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Herne Bay boss Ben Smith keen to relax goalscoring burden on Zak Ansah

Herne Bay boss Ben Smith has challenged his side to soften the goalscoring responsibility on the shoulders of Zak Ansah.

The former Hythe striker is the club’s top scorer with 12 goals across all competitions, with recent signing Bradley Stevenson his nearest rival on three.

Bay displayed signs of spreading the goals across their frontline in a three-game winning streak prior to Tuesday’s 1-0 loss to Faversham in the Kent Senior Cup.

Herne Bay's Zak Ansah
Herne Bay's Zak Ansah

Smith said: “In the Three Bridges game (which Bay won 5-3) we shared the goals out and others were getting on the scoresheet.

“Teshaun-Tyreece Walters scored and Kieran Campbell as well, they’re areas we’re looking to add goals from rather than them coming off and just saying we threatened.

“It’s the end product that has to be there now to take the burden off Zak a bit.

“If we want to be successful and push on we have to get goals from other areas as well. Centre-backs have to score goals from set pieces, we have to get goals from midfield.

“Bradley Stevenson has started doing that, he’s been a fantastic addition and has got to continue.

“For us to get three wins on the bounce after the form we had showed previously was very welcomed. We showed in those games that when we’re at it we can blow teams away.

“We did that against Three Bridges and should have done that against Guernsey.”

Smith has chiselled his squad down to 18 since seeing his team lose 5-0 to Berkhamsted in the FA Trophy on October 12, with Gary Sayer, Malachi Robinson and Stuart West all having left the club.

He added: “The Berkhamsted game was a bit of a disaster. That’s not to take anything away from them because they were a fantastic side but it was a horror show.

“There was a long old chat afterwards. We’ve made the squad smaller and made it a little bit more close knit, that has paid dividends over the past few weeks and there’s been more consistency.

“When you’re having to leave four players out each week it’s a difficult situation.

“Saturday could be the third time I’ve played the same 11 compared to earlier in the season when there was the odd change every week. That doesn’t help the team, especially when it needs to settle.”

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

Smith will be looking for a response to Tuesday’s defeat when they host winless East Grinstead.

He said: “After a flat performance against Faversham we’ve got to put a performance in at home now.

“Our home support has been really good and they deserve a good performance.

“They (East Grinstead) are bottom but that counts for nothing. They’ve got a good manager and good players.”

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