Sunday 20th February 2005

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Gravesend rocked by terrace closure

WHILST Stonebridge Road is crumbling, the same thing cannot be said about things on the pitch under new manager Liam Daish, writes Stephen McCartney.

The popular covered terrace behind one of the goals has been closed over safety concerns and the closure will end up costing the Kent club a minimum of £80,000, reports the Non League Paper.

"It's a body blow," said chairman Brian Kilcullen.  "This will cost the club a massive amount, but what can we do?"

Safety officer Chris Baker said the club has acted after an inspection showed deterioration in the condition of the concrete steps.  He added: "To comply with the safety certificate, the club has been left with no option but to close this terrace on the advice of the emergency services."

Meanwhile, back on the pitch, Gravesend won their first Nationwide Conference game since 8th January, as Daish collected his fourth point in only his second game in charge.

Last Saturday's 2-2 draw at Carlisle - after being 2-0 down - was followed up with victory a 2-0 victory over Tamworth, with goals coming from Roy Essandoh and Paul McCarthy.

He told the Non League Paper: "It was an excellent three points today.  The lads have applied themselves and have done everything I have asked of them.  It's been a good day today and I have enjoyed it.

"I can see that we have some good strong characters in our dressing room and when you play sides like Tamworth that's what you need - players who are going to be physically up for it and who are ready to compete.

"If we get let down physically or through lack of quality I will hold up my hands and we will address it.

"We had a bit of luck with the first goal but doesn't any club need a bit of luck? Roy's goal will do him a lot of good and the way I want to play will suit him.

"I want the ball delivered into the box with quality, and there will be many chances for him."

Daish added he has settled in well after just over two weeks at the helm.

"It's been very easy to settle in because many people can't do enough for me.  They have been spot on.  That, coupled with the players attitude, means that we are not far away from where we want to be.  The players are all up for it, have a good spirit and are a pleasure to work with."

Next Saturday, Ryman Premier League side Slough Town visit Stonebridge Road for a place in the quarter-finals of the FA Trophy at stake.