We have let ourselves down so far this season so performances as a team and as individuals need to improve, insists Bearsted boss Kevin Stevens
BEARSTED manager Kevin Stevens admits performances so far this season haven’t been good enough.
The Bears are in fourteenth-place in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table after two outings.
They began their campaign by losing 5-3 at home to Peacehaven & Telscombe in The FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round but they were reinstated into the competition and were thumped 4-0 by Isthmian League South East Division side Whyteleafe in the Preliminary Round at the weekend.
Domestically, Bearsted beat Tower Hamlets 2-1 on the opening day of the season before losing 4-0 to early pacesetters Tunbridge Wells at Culverden Stadium.
Tunbridge Wells have maximum points from their opening two games and so do Chatham Town, Sheppey United and Welling Town, while Balham and Punjab United have six points from three league games.
Bearsted welcome much-fancied Chatham Town to Honey Lane this evening and Stevens, writing in his programme notes for the game, said: “It’s been a tough start to our season and even more so for tonight’s game.
“Our visitors’ Chatham Town are strong favourites to win the league and rightly in my opinion after the signings they’ve made to an already very good squad.
“For that reason, they will have a big target on their backs and teams will want to perform well against them to see what they get from the game.
“We know that tonight won’t be an easy match but it’s a challenge for the boys to step up too, one that if they perform how we know they can, we can match any team.
“If I’m honest and I know all the squad will agree, we have let ourselves down so far this season.
“Of course, that also means we’ve let down our supporters as was the case against Whyteleafe.
“Performances as a team and as individuals need to improve and I’ve no doubt they will. We have a very good squad who will work hard to come out of a poor run.
“Morale is great as we move into a run of some really tough games.”
Stevens added: “Unfortunately, we have an injury list that is growing. Lekan Majayegbe, the latest to be added to that list.”
Meanwhile, Bearsted have signed goalkeeper Daniel Smith and he “is a very good goalkeeper, who will add competition in that position,” added the manager.
He replaces long-serving goalkeeper Scott Andrews, who made his Bearsted debut in 2003 when the club were playing Kent County League football.
“I have taken the tough decision to leave Bearsted,” Andrews said on his Twitter account.
“Not an easy one to make as I have played all the way through the junior section to the first-team.
“I have so many memories during this time, making my debut for the first team in 2003, winning the Kent Senior Trophy Final against Whitstable Town in 2006, winning the league in 2015-16 and gaining promotion to the Southern Counties East Football League; the clubs debut in The FA Cup and FA Vase competitions, with a great run in the Vase down to the last 32.
“We’ve come a long way since the Kent County League days. A massive thank you to all I have played with over the years and the hard-working volunteers and committee members who made my experience an enjoyable one.
“The time is right for me to step aside and wish the club the success in the future.”
Scott Lindsey’s side have beaten East Preston (2-0) and Westside (2-0) in both of their FA Cup ties and in the league have beaten Erith & Belvedere (4-3) and Punjab United (5-0).
Visit Bearsted’s website: www.bearstedfc.co.uk
Bearsted v Chatham Town
Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division
Tuesday 15 September 2020
Kick Off 7:30pm
at Otham Sports Ground, Honey Lane, Otham, Maidstone, Kent ME15 8RG