Published: 06:00, 24 December 2019
| Updated: 08:58, 24 December 2019
Boss Lloyd Blackman reckons Whitstable’s next two matches could prove to be vital in their Isthmian South East play-off bid.
The Oystermen host Ashford on Boxing Day before a New Year’s Day trip to take on rivals Herne Bay.
Whitstable are currently five points adrift of Tommy Warrilow’s Ashford side who occupy the final play-off place.
“We are 10th in the league with two big fixtures coming up,” admitted Blackman.
“I think we will find out where we are as a side after these games. They (Ashford and Herne Bay) are two sides that are challenging for the play-off positions.
“But we have earned the right to be where we are.”
Whitstable will return to action following a 12-day break after their 1-1 draw at Ramsgate on December 14. Marcus Elliott was on target for the Oystermen in that game, while goalkeeper Dan Eason saved two penalties.
Blackman said: “It’s been a crazy first-half to the season.
“We had loads of fixtures at the start of the season, but now, we have gone 12 days without a game.
“So, we are chomping at the bit.”
Since winning the Southern Counties East League at the end of the 2016/17 season, the Nuts and Bolts have quickly adjusted to life in the Isthmian League, reaching the Isthmian South East play-off final last term where they fell to a 2-1 extra-time loss against Horsham.
Blackman said: “Tommy knows this league like the back of his hand. He has a good side down there.
“They were one of the promotion favourites at the start of this season and rightly so.
“(But) I think the atmosphere of a Boxing Day game can play a part, as well. It’s a unique fixture.”
Liam Dickson will need to be assessed ahead of the Ashford game (1pm kick-off), having recently picked up an Achilles injury.
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More by this authorThomas Reeves