As we start a new “chapter” at Hythe Town FC, the majority of club news most recently has understandably been about money, managers and the men who take centre stage. At the same time as this has been happening, I’m sure you will be pleased to know that maintenance work has continued apace at the ground, as the attached photos illustrate.
Thanks to the efforts of JRB Roofing the turnstiles area roof has now been completely replaced with new sheeting.
Ashford FC have also made a significant contribution, not only with a number of new pitch side advertising boards, but arranging for the ever growing compost heap at the far end of the ground to be completely cleared away and purchasing brand new red & white goal nets (they play in blue). These will be “christened” on Tuesday evening when we play Faversham. With regards the nets, our grateful thanks must go to Malcolm Wood, Richard Bateman, Glenn Robinson & Roy Fagg for cleaning and painting the goal frames last week and for installing the nets under the watchful supervision of Steve Rollings & Peter Young of Ashford FC.
Richard, Glenn & Jayne has continued with their weekly painting stints, concentrating more recently on the exterior of the toilets & food kiosk buildings. Jayne has kindly given the ladies WC a fresh lick of paint, which has certainly been much appreciated by the ladies of The Rainbow Centre (Food Bank). In addition she has offered to help promote the Club Shop as we head into the festive season.
With four home games now in the lead up to Christmas, let’s get behind James, Tom and the players and make Reachfields a happy & enjoyable place to be.
With all the changes that have occurred over the last month or so, I thought it would be a good idea to summarise the changes to date.
The list of players who have left starts with Noel Leighton who departed prior to Steve Watt’s resignation going off to Three Bridges. Will Godmon also left the club at the same time. Scott Doe was also released by Steve.
Since the change in management, Frannie Collin and Alex Flisher have left along with Nathan Gordon who has now signed for Tooting & Mitcham United. Darren Oldaker has taken an opportunity to return to National League South with Dorking Wanderers.
In & Out
There are a couple of players who joined us recently but since the change have departed. They are Bradley Schafer who came in from Sevenoaks Town and has now moved on to one of his old clubs Herne Bay. Andrew Sesay came from Tooting & Mitcham United and has now gone onto Hastings United.
Goalkeeper, Henry Newcombe came in having previously played this season for Chatham Town and Centre-Back George Crimmen arrived from Sittingbourne. Tyler Sterling has joined us on loan from Folkestone Invicta. Prior to last Tuesday’s Kent Senior Cup tie, there were two signing as midfielder Jack Mayhew has joined from Maidstone United and striker Riley Alford has come from our ground sharing tenants Ashford FC starting with the goal against Faversham Town. Another signing can be announced as Jack Nelson has joined having been in the Dover Athletic Academy.
We wish all those who have left, every success for the future and welcome to those who have joined.
Hythe Town 1 Faversham Town 1
Hythe won 3-2 on penalties
Kent Senior Cup 1st Round
Tuesday 30th November 2021
What a great evening at Reachfields as a much changed Hythe Town team managed to win 3-2 on penalties at home to Faversham Town thanks to a magnificent performance by stand in goalkeeper Liam Smith on Tuesday evening.
New Interim Manager James Rogers brought in striker Riley Alford from ground sharing partners Ashford FC, George Sibley back from Lordswood and Jack Mayhew who has joined from Maidstone United. The rest of the squad was shuffled round to cover injuries to Tom Wynter and Tom Walmsley.
The patched up Cannons were first out of the blocks as Alford had a shot after only two minutes pulling the ball just wide. Faversham had their first attack on six minutes as Eddie Allsopp crossed into Matt Bourne whose header went straight into the arms of Hythe keeper Henry Newcombe. Early exchanges were open with both sides creating opportunities. Emmanuel Oluwasemo shot straight at Newcombe and then ex-Cannon Sam Bewick lifted an effort high over the Hythe bar. At other end a neat interchange on the edge of the Faversham penalty area ended with Jordan Sarfo pulling his attempt wide of the target.
The Cannons took the lead on 23 minutes as Alford picked up the ball on the left hand side and lifted his effort neatly over Faversham keeper Patrick Ohman and into the far corner of the net. On 31 minutes Hythe had Newcombe to thank as he palmed the ball around the upright to retain the lead.
