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Canterbury City cancel final game of the season

Canterbury City have announced that they will not play their final league game of the season against Bearsted on Tuesday evening.

This follows the club's decision to sack manager Ben Smith on the back of comments he made in last Thursday's Kentish Gazette.

Smith referred to K Sports as 'a decent pub side' as well as assessing how promotion for Cray Valley may boost City's chances of going up in 2019/2020 ahead of Saturday's meeting between the sides.

Ben Smith. Picture: Chris Davey
Ben Smith. Picture: Chris Davey

Canterbury confirmed the cancellation of Tuesday's fixture on social media.

Speaking in response to his removal, Smith said: "I'm extremely disappointed, I think disappointed is a complete understatement really. I feel let down, I feel like the opportunity to take the side and squad I've been building over the last year forward has been taken away from me over something that is so trivial.

"I've had people mentioning that the club's integrity has been called into question, the fact we put out the side we did (on Saturday) and with the performance levels and effort levels of the players on the day, nobody can question our integrity. To be honest, nobody can question my integrity.

"If anybody has been to a Canterbury City game, they'll see the passion I have to win games of football and the passion I've always had to win for Canterbury City and the supporters there.

"It's quite hurtful really to have people question that, especially people that know me, namely the two directors. It hurts a lot more the fact they've not supported me and backed me on this situation, they could quite clearly and quite easily have done that."

Read Ben Smith's full interview here on Kent Online

The sacking of Smith was followed by the resignation of club secretary Martyn Sexton on Monday evening.

The Southern Counties East Football League also released a statement on Tuesday morning denying that they had received complaints from clubs in the division regarding Smith's comments.

League Secretary Derek Peck said: "A number of comments have appeared in the press and on social media following the announcement by Canterbury City they had parted company with their Manager Ben Smith.

"The league would like to confirm that we did not receive a complaint from any of our member clubs, specifically Corinthian or K Sports, regarding comments attributed to Ben in an article published in last week's Kentish Gazette.

"The league made contact with Canterbury City Football Club last Friday expressing their own concerns over those comments."

Read more: Canterbury City chairman Tim Clark discusses sacking of Ben Smith

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