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Bishop's Stortford manager Steve Smith calls for focus as they aim to stay ahead of Enfield Town, Hornchurch and Folkestone Invicta in Isthmian Premier play-off race



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Steve Smith wants Bishop's Stortford to stay focused and complete the job of reaching the Pitching In Isthmian League, Premier Division play-offs after enjoying a fantastic week.

The Blues triumphed 1-0 at sixth-placed Lewes on Saturday as they moved 11 points clear of their East Sussex promotion rivals.

The win, secured by Ben Marlow's audacious long-range strike in added time, came after they had convincingly seen off leaders Worthing 3-0 at home last Tuesday (March 15).

While not yet mathematically assured of a top-five finish, things are looking very promising for Smith's men as they aim to secure a home tie in the play-offs by finishing as runners-up.

The Blues remain in second after Tuesday night's (March 22) results, which included wins for third-placed Enfield Town and fourth-placed Hornchurch against Leatherhead and Corinthian-Casuals respectively.

"It was a brilliant week and everyone's really buzzing," said manager Smith, who takes his team to 17th-placed Wingate & Finchley on Saturday. "It was a good journey home from Lewes and it was a lively bus, as they say!

The travelling Stortford fans had a great day out on Saturday as they watched their side win at Lewes. Picture: Nathan Cracknell (55568255)
The travelling Stortford fans had a great day out on Saturday as they watched their side win at Lewes. Picture: Nathan Cracknell (55568255)

"We really stepped up to the plate last week. We're not guaranteed the play-offs, but it's looking good. We need to see the job through.

"It's important that if we don't win the league we come second. Hopefully we can secure that and get the play-offs at our place as it would be difficult for anyone to come to our place and get a result."

The Blues' victory at Lewes – which came with an eighth consecutive clean sheet and was achieved despite Jack Thomas being sent off for two second-half bookings – was watched by a crowd of 977 at the Dripping Pan, which was the biggest of the day in the division.

"I'd like to thank our fans that came on Saturday and got behind us," said Smith. "In those pressure games it really helps. They were great."



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