Soon after Hythe’s Mayhew turned and shot with the ball coming off the body of Ohman and over the bar and then as the game closed in on half time Sarfo, who had tormented the Faversham defence, unleashed a shot from long range that forced Ohman to tip over.
The second half started with Hythe on the attack as Jacob Gilbert drove his effort into the arms of Ohman and then Charlie Webster did the same thing. Then came the moment that could have changed the pattern of the game completely as on 55 minutes Newcombe brought down a Faversham player who was adjudged to have been in on goal. The referee, after consultation with his assistant, reached for his red card and the Cannons were down to ten men. Defender, Liam Smith took the gloves to take his place in goal.
Hythe were now under the cosh as Faversham looked for away to get the elusive equaliser. Allsopp had two chances as he firstly hooked the ball over the bar and then slammed a shot against the underside of the bar with Smith beaten. In between Sarfo ran onto a pinpoint through ball from Tyler Sterling and struck his shot into the side netting. The pressure was rewarded when Faversham got the equaliser as Oluwasemo slammed the ball past Smith and into the net. At this stage of the game you could only see one result but the Cannons dug deep and defended for their lives. However, there was the occasional breakaway as Webster laid the ball off to Sterling who forced Ohman to save.
Faversham continued to press and Clark Woodcock forced a fantastic tip over by Smith. They were unlucky on 77 minutes as Lewis Chambers rattled the cross-bar. The rear-guard action continued with Smith again saving this time from Chambers. Hythe did have a late break that could have won the game as Sarfo broke through only to be dispossessed with appeals for a penalty turned down. It had been a remarkable performance for the Cannons to hold on.
Then came the drama of penalties. Up stepped “goalkeeper” Smith to slam the ball home. However, Hythe missed the next three to put Faversham well ahead until Sarfo fired kick five home and then Faversham missed theirs to take it into sudden-death. Faversham missed four on the trot to keep things level until Gilbert calmly stepped up to slam his penalty home. Faversham missed their next penalty and Hythe were through to the second round in a remarkable game.
Hythe now await who they will meet in the Second Round but can look forward with confidence to the next league game on Saturday at home to Phoenix Sports. Kick off is 3pm.
Team: Henry Newcombe, Liam Smith, George Sibley, Charlie Webster (Alex Brown 90 mins), Jarred Trespaderne, George Crimmen, Jack Mayhew, Jacob Gilbert, Riley Alford, Tyler Gilbert, Jordan Sarfo
Scorers: Hythe Town – Riley Alford 23 mins. Faversham Town - Emmanuel Oluwasemo 66 mins.
Lancing 0 Hythe Town 1
Pitching In Isthmian League South
Saturday 27th November 2021
Last week it looked likely that Jordan Sarfo would leave for Canterbury City, but he was persuaded to stay and rewarded the Cannons with a neatly taken late goal to secure all three points in a 1-0 win at Lancing on Saturday.
The conditions were horrendous with a sweeping gale blowing across the pitch impacting on the quality of the football but both sides buckled down to make the best of it. The early exchanges were fairly even as both sides tried to adjust to the conditions with the first chances coming for the hosts. On five minutes a dangerous cross from Conrad Honore was caught by the wind and ended in the arms of Hythe keeper, Henry Newcombe. This was followed two minutes later when a cross from Ismaila Daillo found Finn Daniels-Yeomans who hooked the ball over the bar. Hythe had their first opportunity on ten minutes as Tyler Sterling sent in a free kick across the face of goal but there was no one on hand to convert and then he fired a shot high over the bar.
Newcombe was then to make two excellent saves that kept the scores level. Firstly, a cross from Diaollo found James Rhodes forcing the keeper to save to his right and then he tipped over from a dipping shot from Harrison Parker. Hythe had to make a substitution on 29 minutes as Tom Walmsley left the field due to what appears to be a nasty knee injury and was replaced by Sarfo who was unlucky not to give the Cannons the lead after 32 minutes as he was played in by Alex Brown with his attempt to slide the ball past Lancing keeper Alieu Secka with the ball slamming against the post. As the game moved towards half time there was one more chance for the hosts as Matt Daniel broke in but Newcombe was on hand to scramble the ball away with Jarred Trespaderne making a timely challenge to prevent Daniel following through.
