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Whitstable Town assistant manager Mark Lane praises players after draw at Guernsey

Mark Lane had nothing but praise for Whitstable as they halted their run of defeats with a point at Guernsey on Saturday.

Town, beaten 4-0 at home by neighbours Herne Bay the previous week, led 1-0 until conceding an 82nd minute penalty which led to the home side’s equaliser.

It was Town’s first point in four Bostik South East matches – made all the more creditable by the the fact they made the trip to the Channel Islands missing a host of players, among them five forwards – Ricky Freeman, Danny Williams, Steve Smith, Charlie Smith and Tom Walmsley.

Whitstable Town assistant manager Mark Lane
Whitstable Town assistant manager Mark Lane

Harry Brown was suspended, while John Walker, Louis Sprosen, Michael Jenner and Kyran Connolly were also absent, leaving the visitors with just one substitute.

Assistant coach Lane said: “Guernsey is always a tough place to go, and it was especially so after the defeat to Herne Bay.

“There’s no getting away from the fact that it was a poor performance (against Herne Bay) but we dealt with that behind closed doors and agreed to move on.

“We changed the formation a little bit, it’s something we wanted to do, to try and stifle their pattern of play and be tighter defensively.

“It was a horrid day weather-wise and I’ve got to say the performance from the lads was absolutely fantastic.

“I couldn’t fault any of them, every one of them worked hard and in the end we were probably a bit unlucky not to win.

“I had no dispute over the penalty and in the end we came away with a point which were pleased about.”

The Guernsey result leaves Town down in 14th, but the table is so congested that Lane knows it would not take much for Town to get back among the play-off spots.

He added: “The thing with this league is that you’ll go on good runs and bad runs and it’s how quickly you stop the rot when you’re on a bad run.

“We went 11 games unbeaten earlier in the season and everything looked hunky-dory then you lose three games in a row and it comes down really to how you manage the team.”

Town are without a fixture on Saturday but will remain without Brown for the Boxing Day home match against Ramsgate.

He received a three-game ban following his red card in the defeat against Herne Bay.

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