Soccer Shorts: We're punching well above our weight, admits Sittingbourne boss Matt Wyatt

Friday 19th September 2014
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BROMLEY coach Hugo Langton says he is delighted that the club won away in Farnborough for the first time since 1986.

The Ravens sealed a 2-1 win at Cherrywood Road last Saturday to climb into second-place in the Vanarama Conference South table with 17 points from nine games, two points behind leaders Boreham Wood.

“Farnborough has always been a bogey side for Bromley away, in fact we haven’t won there since the mid 80’s I’m told, so we were delighted to get the win,” said Langton.

“They’re a dangerous side who, like every team we’ve played so far, have improved massively from last season.

“It’s a very tight division at the moment and it shows anyone can beat anyone on the day.  Everybody has lost at least two games.”

Bromley welcome sixteenth-placed Gosport Borough to Hayes Lane tomorrow.

“Gosport are no different,” added Langton, “They are a fine, hardworking side, who fear no one in this league.  They finished strongly last year and know what it takes to win games in this league now.

“We have to be on our guard.  They’ve got some fantastic players.  We lost our last home game (to Chelmsford City) in front of a big crowd and I’m hoping the fans will stay with us, believe in us and get behind us tomorrow.”

CROCKENHILL manager Craig Clark says he is pleased with his side’s progress this season.

The Crocks finished rooted to the foot of the Kent Invicta League last season with only three points to their name but already this season they have collected seven points from as many games.

“Recent results may suggest to people on the outside that we were slipping back towards the form of last year but that couldn’t be further from the truth,” said Clark.

“Our last home game, losing 7-0 to Hollands & Blair, does not tell the whole story. 

“We played some really good football at times. Our one-touch passing during the game was probably better than Blair’s.  We just started the game too slow and a bit nervous and with the players they have they will punish you if they smell blood.

“They were clinical in front of goal and our final ball let us down.  The players’ must still get tremendous credit because we did not stop trying to play and bass the ball, that’s what we want the players’ to do.”

Reflecting on last week’s 4-2 defeat away to Sutton Athletic, Clark said: “Our performance was very good at times and our passing again was really good at times.

“But again we started slowly and was 2-0 down before we got into the game.  From then on we were the better team but missed chances and conceding silly goals was our downfall.”

The Crocks are in the bottom four in the table and welcome second-placed Lydd Town to Wested Meadow tomorrow.

“We will continue to try and play our football and compete,” added Clark.  “I have a great bunch of lads and the confidence is growing game-by-game.”

DOVER ATHLETIC have unveiled the arrivals of goalkeeper Andrew Rafferty, defender Robert Gerrard and midfielder Matthew Saunders ahead of their trip to Torquay United tomorrow.

Rafferty, is a 26-year-old, Sidcup born goalkeeper, who joins the Vanarama Conference side following his release from League Two side Hartlepool United.

Gerrard is a young left-back who joins after being released by league rivals Aldershot Town and despite his natural position being down the left-hand side, he is equally able to play at centre-back.

The defender came through Aldershot’s youth academy but was released earlier on the month.

Saunders, meanwhile, aged 25, made 41 appearances for League Two side Dagenham & Redbridge between 2012 and 2014 and joins the club as a free agent after leaving Vanarama Conference South side Whitehawk.

ELTHAM PALACE joint-manager Charlie McCarthy said he was disappointed with his first defeat of the season when they went down to a 3-1 home defeat to Meridian VP.

“Last week’s game was the first game of this season so far that we just didn’t look ourselves,” said McCarthy.

“We have had a fantastic start to the season without a loss before this game, which I am very proud off.

“Every team has one of those days where nothing seems to happen for them and it’s just hard work to get a result after conceding two soft goals early doors.

“That being said, I’m not taking anything away from Meridian, who thoroughly deserved the three points last week.  They are a strong side and will do this year.

Eltham Palace are in ninth-place in the Pain & Glory Sports Kent Invicta League table with nine points from six games and travel to third-placed Sheppey United this weekend.

McCarthy said: “Tomorrow’s game is another test for us at Sheppey.  We don’t really know a lot about them yet so our focus is to just worry about ourselves and get back on winning terms!

