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Whitstable Town manager Keith McMahon expecting tough test on Ashford United's artificial surface


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Manager Keith McMahon admits Whitstable will face an entirely different test when they visit Ashford.

McMahon’s Oystermen will aim to respond after their 3-2 loss at Sittingbourne on Tuesday night when they take on promotion-chasing Nuts and Bolts at Homelands this Saturday.

Whitstable manager Keith McMahon will be looking for a response at Ashford after defeat in midweek. Picture: Les Biggs
Whitstable manager Keith McMahon will be looking for a response at Ashford after defeat in midweek. Picture: Les Biggs

Second-bottom Whitstable’s midweek defeat came after they had won their first two matches under their new management team. They beat Phoenix Sports 1-0 last Saturday thanks to Luke Griffiths' goal after a Kent Senior Cup semi-final win over Gillingham.

“It’s a difficult place to go,” said McMahon. “I know Tommy (Warrilow, Ashford’s manager) well, we are good friends.

"My record there is good, actually. On the astroturf, it’s going to be a different test.

“We know it’s going to be tough, but if we perform we have a chance of getting something.”

A late Kane Rowland winner earned Sittingbourne the points at Woodstock.

He added to an earlier Johan Caney-Bryan brace while midfielder Danny Walder was on target for the Oystermen whose other goal came when a Brickies player put through their own net.

McMahon reflected: “I think we should have, at least, come away with a draw.

“Second half, I thought we were excellent. To concede in the last minute was a kick in the teeth, especially because we had a chance 30 seconds earlier. But some tired legs came into it, with it being a third game inside a week.”

McMahon has tried to give youngsters at the club the opportunity to impress since taking charge.

Midfielder Gus Barnes, along with Muhammed Cham, has impressed Oystermen boss Keith McMahon. Picture: Les Biggs
Midfielder Gus Barnes, along with Muhammed Cham, has impressed Oystermen boss Keith McMahon. Picture: Les Biggs

Among those to be given a chance were midfielders Gus Barnes and Muhammed Cham, who both shone once more against Sittingbourne.

“Mo Cham and Gus Barnes worked their socks off,” he said. “We also have Montrell Deslandes, he is another 17-year-old. Then George McIlroy is working his way back from a hamstring injury.

“They have played without fear when given a chance and they have added a bit of freshness.”

McMahon hopes keeper Dan Eason will be fully fit for their clash against Ashford after he played against Sittingbourne despite suffering with illness.

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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