Erith & Belvedere boss Matt Longhurst hails the togetherness and maturity of his players'

Friday 28th November 2014
ERITH & BELVEDERE manager Matt Longhurst says tomorrow’s Kent Senior Trophy tie against in-form Phoenix Sports will be another test for his side.

The Deres remain at the top of the Southern Counties East Football League table with 41 points from 16 games, eight points clear of an unbeaten Phoenix Sports side in second place.

The two sides clash in the Kent Senior Trophy Second Round at Park View Road tomorrow.

Steve O’Boyle’s side maintained their 12th clean sheet of the season when they came away from Erith Town with a 3-0 win in The FA Vase last weekend.

“They are flying in the league and cups and have an unbelievably good defensive record this season so it really will be a tough game,” warned Longhurst, who is in his first season in charge of the club.

“Their manager has been there three or four years now and had time to build the team he wants and it’s showing this year in their results.

“We’re just at the beginning of what we’re trying to achieve so to be in and around a team like that is great credit to the players this year.

“It will be another good test of how far we’ve come in a couple of months together.

“It’s a cup game, it’s a one-off, so the league form goes out of the window.

“We’ll show them the same respect we show each team that comes to Park View Road, but we’ll be trying to win the game and I believe we have the players capable of doing so.

“We’ve trained last night and gone through everything in detail so we’ll come in Saturday and enjoy the day.”

Longhurst and his squad attended club stalwart
Martin Tarrant’s funeral last Friday, before coming back from Horsham YMCA with a 2-1 win the following day.

Reflecting on The FA Vase Second Round win in Sussex, Longhurst said: “It was another tough week. I can’t praise this group of players enough. The togetherness they showed at Martin’s funeral last week and the great act of kindness for six of them to carry the coffin in club’s tracksuits at the families’ request showed great maturity and togetherness.

“The game the next day was no different away to Horsham, who were unbeaten in eight games.

“Going 1-0 down wasn’t an ideal start but we made three changes at half-time and they had the desired effect and two good goals saw us deservedly through to the next round of The FA Vase.”

Visit Erith & Belvedere’s website:

Erith & Belvedere v Phoenix Sports
Kent Senior Trophy Sponsored by Darenth Print & Design Second Round
Saturday 29th November 2014
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Park View Road, Welling, Kent DA16 1SY