The Gaffer predicts weekend scores
The Gaffer predicts weekend scores

Each week, KSN will preview the weekend’s games involving our Bet Victor South East Division sides through the eyes of a manager with past experience at that level.

Each week, he’ll preview the games and try to predict the result – so these are the views of THE GAFFER

East Grinstead v Ashford – I can only see an Ashford win – they’ve had a great start in the League winning every game so far! East Grinstead lost a few players in the summer and haven’t had the best of starts – Ashford under Tommy are a decent outfit and I can only see this game going one way, and comfortably – David Smith is playing well up front and scoring goals – he’s a big strong unit who’s scoring goals. Ashford have started well, and I think they’ll be up there this season and be a top five side.

Herne Bay v Hythe – this will be an interesting one as Herne Bay are off the back of a great win at Ramsgate but before that they were struggling – I know that Ben Smith has had a few headaches but has got a good side together now and off the back of the win Tuesday, they’ll be flying. Hythe haven’t had the best of starts – Steve Watt has come in and is looking to kickstart their season and I think that it will be a good game. In Zak Ansah, he’s a quality striker who can win any game and with him playing against his old club after his summer move from Hythe, I think he could have a point to prove. Fancy it to be a draw…

Sevenoaks v Faversham – Sevenoaks are a good side at home and have a strong side this year as being second in the League show, and I think they will be up there challenging as I think Micky (Collins) has got a good squad down there. They had a good away win in the week and are difficult to beat at home, but Faversham have started the season for me surprisingly well – they’ve had some good results and been unlucky in some games that they’ve dropped points in. They have a good togetherness at the club, but I’ll probably go for Sevenoaks on the back of their great midweek win and on their artificial surface. I do believe the teams playing on them week in, week out, I’m convinced that they have an advantage. Frankie Sawyer’s scoring goals again, and I take Sevenoaks to win, but I think it will be a tight game!

Sittingbourne v Guernsey – Guernsey haven’t played a home game yet as they’ve got work going on at their ground which makes their top ten start even more remarkable after last season. They’ll be looking to get as many points as they can whilst work continues their ground, and to me this is a game that’s got a draw written all over it! Sittingbourne had a good start but have lost a few recently – again on their day, Chris (Lynch) has built a good young side down at Woodstock. That said, Guernsey with Ross Allen back in their team is a bit like Zak Ansah – he can win a game for you in an instant; he’s a goalscoring machine who’s done it higher. He’s Guernsey’s definite dangerman who can win them the three points, but given the two sides and recent performances, I’ll stick with the draw.

VCD v Hastings – game of the day in the division with third against top! Great game – VCD are a strong side, but for me Hastings are the side to beat this season. Chris Aggutter has done a very good job down there and has got a good squad together – a good footballing team who play good football. But VCD did well last year and have started well again this – Keith’s (McMahon) been in the game for a long time and his side haven’t lost a League game since opening day and in Charlie MacDonald scores goals for fun at this level. He didn’t play that many last year but scored a bucket load of goals… If he plays, he could be the difference, but I think Hastings are a fantastic side this season – if you finish above them, you’ll probably win the League! My money’s on them and I think that they may just have too much for VCD on Saturday in another tight game even though Oakwood is always a tough place to go, but it’s games like this if you want to be there at the end of the season that you have to get points from!

Whitehawk v Phoenix – this is probably one of the hardest games to call if I’m honest. I’ve seen Whitehawk this season and they were OK and come with a big reputation. Haven’t seen Phoenix but with Jeff Duah-Kessie is scoring goals for fun and got three in midweek – another good player and if I’m honest this is the game where the lower side could well go the other way given the form that Phoenix have found and the goals that they’re scoring. Whitehawk are a good side but are beatable but Phoenix should go there flying, so I’ll back them to win the game.

Hadley v Ramsgate – it’s the only Cup tie involving one of our teams which in itself is both surprising and disappointing, I don’t know much about them obviously, but from a Ramsgate point of view I do wonder if it will be a good distraction for them after the events of this week. They’ll look to draw positives and they are a good side – they’ve done well to get this far and as no-one else from the League is tells its’ own story. They’re playing a team from a lower League and so they will go there hoping/expecting to win, and suddenly there’s a buzz round the club for the new manager when they come in. They’ve got to be favourites to go there and get through as it takes the focus off their League position – they can enjoy the Cup as it’s a wonderful competition to be a part of and then come back and push on in the League and kick start their season…