Sittingbourne player-manager Nick Davis: Maybe a few players are going through the motions and are a little comfortable in thinking they are guaranteed a shirt each week
SITTINGBOURNE player-manager Nick Davis says he’s expecting a tough battle down at Hythe Town tomorrow.
The Brickies have been on a downward spiral in recent weeks, suffering six straight defeats but the run was ended on Tuesday night by knocking Hastings United out of the League Cup, winning 4-3 on penalties after the game was locked at 1-1 after 90 minutes.
Sittingbourne are in the bottom four going into tomorrow’s Kent derby at Reachfields Stadium and have collected 18 points from 18 games. They are only one point clear of the relegation zone and Davis is keen for his side to replicate their early season form.
“Really tough game away to Hythe,” said Davis, who side were thrashed 6-1 at home to fellow strugglers Chipstead last Saturday.
“Clive Cook has recruited a lot of experience and a general goal threat and we expect a really difficult game.
“I’m more concerned about us and how we play if I’m being honest and if we play like we did last week against Chipstead, we will get another hiding. It’s as simple as that.
“I have been extremely loyal to the lads since I have been in charge, why wouldn’t I with the run we went on towards the end of last season and to go on the run we went on after our first two games which included five straight league wins which was as good a league run the club has been on since the early 90s.
“We have been on a terrible run in the league and yes we have played seven of the top 10 sides and only lost by one goal in each but the Chipstead game was a real wake up call, a blessing in disguise I hope.
“This showed Tony (Cornwell) and I maybe a few players are going through the motions and are a little comfortable in thinking they are guaranteed a shirt each week.
“I felt I had to play myself midweek for the League Cup game away to Hastings in the last 16, to see for myself and hopefully give that experience and voice on the pitch.
“To be fair what a response my players gave and I thought we were outstanding and deservedly went through to the Quarter-Finals against probably the best attacking side we have seen this season.
“That was the ninth game I have played this season and more than I expected to have played to be honest this early on but we have won eight of those and my better experiences as manager this season has defiantly been on the pitch and not watching from the side-lines.
“We have a young squad and we are quiet as a team and maybe I help in that sense.
“We have made our third signing this week in as many weeks bringing some experience in and we have more than a capable side to compete in the top half of this table.
“We just need to take our chances when we are on top and believe in it again. The atmosphere after beating Hastings was back to its best and hopefully we can kick on from here now.”
Hythe Town welcome Sittingbourne sitting in sixteenth-place in the table on 26 points from 20 games.
Coach Will Graham said: “We go into this weekend’s Kent derby against Sittingbourne with the arrival of two young promising Maidstone United youngsters, right-back Connor Hood and centre defender Will Thomas.
“Both players have come out for regular first team experience with us. They are young lads but they have both trained with us and don't look out of place one bit.
“The management team think they can add real competition for places in the squad.
“We are playing with a real confidence at the moment. The lads are playing with a smile and we believe we are pushing in the right direction.”
Hythe Town supporters are delighted that their club have risen clear of the relegation battle in recent weeks.
Cook has carried on the good work done by previous boss Tony Beckingham, who picked up 13 points from five games during his six games in charge of the club.
The Cannons have won four of their last five games since Cook has taken sole charge at Reachfields Stadium and the fear of relegation now falls on Sittingbourne’s minds going into tomorrow’s game.
“How we performed away at Chatham last week was a real testament to how far we have come,” said Graham.
“Chatham really put us on the back foot at stages but we stood up to their threat and then took charge of the game and think we was disappointed to not win by a bigger margin.
“Tomorrow will be as tough as last week in my opinion. Nick is my old centre half partner from my Ramsgate days and he is a quality young manager and we know tomorrow we will have to be at our best to take all three points from the game.”
Visit Hythe Town’s website: www.hythetownfc.co.uk
Visit Sittingbourne’s website: www.sittingbournefc.co.uk
Hythe Town v Sittingbourne
Ryman League Division One South
Saturday 28th November 2015
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Reachfields Stadium, Fort Road, Hythe, Kent CT21 6JS