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Lydd Town manager Scott Porter says Southern Counties East play-offs should have happened years ago

Lydd boss Scott Porter says Southern Counties East play-offs should have been introduced years ago.

The Lydders are one of several sides looking to break into the top five in the final weeks of the season.

Lydd Town manager Scott Porter.
Lydd Town manager Scott Porter.

Porter’s men remain seventh after taking four points over Easter, with a 2-2 draw against Tunbridge followed by a 2-1 success over local rivals Kennington.

They’re five points behind Erith Town, who occupy the final play-off spot, with six games remaining.

Whitstable, Bearsted, Snodland and Punjab are also in contention.

Porter is looking for a third promotion from Step 5 after previously leading Hythe and Whitstable to the Isthmian League.

And he’s a big advocate of the play-offs, which are new to the league this season.

He said: “The play-offs should have been introduced years ago.

“It keeps everything alive. Imagine if we didn’t have the play-offs. Deal would be running away with the league and no one would be interested. It’s definitely something that should have happened a long time ago.

“I’m just glad we’re in the hunt and right in the thick of it.

“I’m sure there’ll be twists and turns before the end of the season when you look at the sides trying to get in there but we can’t afford any slip-ups.

“I’ve said to the players every game is a cup final.”

Troy Howard and Luke Burdon scored for Lydd against Tunbridge Wells on Saturday but they were twice pegged back on a frustrating afternoon at the Lindsey Field.

They trailed Kennington on Easter Monday but Kenny Pogue levelled after the break and Harvey Welford scored an 86th-minute header to keep Lydd’s play-off bid on track.

The derby attracted a record home league attendance of 366 for the Lydders.

Porter said: “It was a missed opportunity on Saturday.

“We had enough chances to win the game - clear-cut chances as well - and we gave away two very poor goals.

“We were a bit stretched - we missed Ronnie Dolan, Robbie Dolan and Sammy Adams - but we should have won.

“Monday was always going to be tough. It was a free hit for Kennington. We had all the pressure on our shoulders with what we’re trying to achieve and we’d played on Saturday when they didn’t have a game.

“Sammy and Robbie were back - Ronnie failed a fitness test - and Kane Penn, who we’ve brought in from Horsham, strengthened us massively and he was quality.

“Kennington didn’t give up - they never do - but it’s a local derby and like I said to the boys, I don’t care how we win this game, we just need to win it.

“Local derbies are never pretty, and the conditions played a part with the wind, but we got the win after going behind and it was a great header by Harvey. He deserved his goal.”

Lydd host Rusthall on Saturday and play-off rivals Punjab on Wednesday.

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