No excuses, it just hasn't been good enough of late, so a reaction is needed, insists Kent Football United boss Ennio Gonnella

Friday 22nd October 2021

KENT FOOTBALL UNITED manager Ennio Gonnella says he wants a reaction from his side at Harefield United tomorrow.

The Dartford-based outfit have suffered back-to-back league defeats to Bridon Ropes (4-0) and Lydd Town (3-2) going into their FA Vase First Round tie.

Kent Football United have beaten Old Varndeanians 5-0 in the FA Vase this season, while Harefield United have beaten Cogenhoe United (3-2) and Penn & Tylers Green (4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw) in the competition.

Kent Football United are in tenth-place in the Southern Counties East Football League First Division table, having collected 16 points from 13 games, while their higher league hosts are in the top six of the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division table, having collected 17 points from 11 games.

“Tomorrow is a special day for the club,” said Gonnella.

“It’s the first time in the club's history of being part of the proper rounds and we look forward to trying to extend this to the Second Round – easier said than done!

“We are playing a team in a step above us and expect a very tough test.

“Judging by what I’ve seen at their league table and various clips, they seem to be having a similar season to us where they have had up and down results, however, their results in the last five have been better than us, so we are underdogs in every way tomorrow, in form and stature.

“I said to the lads at training, the better teams have the correct approach and correct mindsets before a ball is kicked, they start in fifth gear, so I’m expecting us to approach the game correctly and give it our all.

“The result, to a certain degree is irrelevant. It’s more about the performance for me.

“Don’t get me wrong, everyone wants to win and we will try, however, we have had such a bad run of form in the league lately, for me personally I need to see some guts and respond with a good performance.”

Reflecting on their defeat at Lydd Town last weekend, the former FC Elmstead boss said: “The last game was so frustrating.  I believe in promoting youth when I can and the good news of that day is we managed to promote four youngsters into the squad, including 16-year-old keeper Nathan Boamah.

“Again, frustration kicked in as we lost to them wanting it more and hard work in most situations beats talent.

“We are certainly not lacking talent within this 23-man squad we have this year.

“So far, a very up and down season and consistency needs to start kicking in for our talented group of players.  No excuses, it just hasn’t been good enough of late, so a reaction is needed.

“We have just signed Danny Patterson from Erith & Belvedere, who I’m most certainly grateful to (their joint-managers) Marlon Patterson and Danny Murphy for letting the transfer go through so quickly and smoothly.

“Alongside Danny, Rodney Eruotor, Javen Palmer and Ike Robertson all return to the match-day squad which will no doubt give us that boost in quality.

“Tomorrow, the team, the club and I will hopefully have smiles on our faces, enjoy the day and the boys will no doubt make us all proud as they cross that white line.”

Harefield United  v  Kent Football United
The Buildbase FA Vase First Round
Saturday 23 October 2021
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Preston Park, Breakspear Road North, Harefield, Uxbridge, Middlesex UB9 6NE