Phoenix Sports 3 Hythe Town 3
Bostik League South East
Saturday 17th November 2018
With 35 minutes left on the clock, the Cannons looked dead and buried as they found themselves three down and very much dead and buried in this league fixture. But an amazing fightback saw them grab a point in a 3-3 draw at Phoenix Sports on a cold Saturday afternoon.
It was, in fact, Hythe who were first to settle in a lively start to the game. On seven minutes they had their first opportunity as Junior Aikhionbare pounced on a defensive muddle but fired wide of the target. Phoenix only had to wait another two minutes to threaten as Alex Teniola curled a shot straight into the arms of Cannons keeper Ryan Nicholls. At the other end, Jack Sammoutis who returned from injury for this afternoon’s game hit a shot from the edge of the area that was easily collected by Phoenix keeper, Steve Phillips.
On 25 minutes Hythe were unlucky not to take the lead as Zak Ansah played the ball into Keiron Campbell who unleashed a shot that stung the hands of Phillips as he pushed it over the bar. With 30 minutes gone on the clock, the hosts were to take the lead as a neat piece of skill by Teniola wrong-footed the Hythe defence and Kweku Ansah planted the ball in the net. Within a minute Zak Ansah attempted a lob over Phillips but he mistimed his effort and didn’t test the keeper.
The game continued to flow from end to end as Kweku Ansah had an effort deflected wide for a corner and then Campbell who was proving a handful for the home defence came in from the left and forced Phillips to smother the ball. The Cannons continued to look for the equalizer as Zach Fagan laid the ball off to Zak Ansah. His attempt was pushed wide by Phillips in the Phoenix goal. On 44 minutes the hosts increased their lead as a deep corner from Ryan Andrews saw Teniola rise unchallenged to head the ball in at the far post. There was an attempt just before the break from Zak Ansah as he sent in a swerving shot that was blocked by Phillips.
The second half started with Phoenix looking more likely to increase their lead. A free kick by Ashley Probets on the edge of the area flew into the arms of Nicholls and then Jeff Duah-Kessie ran through on the break to fire his final shot wide. On 55 minutes a great move from the visitors ended with Nigel Neita curling a shot against the upright. However, it was Phoenix who appeared to seal the game as they took a three-goal lead. A cross by Lewis Clark found Teniola who bundled the ball home. The game looked dead and buried for Hythe but their fightback was inspired by a break from Aikhionbare who on 63 minutes ran forward and placed the ball under the body of Phillips and into the Phoenix net to narrow the gap. Nicholls was to block well from Duah-Kessie but it was now the Cannons who had gone up the gears and were in the ascendency.
Neita, for the second time, hit the left hand upright as he had shot deflected but Hythe were not to be denied as they pulled another goal back on 78 minutes. Campbell got in a ball from the left-hand side with his right foot that found Zak Ansah who finished neatly for his 22nd goal of the season. The comeback was on and it was Hythe who were in total control as the swept forward. On 81 minutes Campbell sent in a dipping shot that superbly saved by Phillips. However, as the game went into injury time Aikhionbare chased a ball down the right from Billy Lewins. He managed to get it into Neita who curled the ball into the top corner to reward Hythe with a point that earlier had looked so unlikely. The Cannons did have an opportunity six minutes into stoppage time as Neita pulled a shot just wide.
The point was just reward for Hythe who go up to fourth place but now have two weeks to wait for their next league fixture. However, they do have friendly at home to Tunbridge Wells next Saturday followed by a Velocity Trophy tie at home to Burgess Hill Town on Tuesday week (27th November 2018).
Team: Ryan Nicholls, Salvyn Kisitu, Elliott Capel, Zach Fagan (Aziz Lyoubi 66 mins), Nathan Daly, Mitchell Dickenson, Nigel Neita, Junior Aikhionbare, Zak Ansah, Jack Sammoutis (Billy Lewins 89 mins), Kieron Campbell.
Scorers: Phoenix Sports - Kweku Ansah 30 mins, Alex Teniola 44 & 58 mins. Hythe Town – Junior Aikhionbare 63 mins, Zak Ansah 78 mins, Nigel Neita 90 mins.
Our next home fixture against Greenwich Borough on Saturday 24th November 2018 has been postponed due to our visitors continued involvement in the FA Trophy. The new date will be Tuesday 11th December 2018- kick off 7:45pm.
There will be a friendly fixture at Reachfields on the 24th when we entertain Tunbridge Wells - more details will follow.
Hythe made two signings before the game on Saturday at Ramsgate. Defender, Elliott Capel (pictured) returned to the club from Heybridge Swifts having played three games for us last season.
