a really solid debut, which is what I expected from him.

“He showed everything I expected of him, in terms of organisation. A defensive style midfielder is what we’ve got. Him and Dan Lawrence were excellent.”

Ansah was among the goals on Saturday, his 91st-minute effort adding to an early opener from Tushaun-Tyreese Walters. Dean Grant scored a third.

“It is a shame we didn’t score 10 minutes earlier because as soon as we scored (our second) it was then like the Alamo,” said Smith.

Ansah was also fouled in the box but Bay didn’t get the penalty, the referee admitting he didn’t see it as Smith’s team had countered quickly.

“Fair play, he was honest and said he couldn’t give what he couldn’t see, I like people that are honest,” said Smith.

“It was just good for us to get our mojo back again and points on the board which takes us into a massive game at home to Whitehawk.”

Smith expects the Hawks to be challenging at the top this season after making some big-name signings, including former Brighton defender Adam El-Abd and prolific striker Ronald Sobowale.

The Bay boss added: “We are in the league to have these massive games. We need to have threats against them and I think they will see us as a threat to them, that’s for sure.”

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