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Jacob Lambert finished as top scorer at Sheppey United and has been challenged by manager Ernie Batten to improve on that next season in the Isthmian South East

Jacob Lambert’s been challenged to have an even more successful season next time around at Sheppey United and he’s well up for it.

Lambert has adapted well to life at a higher level and finished the 2023/24 Isthmian South East season as Sheppey’s top scorer with 17 goals. He also assisted in another five.

Jacob Lambert celebrates a goal against Horndean, making it 1-0 Picture: Paul Owen Richards
Jacob Lambert celebrates a goal against Horndean, making it 1-0 Picture: Paul Owen Richards

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They’re impressive stats for a midfielder but manager Ernie Batten has challenged him to build on those numbers as the Ites look to make a more consistent challenge for promotion next season.

Batten said: “Jacob’s set a good benchmark with his stats from the last campaign and I’ll look forward to him trying to better than in the new season.”

In response, Lambert said: “I always want to better my stats from the season before.

“My highest goals in a season previously was 16 and so I’ve beaten that by one, I have to keep taking my chances when they come.

“The end of the season for me came at the worst time - I wanted to carry on playing.

“It’s been quite a good season. It’s my first proper season at this level, I didn’t expect to score so many to be honest.

“I hit some good form towards the end and felt so confident, I almost knew I was going to score, I just loved it. I am proud of the season I had.

“I can look back on the season and see how well I have done and now I want to do it all again. It gives me more confidence going forward.

“We have got some great fans, it’s a great ground and great facilities. Hopefully, I can get more goals and more assists and we get into the play-offs next season.”

The Ites finished the last campaign strongly with five straight wins to close out the season. Lambert scored at least one goal in each of those matches, leaving Batten’s side just eight points outside the play-off places at the end.

Their challenge will be to bridge that gap next season.

Lambert said: “The thing that killed us was the inconsistency. There were ups and downs and we had the FA Cup as well, but if we can start the new season how we finished the last one and take it through the whole of the season then we should be up there.

“We have shown we can compete against the top teams, we just need to up our levels a bit, then who knows?

“We have some really good attacking players, I always want to get forward and get involved, we create a lot of stuff and more often than not that results in a goal. It has been good playing in the team.

“I enjoy scoring goals, always trying to get into the box, ready for the cutback from Danny Leonard. I am happy to be helping the team, whether that’s scoring or assisting, I don’t really mind.

“At the start of the season I wasn’t too confident but Ernie put his trust in me and it all clicked.”

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