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Whitstable manager Scott Porter boosted by strength in depth

By Cameron Hogwood

Scott Porter has welcomed Whitstable’s newly-bolstered strength in depth ahead of their Bostik League South East division run-in.

Town won in the league for the first time since Boxing Day on Saturday as they beat Guernsey 3-1 at The Belmont.

The game staged the full introduction of two recent acquisitions who have been tipped to play a starring role in the team’s relegation battle.

Whitstable Town Football Club Manager Scott Porter. Picture: Chris Davey FM4860727 (5663042)
Whitstable Town Football Club Manager Scott Porter. Picture: Chris Davey FM4860727 (5663042)

“The two new signings, Harry Stannard and Connor Sanders, have made a massive difference,” said Porter. “They bring a lot of quality and have lifted the place.

“We got Stephen Smith back and we’ve also got Ricky Freeman coming back from suspension so we’re near to full strength.

“It’s good to have that competition for places at such an important stage in the season.”

Stannard re-signed for the Oystermen from Ramsgate on March 5 before starting in the game against VCD that was abandoned after just eight minutes due to injury.

Sanders followed the striker through the door a matter of days later to add valuable experience to Whitstable’s ranks.

Touching on the latter, Porter added: “He’s my type of player, he’s a workhorse. He’s big, strong, breaks up play well and has played at a high level so that’s going to help us.”

Saturday’s win puts Whitstable three points ahead of Guernsey and one behind 16th-placed Faversham with two games in hand.

The result served up an overdue three points on the back of encouraging displays across late January and early

February.

“It was a massive relief, the boys deserved it and I feel like it’s been a long-time coming,” admitted Porter.

“It took huge pressure off our shoulders.

“There’s that feeling when you go into half-time 1-0 down that it might be another one of those days but we turned it around.

“They didn’t stop running, people were coming off the pitch knackered and that’s what I want. I want workers.

“We’ve felt like we were playing okay in the three draws we had before the two defeats last time out but we were just missing key players.

“We went for a team bonding session on Tuesday night after our friendly with Folkestone Invicta was called off so that was good and brought us all together.”

Whitstable host in-form Sittingbourne on Saturday as they look to put further distance between themselves and the two teams below them.

“They’re on a good run, they’ve turned it around and won five in a row so it will be a tough game.”

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