The second half started with Hythe on the front foot as both Nathan Gordon and Sarfo in quick succession having chances with the ball finally being cleared away. As the half progressed, Lancing were increasing the pressure with a rasping shot from Daniels-Yeomans stinging the hands of Newcombe as he saved well and then a threatening deep cross from Joe Rye was just out of the reach of Daniel. However, the game went into the last fifteen minutes it was Hythe who began to take the initiative as Alex Flisher forced a save from Secka and then Sarfo tried to lob the keeper but it didn’t quite have the height and Secka was able to collect.
With six minutes to go Sarfo got the goal that was to give the Cannons the win as he picked up the ball and placed his shot neatly in the corner of the net to the joy of those who had travelled from Hythe. It was an excellent team performance in very difficult conditions in which everyone played their part in the win that takes Hythe into tenth place in the table. This victory should put the team in good spirits for the Kent Senior Cup tie at home to Faversham Town on Tuesday evening. Kick off at Reachfields is 7:45pm.
Team: Henry Newcombe, Liam Smith, Nathan Gordon, Charlie Webster, Tom Wynter (Bradley Schafer 55 mins), George Crimmen, Tyler Sterling (Alex Flisher 72 mins), Jacob Gilbert, Tom Walmsley (Jordan Sarfo 28 mins), Alex Brown, Jarred Trespaderne.
Scorer: Hythe Town – Jordan Sarfo 84 mins.
The Club Directors present at Lancing today would like to pass on their congratulations to today's team who ground out a good result in almost impossible conditions. To those who have left or are leaving the club, Good Luck in the future and thanks for your time at Hythe Town. To the many players staying on, you are part of the next chapter under James and Tom and you will receive the full support of the board and the fans.
Thanks to Randolph File
As a new chapter starts at Hythe Town Football Club, the board of directors is looking at all avenues to put the club on a long-term sound financial footing.
We very much appreciate everyone who has rallied round to date, whether with one-off donations or via the Patrons Group. While we continue to search for a main club sponsor, a keyway to build resilience for the club is to have multiple backers so that we do not fall beholden once more to a single company or individual that then fails to deliver.
As a minimum we need to (a) retain our status as an Isthmian League club and (b) ensure the club remains solvent.
It took us many years to break out of the Kent League and achieve the higher level of football that we now compete at week in, week out. Of course, this came at a financial cost, but we do not want to take a backward step now.
If you - whether individually or via a business - would be willing to help, then we would love to hear from you. So too if you have any contacts that might be interested in helping us address the current financial shortfall.
Club Secretary, Martin Giles, comments: "We have cut the wages bill by something approaching 50% and any donations made either publicly or anonymously would help us to be more competitive. My contacts are firstname.lastname@example.org and 01303 265962 or 07908 763101. Alternatively, I would be happy to meet with anyone at the club where there is a card payment facility.”
The directors of Hythe Town Football Club are pleased to announce the appointment of experienced midfielder, James Rogers, as interim manager. This follows the decision by Steve Watt to step down a week ago.
James is a highly experienced player who started his career with Dartford and has also played for Dover Athletic, Maidstone United and Margate. He joined Hythe Town in October 2019.
Hythe Town secretary, Martin Giles, said: "James will provide continuity with the current squad and has worked with some of Kent's top managers during his career. He brings experience and passion and was keen to make this step up as he starts to look towards a career in football management."
Current assistant manager, Nathan Elder, who ruled himself out of the managerial role due to work commitments, and player/coach, Frannie Collins, will be in charge for our visit to Lancing on Saturday. James will take up the reins for our home Kent Senior Cup tie against Faversham next Tuesday.
James will be assisted by the popular Tom Wynter…….
Hythe Town v Whitstable Town
Pitching In Isthmian League South East
Saturday 20th November 2021
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Hythe Town 0 Whitstable Town 3
Pitching In Isthmian League South-East
Saturday 20th November 2021
Hythe Town, now without Steve Watt in charge, were heavily defeated 3-0 by Whitstable Town on a dark, rainy Saturday afternoon.
