We want to win the league and win all of the cups, says Sheppey United midfielder Richard Hamill

Monday 28th March 2022

SHEPPEY UNITED holding midfielder Richard Hamill says it’s an unfortunate year that the club could collect 102 points and still finish runners-up in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division.

The 28-year-old former Fisher player scored a 35-yard wonder volley in their 2-0 win at third-from-bottom Rusthall at the weekend, before striker Warren Mfula slotted in his 21st goal of the season.

Ernie Batten’s men remain in second-place, locked on 87 points, the same number as leaders Chatham Town, who have a far superior goal-difference of +21.

Kevin Hake’s men defeated Fisher 2-1, courtesy of a winner from Dan Bradshaw, the former Sheppey United talisman notching his 50th goal of the season.

Both club’s are destined to win promotion into the Isthmian League next season and Sheppey United can go top of the table by avoiding a defeat at Crowborough Athletic tomorrow night.

Sean Muggeridge’s men are in eighth-place in the pecking order, having collected 48 points from their 33 league games and are unbeaten in their last six games, having beaten K Sports 2-1 at home on Saturday.

Crowborough could potentially meet Sheppey United in the Challenge Cup Final too.

Crowborough Athletic travel to third-placed Glebe in the Semi-Final Second Leg on Tuesday 5 April, with the tie locked at 1-1, while Sheppey United travel to First Division high-flyers Sutton Athletic the following night with a 2-1 lead from the first leg.  Both Second Legs will be covered by this website.

Sheppey United won the Kent Senior Trophy 2019-20 edition by beating Isthmian League South East Division side Corinthian 3-1 on 1 February 2022 and play Scott Porter’s Hollands & Blair in this season’s Final, in Maidstone, on Sunday 10 April.

Helge Orome, meanwhile, will miss the final as he will be serving a three-match ban after being sent-off for violent conduct following a flashpoint late in Saturday's game at Jockey Farm.

“It’s an unfortunate year where Chatham are doing the same so we’ll just try to keep winning games,” said Hamill.

“I think we just need a couple of more wins to get promoted so we’ll try to win all of the games and see where we finish.

“I’ve played in this league a few years now and I can’t remember a league that’s gone so close, going to the end of the season, so it will be a tight finish.”

Back in 2005-06, Beckenham Town and Maidstone United took the Kent League title race to the last game of the season. Gavin Rose’s side fell at the last hurdle at Erith & Belvedere and Lloyd Hume and Alan Walker’s Maidstone United won 4-0 at Sevenoaks Town to grab the title by two points, having collected 72 points from 30 games.

Sheppey United travel into East Sussex on an impressive 18 match unbeaten run, having last tasted defeat in a 2-0 defeat at Glebe on 18 January.

“Any away game is tough in this league. Teams will make it hard to play against.  Crowborough are on a good little run and are still in the cup so they’ve still got quite a lot to play for, so we’re expecting it to be a tough game.

“The cups have been a really good distraction really from the league because the league is tough with the pressure to win every game, so it’s a nice distraction to have.

“It’s good to have the squad rotation.  In the periods of the season where I’ve been in and out of the team, the cup games are really good for me and others to get some minutes and playing time.

“We want to win the league and win all of the cups but if you asked us at the start of the season we’d be in a semi-final and we won a cup and we’re in another final and we’ve got a chance of winning the league, we would’ve bitten your hand off.  Success is promotion, that’s the main thing.

“If we finish first or second, it would be nice to finish first but as long as we get promoted.”

Three teams have won the Kent League title with over 100 points going back to 1990.

The Herne Bay side of 1997-98 won the Kent League title by collecting 107 points from 42 games, while Sittingbourne's invincibles' of 1990-91 went 40 games unbeaten to win the crown with 104 points.

Herne Bay also won the Kent League back in 1993-94 with 103 points from 40 games.

Recent Southern Counties East Football League champions (before the Covid-19 outbreak), have played less games due to smaller divisions since the 2013-14 season.

Whyteleafe (80 points from 32 games); Phoenix Sports (93 points from 38 games); Greenwich Borough (85 points from 36 games); Ashford United (92 points from 38 games) and Sevenoaks Town (88 points from 38 games), so to have two teams that can potentially finish with over 100 points would be unheard off.

Sheppey United last celebrated winning the Kent League title back in 1994-95, with 96 points from their 40 league games.

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

Crowborough Athletic  v  Sheppey United
Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division
Tuesday 29 March 2022
Kick Off 7:45pm
at Crowborough Community Stadium, Fermor Road, Crowborough, East Sussex TN6 3AN