Also joining is Corinthian keeper Aiden Prall who comes on dual registration as cover for both injured keepers George Kamurasi and Ryan Nicholls.
Ramsgate 1 Hythe Town 1
Bostik League South East
Saturday 10th December 2018
After a morning of torrential rainfall, a sizeable number of Cannons supporters made their way to Southwood to be greeted by clearing skies and a rather better playing surface then had been expected. What they did not get to see though was much of the flowing football that their team seem unable to export from Reachfields to away grounds.
New in the Town line up was Corinthian and ex-Charlton youth keeper Aiden Prall who became the fifth Hythe keeper to be used in four games (including the Gillingham friendly) and he was soon to be in action making two early saves from Rams danger man Tom Chapman. During the opening half hour, he would surely have been worried at what he was witnessing though as wave after wave of home attacks were only halted by a series of fouls and corners being conceded by his defence and midfield. Newly promoted lady official Kirsty Dowle did have a few shaky moments early on but the main reason for Hythe frustration was surely the inability to move meaningfully out of defence and instead to rely on aimless punts upfield which all too often were swiftly returned.
Then all of a sudden, the home defence conceded a free kick just outside the area, Zak Ansah was the appointed taker, and Ramsgate custodian Luke Watkins became just another spectator as the ball flew into the top of his net.
Joy soon became despair though for Hythe as influential vice-captain Ryan Palmer stretched for a tackle in midfield and had to leave the fray. Nevertheless, the sight of a fit-again Charlie Webster coming off the bench warmed Hythe hearts in preparation for the second half.
Sure enough, Town started the second period brightly and the previously quiet Kieron Campbell soon had an early deflected attempt well saved.
However, on 50 minutes Nathan Daly was adjudged to have committed a foul tackle in the area and up stepped Aaron Millbank to blast in a spot-kick that would have needed all five Hythe goalies to keep out.
As well as keeper Prall, Sam Denly had moved in the week to re-sign youngster Elliot Capel, one of a handful of junior players that had been brought in on his appointment last season to boost numbers at a difficult time. After a good display against Gillingham the manager decided he was worthy of a start and his belief was rewarded when after a hesitant early few minutes the new boy became the new man and quite possibly even the man of the match with a series of strong and speedy overlapping runs, linking well with the tricky Campbell.
After one such run on the hour Chris Kinnear fired over from distance and then Nigel Neita produced a dangerous cross that just evaded the incoming Junior Akhionbare. Now at last Hythe were looking the part but then a critical moment went against them when Kinnear released Akhionbare on the right to remind Hythe folk of his 30 second goal against Sittingbourne the previous week. This time there was to be no scoring glory though as the talented but inconsistent forward made space for himself only to steer his effort wide of the post.
Another Campbell/Capel move caused near panic in the home defence and a Neita cross was just a shade to high for Charlie Webster to get over but although the home side had employed a packed defence at times they were, unlike their opponents in the first half, always ready to break out in an organised and threatening manner and this was shown when Aidan Prall found himself being challenged by not one but two unmarked home forwards. As he came outside his area the keeper managed to foil one attacker but then tangled with the second who predictably collapsed as if being shot by a sniper. Now the game had reached it's flashpoint with both benches in uproar and one side calling for a red card and the other claiming gross over-reaction. As the home terraces bayed for blood and players milled around, Referee Dowle came of age with the only obvious call there was to be made. The keeper had fouled his man in an honest attempt to get the ball away. and there was to be a free kick for the home side and a caution for the keeper.
Although nothing else ensued from this late incident there was still time for Chapman to miss a chance when well-placed and for Kieron Campbell to get in one last attempt for his side.
For a Hythe team looking to make a championship challenge this was a disappointing display generally but for a team only positioning itself for the play-offs it should be remembered that Lloyd Blackman-managed Ramsgate are no mugs and have their own play-off ambitions too. Plus points for the Cannons were the sight of Elliot Capel and substitute Charlie Webster making those powerful forward runs and the reassuringly huge figure of Zach Fagan striding nonchalantly on for the final minutes and seemingly clear of his injury worries.
Team: Aiden Prall, Salvyn Kisitu, Elliot Capel, Chris Kinnear, Nathan Daly, Mitchell Dickenson, Ryan Palmer (Charlie Webster 38 mins), Junior Aikhionbare (Zach Fagan 80 mins), Zak Ansah, Nigel Neita, Kieron Campbell.
Scorers: Ramsgate - Aaron Millbank 50 mins (pen). Hythe Town – Zak Ansah 29 mins.
Hythe Town v Sittingbourne
Bostik League South East
Saturday 3rd November 2018