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Faversham boss Ray Turner wants his side to win the Ryman League Division 1 South title next season to make up for losing in the play-off semi-finals

Ray Turner says the only way to get over the disappointment of play-off penalty heartbreak is to win the league next season.

Town lost 5-4 on penalties against Merstham on Tuesday night after 120 minutes of goalless drama in front of a crowd of more than 600 at the Shepherd Neame Stadium.

The date had been circled in Salters Lane diaries for up to six months, given Burgess Hill’s charge to the title and the only automatic promotion place, however on the evening, it was the hosts who were left crying at their own party.

Ray Turner Picture: Tony Flashman
Ray Turner Picture: Tony Flashman

Stuart King saw his spot-kick – the first of the shootout – saved by keeper Brannon Daly to bring a premature end to a season which had promised so much throughout.

The Lilywhites, who had won 30 Ryman League Division 1 South games, amassing 97 points and scoring 111 times, had not been out of the top-three since August.

Turner admitted: “It’s raw and it’s going to take us a while to get over because we had a better team this time than last time we went to the play-offs (in 2013).

“For me, teamwork is about character and relying on people and strength of character is about when you get knocked.

“It’s early days but I am hopeful we can keep the squad together, or at least the majority of it. If they all bounce back together, hopefully by Christmas next year, we can be sitting top of this league and this can be put well behind us, that’s the only way of looking at it.”

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