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Sheppey United host Erith & Belvedere at Holm Park this Saturday in the Isthmian South East and supporters can pay what they want

Sheppey United complete their home campaign on Saturday after a season to be proud of – and there’s a special offer for those wanting to watch.

The Ites have fallen short of the play-offs, hampered by a tough run of results in March, but have since produced some top performances, including a thrilling win at Herne Bay on Saturday.

Sheppey celebrate Jacob Lambert's winning goal against Herne Bay Picture: Marc Richards
Sheppey celebrate Jacob Lambert's winning goal against Herne Bay Picture: Marc Richards

A home game against bottom side Erith & Belvedere this Saturday is followed by a trip to East Grinstead next weekend to conclude the season.

Hard work on and off the field means there should be a good crowd at Holm Park this Saturday – boosted by the club’s decision to make it a “pay what you want” match.

Those wishing to take advantage of the ticket offer must register first, which can be done through a link on the club’s website. A ticket for up to six people will then be emailed out. You then walk in free or donate what you wish at the gate.

Looking ahead to the weekend game, assistant boss Geoff Record said: “There are no easy games in this league, we finish at home to Erith & Belvedere and hopefully things will go all right.

“We are hoping for another good attendance, the last two home games we’ve scored plenty of goals with a good few victories, hopefully everyone can enjoy their day.

“It has been a brilliant season for us, even if you take the FA Cup out of the equation which was a fantastic experience, in terms of the league once we ironed out the injuries after the FA Cup – we had taken some surprising defeats that we had to swallow – but after that we recovered. We had a run where we only lost about one in 10 and we were always knocking on that play-off door.

“We have played some brilliant games, three brilliant games with Sittingbourne, tight games with (title-chasing) Ramsgate, for only our second season at this level to have dropped out of those play-offs in the last few weeks, it doesn’t get any better.

“Those clubs in the play-offs, certainly in the top three, if you compare budgets we are miles off them. Sheppey have been bankrupt before and it’s not worth risking that.

“If you want to get into the Isthmian Premier you need a long-term strategy in place, it’s about what are you going to do when you’re in there and what are you going to do the following season, because of the expenses involved.”

Sheppey battle for possession during their 2-1 win at Herne Bay on Saturday Picture: Marc Richards
Sheppey battle for possession during their 2-1 win at Herne Bay on Saturday Picture: Marc Richards

Isthmian South East table

With attendances on the rise at Sheppey, building blocks are being put in place to ensure The Ites can be well set for a promotion push.

They head into the weekend sitting eighth in Isthmian South East. Their 2-1 win at Burgess Hill last night (Tuesday) was their third victory in a row, all away from home, with Lambert scoring both goals.

Weekend visitors Erith & Belvedere had their relegation confirmed before their trip to Holm Park following a midweek draw at Littlehampton.

Sheppey have beaten Hythe 3-0 and Ashford 5-1 in their last two home games and Record hopes the good form continues.

He said: “The lads have put in a great effort to come out of that poor run and we have scored some brilliant goals.

“Jacob Lambert’s finish for the winning goal on Saturday was right up there for me in terms of quality of finish.

“I thought he was going to take it into the box and slot it past the keeper but he’s hit it from 20 yards! It was a great finish.”

With captain Richie Hamill out suspended, Connor Wilkins wore the armband and was heavily involved throughout as he took on the extra responsibility.

Record was also delighted to see a first goal of the season for defender Lekan Majoyegbe.

He said: “I had been ribbing him lately about being a centre-half and not scoring a goal.

“We were running out of games but he got his first on Saturday and I was really pleased for the young lad, he’s had a brilliant season.”

There’s a special offer for season ticket holders too this Saturday, with a free buffet pre-match and a meet and greet with the players after the final whistle.

Aside from the main entertainment - with The Ites kicking off at 3pm - there are youth games on the pitch beforehand and a soccer skills routine involving up to 32 children alongside first-team players. The Ladies team and the club’s under-23s will be paraded before kick-off and the supporters’ player-of-the-season will also be presented with his trophy.

There’s a presentation event after the game from 6.30pm - hosted by director of football Matt Longhurst - with speeches from chairman Tony Hughes, manager Ernie Batten and club captain Richie Hamill.

Bars are open throughout the day and evening, with DJ Paul Wilson starting up at 7.30pm. Fans can claim their free tickets to the match here.

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