Welwyn Garden City 3 Hythe Town 3
Welwyn Garden City won 4-1 on pens
Buildbase FA Trophy 1st Qualifying Round
Saturday 25th September 2021
By Martin Whybrow
For the second time this season, we secured a 3.3 cup draw with the final touch of the game. Both were headers. Whereas the now sadly departed Eli Benoit was the contributor against Westfield, this time it was Liam Smith. Unfortunately, our joy was short-lived as we immediately went down the other end for penalties and lost 4.1.
Welwyn Garden City was the second garden city in the country, built to “exemplify physical, social and cultural ideals”. Unfortunately, the football club’s Utilita Stadium missed out on any of those attributes. It also didn’t seem to be particularly close to the city itself, located next to a golf course. And they struggle to attract supporters, with just 111 in attendance today.
They play at the same level as us, in the Southern League Division One Central. We couldn’t have started much better, with Tom Walmsley sweeping home a deep cross to give us the lead after only two minutes.
However, this season’s curse of the direct free-kick hit us again a few minutes later. A wide, low drive from Jordan Watson some how eluded everyone for a soft equaliser.
We had a good spell after this and were rewarded when Kane Phillip headed home a deep Darren Oldaker free-kick just after the half-hour. An Oldaker shot then probably endangered some golfers but another brought a full length save from Charlie Crowley.
Half-time allowed us to take in this new venue a bit more. It has a small seated stand, no fewer than four aerial masts, and a small tea hut, with one offering being the rather unspecific “meat and chips”.
By the break, James Rogers in particular had made some new friends among the home supporters. It is always best, I think, not to bite when riled but that’s probably easier to type than it is to do.
There weren’t too many chances for the first 15 minutes or so after the restart but the referee had already brandished several yellow cards our way and now gave another soft free-kick in a fairly central position just outside the box. We feared the worst from the sidelines and, indeed, a fine strike by Dave Keenleyside flew into the top corner.
Other chances remained at a premium until the last few minutes when Welwyn grabbed the advantage with two minutes to go, a close range strike by Watson, from a low hard cross by Carl Mensah.
We pumped in a number of long balls in stoppage time and had a couple of chances before Liam, once more playing centre-back, headed that last gasp equaliser.
But sadly, having gone out of the FA Cup least week, our FA Trophy campaign came to an end with two penalty saves by Crowley.
So it was back on our rather luxurious coach – formerly Liverpool’s, now Charlton Athletic’s. Sue Giles, sitting in the same seat as on the way up, asked if she’d now be travelling forward. It is easy to get confused between a coach and a train after a long day.
We dodged the congestion caused by queues at petrol stations and, with several drop-offs of our geographically widely spread players, we rolled into Hythe at about 9pm. Just the one fish and chip shop had burnt down while we’d been away.
Team: Will Godmon, Charlie Webster, Nathan Gordon, James Rogers, Scott Doe, Liam Smith, Kane Phillip (Jordan Sarfo 75 mins), Darren Oldaker, Noel Leighton, Alex Brown (Jacob Gilbert 81 mins), Tom Walmsley (Jarred Trespaderne 90 mins).
Scorers: Welwyn Garden City – Jordan Watson 9 mins, Dave Keenlyside 60 mins, Jordan Watson 88 mins. Hythe Town – Tom Walmsley 3 mins, Kane Phillip 34 mins, Liam Smith 90 mins.
Dartford 5 Hythe Town 1
Emirates FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round
Saturday 18th September 2021
Statistically, it was the hardest draw we could have been given – away to the team top of National League South. And, in the end, so it proved, as we suffered a heavy defeat to opponents two levels above us.
Dartford’s impressive Prince’s Park Stadium is imposing but those of us with long associations with Hythe Town remember fondly our only previous visit, a 1-0 win over Dartford, a remarkable rear guard display, in the final of the Kent Senior Cup back in 2012.
Alas, it took the current Darts only three minutes to achieve what their earlier counterparts failed to do in 90. Latecomers – much of Kent was gridlocked due to accidents and roadworks – missed the header at the far post by Ade Azeez, in too much space and found by a deep cross.
Frannie Collin limped off with a groin injury on 20 minutes but, soon after, we were level. Darren Oldaker continued where he’d left off from Tuesday night’s impressive display against Sittingbourne, at the heart of most of our best moves. He went on a surging run, leaving a couple of Dartford players in his wake, then played in Alex Brown to slot home.
In fact, we then came close to taking the lead, when a 20-yard volley by Liam Smith was tipped over. Oldaker later in the first half brought another sharp save from Craig King, this time from a free-kick.
However, by then we were once more behind, in rather unfortunate fashion, a shot from Dart’s best player on the afternoon, Danny Leonard, striking Tom Wynter’s arm, with Azeez scoring the resultant penalty.
