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Sittingbourne beat Canterbury City 6-0 on Tuesday but bigger teams await; Dulwich Hamlet up next for Nick Davis' Isthmian League side

Sittingbourne’s pre-season challenge is being turned up a notch.

Nick Davis’ side swept aside Southern Counties East Canterbury City 6-0 on Tuesday before a handful of higher-place teams come to visit.

Nick Davis' Sittingbourne have enjoyed pre-season so far but bigger tests await. Picture: Alan Langley
Nick Davis' Sittingbourne have enjoyed pre-season so far but bigger tests await. Picture: Alan Langley

National League South Dulwich Hamlet head to play the Brickies on Friday night before games at home against Isthmian Premier pair Herne Bay on Tuesday, August 2 and Margate the following Friday, August 5.

On Saturday the team trained together ahead of a busy run of fixtures and Davis said: “Seventy-five to eighty per cent of the side are new. It is important we hit the ground running and so far, so good.

“We have got some good, experienced players at very good ages that have played a lot higher and they are managing the games - it is less work for myself!

“We need to be tested more, for sure. I want to see us stretched and to see us under pressure. I am certain in these remaining games we will have that. I hope we do.

“We need to test ourselves against higher-level opposition to see where we are at and we have had a good mixture of teams already.

“Dulwich will be quite a big step up, a couple of leagues above and two Kent derbies who play at step three.

"It is a good test for us and hopefully we’ll get some decent gates through the turnstiles.”

Davis is running with a moderately small squad this season, numbering 17. It’s low on numbers but hopefully high on quality.

With the holiday season kicking in, it’s been a juggling act to give the players the right amount of minutes.

“I think we have managed it quite well,” said Davis.

“We have had nice gaps between games where we have managed to work in training, done a lot of pattern, and hopefully we can bring that into these games.”

The Canterbury game was an opportunity for Davis to take a look at a few of the club’s reserve players who have looked capable of stepping up.

He said: “With running a small squad, we are going to be needing some players who could help out, and it is that general pathway that we are looking to implement at Sittingbourne.

“We have the youth sides and we want a genuine path to the first-team so we don’t have to look elsewhere.

“We have players on our doorstep. A couple of lads have done well, looked sharp and have been brought into the squad.”

Sittingbourne haven’t conceded a goal so far in pre-season, scoring 17.

Kick-off on Friday at Woodstock Park is at 7.45pm.

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