Published: 05:00, 14 January 2022
| Updated: 11:29, 14 January 2022
Whitstable boss Keith McMahon says their midweek Velocity Trophy win over rivals Herne Bay was for the fans.
Both sides rested key players but goals from George McIlroy and Callum Watts earned a 2-1 victory for the visitors in the second-round encounter, despite Bode Anidugbe’s 84th-minute consolation goal for Bay.
Only 15 days earlier in Isthmian South East, Whitstable had fallen to a 7-2 defeat to Ben Smith’s side but the away contingent in the crowd of 511 at Winch’s Field certainly had a better time of it this week.
“That’s for the fans,” said McMahon.
“We were here two weeks ago where we lost 7-2 - although I still don’t think the score reflected the game!
“But to come and put in a performance like that, with some players rested as well, I thought we were fantastic.”
Defender Cameron Chamberlain started for Whitstable and McMahon enthused: “Cameron, the young 17-year-old centre-half from the youth team, made his debut.
“To play against people like Zak Ansah is brilliant for him and I thought he was absolutely outstanding.
“He tired in the last couple of minutes which is why we took him off, but I thought young George McIlroy did well, as did Callum Watts and Montrell (Deslandes, who came off the bench).
“Most of these are 18-year-old kids.
"We are in a different scenario to Herne Bay and we know that, but the future is pretty bright for us.”
McMahon also praised keeper Dan Eason and Harry Goodger, who put in another hard-working performance up front, while midfielder Danny Walder played 90 minutes on his return from Covid.
The Oystermen had drawn 2-2 with Corinthian in the league last weekend - with Kemo Darboe and Goodger scoring - and will host league leaders Hastings this Saturday.
“Hastings is more important than Tuesday was,” admitted McMahon, whose side are 15th.
“For the fans, it’s not. But for us, it is. It’s a massive game.
“But we have got to pick our fights. Hastings, if we can get something, it’s a bonus but if we can show the same fight, we have a chance.
“Hastings is going to be difficult. They are a powerful side but we have just got to play with the same confidence.”
Midfielder Tom Carlton has announced he has left, while the club are also looking for a new first-team coach.