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Herne Bay manager Ben Smith looks ahead to his team's FA Trophy derby game at Sittingbourne


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Ben Smith reckons Herne Bay’s FA Trophy derby clash at Sittingbourne this weekend has come at a good time.

Smith’s side had gone a fortnight without a match before they visited East Grinstead last Saturday - although that game was called off at half-time due to worsening conditions.

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

It means Bay have not played a full match since a 1-0 home success against Corinthian in Isthmian South East on September 18.

The Brickies, managed by Darren Blackburn, are level on points with Herne Bay in the league - although Bay do have a game in hand.

But with £2,250 in prize-money also up for grabs for the winners of the second qualifying round tie at Woodstock, Smith admits it could be an interesting tie.

He said: “To be fair, the Trophy comes at a good time for us. It will be good to have something completely different.

“At Sittingbourne, we are going to have to deal with their pitch. So we will have to see what we can do and maybe look at playing in a slightly different way.

“We know an awful lot about Sittingbourne, but they will know an awful lot about us. It’s a bit boring in that sense.

“But we have good support and they get good support.

“With cup games, form goes out the window and, with local derbies, form goes out the window.”

Bay’s boss is, however, sweating over the fitness of two players - who he didn’t want to name - who came off during the first period at East Grinstead with injuries.

“The game should not have been played,” Smith fumed.

“It’s always easy to say in hindsight but we made it quite clear before the game that we were not happy with the surface.

“Fair play to the officials for wanting to get the game on.

“But we could see the pitch didn’t look great during the warm-up."

Read more: All the latest sports news from Kent

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