It’s difficult for a club like us because expectations are quite high from within and outside so you have to constantly be at it, says Cray Valley boss Kevin Watson

Thursday 24th September 2020

CRAY VALLEY (Paper Mills) manager Kevin Watson admits his side are under pressure in the Isthmian League South East Division this season.


The Eltham-based outfit were in third-place in the table at the time when the 2019-20 campaign was abandoned in March due to the coronavirus health pandemic.

They started that campaign with a goal-less draw at home to Hastings United and came away from The Pilot Field with the same result last Saturday on the opening day of this season.

The Millers have reached The FA Cup Second Qualifying Round after beating their league rivals VCD Athletic (6-0) and Burgess Hill Town last night.

Watson’s side scored three goals during the first half with Connor Dymond, Francis Babalola and Denzel Gayle beating Josh James (not the former Cray Valley holding midfielder), before Jay Lovett’s side pulled a goal back through Alex Laing’s 66th minute penalty after Kieron McCann’s handball.

Attention now turns to Saturday’s home league game against Sittingbourne, who began their campaign with a 4-1 defeat at Deal Town in The FA Cup Preliminary Round before bouncing back to beat Whitstable Town 3-2 on the opening day of the league season last Saturday.

“It’s quite early and quite difficult to assess the league isn’t it?” said Watson.

“I think here were some interesting results I thought. Our result people didn’t look at and frown a little bit.  A draw with Hastings, it’s the same result as last year.

“Sittingbourne are going to be strong, no doubt and we need to apply ourselves properly.

“It’s difficult for a club like us because expectations are quite high from within and outside so you have to constantly be at it. 

“It’s difficult for players when they’re talking about Elite football.  There’s been a lot said in the week about those players going to work and then turning up and then having to perform but they do have to perform.  They have to perform in the matches.

“We had a long pre-season.  We do tactically do try to be forensic about what we do, which proves challenges for the players because you train them twice a week and the training sessions from Kevin James and Tommy Osborne are very good.

“There’s constant pressure on us. I’m not saying there’s external pressure as such on us. If you want to be successful and aspirations it brings pressure.”

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Cray Valley (Paper Mills)  v  Sittingbourne
Isthmian League South East Division
Saturday 26 September 2020
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Middle Park Avenue, Eltham, London SE9 5HT