I think all form goes out of the window when you’re playing against Herne Bay, says Sittingbourne manager Aslan Odev
SITTINGBOURNE manager Aslan Odev says their home game against Herne Bay this coming Saturday is a must-win game.
The Brickies have suffered eight defeats in their last nine games and go into Christmas sitting in the bottom four of the Bostik South East Division table with 17 points from 16 games.
Yesterday, they went down to a 2-1 defeat at Cray Wanderers. Tony Russell’s table-topping men struck the woodwork on four occasions with former Sittingbourne striker Joe Taylor being the main culprit as he was denied by that method on three occasions.
Bradley Pritchard lashed in the opening goal halfway through the first half before the versatile Ben Mundele doubled the home side’s lead in the 73rd minute before Sittingbourne left-back Chris Webber drilled in a 35-yarder late on.
Sittingbourne defender Lex Allan was red-carded by referee Matthew Pollington for a last-man foul on Taylor at the death.
Odev’s side welcome fellow strugglers Herne Bay to Woodstock Park on Saturday 29 December, without a fixture on Boxing Day, 26 December, or New Years Day.
Herne Bay, who are managed by former Sittingbourne second-string pair John Embery and Jermaine Darlington, are bottom of the table with 11 points from 17 games but they did stun Hythe Town by beating them 3-1 at Winch’s Field on Saturday.
The Cannons are miss-firing and have slipped down to seventh-place in the table on 27 points – four points adrift of fifth-placed side Haywards Heath Town, who are in the play-offs alongside Whyteleafe, in second, Hastings United and Horsham.
Sam Denly’s side have lost to Horsham, Greenwich Borough, Whyteleafe and Herne Bay, conceding 13 goals in the process.
Odev insists Saturday’s game against Herne Bay is a game that they cannot afford to lose.
“I think in a game like Herne Bay when it’s sort of local rivals and there’s a little bit of history between the players and we know their players and they know our players, it’s all very friendly I suppose, but it’s not all quite friendly in regards to the importance of the game and the competitiveness,” said Odev.
“I think all form goes out of the window when you’re playing against Herne Bay, especially from our group of lads.
“We know it’s a must win game and we’re going to turn up with the right mentality and be able to get a good result.
Odev insists Sittingbourne will remain an Isthmian League club next season.
“I think we’ve got the foundation and the structure to move on,” he said.
“I think it’s a little bit of bad fortune and maybe a little bit of finding ourselves and going through a rough patch because we’re such a young squad finding ourselves a little bit maybe.
“But I’m sure we’ll be fine. We have fantastic players in our dressing room. The things that we’re doing off the field and on the field are all the right things so everything will click in place, it’s just a matter of time.
“Our aims are to finish strong. We’ll take each game as it comes. We split them into games of three. We’ll just make sure we’ll concentrate on the very recent games rather than looking too far ahead and making sure we can pick up points and play up positive performances and the rest of it can take care of itself.”
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Sittingbourne v Herne Bay
Bostik South East Division
Saturday 29 December 2018
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Woodstock Park, Broadoak Road, Sittingbourne, Kent ME9 8AG