You look at our next two games, Canterbury and Hollands & Blair are probably two of the toughest games we could have asked for, says Corinthian boss Michael Golding
CORINTHIAN manager Michael Golding says his side have six more cup finals to play this season.
The club have defied all expectations and go into their final five league games sitting a point clear at the top of the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table with 78 points on the board.
Golding’s men thrashed sixth-placed Sheppey United 5-0 at Gay Dawn Farm on Saturday, which inflicted Ernie Batten’s side with their fifth defeat on the spin.
Corinthian welcome eleventh-placed Canterbury City to Gay Dawn Farm on Tuesday night.
Ben Smith guided Canterbury to The Buildbase FA Vase Semi-Finals where they lost out on a trip to Wembley Stadium after losing 2-1 on aggregate to their league rivals Cray Valley (Paper Mills), who will play Chertsey Town at the iconic stadium on Sunday 19 May 2019.
After playing Canterbury City at home, Corinthian travel to Gillingham to play Hollands & Blair, whom are a side in the bottom four, six points clear of relegation.
Corinthian then host Deal Town (20 April), before travelling to second-placed Fisher on Easter Monday, 22 April.
Dean Harrison’s side are in second-place, just a point adrift of Corinthian, who complete their league campaign with a home game against Bearsted on 27 April.
Golding then takes his side to Tonbridge to lock horns with Chatham Town in the Challenge Cup Final on Saturday 4 May.
“It is effectively that, it is a massive cliché, one actual cup final and five league cup finals I think and that’s how we have to treat them,” said Golding.
“You look at our next two games, Canterbury and Hollands & Blair are probably two of the toughest games we could have asked for and if you have to pick out fixtures we probably wouldn’t have picked Canterbury and Hollands & Blair as our next two.
“Hollands & Blair have Paul Piggott back in charge now and they’re a tough side. They beat Cray Valley last week so we can’t go there and underestimate them. It’s always tough when we go there and Canterbury won’t roll over for us or for anyone in the league.
“We trust what we’ve got in the changing room, we trust each other and we’ll certainly be giving it a good go.”
Golding revealed that there is an inner belief inside his changing room that little Corinthian can claim the league title.
Golding said: “It’s a new experience for the vast majority of the squad. I know Jack Healey was in and around the Ashford side when they won the league and there’s probably one or two others but I think there is a belief but we’ve not spoken about it until Saturday really in terms of not winning anything but being in and around the title race.
“The boys believe and it’s down to us as a collective to go out and execute it.”
The clash between Fisher and Corinthian on Easter Monday, as things currently stand, could go down as the title-decider as this exciting title race comes to its climax.
“It’s shaping up to be a big game but we’ve got three very, very tough games before that,” said Golding.
“If we lose our next three then the Fisher game becomes irrelevant so if we take our eye of the ball and look ahead for the Fisher game, yes, it’s there in the back of our minds and they be out for revenge as we knocked them out of The FA Vase, we beat them here in the league and knocked them out of the League Cup, so they’ll be going out to beat us and they’ll be good games.
“It will be an interesting game against Fisher but like I say, Canterbury and Hollands & Blair, we can’t afford to take our eye of the ball. We always have tough games against Deal but with five games to go, three of them are at home and we’ll certainly give it a good go.”
Meanwhile, 19 goal Sam Bewick has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a reoccurance of his knee injury that previously kept him out for seven months.
“The MRI results suggest another operation is needed,” added Golding.
“I am absolutely devastated for Sam with this news. There can be no doubting the impact he had on the team since returning at the end of November and we will miss his influence on the pitch as the season draws to a close.
“Knowing the character of both Sam and physio Meghan Blaikie, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Sam back on the training pitch and doing his best to be ready in time for the new season.”
Corinthian v Canterbury City
Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division
Tuesday 9 April 2019
Kick Off 7:45pm
at Gay Dawn Farm, Valley Road, Longfield, Kent DA3 8LY