Sheppey are a big club so their expectations are to try to push on and try to achieve Ryman football, says manager Ernie Batten

Wednesday 16th November 2016

SHEPPEY UNITED manager Ernie Batten says he wants to establish the club in the Southern Counties East Football League.

The club booked their place in the last 16 of the Macron Southern Counties East Football League Challenge Cup after coming away from bottom-of-the-table Fisher with a thrilling 4-3 win last night.

It was the club’s second 4-3 win of the week after coming away from Whitstable Town with three points in the bag last Saturday.

Sheppey United were promoted alongside Bearsted last season as runners-up in the Kent Invicta League and are in third-place in the Premier Division table, having collected 10 wins, three draws and three defeats in the league this season.

Batten takes his side to Crayford on Saturday to tackle sixth-from-bottom side Erith Town, who sent their kit man to watch last night’s game at Fisher.

“Another difficult game.  What we’ve found with this league this season it’s a tremendously competitive league and if you’re not on your game on the day the chances are you’ll get beat,” said Batten.

“There’s been some really surprising results this year. I think the league is the best it’s been for many, many years.”

When asked about Sheppey United’s league position, Batten says he is delivering the aspirations set by his chairman Matthew Smith.

Batten said: “We’re very pleased with it.  At the start of the season it was about getting established at this level. The chairman said to me ‘just as long as you don’t get relegated’ he’ll be happy.

“We need to get established but we’ve done better than that to be where we are now is excellent for us.  We need to improve if we’re going to be in the mix at the end but we’re not even thinking about that.  We need to take each game as it comes and see where it takes us, with hard work and application I can see us maintaining some form.”

Sheppey United’s next home game at Holm Park is against title-chasing Crowborough Athletic on Saturday 26 November.

When asked whether Sheppey United are also title contenders, Batten replied: “As I said, not really no! We’re not looking at it.

“Everybody’s ambition has got to be that. You’re looking to win the title otherwise there’s no point.  At any level of football, if you’re a football person you want to be successful, that’s what we train for, that’s what we play for and that’s what the fans’ come for and Sheppey are a big club so their expectations are to try to push on and try to achieve Ryman football.”

Looking ahead to Crowborough’s visit, Batten said: “Massive game for us. We were unlucky down there. We went 2-0 up and lost 3-2. It was another exciting game.  We should have been four up at half-time but that’s how football goes.

“But they’re a very good strong side, got some very experienced players. They’re one of the best sides, them and Sevenoaks, I believe are the two strongest sides from the games I’ve seen.”

Visit Sheppey United’s website:

Erith Town  v  Sheppey United
Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division
Saturday 19th November 2016
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Oakwood, Old Road, Crayford, Kent DA1 4DN