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Herne Bay boss Ben Smith remaining upbeat despite back-to-back Isthmian South East defeats


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Manager Ben Smith is remaining upbeat despite back-to-back defeats for Herne Bay.

Bay lost 2-0 against Hastings on Saturday, seven days after being beaten at Cray Valley, and they have been dealt a major injury blow too.

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

But Smith says he still believes in his side who sit narrowly outside the play-off places in sixth position.

“I have got full faith in the players,” he said.

“Let’s be real, some of the players are not performing to the levels they need to perform at - but I fully support them and I fully believe in them. Nothing has changed in my mind.

“I think people make too much of defeats at times.

“Ashford have now lost two in the league in a row but they are a good side. Tommy Warrilow (Ashford’s manager) won’t be worrying, he’ll be focusing on their next game.

“That’s what we have got to do now. Every team has a blip but it’s about how quickly you come through the blip.

“We’ve had the odd result not go our way this season already but, now, we have lost two in a row and that’s a blip, and it’s something that we can’t have turning into a problem.

"Until that becomes a problem, then they (the players) will have my full backing.

“We are outside the play-offs but the table means nothing now.

"We are in there and we have had our best start to an Isthmian League season, so let’s put things into perspective.”

Hastings struck twice at Winch’s Field inside the first 10 minutes, both goals came as Smith’s side failed to clear long throws. Striker Ben Pope added to ex-Dover captain Craig Stone’s opener.

After the restart, hitman Zak Ansah missed a sitter on an afternoon to forget for Bay.

Smith says he expects to be without full-back Ryan Cooper for the rest of the season in another setback.

“We got the bad news literally right before kick-off. The scan results have come through and he’s torn his ACL,” revealed Smith who is chasing up to three new additions to freshen up his squad.

“The average comeback for that is a year.

"Ryan’s a massive miss for us. He’s a quality player, a quality lad and he adds a lot to us, going both ways.

“But we have got to move on. Everyone has to deal with injuries, so we can’t complain about that.

“I want people to be hurting - but we don’t become a bad side overnight.

“There’s 38 games this season. We have lost four games this season in the league - to Hastings, Cray, Ashford and Ramsgate, so let’s put things into perspective.

“We have played better than the results suggest in those (other) games but, on Saturday, I didn’t think we were close enough.”

Bay’s Kent Senior Cup scheduled match on Tuesday against Sevenoaks was postponed due to Covid in the visitors’ camp.

Bay are away to Three Bridges in Isthmian South East this Saturday.

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