We're at the beginning of the journey here, says Erith & Belvedere boss Matt Longhurst

Friday 05th December 2014
ERITH & BELVEDERE manager Matt Longhurst says the Southern Counties East Football League title race is between three sides.

The Deres are sitting proudly at the top of the table with 41 points from 16 games, five points clear of second-placed Phoenix Sports, who are unbeaten and Steve O’Boyle’s side have a couple of games in hand.

Greenwich Borough are down in twelve-place in the table, 20 points adrift of Erith & Belvedere, but with five games in hand following their lengthy runs in both The FA Cup and The FA Vase,

Erith & Belvedere suffered a 3-0 home defeat to Phoenix Sports in the Kent Senior Trophy last weekend.

“We won’t make excuses, we didn’t create enough chances in the game to win it but threw caution to the wind in the last ten minutes when the last two goals went in with four up front,” reflected Longhurst.

“The opening goal, I expect the keeper to save from 25-yards but take nothing away from them, they won.

“They work hard for each other and it’s given me food for thought going back into league action next week.

“But I refused to point any fingers at this group of players, they’ve been excellent.

“It’s how we react. Last time we lost we went thirteen unbeaten so we start again tomorrow in The FA Vase.”

The former Corinthian manager takes Erith & Belvedere to Hanworth Villa in the last 64 of The FA Vase.

The Deres are one of five Kent sides left in the competition.

Hanworth Villa are rooted to the foot of the Combined Counties League Premier with three wins, two draws and 12 defeats in the league.

Longhurst said: “We’re at the beginning of the journey here. I’ve said all along there will be bumps along the way, but I’m confident the boys will bounce back.

“The mood in the camp is brilliant.

“We’ve beaten two tough away opponents already and visit another tomorrow.

“League positions are really of no importance tomorrow. We’ve had them watched and gone through everything in training twice this week, so we’ll be prepared.”

Longhurst is looking forward to being involved in the title race going into the New Year.

“It’ll be good in a few weeks’ time to face a full-strength Phoenix team in the league and see how far we’ve come this year as I believe along with Greenwich Borough they are the title favourites.

“But this week we concentrate on a game we look to go and win.

“We’re all enjoying the season so far. I enjoy watching my team play and I’m confident if we play to our potential we can be a match for anyone.”

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

Hanworth Villa  v  Erith & Belvedere
The FA Vase Third Round
Saturday 6th December 2014
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Rectory Meadow, Park Road, Hanworth, Middlesex TW13 6PN