No trophies are handed out in August, says table-topping Erith & Belvedere boss Matt Longhurst

Sunday 24th August 2014
ERITH & BELVEDERE manager Matt Longhurst says he is delighted with his side’s start to the campaign ahead of the top-of-the-table clash with Sevenoaks Town on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon.

The Deres were relegated after just one season in the Ryman League under their former management team.

But they sit proudly at the top of the Southern Counties East Football League table with a 100% record from four league games and can look forward to a visit from Ryman League Division One South Folkestone Invicta in the FA Cup Preliminary Round next Sunday after beating AFC Croydon Athletic 2-0.

“So far so good, I suppose is all we can say at the moment,” said former Corinthian manager Longhurst.

“We have started the season well but it’s only five games in so we can’t get carried away - no trophies are handed out in August.

“We are re-building a club and it will take time. 

“We have signed some excellent players but it will take time to gel the group together now.

“We have played ok in patches and not so good in others.  I think after Christmas you’ll start to see a more consistent level of performance from us, until then it may be a bit fragmented due to so many new players being put together.

“I’ve said in all my interviews so far that I’m pleased with the players’ attitude and application to what we are trying to achieve and my hat goes off to all of them with their commitment in training and games.

“With the games coming thick and fast we have to utilise the whole squad and the players understand the importance of a squad and the togetherness has been excellent so far.”

Erith & Belvedere welcome Sevenoaks Town to Park View Road on Bank Holiday Monday.

Sevenoaks Town are in second place in the table, also with a 100% record from four league games.

Sevenoaks’ management team of Micky Collins, Grant Watts and Julian Leigh guided Erith & Belvedere to the Kent League and Cup double the season before last.

Longhurst said: “Monday’s game will be another tough test as in fairness all the games have so far.

“We’ve not had an easy game although a couple of the results suggest that.

“Sevenoaks have started great and have a very experienced management team and some very, very good players.

“We know what we need to know about them and I’m sure they know all they need to know about us.

“To myself and the players at this stage of the season it’s just another three points to play for and just another game with no more or less importance of any other game we’ve played so far.

“We go into the game with one injury concern to Charley Hearn other than that we are at full strength.

“We have managed the squad according to the Bank Holiday weekend fixture list as its tough going on all non-league players playing two games in three days so we will make some changes after the game Saturday against Rochester as that was a tough, physical test on a fairly hard pitch, so would have taken its toll.

“I believe at this time of the season there is no pressure on anyone unless financially you’re paying big money and there is an expectancy on your head.

“For us it’s about enjoying our football and piecing together something for the long term. It’s a slowly, slowly process for us as I’ve already said I expect bumps along the way but as time goes on I hope the road will become smoother.”

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Erith & Belvedere  v  Sevenoaks Town
Southern Counties East Football League
Bank Holiday Monday 25th August 2014
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Park View Road, Welling, Kent DA16 1SY