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Herne Bay boss Steve Lovell plays down their match at home to early Isthmian South East frontrunners Three Bridges

Manager Steve Lovell thinks it’s too soon to read much into this weekend’s top-of-the-table clash with leaders Three Bridges.

While Herne Bay are fourth in Isthmian South East, Three Bridges are four points clear at the summit.

Herne Bay boss Steve Lovell and his assistant, and son, Mark Lovell watch on. Picture: James Aylward
Herne Bay boss Steve Lovell and his assistant, and son, Mark Lovell watch on. Picture: James Aylward

Both have played more league games than most but will be pleased with where they find themselves ahead of Saturday’s match at Winch’s Field.

“It’s just another game,” said Bay boss Lovell.

“Until it gets to the last half a dozen games, you cannot look at anything.

“If you look at Hythe last year, they put together a run in the last 10 or 12 games, got into the play-offs and nearly went up.

“It’s just a case of keeping your squad together and making sure you’re picking up points.

“They will all be really important come the end of the season.”

Herne Bay were left without a match last weekend. Their scheduled derby at Hythe was postponed due to the weather.

The decision to call the game off came too late to allow Bay to arrange alternative plans for training.

Lovell, who watched Faversham cruise to an 8-0 Southern Counties East Premier Division success on their new 3G pitch, said: “It was a bit frustrating to be called off. But it’s one of those things.

“We have got a few injuries, it gives them a chance to play another game later in the year.

“You cannot do anything about the weather, so it’s okay.”

Their next two clashes won’t fall foul of the weather, though, with Bay set to host Littlehampton, seven days after the match against Three Bridges.

“The next two games - against Three Bridges and Littlehampton - they’re tough games,” added Lovell.

“It’s good that they’re at home. They will definitely be on.

“Hopefully, we can put a couple of good performances under our belt. We have only lost one in seven in the league. It’s important to keep picking points up.

“The next six games will be against teams that will be up there.

“By the time Christmas comes, there will be a more realistic look of where we are and what we need to do.”

With Herne Bay’s divisional rivals Ramsgate and Cray Valley continuing their sensational FA Cup runs over the weekend, they have played many matches less than Bay have.

But Lovell would rather have points on the board than games in hand.

He stated: “It’s good to have a cup run. It’s great for the club.

“But there’s a lot of catching up to do in the league regarding games.

“If you have got a deep squad, it’s good. But if you’re relying on 12 to 14 players, it’s hard.

“It will even itself out. I would rather have points on the board.”

The boss could welcome back a couple of bodies for their Three Bridges game, with only midfielders Archie Burnett and Bola Dawodu definitely still sidelined.

Lovell explained: “There’s young Sam Wright. He hurt his shoulder against Sittingbourne. He will be back in the frame and so will Kane Rowland.

“I’ll only be a couple down if everyone comes through training this week.”

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