It was 3-1 before half-time as we were hit on the break, Leonard shooting home from a tight angle at the end of a break-neck move.
Having regrouped, our somewhat makeshift back-four kept Dartford at bay for half an hour but we didn’t really threaten at the other end either. Their fourth once again had an element of bad luck from our perspective, a cross hitting Eli Benoit and flying into the net.
The final blow was Azeez’s hat-trick, with a minute of normal time to go, putting away a cross from an unmarked position in the box.
So, our FA Cup run ended at the third hurdle. Dartford have good support (816 today), lots of backing and fine facilities. “Built by a Conservative Council” as an advertising board pronounces; reassuringly, this is now aluminum as players, presumably of a different political persuasion, used to enjoy making holes in it by firing shots at it.
Team: Will Godmon, Liam Smith, Jarred Trespaderne, James Rogers, Eli Benoit, Tom Wynter, (Jordan Sarfo 69mins), Charlie Webster, Darren Oldaker, Noel Leighton, Frannie Collin (Kane Phillip 21 mins) (Tom Walmsley 77 mins), Alex Brown.
Scorers: Dartford - Ade Azeez 3, 29 (pen), 89 mins, Danny Leonard 34 mins, Eli Benoit 89 mins. Hythe Town - Alex Brown 21 mins.
By Martin Whybrow
Hythe Town 2 Sittingbourne 1
Pitching In Isthmian League South-East
Tuesday 14th September 2021
Hythe won their third match in a row on Tuesday night with a 2-1 victory over local rivals Sittingbourne. The Cannons had three centre-backs unavailable for the match, with Eli Benoit and full-back Liam Smith lining up at the back.
Understandably, Hythe focused very much on the attack, and that paid off on 21 minutes, when a ball into the box was bundled in by Liam Smith for his first goal of the season. Three minutes later, Sittingbourne had their first opportunity of the match, when Toby Bancroft’s ball into the box was headed against the post by ex-Cannon Johan Caney-Bryan.
It didn’t take long for Hythe to score their second goal, as Darren Oldaker sent a ball through to Frannie Collin, who slotted in past the Brickies goalkeeper, scoring his fourth of the campaign. Collin had another opportunity just minutes after, when his shot was tipped past the left-hand post of keeper Harry Brooks.
Oldaker had a decent shot on target, which was pushed past the woodwork by Brooks. The Sittingbourne defence didn’t seem great in possession of the ball, giving it away several times. On one of those occasions, Frannie Collin won the ball and went for the shot, with a defender clearing the ball off the line.
The second half started very quietly, but eventually, on 70 minutes, Hythe had their first major chance, with Tom Walmsley turning past the Brickies defenders and squaring the ball to substitute Jordan Sarfo, whose shot was saved. Two minutes later, Sittingbourne pulled a goal back through captain Kane Rowland, who broke through the Hythe defence and slotted home.
With ten minutes remaining, Darren Oldaker made a run through the defence, going for goal but his shot was saved by Brooks. In injury time, there was a late goal-mouth scramble when Sittingbourne won a corner, with fouls occurring all around the box, eventually resulting in a Hythe free-kick.
Hythe return to action with a tricky FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round match at Dartford. Kick-off at Princes Park is at 3PM.
Team: Will Godmon, Charlie Webster, Nathan Gordon (Jarred Trespaderne 65 mins), James Rogers, Liam Smith, Eli Beniot, Kane Phillip (Jordan Sarfo 68 mins), Darren Oldaker, Tom Walmsley, Frannie Collin, Alex Brown (Jacob Gilbert 75 mins).
Scorers: Hythe Town - Liam Smith 21 mins, Frannie Collin 27 mins. Sittingbourne - Kane Rowland 72 mins.
East Grinstead Town 0 Hythe Town 1
Pitching In Isthmian League South-East
Saturday 11th September 2021
The Cannons were thankful for a Frannie Collin second-half penalty as they came away with a 1-0 win at East Grinstead Town on Saturday afternoon.
The game started with the hosts having the edge creating the early opportunities as on seven minutes Dylan Cascoe shot straight at Hythe keeper Will Godmon. The Wasps had the ball in the net two minutes later as Seigo Sanogo tapped in at the far post but the referee’s assistant on the nearside had his flag up for offside. The home pressure continued as Troy Walters lifted the ball over the bar and then a corner from Liam Montague found Glenn Wilson who should have done better but sent his header straight at Godmon.
The Cannons had to reorganise their defence after twenty minutes as Tom Wynter limped off to be replaced by Jarred Trespaderne. However, the visitors began to threaten as Tom Walmsley laid the ball off to Jacob Gilbert who mishit his shot into the arms of East Grinstead keeper Mattee Pierson. Gilbert, whose work rate impressed, was in the action again a minute from the break as Collin nodded the ball down and the young midfielder was unlucky to see his shot deflected wide.
