Hopefully we can get a few more people through the gate, says Matt Longhurst

Wednesday 17th September 2014
ERITH & BELVEDERE manager Matt Longhurst says he wants to bring good press to the club.

The Deres eased to a comfortable 4-0 win away to struggling Fisher on Monday night thanks to a brace from Alfie May, with left-back Ben Wilson and substitute Denzel Gayle also getting on the scoresheet.

May, 21, who played for Chatham Town, Bromley and VCD Athletic last season, tops the goalscoring charts in Kent with 19 goals from 11 games.

The club suffered relegation after an ill-fated inaugural campaign in the Ryman League when they finished at the foot of the Division One North table with six wins and four draws from 46 league games.

But under Longhurst the club are early pace-setters in the Southern Counties East Football League.

A crowd of 122 was at Champion Hill to watch Longhurst’s side win their eighth league win from nine games, which puts them three points clear of Ashford United in the table.

And Longhurst, 33, wants the fans to flock through the turnstiles at Park View Road for their next home game against Croydon on 27 September.

“I think slowly but surely people will start seeing what we’re doing, start seeing the way that we play and if you’re winning games people start coming through the turnstiles,” said Longhurst.

“But we’ve got a long way to go. We just need to rebuild from last year. They had a lot of bad press last year, which we understand and we’ve come in with our eyes wide open and it’s going to take time for people to come back to watch Erith & Belvedere.

“All we can do is keep doing what we’re doing on the pitch and make sure that off-the-pitch is better and hopefully we can get a few more people through the gate.”

Longhurst said he wants to replicate the impressive youth structure that he had at his former club Corinthian at his present club.

“We’re trying to build a sustainable football club that can be in and around it and when you can have a little bit of success you’ve got a little bit of backing there as well so if we lose two or three players we’ve got people who can come in (from the youth teams).

“The remit was to come in and rebuild the club, start afresh and try and build for the future.

“Everyone knows the club that I’ve come from, had great stability and is a great club and we’re trying to bring some of the ethos that we had there to where we are now and it’s going to take time. There’s still going to be bumps along the road.”

Longhurst watched his next two opponents last night – Crowborough’s win over Croydon – and will assess things in training ahead of Saturday’s trip to east Sussex.

Visit Erith & Belvedere’s website: www.erithbelvederefc.co.uk

Crowborough Athletic  v  Erith & Belvedere
Southern Counties East Football League
Saturday 20th September 2014
Kick Off 3:00pm
Crowborough Community Stadium, Fermor Road, Crowborough, East Sussex TN6 3DJ