“It’s nice to see that I nearly have a full squad to pick from which is the first time this season after injury and other commitments.

“Myself and everyone at Eltham believe that we all we really need to be up there with the best this year is consistency, which I’m sure will come and hopefully it starts from a win on Saturday.”

GRAVESHAM BOROUGH manager Grant Duff says he’s delighted with his side after they ended Glebe’s unbeaten run in the Pain & Glory Sports Kent Invicta League.

The artist formerly known as Fleet Leisure secured a 2-0 win over the Bromley based side, who were under the new management team of West Ham United Academy coaches Simon Copley and Trevor Bumstead.

“We played a tough game against Glebe, undefeated since the beginning of the season, as well with Simon in charge, who I know well, it added even more intensity to the game,” admitted Duff.

“I really enjoyed the game between two good footballing teams and chances were flying at either end.

“Two-nil was a good result for us and hopefully can spur our season on and up the table.

Gravesham Borough welcome second-from-bottom Bridon Ropes to Rede Court Road tomorrow.

“They will be full of confidence after winning their first game of the season against Kent Football United 3-0 but we will be ready,” said Duff.

“We had a great session last night from Joe Horlock and the lads and I cannot wait for our next fixture.”

MAIDSTONE UNITED boss Jay Saunders says his side face two massive games this week.

The Stones lead the Ryman Premier League table with 30 points from 11 games and travel to Lewes tomorrow, before traveling to Hartsdown Park for a mouth-watering top-of-the-table clash against Margate on Tuesday night.

“It was great to get through The FA Cup against Littlehampton,” said Saunders, following his side’s emphatic 10-0 home win over the Sussex County League leaders. 

“They are flying in their league so to beat them by ten goals was a really pleasing performance.

“And then we obviously left it very late against Harrow Borough on Tuesday night.

“The boys showed great character to keep going until the very end to keep our good run of form going.

“We now go in to another tough week. First up is Lewes, who are always a difficult opponent and then off to Margate on Tuesday night for another massive game.”

MARGATE have unveiled the signing of striker Jamie Taylor, 31, from Vanarama Conference South side Sutton United.

Taylor, who shot to fame after bagging 105 goals in 135 games for Horsham, before later going on to enjoy spells at Grays Athletic, Dagenham & Redbridge and AFC Wimbledon.

The prolific striker, who joined Sutton United last season from Conference club Lincoln City, where he had been their top scorer joins the Blues on a deal that runs to the end of the 2015-16 season.

Taylor will go into the squad for tomorrows clash with Canvey Island at Hartsdown Park.

Margate boss Terry Brown told is delighted to be able to add Taylor to his squad.

“Stuart (Cash) and I worked with Jamie at Aldershot and he showed a lot of potential and he has gone on to prove that with a great track record at Non-League level.

“Jamie will bring different strengths to what we already have. He is a sharp striker that will take chances, I would expect him to get us at least 20 goals this season”.

Margate have also unveiled the arrival of midfielder Barry Cogan, who has joined the club on a 28-day loan from Vanarama Conference side Dover Athletic.

The Irish midfielder joins the club on loan with midfielders Charlie Allen, Luke Williams, Kane Wills and Lewis Taylor all currently out injured.

Brown praised chairman Bob Laslett for making the deal happen.

He said: “I can’t thank Bob enough for all his help in making this deal happen.  I have been trying to get it done for a week and we have finally got it sorted ahead of a big month for us.”

RUSTHALL manager Gary Sharman says he wants his players to take their chances against Lewisham Borough at Jockey Farm tomorrow.

The Rustics’ boss rued missed chances during their 1-0 defeat at Orpington last weekend, a result which leaves the club in eleventh-place in the Pain & Glory Sports Kent Invicta League table with seven points from six games.

“Last week’s game against Orpington was another one we controlled the game throughout,” said Sharman.

“We did not convert our chances and paid the ultimate penalty in the 86th minute.  They converted a break and we left with no points.”

Lewisham Borough arrive at Jockey Farm with Ben Kotey in charge of the club for the first time after Kevin Harris’ departure following their 4-0 home defeat to Bearsted last Saturday.

