The FA Vase is a way to bring in much needed funds, says Erith & Belvedere boss Matt Longhurst

Friday 31st October 2014
ERITH & BELVEDERE manager Matt Longhurst says his side are in positive mood ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Eastbourne Town in The FA Vase.

The Deres remain at the top of the Southern Counties East Football League table following their 3-1 win at Tunbridge Wells last Saturday.

They are nine points clear of second-placed Ashford United and are on course for a return to the Ryman League after finishing rooted to the bottom of the Division One North table under former management last season.

“Another tough week has gone by with us beating Tunbridge Wells away from home, which is always a difficult place to go,” said Longhurst.

“With a few players’ missing through injury, it was testament to the quality of the group of players we have here.”

Erith & Belvedere eased to a comfortable 3-0 home win over their league rivals Fisher in the London Senior Cup in midweek.

“We made six changes to the team that started Saturday against Tunbridge Wells but on reflection it was a fairly comfortable win,” said Longhurst.

“Tuesday night saw a debut for Damien Ramansy after his switch from Sevenoaks Town and he did really well and adds to our pacy attacking players we already have.”

The game also saw the return of striker Alfie May, who has returned to Park View Road following a very short spell with Vanarama Conference South side Farnborough.

Longhurst said: “Tuesday night also saw the return of Alfie May something that as stupid as it may sound I hoped wouldn't happen.

“Although my previous thoughts were it wasn't the right move for the lad, contrary to reports via social media Alfie left of his own accord after he was asked after two weeks to take a 50% pay cut which would’ve left him out of pocket due to the travelling involved to home and away games.

“The promises made where not kept and he has decided he should come back get his head back down and take it from there.

“We’re all disappointed that it didn't work out for him and it was far from on the field matters that it hadn't but these things happen in non-league football and I'm sure next time with the correct advice he’ll get the right club and be playing at a level he richly deserves to be at.”

Longhurst takes his side to Eastbourne Town tomorrow in The FA Vase First Round.

Eastbourne Town were relegated from the Ryman League at the end of last season and are looking to bounce back at the first attempt as they go into the game sitting in second-place in the Sussex County League top-flight, having collected nine wins, two draws and two defeats so far.

“We move onto a very tough cup game against an Eastbourne team unbeaten in 12 games and scoring lots of goals,” said Longhurst.

“We’ve had them watched this week and have been through everything in detail at training last night.

“The lads are in a very positive mood at the moment and look forward to the game.

“We’ve strengthened the squad obviously recently and added more fire power so we hope this will help.

“The FA Vase is a way to bring in much needed funds so it's important as a club to try and get through.

“As a team we take it as another winnable football match and will go there and try and do just that in the same manner we have so far this season.  It’s a tough game but at this level so are they all.”

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Eastbourne Town  v  Erith & Belvedere
The FA Vase First Round
Saturday 1st November 2014
Kick Off 3:00pm
at The Saffrons, Compton Place Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN21 1EA