Published: 05:00, 28 December 2021
| Updated: 09:47, 28 December 2021
Manager Keith McMahon questioned the attitude of some of Whitstable’s players and apologised to the fans after their heavy derby defeat at Herne Bay on Monday.
The Oysterman’s five-match unbeaten Isthmian South East run came to an abrupt end as they were hammered 7-2 at Winch’s Field.
McMahon conceded: “Listen, I’m as gutted as every single fan. We apologised to them afterwards.
“I actually think we started the game really well for the first 25 minutes. We knocked it about, and I thought we wanted it a little bit more at the beginning.
“We scored a great goal and then I think we made a mistake for their first - we made a lot of mistakes for their goals to be fair - but I’m disappointed with the work-rate of some of the players today.
“They didn’t portray the club and I thought they let a lot of people down, especially the fans.”
Kemo Darboe had put Whitstable in front but the Oystermen trailed 4-1 by half-time, with Aaron Millbank, Kieron Campbell, Rory Smith and Bode Anidugbe turning the match on its head with four goals in quick succession.
Herne Bay captain Laurence Harvey added a fifth after the restart before Whitstable pulled one back through substitute Harry Goodger, only for late Bradley Schafer and Zak Ansah efforts to round off Bay’s emphatic victory in front of 1,119 supporters.
The Oystermen, who are 16th, host sixth-placed Ramsgate on New Year’s Day before they visit Faversham two days later.
When asked his thoughts on Whitstable’s start to the match, McMahon replied: “I think that makes you more angry because it’s players’ attitude then.
“We have got a few youngsters which is fine. But I thought the youngsters did all right.
“Anyone that know me knows my teams need to work hard.
“You can have bad games and I thought my goalkeeper, Dan Eason, didn’t have his best game today. But at the end, he is still throwing himself in front of people’s legs. That’s all you can ask for.
“But I think a few people jacked it in and that’s not tolerable. We have come on so far in such a short period of time and, hopefully, we will get a reaction on Saturday.
“I think we have got an even tougher test but we need to roll our sleeves up and the players to show this club that they want to play for them.”
One positive for Whitstable was the return of midfielder Luke Griffiths who came off the bench to make his first appearance in more than a month, following a knee injury.