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Herne Bay boss Ben Smith looking forward to facing Isthmian South East pacesetters Haywards Heath

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Manager Ben Smith is excited to see Herne Bay take on Isthmian South East leaders Haywards Heath.

Smith admits this Saturday’s encounter will be a good “barometer” of where sixth-placed Bay are at.

Ben Smith's Herne Bay side are six points behind Haywards Heath, but have a game in hand. Picture: Chris Davey
Ben Smith's Herne Bay side are six points behind Haywards Heath, but have a game in hand. Picture: Chris Davey

“It should be a hard game for them as well as for us,” said Bay’s boss.

“Yes, they have started the season well but I’m hoping, potentially, they have not come up against a side like us so far this year. We will see.

“But that’s the way we will approach it - how difficult can we make it for them?

“This weekend is a good barometer of where we are at.

“We came up short against Ashford (losing 2-1 at Homelands Stadium last month). We were in the game but we didn’t have enough about us, and a couple of mistakes were the difference.

“If we have aspirations, we need to go to Haywards Heath and try to get something. But they have started well and their recruitment this summer has been really good.

“It’s not often some people would consider us underdogs. But if we are the underdogs, we will happily take that tag on the odd occasion.”

Jack Parter and Aaron Millbank could return after missing last weekend’s 3-1 FA Trophy win at Sittingbourne.

Smith said: “We should have everyone to choose from.

“It’s a good place to be. I’m excited. These are the games you want to be involved in.

“During the season, you always play against top of the league but it’s not every season you are up there as well.”

Smith was delighted with their comeback win against the Brickies.

Sittingbourne took the lead through Johan Caney-Bryan before Adem Ramadan, Zak Ansah and Bode Anidugbe turned the tie Bay’s way.

“As I said last week, the game came at a good time for us to be fair,” Smith said.

“We saw that in the first 20 minutes - because we were pretty bad and they were pretty good!

“It was a difficult start for us and, deservedly, we were behind. But we have got a lot about us this year.

“We showed good character.

"I think it shows the players believe in what we are doing at the moment. They stuck to the task and found a solution.”

It has also this week been confirmed midfielder Bola Dawodu has left the club.

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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