8thaug04

Sunday 08th August 2004

Lakin looks to Fenton to be shining light

BARRY LAKIN, manager of Southern League Division One East club Erith & Belvedere, is building a squad around Dean Fenton capable of winning the league, writes Stephen McCartney.

Fenton impressed with the rest of his team matches during their 2-1 pre-season friendly victory over Ryman League Division One side Bromley at Hayes Lane on Saturday.

Fenton's wonderful strike from 30 yards, that flew into the top right hand corner, giving young Bromley goalkeeper Harry Hunter no chance, gave Erith & Belvedere a sixth minute lead.

Lakin, however, admitted Fenton's goal, a summer signing from Redbridge (formerly Ford United), was one of the best pre-season goals the manager has ever witnessed.

He admitted: "It was a wonderful goal - one of the best pre-season goals I've ever seen.

"A fabulous goal - Dean has come from Redbridge, and he has got good pedigree.  He is still only 21, and he is one to look out for this year.

"I think we will hopefully have 15 shining lights and Dean will be a major part of that.

"He is part of our team and we need him to perform week in, week out, if we are going to be up there at the end of the season."

Skipper Lewis Tozer headed home a 44th minute corner to give Lakin's side a 2-0 interval lead before prolific striker Mark Watson netted in the 58th minute for Bromley.

Lakin added: "Yes, it was a good performance.  It was very hot out there and I thought we did well in spells.  It's a progression for the 14th August."

With many new players drafted in at Park View Road, Lakin's side gelled against Stuart McIntyre's Bromley side.

He said: "That's been our main problem for the standard we are at.

"We have to wait a while for the players to come available, and slowly they are.

"My main thing this year is based on team spirit, we have a great team spirit and it's getting there slowly."

And on aiming to land the league championship, in only his first season as manager at Erith & Belvedere, the former Chelmsford City academy coach said: "We have some very young players in the team and I am starting to add that vital bit of experience, which hopefully should come about next week, and we will be ready!"

Erith & Belvedere open their league campaign with a trip to East Thurrock United next Saturday before they entertain Beaconsfield SYCOB at Park View Road on Tuesday 17th August.

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