Sharman said: “Tomorrow’s fixture we are hoping for a full squad.  We only had one player on the bench last week and being at home we hope the lads will put us straight back up in the table.

“We know what is required and whatever the outcome they will have to be on top form to beat us.”

SEVEN ACRE & SIDCUP assistant manager Martin Reece says his players learnt lessons from their 5-1 home defeat to high-flying Sheppey United last weekend.

“The Sheppey game was not our best day this season being thumped by the new boys,” admitted Reece.

“Taking nothing away from the Sheppey players, they deserved their win as they exploited all our weaknesses, which were many that day.

“Their management had their agenda with the officials, which they won on the day too, so good day all round for them.

“It never helps losing two players early doors to injury, which we never recovered from.  An extremely poor decision by the linesman that allowed their third goal and sunk us.

“It was a good learning curve for the lads as it is a very strong league now.  It has found its feet and there are no easy games to be had anymore. As early results show everyone is nicking points of everyone else.  There are no more whipping boys to play, which is great for the league.”

Lee Hill’s side travel to Meridian VP tomorrow.

Reece added: “Meridian is another hard test and with the friendship between the management and some players it will be a hotly contested game, but knowing both sides will be one played in the right spirit of the game.

“The boys know they need a good performance after the last two games to build the confidence we had pre-season and the first few games at the start of this season.

“We’re going to have to make changes again due to injuries and few players unable to play but with the large squad we are carrying this year this should not weaken us in anyway.”

SITTINGBOURNE manager Matt Wyatt admits his side are punching above their weight this season.

Wyatt works within one of the smallest budgets in the Ryman League Division One South and have collected 17 points from 10 games and lie in sixth-place, one point adrift of the play-off zone.

The Brickies travel to newly-promoted East Grinstead Town tomorrow, a side that are second-from-bottom with seven points from 10 games in their inaugural campaign at this level.

“Our game against East Grinstead will be a very tough game,” said Wyatt.

“They are a very good side but they are just going through a rough time at the moment.

“We are looking to bounce back from our midweek defeat to Hastings and go on another unbeaten run to keep us around or in the play-off position.

“With the young squad we have and our small budget we need to keep going because at the moment we are punching well above (our weight) ourselves which is a credit to the players.”

Reflecting on his side’s injuries, Wyatt revealed: “Our captain will again be missing through injury and I’ve got a couple who have slight knocks, who will have fitness tests before the game.”

TONBRIDGE ANGELS boss Steve McKimm has hailed their 6-0 win over Herne Bay in The FA Cup as professional.

The Angels booked a trip to Ryman League Division One South side Redhill in the Second Qualifying Round after easing past Sam Denly’s side last weekend.

“I felt in The FA Cup against Herne Bay my players were professional in their approach to playing a side a level below and we were clinical in front of goal,” said McKimm.

“The result was all that mattered on the day but I was pleased with their overall performance.”

The Angels are in tenth-place in the Ryman Premier League table with 15 points from ten games and welcome third-placed Hendon to Longmead Stadium tomorrow.

The Greens arrive in Kent sitting on 21 points from 11 games, nine points adrift of leaders Maidstone United.

“Hendon will prove a tough test as they are flying high in the league and have a very good manager in Gary McCann, who has been with them for years.

“I’m looking forward to it as are our players because you want to improve on your last performance.”

WELLING UNITED player-manager Jamie Day says he wants his side to build on their first win in the Vanarama Conference tomorrow.

The Wings defeated Lincoln City 2-0 at Park View Road on Tuesday night to climb out of the relegation zone into eighteenth-place with nine points from ten games and welcome fifth-placed Gateshead tomorrow.

“I’m really pleased with Tuesday’s performance. I felt we thoroughly deserved the win,” said Day.

“I’m pleased with the attitude and effort from the boys.  We should have scored more but we are creating chances.

“I thought we defended well and happy we finally got a clean sheet, which we need to build on.

“Tomorrow against Gateshead, we need to put in the same performance and a bit more against a side who I feel will have a great chance of winning the league.

“They play some great stuff so we need to make sure we do what we are good at and hopefully we’ll have a bit of luck as well so we can keep our run going at home but it won’t be an easy task!”