Lewes FC manager Tony Russell says the preparation done since the Rooks’ last outing a fortnight ago has the team primed to take on Margate this Saturday.
Russell’s men head to Hartsdown Park for a traditional 3pm kick off having not played since the 3-1 loss to Hornchurch in late September.
The postponed tie with Carshalton due to the fuel crisis meant the boss sought out a behind-closed-doors match with Dulwich Hamlet to keep the players fresh.
And he reckons the hard work done on the training pitch during the week will pay off when the players make the trip to Kent.
“We’ve had a good week. We had a Zoom call on Monday and watched the video on Margate, and then on Wednesday we had a really good training session with prep work for the game,” Russell says.
“It’ll be a tough game. Margate have had a good start to the season … but we’re confident – we’ve got our gameplan, we know what we’ve got to do and we just have to go there and execute it.”
‘I’m like a broken record’
Lewes sit sixth in the Isthmian League table heading into the ninth game of the season, while Margate also have 14 points in the bag. The loss to Hornchurch was only the Rooks’ second league defeat of the campaign and Russell is expecting a response.
“We’re looking forward to the challenge. I’m like a broken record – we’re still looking to bring maybe one or two more in but we’re happy with the squad,” he says.
“Things are going well, training sessions are getting better, the understanding is getting better. The mood in the camp is improving and the togetherness is there.
“We’re really excited about it. We always judge it on training sessions. If you have good sessions you tend to get good performances – and it was another really good one on Wednesday. So we’re looking forward to this!”
As for the friendly with Dulwich Hamlet, Russell admits the display from some of the fringe players has given him plenty to think about.
“That went really well,” he says. “We gave some of the boys who haven’t had many minutes an opportunity and they took it, to give us a real selection headache going forwards.”
One to watch
With four league goals to his name already this season, Margate forward Ben Greenhalgh is certainly catching the eye. The 29-year-old bagged the equaliser before a late strike from Martial Godo earned Margate a 2-1 win over Enfield Town last time out.
And Margate boss Jay Saunders is delighted that it’s not just the former Dartford man who is finding the net this season.
“The pleasing thing is they have all chipped in with goals,” Saunders recently said. “Dan Thompson started scoring and then Jake Embery came in and scored a few and then Vance Bola has been picking up. Ben Greenhalgh has been getting a few too.
“So we are getting goals from all round which is pleasing and it’s what you need to have any success during the season.”