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Herne Bay manager Ben Smith says there's no pressure to make Isthmian South East play-offs

Manager Ben Smith says there is no pressure on Herne Bay to reach the Isthmian South East play-offs.

Bay stretched their unbeaten record to seven games after fighting back from 3-1 down to draw at Faversham on Tuesday night.

Herne Bay (yellow) take on Haywards Heath on Saturday. Picture: Eva Gilbert
Herne Bay (yellow) take on Haywards Heath on Saturday. Picture: Eva Gilbert

That’s given them a six-point cushion in fifth place going into Saturday’s home game against VCD but the only target given to Smith this season was survival.

He said: “We’re under no pressure to get anywhere or to beat anyone.

“When we came in it was a case of keeping the club going and keeping it in the league.

“We’ve set the pressure internally ourselves because we’ve managed to attract certain players and we’ve done well.

“That’s where the pressure comes from but it’s not really pressure, it’s excitement and it’s excitement for the boys as well.

“They are where they are on merit. Are we favourites for the play-offs? Probably not, but

that doesn’t mean we won’t get there.

“We’ve got as good a chance as anyone.

“We’ve got to play the teams around us at home, Whitehawk, Ashford, Hastings, so it’s in our hands, but it’s in their hands, too.

“It’s enjoyable to be involved in because everyone wants to play in big games.

“We need to keep our heads down and keep working hard but I’m really proud of the boys.”

Zak Ansah gave Bay an early lead at Faversham but they trailed 3-1 before salvaging a point in the last 10 minutes through Simon Kakamba and Bola Dawodu.

Smith said: “We shot ourselves in the foot with a crazy 10 minutes where we conceded three goals and you’re scratching your head wondering what on earth has happened?

“We’ve shown our backbone to come back from that because most sides would have crumbled.

“I felt there was a clear gulf between the sides, we looked like we could score at will, but it was a bit like we expected it to happen after getting the early goal.

“You can’t choose your moments when you step on the gas – momentum is a big thing in football.

“Fair play to Faversham, they played it like it was their cup final and made it difficult for us.”

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