Ramsgate are fighting for their lives, so I think we can expect them not to roll over, says Herne Bay boss Ben Smith

Monday 03rd February 2020

HERNE BAY manager Ben Smith says it’s difficult for Kent sides to reach the Isthmian League South East Division play-offs due to playing so many Kent derbies.

The Bay are in fifth-place in the table with 38 points from their 22 league outings after coming away from Hastings United (0-0) and Hythe Town (1-1) with draws in the past week.

Hastings United are top of the tree with 52 points from 23 games, while the four play-off places are presently occupied by Ashford United (46 points); Whitehawk (45 points); Cray Valley (42 points) and Herne Bay, who do have a game in hand.

Herne Bay welcome struggling Ramsgate to Winch’s Field on Tuesday night.

Matt Longhurst’s side are second-from-bottom in the table with 14 points from 23 games, eight points clear of basement side East Grinstead Town, who have failed to win any of their 22 league games.

“We know what Ramsgate can offer, they’ve got good players in their side so we don’t expect to just roll them over, again it’s a tough game,” said Smith, whose side have experienced just one defeat in their last 10 outings.

“It’s difficult for Kent sides to get in these play-offs because we’ve got a lot of Kent derbies.

“I certainly think they are harder games than the ones against the random sides, no matter what form it is. 

“It’s a local derby, Ramsgate are fighting for their lives, so I think we can expect them not to roll over.

“You can’t go looking around the corner thinking it’s going to be an easy game. There isn’t an easy game.

“We’re happy with where we are at the minute but we need to pick it up again and go again.”

When asked how it would feel for Herne Bay to be competing in the play-offs for the first time, Smith replied: “It will be incredible for the club, where we’ve come from.  They were talking of folding last year.  There’s been so much change, we’ve got to get our feet on the ground as we have in the dressing room. We’ve not talking about play-off games, we just play it week-by-week, game-by-game. That’s done well for us recently.

“We proved on Saturday we’re a hard team to beat because we’ve come to Hythe and not played well and we’ve come away with something.”

Visit Herne Bay’s website:  www.hernebayfootballclub.co.uk

Herne Bay  v  Ramsgate
Isthmian League South East Division
Tuesday 4 February 2020
Kick Off 7:45pm
at Winch’s Field, Stanley Gardens, Herne Bay, Kent CT6 5SG