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Herne Bay boss Ben Smith calls for fans to back the club ahead of FA Trophy home tie against FA Vase finalists Binfield Town


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Manager Ben Smith is calling on Herne Bay’s fans to flock to Winch’s Field in their numbers - after an off-the-field blow.

Fourth-placed Bay begin a run of three successive home matches with their FA Trophy third qualifying round tie against Binfield Town this Saturday.

Herne Bay manager Ben Smith. Picture: Chris Davey
Herne Bay manager Ben Smith. Picture: Chris Davey

Smith says the gate revenue is much-needed with Bay’s clubhouse hit recently by a storm - damaging the bar, although the changing rooms are still in use and a temporary clubhouse has been installed.

He said: “That revenue is a massive part of what we budget for but the club is in a good place.

“There is no debt there. It (club finances) looks a lot better now than they did 10 years ago.

“We are under no pressure in the Trophy at all.

"There are no panic stations or anything like that but it’s always nice to give something back to the club - and we want to have a ride in the Trophy.

“But we are definitely up against a good side.”

Bay drew 0-0 at East Grinstead on Tuesday, a result which disappointed Smith who felt Zak Ansah had a late goal incorrectly ruled out for offside.

That came after they beat VCD 3-0 at home last weekend in front of 435 supporters.

“The message to supporters of Herne Bay now more than ever is to get behind us,” added Smith.

“We are creating our own expectations. We have got to be targeting 500-a-week at home.

“We had a higher attendance than Margate who were at home last weekend.

“That was good news, especially because we are doing so much behind-the-scenes.

“The team responded, as well, which is good.”

Bay boss Smith plans to rotate his squad against Binfield, last season’s Vase finalists who lost 3-2 to Warrington Rylands this May.

He said: “The Trophy is a free hit.

“We are coming up against a good side.

“They are FA Vase finalists. I will rotate the squad, we have a smaller squad but everyone is there on merit.

“It’s not a case of resting players, we will see how good our squad is.

“We rotated it against Sittingbourne but, with all due respect to Sittingbourne, I think Binfield are a better team.”

Among those in line for a start is versatile Dan Carrington.

Smith explained: “Dan Carrington came out of the side because he was ill. He will be one that comes in.

“He is almost the forgotten man but I certainly haven’t forgotten how good he is.”

Bay host Ramsgate in the league on Tuesday night.

Read more: All the latest sports news from Kent

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