Sheerness East have suffered a fresh setback with the news that key player Jamie Salvidge is unlikely to play again this side of Christmas.
Manager Dave Down confirmed that Salvidge’s back problem is worse than was first thought and that the player will be sidelined for several months.
“I’ve experienced the same problem so I know how painful it is,” said Down. “You cannot take a chance with such injuries, though we would love him back because he is such an important player for us.”
East welcome this weekend’s respite from a traumatic league campaign when they play a local derby at home to Milton & Fulston in a Bill Manklow Inter-Regional Cup second round tie.
“We welcome the break because the game offers the chance for me to try one or two ideas, although we won’t be taking the game lightly as a lot of pride will be at stake because it’s a derby.”
East’s attempts to chalk up a first win of the season in the Vandanel Kent County League’s Premier Division away to Stansfeld on Saturday ended in another disappointment with a 2-1 defeat at the old Cray Wanderers ground on a miserable afternoon.
East made the worst possible start in conceding a goal after two minutes when they lost possession in midfield and Turner gave Stansfeld the lead.
Down gambled with a 20th-minute switch from a flat back four to a formation that included two up front. The change paid off as East took a grip on the game with an improved performance.
They went close to equalising in the 22nd minute when Dale Bryant played the ball over the top of the Stansfeld defence for Paul Colenutt to run on to. But the ball bobbled on the badly cut-up pitch and he shot wide.
Colenutt would not be denied and when the Stansfeld goalkeeper spilled the ball in the 35th minute, the East striker was perfectly positioned to score from five yards.
Stansfeld regained the lead in the 56th minute when Forsyth side-footed the ball home at the far post.
“I thought we deserved something from the game,” said Down. “We’re not playing badly but we need a break.”
Sheerness East: Higgin; Brown, Bryant, Wicketts, Wolsey (J Baylis 60mins), Sheather (O’Neill 75mins), Martin, Green (T Baylis 75mins), Colenutt, Andrews, Holland.