Wednesday 08th September 2004
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Three in - three out at Erith & Belvedere

BARRY LAKIN, manager of Southern League Division One East club Erith & Belvedere, has been busy in the transfer market recently, writes Stephen McCartney.

After recently losing striker Akpo Sodje to Huddersfield Town on a free transfer, two players have been released and have subsequently been snapped up by Kent clubs.

Stuart Abbott has teamed up with local Go Travel Kent League side Slade Green and Luke Morrish has joined Southern League rivals Dartford.

Lakin admitted: "Both have been excellent servants to the football club.

"I felt the players I've brought in are more my kind of player and I felt Stuart needed a new challenge.

"I've got two young players coming in to play in Luke's position and I want to give them a chance."

Two strikers have joined Erith & Belvedere from Ryman League clubs and the other, a left-sided midfielder, has been snapped up from Leyton Orient.

The strikers are Denva McKenzie from Whyteleafe and former Horsham and Bromley forward Steffan Ball from Dulwich Hamlet.

Twenty-one-year-old midfielder Tommy Morgan completes the trio of new faces at Park View Road.

Lakin revealed: "Denva is a big strong centre forward and Steffan is a tall centre forward and gives us another option to how we play.

"Tommy Morgan looks a skilful midfield player and is a good addition to the team."

Dartford manager Tommy Sampson revealed: "Luke (Morrish) phoned me last week as he was without a club.

"I know him from old, he is an experienced lad, and I've told him he is welcome to train here."

Morrish, however, won't be going straight into the Darts' first team, but will have to fight his way up the pecking order.  He has, however, signed Southern League and Kent League registration forms and will play for the reserves when they next play in the Kent League First Division.

Erith & Belvedere travel to Hellenic League side Carterton Town on Saturday week, after a Lewis Wood inspired performance saw off Ryman Leaguers Whyteleafe 4-2 in the FA Cup Preliminary Round at Church Road last Saturday.

Lakin was full of praise for the former Cray Wanderers player.  He said: "We played okay in the first half and I made a change at half time and brought on Lewis Wood.

"After going 1-0 down, he scored twice, set up another, and won us the game.

"I am delighted for the whole team and we've got an opportunity to win our next FA Cup match at Carterton Town."

If Erith & Belvedere are successful, they would have banked £3,250 from the FA in prize money, with another £3,750 at stake if they win their Second Qualifying Round tie.


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