Tuesday 22nd February 2005

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We've still got more work to do!

STEVE Robinson was delighted with his side after crawling out of the relegation zone following their convincing and much needed 3-0 success over Southern League Division One East champions-elect Fisher Athletic at Park View Road on Saturday, writes Stephen McCartney.

The Erith & Belvedere manager, winning his first game in five attempts, after replacing Heybridge Swifts bound Barry Lakin, was pleased that his side collected three points after threatening to do so in recent games.

The 40-year-old said: "It was a convincing victory.  We've been threatening this for the last few games by the nature of our performances.  

"I was pleased with the fact that our defensive performance matched the attacking side and we were well worth the three points, against a side that has already beaten us twice this season, both convincingly."

Despite earlier criticism from some sections of the club's band of followers, striker Chris Dickson is in a rich vein of form, scoring twice against big-spending Fisher on Saturday, taking his tally to 16 goals for the season.

Robinson said: "He's a young lad whose progressed through from the reserves this year, whose still got a great deal to learn.

"He's got a natural talent that his performances have shown over the last couple of games or so.

"That said, with the experienced players I've brought in with the likes of Wayne Brown and Glen Knight, they've been able to guide him.

"That has helped his own personal performances over the last few weeks and it's pleasing to see him score three goals in the last two games."

Erith & Belvedere will be looking to build on Saturday's win when they travel to Kent rivals Chatham Town on Saturday.

Looking ahead to their game at Maidstone Road, Robinson added: "We can take a lot of confidence over the next few games coming up against sides in the bottom third in the table, starting with Chatham on Saturday closely followed by Beaconsfield and Leighton Town, who are close to the drop zone."

Robinson, however, has admitted he will continue with his work ethic to make sure the club maintain their Southern League status.

"The pressure is still on and it's a question of keeping the players feet on the ground.  We are only one point in front of Great Wakering Rovers with plenty of work to be done.

"The encouraging thing is if we can continue to perform like we've done in the last few weeks against the side's I've mentioned, and be able to put a run together, then at that point I might be able to relax a touch, without wanting to be complacent."

Reflecting on battering the Fish last Saturday, he added: "Although we sealed it in the last ten minutes, we still had chances to extend the lead.

"Chris Piper getting sent off really summerised the Fisher players frustrations with how had we were battling against them.

"We out battled them and very much deserved the win and whilst particularly in the first 15 minutes or so Fisher had a lot of possession, we very much had a game plan, which we stuck too, and I think they eventually became frustrated by the very nature of us matching them.

"It's only one win, and whilst it was against the possible champions the performance matched our last two or three and it's important we continue with those performances in the run in to ensure safety."

In the game at Park View Road at the end of August, the Deres were 3-0 up against the Medway side only to lose the thrilling game 4-3.

Southern League Division One East (bottom eight)

Pos Team PLD W D L F A PTS
15 Arlesey Town 30 10 6 14 42 56 36
16 Dartford 31 8 10 13 41 52 34
17 Leighton Town 30 7 12 11 41 43 33
18 Harlow Town 31 9 6 16 38 47 33
19 Beaconsfield 30 8 9 13 36 46 33
20 Erith & Belvedere 31 8 5 18 44 72 26*
21 Great Wakering 31 5 10 16 34 56 25
22 Tilbury 31 3 8 20 27 83 17

*Erith & Belvedere - three points deducted

Chatham Town v Erith & Belvedere
Southern League Division One East
Saturday 26th February 2005
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Maidstone Road, Chatham

Please feel free to use this article, but credit it to:
Stephen McCartney - www.kentishfootball.co.uk