Hythe lined up with four new players since their last home game. Goalkeeper Henry Newcombe, defender George Crimmen, midfielder Bradley Schafer and forward Andrew Sesay all started the match, with attacker Tyler Sterling on the bench.
Hythe had the first chance of the match, as an early shot from Charlie Webster stung the palms of Dan Eason. Whitstable very nearly took the lead on 11 minutes, when a shot was saved by Henry Newcombe, who spilled the ball to Tom Carlton. However, he blazed his shot wide of the post.
Six minutes later, Victor Aiyebola was subbed off for Whitstable after receiving a yellow card and a final warning from the referee. He was replaced by Luke Illsley, who turned out to be a game changer, as he slotted home just one minute after coming on following a ball in from Danny Walder. Just before half time, the Oystermen had a chance to go two goals up, as Tom Carlton’s shot was saved again by Newcombe in the Hythe goal.
It didn’t take long for them to gain that advantage however, as Alex Gaggin tapped in to make matters even worse for the Cannons. Caretaker manager Nathan Elder tried making substitutions to turn the game around, but nothing worked. In fact, Whitstable could’ve scored another just one minute after their second, as Kemo Darboe’s shot was palmed away by Newcombe.
New signing Bradley Schafer did have a chance to pull one back on 71 minutes, but his shot went into the side netting. With just five minutes remaining, ex-Hythe man Danny Walder sealed the three points for Whitstable, firing past Newcombe who could arguably have done better. Despite this, Newcombe played quite well in goal for us.
The Cannons will be hoping to bounce back next Saturday away at Lancing, with the match kicking off at 3pm.
Team: Henry Newcombe, Liam Smith, Charlie Webster, Bradley Schafer, Tom Wynter, George Crimmen, Darren Oldaker, Alex Brown (Tyler Sterling 45 mins), Andrew Sesay, Frannie Collin (Kane Phillip 64 mins), Jarred Trespaderne (Tom Walmsley 58 mins).
Scorers: Whitstable Town – Luke Illsey 18 mins, Alex Gaggin 57 mins, Danny Walder 85 mins.
Report by Tom Ellerby
The club regrets to announce that Steve Watt has stepped down as first team manager. The club’s directors would like to take this opportunity to thank Steve for all his efforts during his time with the club. The parting is a wholly amicable one and we wish him every success in the future,
In the interim, assistant manager, Nathan Elder, and player/coach, Frannie Collin, are taking the reins for Saturday’s match at home to Whitstable Town and are in on-going discussions with the board.
The changes have arisen due to the financial pressures that currently face the club, as per our previous statement. These largely stem from the fact that promised funds have not materialised.
The directors – all of whom are volunteers – are working as hard as possible to address the current financial predicament and to put the club once more on a firm footing so that we can move forwards.
Hythe Town is currently playing in its eleventh Isthmian League season having only once before this played at this level under the then chairman Tony Walton between 1989-92.
The club exists at this level mainly due to good housekeeping and generous sponsorship, for the town of Hythe is not a natural as far as football passion is concerned, although we do have some great supporters and loyal helpers.
This season we have been pleased to accept financial support from our three main sponsors and our Patrons Group, as well as anonymous donors.
We have also seen some benefit coming from a groundshare agreement with (Kent County League side) Ashford FC.
Unfortunately, with the onset of the pandemic we lost a main source of income from an anonymous donor whose vision for the club included the possibility of developing Reachfields Stadium into a local sporting hub for the community and despite receiving many assurances, this income has not restarted.
With this funding we could have planned a firm drive for promotion and set aside a sum for at least one season in the Isthmian Premier Division.
We could also have been planning for an artificial pitch that would have allowed us to stage Hythe Town Youth games at the stadium, as well as hiring out to other organisations.
Without that funding we have to face the fact that our present playing budget is unsustainable.
Ever since the crash in 1992 the club has been in the black with no debts and this remains the case today but without an injection of cash this would not be the case if we did nothing now.
