Matt Longhurst quits Erith & Belvedere to take charge of East Grinstead Town - Jamie Wood and Darren Mace to take team for trip to Beckenham Town, who search for clean sheets

Friday 09th October 2015

BECKENHAM TOWN assistant manager Jason Clews wants his side to start keeping clean sheets ahead of tomorrow’s home game against managerless Erith & Belvedere.


The club are in tenth-place in the Southern Counties East Football League table with 13 points from 9 games and played their part in a high-quality game of football on Wednesday night when they prevented Erith Town to leapfrog over Hollands & Blair to the summit.

A Wednesday night crowd of 110 at Eden Park Avenue were treated to a high-quality game with each side’s most impressive player on the night finding the back of the net.

Hassan Jalloh gave Beckenham Town a first half lead – against the run of play – to score his 12th goal of the season, while equally impressive, winger Ola Rabiu levelled for The Dockers in the second half.

“We’ve had a bit of a poor start to the season,” admitted Clews, who took charge of Wednesday’s game because manager Jason Huntley was feeling ill and had to cancel his holiday.

“We’ve gone on a bit of a run now as well (six games unbeaten). I think our last loss was against Erith Town at their ground. 

“A bit of confidence has come through the team and the goals with Hassan (Jalloh), Richmond Kissi and Jamie Humphries so the front three is as good as anything I’ve seen in non-league really.

“We’ve just got to continue it on Saturday and now every game as well back here against Erith & Belvedere. We’ll be looking to improve a little bit on a few things that we didn’t do on Wednesday night so we’ll go into the game and see what happens with it.”

Beckenham Town’s front three mentioned above have now scored 31 goals between them, but Clews wants his defence to shore up.

He said: “Try to get clean sheets, that’s what gets you up the league as well. If we can keep clean sheets we’ve got a front three that will score goals as you can see.  Thirty-one from the front three.

“Looking forward at last season’s winning team (Phoenix Sports), they probably had three scorers who were on the leading goalscoring charts so we’ve got that here so we have to keep clean sheets.

“It’s a case at the moment of you can score, but we’ll score more than you. It can’t always go like that – we have to keep clean sheets.

“There’s a few things that we’re going to work on defensively, trying to keep clean sheets. Hopefully that will start on Saturday.”

Clews was delighted with the larger than normal crowd on Wednesday night.

He said: “There were a few people from other clubs, I could see as I was coming off the pitch.

“It’s quite pleasing for the club to have a nice crowd on a Wednesday night, now we’ve changed our games from a Tuesday to a Wednesday so we’ll look forward to Saturday against Erith & Belvedere.”

Erith & Belvedere have tonight confirmed that manager Matt Longhurst has resigned from his position as first team manager.

The Deres are in seventh-place in the table, having won five, drawn two and lost four of their league outings.

A club statement said: “Matt has done a fantastic job as manager over the past 22 months and has taken the club from the dark days of the Ryman League relegation to the established and strong team that we are today.

“Everyone at the club would like to thank Matt for all of his tireless efforts for the club.

“In regards to tomorrow’s league tie against Beckenham Town, Jamie Wood and Darren Mace will be taking control of the team.”

Longhurst is expected to be unveiled as the new manager of Ryman League Division One South side East Grinstead Town.

The Wasps have been under caretaker management (John Difford) ever since Tony Beckingham quit the club to become joint-manager with Clive Cook at Hythe Town.

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Beckenham Town  v  Erith & Belvedere
Southern Counties East Football League
Saturday 10th October 2015
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Eden Park Avenue, Beckenham, Kent BR3 3JL