Our aim remains promotion, as long as it comes in whatever scenario, we will feel we have accomplished our target, says Sheppey United assistant Marcel Nimani

Friday 25th March 2022

SHEPPEY UNITED assistant manager Marcel Mimani says he wants to make this a season to remember.

Ernie Batten and Nimani’s side are in second-place in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table, having collected 84 points from their 32 games.

They are level on points with Chatham Town and the two big-hitters are battling it out on whom will claim the league title and both are expected to go up automatically as Glebe are 17 points behind with two games in hand.

Since being held to an entertaining 2-2 draw on a wet Tuesday night at Fisher on 1 March, Sheppey United have won their last five games.

Sheppey United beat Sutton Athletic 2-1 in the First Leg of the Challenge Cup Semi-Finals on Tuesday night and travel to Rusthall tomorrow on an impressive 17 match unbeaten run.

Jimmy Anderson’s side are currently in a three-way fight to avoid relegation and have picked up 20 points from their 31 games.

Lordswood – with four points fewer than the Rustics’ – host basement side Tower Hamlets tomorrow so Rusthall must start picking up points if they want to avoid the drop.

“It is the wrong timing to play teams who are fighting for survival at this point of the season,” said Nimani.

“Rusthall always brings an element of surprise to their game and on a good day that are a very challenging outfit.  The occasion with one team competing for promotion and one for survival will add extra spice to this tie, no doubt.

“From our perspective, despite winning our last two games, as a team we felt that that performance wise we should have done better.

“We used last night’s training to analyse a few areas and we also worked on our shape as we prepared for two difficult away trips to Rusthall and then Crowborough on Tuesday night.

“We acknowledge that every tough running has a reward and once we go past these two away fixtures we will then be left with three home ties and one away – one would argue that is a better version of fixtures to finish the season.

“Sadly, we lost Danny Divine to injury on Tuesday night and while the injury does not look as bad as we predicted, he will still be out for at least two or three weeks,

“On the other hand, we welcome back Ashley Sheppard, who faces his former club and Henry Dasofunjo who were cup-tied, as well as Adam Molloy and Ashley Sains who were both rested on Tuesday night.

“Our aim, as it always has been right from the beginning, when I joined three years ago, remains promotion. As long as it comes in whatever scenario, we will feel we have accomplished our target.

“Having said that, whilst we have remained humble throughout the season, going with the philosophy of one game at a time, our confidence along with our ambition has grown as the season has progressed.

“As a management team it is our job to get the best out of our team and for that reason we have not set limits.

“Whilst we remain focused on the league, we acknowledge that our team has enough attributes to compete in all domestic fronts, players have expressed the same desire themselves and we have every intension to make this a season for the club, fans and ourselves a journey to not be forgotten any time soon.”

Anderson’s side ended a run of 10 straight defeats in all competitions by beating Fisher 3-0 on 12 March.

Sheppey United, meanwhile, contest the Kent Senior Trophy Final against Scott Porter's Hollands & Blair on Sunday 10 April in Maidstone, having won the 2018-19 edition by beating Corinthian 3-1 on 1 February 2022.

Visit Sheppey United’s website: www.sheppeyunitedfc.co.uk

Rusthall  v  Sheppey United
Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division
Saturday 26 March 2022
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Jockey Farm Stadium, Nellington Road, Rusthall, Tunbridge Wells Kent TN4 8SH