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League Points Main Aim For `Leafe

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League points are the aim according to Steve Griffin after discovering his Whyteleafe side will be vying with five other teams….

….for promotion from the Kent Hurlimann League.

Whyteleafe were knocked out of the Surrey Senior Cup at Blue Square Bet South club Sutton United on Tuesday night, but manager Griffin insists it is the league that is his priority.

“A cup run just isn’t our aim this season, a club like Whyteleafe should be in the Ryman League,” he said. “I knew Erith & Belvedere, Tunbridge Wells and VCD Athletic were going to apply for promotion but I’m a bit surprised to hear Erith Town have as well, because I heard from a few people their ground wasn’t up to it.

“With the Ryman League expanding their numbers this year, we know there could be a chance that more than one club will go up. We already have a Ryman standard ground, so now we just need to concentrate on getting as many points on the board as possible and also our goal difference, in case it comes down to that.”

However, `Leafe could be without striker Tommy Smith for much of the run-in after the 16-year-old was injured in the loss to Sutton United.

“It was thought he might have broken his leg initially but after an X-ray, he was told it was ligament damage,” Griffin explained.

“Depending on how serious it is, it could potentially take longer to heal than a break, but Tommy is young and physically very strong, so we are all hoping for a quick recovery.

“It wasn’t a malicious tackle – I think his studs just got caught in the grass. It was one of those freak incidents.

“And Ryan Maxwell picked up an injury too, so the game was costly for us.”

Whyteleafe’s goals against the Conference South club were scored by Jerson Dos Santos and Michael Abnett, and Griffin believes it was an entertaining game.

“Both teams changed things around a bit. It was our first teams but not our first-choice teams, if you get what I mean,” he said. “It was nice to go back to see my old club, but they are three leagues above us, they are a good side.

“We were doing well until we conceded a penalty on 22 minutes. Then we equalised but a goal either side of half-time for Sutton finished the game off a bit.

“We didn’t give up and brought it back to 4-2 but then they got a late goal.”

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About Author

Former Swansea City and Kettering Town defender who has been managing the likes of Kettering Town u18s, Rothwell Town, Desborough Town and Wellingborough Town for 33 years as well as being technical director at AFC Rushden & Diamonds. Began in non-League journalism as editor of Team Talk magazine back in the early 1990s and then as editor of Non-League Daily, joining Pitchero to set up Pitchero Non-League in January 2011. Also works for the National League.

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