Hythe took control of the second half as Kane Phillip worked his way through and unleashed a shot that was deflected over by Sanogo. Hythe were unlucky again as James Rogers rattled the upright with Collin having a shot blocked from the rebound. However, on 69 minutes substitute Jordan Sarfo surged down the right-hand by-line and was brought down by Montague. The referee who had turned down a number of penalty appeals during the afternoon had no hesitation this time in pointing to the spot. Up stepped Collin who slammed the ball into the middle of the net with Pierson diving to his left giving Hythe the lead.
On 76 minutes Collin saw Pierson off his line and lobbed the ball from thirty yards but the keeper, back peddling, was able to catch. The hosts did try to breakdown the visitors defence, but Hythe stood firm and the final two chances in the dying minutes fell to the Cannons as Luke Carey shot straight at Pierson and then Collin pounced on a loose ball but fired wide.
The Cannons held on to take all three points to move them up to eighth place after four games. This win should give them confidence as they move into their next league game on Tuesday evening at home to fifth placed Sittingbourne with the kick-off at Reachfields at 7:45pm.
Team: Will Godmon, Liam Smith, Nathan Gordon, James Rogers, Tom Wynter (Jarrod Trespaderne 21 mins), Scott Doe, Charlie Webster, Jacob Gilbert, Tom Walmsley (Jordan Sarfo 61 mins), Frannie Collin, Kane Phillip (Luke Carey 83 mins)
Scorer: Hythe Town – Frannie Collin 69 min (pen).
Hythe Town 1 Ascot United 0
Emirates FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round
Saturday 4th September 2021
On a hot Saturday afternoon, Hythe Town reached the second qualifying round of the FA Cup with a 1-0 win over Ascot United.
Hythe had the first chance of the match on 20 minutes, with Jacob Gilbert’s header from a corner tipped away by Sam Gray in the Ascot goal. Gilbert was once again involved on 33 minutes, when his shot was spilled by keeper Gray, before being cleared by the defender. The final major opportunity of a rather quiet first half was from Darren Oldaker, who broke through the middle of the pitch and sent a shot just wide of the post.
In the second half, the Cannons seemed to find their feet in the match, and they nearly had a goal within eight minutes of the restart. Tom Walmsley had the chance to shoot, but his shot was a little too weak, as it beat the keeper but was blocked by an Ascot defender. Another opportunity came two minutes later, with Nathan Gordon sending a ball into Charlie Webster, whose header went over the bar.
Finally, on 64 minutes, the deadlock was broken when the ball found its way to Nathan Gordon in the penalty box, who seemed to scuff the ball a little on his shot, however the ball did cross the line to give Hythe a deserved lead. It was almost 2-0 on 69 minutes when Tom Walmsley was brought down just outside the penalty area, with Frannie Collin firing the resultant free-kick straight into the arms of the goalkeeper. In the 85th minute of the match, a Hythe corner found Scott Doe, who had two shots blocked by the Ascot backline.
Just as the game was drawing to a close, there was almost late drama in the 95th minute, when a succession of Ascot corners was blocked, cleared off the line and booted away, until eventually the referee blew his whistle.
Hythe return to action next Saturday afternoon away at East Grinstead, with the match kicking off at 3PM.
Team: Will Godmon, Liam Smith, Nathan Gordon, James Rogers, Tom Wynter, Scott Doe, Charlie Webster, Darren Oldaker, Tom Walmsley, Frannie Collin, Jacob Gilbert (Jordan Sarfo 76 mins).
Scorer: Hythe Town – Nathan Gordon 64 mins
Hythe Town 0 Ramsgate 3
Pitching In Isthmian League South-East
Monday 30th August 2021
On a rainy bank holiday, a Hythe side tired out after four games in ten days lost 3-0 to Ramsgate. The Rams dominated the match from start to finish, picking up all the loose balls and capitalizing from set-pieces and mistakes.
Hythe had the first chance of the match after eight minutes, when Darren Oldaker’s pass into the feet of Noel Leighton was deflected away by the leg of a Ramsgate defender. The Rams had their first opportunity of the match nine minutes later, as Joshua Ajayi missed a header in front of an open goal.
They opened the scoring on 27 minutes with former Ashford midfielder Lee Prescott, whose free kick was badly dealt with by goalkeeper Will Godmon, who was unable to get a hand to the ball as it sailed past him into the net. The second goal was very similar but was scored this time by Jordan Chiedozie from just outside the box on 43 minutes.
The Rams managed to get a third in the 59th minute, as Jordan Chiedozie completed his brace, when a Ramsgate ball in evaded all the defenders, leaving Chiedozie to nod the ball in just before the hour mark. Tom Walmsley had Hythe’s only chance of the second half, as he headed the ball wide of the goal following a Liam Smith cross. Ramsgate had two more chances late on in the game, with Callum Peck and Joshua Ajayi both firing shots far away from the goal.
