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Sheppey United take on Glebe in battle of the leading clubs in the Southern Counties East Premier Division

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Star striker Jack Midson has made a timely return for Sheppey United ahead of their big weekend clash against Glebe.

The Ites captain returned from a month out on Tuesday night to help his team to a late 1-0 victory over Lordswood, a win that took them top of the table.

Sheppey United captain Jack Midson is fit again Picture: Paul Richards
Sheppey United captain Jack Midson is fit again Picture: Paul Richards

Helge Orome was the midweek hero for Sheppey as he scored an 89th minute winner to send them top of the table, two points ahead of Glebe with two games in hand. A shock result elsewhere on Tuesday saw Glebe lose 2-1 at lowly Welling Town.

It’s a battle of the top two in the Southern Counties East Premier Division this Saturday as Glebe visit Holm Park.

Midson is a big player for the team although the winning run continued in his absence. It’s now 16 games in all competitions where the Ites have been victorious.

“Full credit to the other lads,” said Sheppey boss Ernie Batten, speaking ahead of that trip to Lordswood.

“You lose certain players and think, ‘wow, where are the goals going to come from?’ But someone steps up and puts in a match-winning performance. Players have been doing that individually and the team has been playing well collectively for a while now and that is what has seen us through.”

Midson played 90 minutes against Lordswood in the 1-0 win.

Batten said: “He has been out a while so sharpness will come into it. Whether he starts on Saturday or not, I am not sure.”

Looking ahead to the weekend, Batten said: “It should be a cracker. They are a decent side, no doubt about that.

“We have a couple of games in hand and for us a draw wouldn’t be a disaster, but if you can beat those around you it stands you in good stead.”

There is a gap opening up for the leading three sides, with Chatham snapping at the heels of the top two.

It’s been an incredible run for Sheppey and all the more impressive after Batten’s plans were in tatters prior to the season after losing some big players.

He said: “Last season we got a team together which was very exciting, playing great football, knocked Welling out of the FA Cup, went on an amazing run of games and that side, I believed, was a promotion-winning side but we got it snatched away with the points per game.

“We finished second and Corinthian went up.

“During the lockdown tournament I lost Danny Leonard to Dartford, Harrison Carnegie for family reasons went to Walthamstow, Connor Wilkins got a serious knee injury and is still not back, and Warren Mfula went to Corinthian Casuals.

“From thinking I had it cracked it, I was then looking at a rebuilding job again. It really took some time getting my head around.

“I think we have strengthened as we have gone on, we have got better, I have been able to do the rebuild into the season.”

There was another new face in the side on Saturday as Sheppey beat Holmesdale 3-1 in the Kent Senior Trophy second round.

Midfielder Kris Newby contacted the club out of the blue having moved to Dartford and Batten agreed to have a look.

With a CV including four promotions at a good level, the Sheppey boss put a deal together.

“He’s been a bit of a player,” said Batten, of his 33-year-old recruit who was last at Hashtag United.

“He did well on Saturday. We weren’t looking for another midfielder, we are short up top, but fortunately enough our wide players have been scoring goals and we have managed to overcome any issues we have had in terms of scoring.

“Players have stepped up and taken their opportunity.”

Young forward Jack Marsh, meanwhile, has been promoted from the club’s academy and he was a starter on Saturday.

Batten added: “He has got potential and he did alright, he had a couple of chances. It was tricky with the wind and big defenders to play against but he worked hard and almost got a goal at the end, but the keeper made a save.

“When we are able to we are looking to bring players up who have shown they have potential, we want to give them a chance.

“If they impress then the possibility is they will be in the first team squad when the opportunity arrives.”

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