I think Leighton are going to be a tough prospect and I think people are underestimating them from the outside, says Corinthian boss Michael Golding

Friday 21st February 2020

CORINTHIAN manager Michael Golding says tomorrow’s home game against K Sports is their biggest game of the season.

The Hoops are sitting in second-place in the Sea Pioneer Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table with 46 points from 22 games, a couple of points behind leaders Beckenham Town.

Corinthian reached the Kent Senior Trophy Final after beating Beckenham Town 3-1 at Gay Dawn Farm on Tuesday night and shall play Sheppey United in the Final in Maidstone on Sunday 19 April.

Sheppey United slipped up in the title race after being held to a 1-1 draw at Hollands & Blair on Wednesday night and Sheppey United play Beckenham Town in the league at Holm Park tomorrow.

Beckenham Town have 48 points; Corinthian are second, Chatham Town are third with 43 points, followed by Sheppey United on 42, Hollands & Blair on 41, having played a couple more games and Tunbridge Wells can’t be ruled out on 40 points from their 20 league outings.

“Beckenham are still at the top, they’re two points clear of us. Beckenham have got Sheppey on Saturday and you look at it week-on-week and everyone’s playing each other,” said Golding.

“Sheppey have probably got the easiest run in so if Sheppey can come through the next couple of games unscathed then I think they’ll back themselves and will be up there amongst the favourites, probably rightly so, but Beckenham, at the moment, the balls in their court and they’re the team to chase down.

“There’s a long way to go, there’s lots of twists and turns, lots of minutes to be played and lots of different conditions to deal with and different styles of football to come to fruition.

“We’ve got the Vase at the back of our mind and the Kent Senior Trophy Final so we’ve got a lot of football to be played and we’re going to have to rotate the squad a lot and it’s going to take a squad effort to get us where we want to be.”

Golding has ensured his players’ heads remain focused in league matters with their massive home game against Leighton Town in The Buildbase FA Vase Quarter-Final on the horizon.

Next up though is a home game against tenth-placed K Sports, who will be no push over at Gay Dawn Farm tomorrow.

“Massive game, in my opinion more important than Tuesday night, which was an opportunity to go out and test ourselves against top-of-the-table Beckenham and we did that and we acquitted ourselves well but K Sports, it’s a massive, massive game,” said Golding.

“We drew there very disappointingly 1-1 earlier in the season but that’s no disrespect to them but we have to turn up here on Saturday and we have to apply ourselves correctly.

“They beat Erith & Belvedere 7-0 last Saturday so they’ll be coming here with confidence but we’re at home.  Six of our next seven games are at home now so the pitch will take a bit of a battering but if we want to be up there challenging, we’ve got to win, there’s no other way about it, we have to win on Saturday!

“We can’t look too far ahead, we have to look at K Sports because if we drop points against K Sports it will put us in the lower end of the four or five that are chasing the title.

“I think you’ll probably see in the league going into the middle or the end of March, you will start to see it take shape properly with teams catching up on their games and teams playing each other it will whittle down to two or three teams in the next three weeks.”

The Leighton Town FA Vase tie at Gay Dawn Farm on Saturday 29 February (15:00) will be Corinthian’s biggest ever game.

Ninth-place in the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division, Leighton Town have banked 36 points from 22 games and cannot be underestimated, especially as they go into tomorrow’s home game against Baldock Town on a winning run of five games in all competitions.

“It’s not being spoken about in any great depth to be honest. If you spoke to the players individually they’d be very excited and thinking about it,” added Golding, who operates with a zero budget.

“What we won’t have is people dropping their standards and trying to save themselves for the Vase or looking too far ahead because K Sports is a bigger game in my opinion.   When we get to Leighton it will be massive but K Sports is the biggest game of our season now.

When asked whether Corinthian can go on and win the League, Kent Senior Trophy and FA Vase, Golding said:  “We’ve got the Vase game which we have to treat as a final.  I see no reason why not.

“I think a little bit of luck along the way, particularly in the Vase you want a nice draw and we’re at home and I think Leighton are going to be a tough prospect.

“I think people are underestimating them from the outside.  They got to the Quarter-Finals last year and you look at what they’ve got and they’re a very good side so if we can come through that and we’ve got a two-legged semi-final where we back ourselves against both sides over home and away.

“It’s all ifs, buts and maybes at this stage. I see no reason why we can’t.  We need to avoid injuries, we picked up three or four key injuries at this stage of last season and it just took our momentum away slightly and we were at the top of the table then.

“We’re still under the radar in the league, the pressure’s on Beckenham, they’ve been there for what feels like all season and they’ve got to tick off all of their games.”

Corinthian  v  K Sports
Sea Pioneer Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division
Saturday 22 February 2020
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Gay Dawn Farm, Valley Road, Longfield, Kent DA3 8LY