We now enter a three-week period until 8 November when we will be inviting any local persons or commercial interests to come forward, whilst at the same time realising that these are not easy times for anybody.
During this time we will be maintaining the budget, which despite being a fairly competitive one is by no means extravagant for the division we are in.
Our players and management enjoy representing Hythe and regularly turn down offers from other Kent clubs who seem to have a sudden access to money – however temporary.
The club would ask that any offers of help, which would be "treated in confidence," are made directly to Mr Giles by email:
Haywards Heath Town 0 Hythe Town 1
Pitching In Isthmian League South-East
Saturday 13th November 2021
A resilient Cannons came away from high flying Haywards Heath with a well-deserved 1-0 win Saturday afternoon.
Hythe had two enforced changes as both Darren Oldaker and Alex Brown were serving one match bans and James Rogers was still injured. Tyler Sterling was also on the substitutes bench. In came Jarred Trespaderne, Tom Walmsley, and new signings George Crimmen and Andrew Sesay.
The visitors started brightly and had their first attack as early as two minutes with Frannie Collin sweeping a free kick into the penalty area and several players had attempts but they were all blocked. Haywards Heath had their first opportunity on a quarter of an hour as Kieran Rowe had a shot deflected over the bar.
The Cannons took the lead on 23 minutes as Charlie Webster picked up the ball and forced his way in to round the Heath keeper Billy Collings who got his hand to the ball. However, Webster didn’t give up and got the ball back and calmly get into a goal scoring position and then placed his shot into the back of the net. The rest of the half saw few chances as both sides battled in midfield. The hosts did have one opportunity as Hamish Robinson blasted over the bar.
The second half started with the Hythe defence having their backs against the wall as Heath piled forward looking for an equaliser but to their credit the Cannons stood firm with both Tom Wynter and Crimmen resolute at the centre of the back four. This rear-guard action prevented the hosts creating too many opportunities and when they got through Hythe keeper, Henry Newcombe was on hand to save. Luke Robinson found himself free heading towards goal but his final effort was well saved by Newcombe. Josh Click probably should have done better for Heath when he headed wide at the far post.
Haywards Heath were reduced to ten men on 73 minutes as Tom Cadman took a dive in the penalty only to receive a second yellow card for simulation.
Hythe were still creating chances on the break as Webster fired a shot that was easily saved by Collings. Hythe continued to demonstrate a resilience at the back that was missing in previous games against the promotion challengers. Rowe had a long-range effort that went over the Hythe bar and then at the other end Liam Smith sent in a shot from the right that was pushed away by Collings.
There was one more fright a minute into injury time for Hythe as ex-Cannon Jerson Dos Santos found space to shoot but his attempt rattled of the top of crossbar and away for a goal kick. The last action of the game saw the Cannons also reduced to ten men as Nathan Gordon was shown a second yellow card for wasting time. But on the bright side the Cannons had come through a test against a very physical side refusing to be bullied and to hold onto a well-earned three points.
This was a really encouraging win for the Cannons as they moved up to 11th place in the table. They return to Reachfields next Saturday (20th November 2021) as they entertain Whitstable Town in another league fixture with a 3pm kick off.
Team: Henry Newcombe, Liam Smith, Nathan Gordon, Bradley Schafer (Jacob Gilbert 76 mins), Tom Wynter, George Crimmen, Charlie Webster, Jarred Trespaderne (Kane Phillip 60 mins), Tom Walmsley (Alex Flisher 82 mins), Frannie Collin, Andrew Sesay.
Scorer: Hythe Town - Charlie Webster 25 mins
The club have announced two new signings as centre-back George Crimmen has signed from Sittingbourne. He is an experienced player who has also had spells at Herne Bay, Sheppey United, Whitstable Town and Tonbridge Angels.
He comes in as a direct replacement for Scott Doe who has been released by the club.
Also joining is winger/striker Andrew Sesay who comes to us from Tooting & Mitcham United. He also had spells with Whyteleafe, Three Bridges. Greenwich Borough and Tonbridge Angels.
Hythe Town v Hastings United
Pitching In Isthmian League South East
Saturday 19th October 2021
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