Tradtional Boxing Day fixture will attract more support, says Whitstable Town chairman Gary Johnson

Sunday 21st December 2014
WHITSTABLE TOWN chairman Gary Johnson says he wants to attract a large crowd when local rivals Herne Bay visit on Boxing Day.

The Oystermen who went down to a 2-1 defeat away to South Park yesterday, welcome Sam Denly’s side to The Belmont on football’s most lucrative day of the season.

There are only two games being played in the Ryman League Division One South on Boxing Day – the other being another big Kent derby between Folkestone Invicta and Hythe Town, which kicks-off at noon.

Most clubs have decided to play their games the following day, but Mr Johnson says playing The Bay on Boxing Day is the best option.

He said: “The board and management of Whitstable Town decided to stay with the traditional Boxing Day fixture, despite the offer by the league to allow fixtures to be deferred a day, in the hope that the traditional Christmas footballing day would attract more support.

“This is especially so now that there are only two Ryman League Division One South games arranged for that day and that the Oystermen are the only 3pm kick-off.”

Whitstable Town go into the game sitting in fourteenth-place in the table, having collected eight wins and eight draws from their 26 games.

Herne Bay, who tasted a 2-0 defeat to Hastings United at Winch’s Field yesterday, sit in eighth-place, having won 11 and drawn four of their 27 games.

Joint-managers Jim and Danny Ward’s remit at the start of the season was to guide Whitstable Town to their highest ever position in the Ryman League.

“Despite an encouraging start to this year’s campaign, the best since Whitstable were promoted seven years ago, under the guidance of brothers Jim and Danny Ward recent results have seen the Oystermen struggle to achieve that early form.

“However, as always with a local derby and especially this one over Christmas, local pride and bragging rights are at stake meaning that both clubs will want to win, none more so than Whitstable as the need to end the year in style and kick-start the campaign for the remainder of the season.”

Visit Whitstable Town’s website:

Whitstable Town  v  Herne Bay
Ryman League Division One South
Boxing Day, Friday 26th December 2014
Kick Off 3:00pm
at The Belmont, Belmont Road, Whitstable, Kent CT5 1QP