Published: 05:00, 19 November 2021
| Updated: 09:58, 19 November 2021
Ben Smith believes Herne Bay’s match against Isthmian South East new boys Lancing is a potential banana skin for his team.
Bay return to action after a two-week break when they begin a run of three straight home matches at Winch’s Field this Saturday.
Lancing have been promoted from the Combined Counties League and have had a difficult start to life in their new surroundings, sitting fourth-bottom in the table.
But Bay’s boss will not be underestimating them.
He said: “We have had reports on them. We have watched them a couple of times, particularly online.
“I think they are a side that are probably better going forward than they are at defending - but there’s probably quite a few sides in the league that are like that!
"They are new to the league so I’m sure they are starting to find their feet.
“It’s definitely a potential banana skin because there’s no pressure on them and all the pressure is on us, isn’t it?
“It’s more about what we do, making sure that we can bring out the real threats that we have within our side and making sure that everyone is playing at a level that can get us over the line which, by and large, we have been doing this season.”
Lancing lost 2-1 to Ramsgate - another team like Herne Bay who are in the play-offs spots - last weekend before they were beaten 6-1 by League 2 Crawley in the Sussex Senior Cup on Tuesday.
They have pulled clear of the bottom two of Phoenix Sports and Whitstable, though, and Lancing do seem to have a source of firepower in five-goal Matt Daniel.
“Certainly from having watched them, I don’t think they are a bad side at all,” Smith admitted.
“It’s one we definitely are going to need to be ready for. We will need to hit the ground running in the game.
“To be honest, I think any side is a threat in this league. I think it’s a very competitive league this year so it’s quite important we don’t take this lightly and think it’s a side further down the table.
“At the end of the day, the table hasn’t really formed yet. Yes, there’s a couple - Phoenix and Whitstable - cut adrift at the bottom but there’s 80-plus points for us still to play for.
“I think we have just got to get ourselves back on a run again.”
Ex-Maidstone defender Charles Banya turned out for Bay who were without Jack Parter (jaw injury) and Reion McFarlane (suspension) when they defeated Sevenoaks 2-1.
But asked if Banya would be at his disposal against Lancing, Smith replied: “He won’t be in the squad for Saturday.
“Jack Parter has come through his scans and there’s no break.
“Obviously we will retain Charles' forms. He showed outstanding qualities as a person and as a player, coming in at that sort of time.
“We can use him as and when. I think that probably suits him with his commitments anyway.
“But we have Reion McFarlane back from his suspension.
“That suspension had left me with one hand tied behind my back a little bit, but he is back and Jack Parter returns.”
Bay host East Grinstead in the Velocity Trophy on Tuesday.