It wasn’t about who won and who loses. It was about respecting someone who was a stalwart of the club, says Erith & Belvedere boss Matt Longhurst
ERITH & BELVEDERE manager Matt Longhurst admits to be feeling disappointed for not winning the inaugural Martin Tarrant Trophy.
The Deres went down to a 3-0 defeat to Whitstable Town at Park View Road yesterday in the match to honour the sad passing of the Erith & Belvedere club stalwart last November at the age of 58.
Will Graham won his first game in charge of Whitstable Town, courtesy of goals from Kieron Campbell, Ira Jackson and Luke Doherty.
“Everybody connected with the club was devastated last year,” said Longhurst, 34.
“It was a great idea to play the game, which will be an annual game.
“Martin was the first person you saw as you came through the gates because he used to welcome in the other teams and the officials etc. He deserves all the plaudits. It was all about him.
“I said to the boys unfortunately for us we’re disappointing today and he would have been disappointed in our performance because he wanted to see his teams play, work hard and he would have been disappointed in what we did, but he’d still be the first person in the bar to shake your hand and buy you a drink and that’s what today’s about.
“I said to the boys to respect the fact that he was here for a long time and he’s never going to get the opportunity to watch Erith & Belvedere ever again, which is devastating for someone that was 58 years old.
“As a mark of respect Whitstable came over and won the trophy. They deserved to win the game but it wasn’t about who won and who loses. It was about respecting someone who was a stalwart of the club, who has been a face at the club for a long period of time.
“I think everyone showed beforehand in terms with the clapping and afterwards clapping the other team that they won. We’ve showed a mark of respect for somebody who is highly thought off in non-league football and as a club.
“The match is something that will happen every year now.”
Visit Erith & Belvedere’s website: www.erithbelvederefc.co.uk