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Herne Bay manager Ben Smith admits his players failed to do the basics in their Isthmian South East defeat to Burgess Hill Town

By Ollie Collins

Herne Bay manager Ben Smith was left surprised after his side slumped to a 1-0 home defeat against struggling Burgess Hill Town in Isthmian South East on Saturday.

The visitors had been beaten 7-0 by Ashford United in their previous fixture but took the three points against Bay thanks to a goal from Aaron Smith-Joseph.

Smith said: “I was left scratching my head asking where did that performance come from?

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

“But I knew before the game it was one of the toughest fixtures we could have had, they were going to give a reaction.

“They prepared as best as they could to make sure a 7-0 loss did not happen again.”

Smith was pleased with the performance from his keeper but not much else.

He said: “I thought George (Kamurasi) was tremendous, which is why we showed faith in him.

“He had a few early games where he made some mistakes, but he showed his ability and his strength of character.

“Numbers two to 14 did not turn up, it was nowhere near good enough, we failed to do the real basics and it was disappointing.

“I’m gutted for the boys, because we got ourselves in a great position and then shot ourselves in the foot, big time.”

Smith-Joseph scored the only goal of the game with a cross from a long way out that hit the post and went in after 49 minutes.

Smith said: “You can’t plan for that obviously, that’s when you know it’s not going to be your day.”

His side are seventh in Isthmian South East and level on points with Sevenoaks who occupy the final play-off spot.

The Bay boss said he could not fault the overall current form of his squad.

“They have been outstanding recently and performing well above expectation, so we don’t dwell on the loss, we move forward.

“All of the positives that we have been talking about are still relevant and our league position is better than what we hoped for at this stage of the season.”

Bay were due to play Chichester City on Tuesday night but the game was postponed due to weather conditions.

Smith said: “We would have loved to play Chichester and beat them to prove a point and forget about the Burgess Hill game.

“They had a great run in this year’s FA Cup and if we keep improving I don’t see why we can’t do that in the near future.”

Smith’s men will be hoping to bounce back when they travel to 11th-placed Guernsey on Saturday.

“It’s a difficult place to play because everything is in their favour and we’re expecting a tough test from a good footballing side,” he said.

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent


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