Hythe will look to bounce back from this result on Saturday 4th at home to Ascot United in the 1st Qualifying Round of the FA Cup. Kick off is at 3PM.
Team: Will Godmon, Liam Smith, Nathan Gordon, James Rogers, Tom Wynter, Scott Doe, Charlie Webster, Darren Oldaker (Alex Brown 54 mins), Noel Leighton, Frannie Collin (Luke Carey 76 mins), Jordan Sarfo (Tom Walmsley 60 mins).
Scorers: Ramsgate – Lee Prescott 27 mins, Jordan Chiedozie 43 & 59 mins.
VCD Athletic 1 Hythe Town 2
Pitching In Isthmian League South-East
Saturday 28th August 2021
Ten-man Hythe Town came back to steal all three points in a 2-1 win at VCD Athletic on Saturday afternoon.
The first opportunity of the game fell to the Cannons on four minutes as the ball came out to Charlie Webster who drove just wide. Immediately at the other end Theo McKenzie tried to find some room but his final effort sailed over the bar. However, on a quarter of an hour VCD took the lead as Chris Edwards whipped in a cross with a stretching Anthony Adesite reaching the ball to redirect it into the net.
Hythe did have an effort six minutes later as a Darren Oldaker cross was headed over by Scott Doe and then Frannie Collin rifled a free kick from 25 yards straight at VCD Keeper Sam Mott. There was then a long period of stalemate as both sides tried to break through until on the stroke of half-time Oldaker sent in another deep cross which was again headed over by Doe.
The Cannons struggled to gain the initiative in the early exchanges of the second half with the only effort coming from Webster who hit a shot wide of the target. Youssef Bamba had a couple of attempts with the first being dragged wide and then he came in from the right and hit the ball against the inside of the upright with Hythe keeper Will Godmon clawing the ball away before it crossed the line.
Things got worse for Hythe on 66 minutes as a reckless challenge from Noel Leighton ended with the striker receiving a red card. Rather than demoralising the Cannons they came out fighting as with 15 minutes to go a Webster cross came in from the left. Mott failed to hold the ball and substitute Jordan Sarfo was on hand to put the loose ball into the net. Despite being a man down it was the visitors who looked the more likely and on 81 minutes they took the lead as this time an Oldaker cross was flicked on by Collin to find Doe who headed home.
The hosts did have a couple of efforts to try to level the scores as Alex Gaggin fired wide and with a minute to go a dipping shot from Joe Bingham took a slight deflection, but Godmon was still able to tip the ball over and the chance was gone.
In the end it was a deserved win for Hythe after a fantastic fightback after all had seemed lost. Hopefully this impetus will go into the game on Monday afternoon at home to Ramsgate. Kick off at Reachfields will be 3pm.
Team: Will Godmon, Liam Smith, Nathan Gordon, James Rogers, Tom Wynter, Scott Doe, Charlie Webster, Darren Oldaker (Jacob Gilbert 87 mins), Noel Leighton, Frannie Collin (Luke Carey 90 mins), Alex Brown (Jordan Sarfo 61 mins).
Scorers: VCD Athletic – Anthony Adesite 15 mins. Hythe Town – Jordan Sarfo 75 mins, Scott Doe 81 mins.
Westfield 1 Hythe Town 3
Emirates FA Cup Preliminary Round Replay
Tuesday 24th August 2021
After the dramas of last Saturday, The Cannons eventually eased their way into the 1st Qualifying Round of the FA Cup with a 3-1 win at Westfield on Tuesday evening.
Hythe started the brighter and were ahead as early as the 10th minute as Noel Leighton headed the ball into the path of Tom Walmsley who buried his shot neatly into the corner of the net. The next period of the game saw a battle in midfield with neither side creating the final opportunity. Westfield had to wait until the 24th minute for their first meaningful chance as a shot from Troy Timothy was fired straight at Hythe keeper Will Godmon who gathered the ball easily.
However, on 34 minutes the hosts were level as IK Hill fed the ball through to Kai Hamilton-Olise who surged through the centre of the Hythe defence before slamming the ball past Godmon and into the Hythe net. Five minutes before half-time Hythe lost goal scorer Tom Walmsley who suffered a nasty gash on his head that required a visit to the local casualty department for stitches.
The second half started evenly as both sides looked to take the initiative with Westfield having the first effort as Hill had a shot blocked by the Cannons defence. On 68 minutes a Darren Oldaker corner came out to James Rogers who blasted high over the bar. At the other end Timothy struck a free kick but did not test Godmon as it sailed into his arms.
As the half progressed it was Hythe who began to take control and with quarter of an hour to go, they were ahead. Oldaker broke into the penalty area and his final shot was blocked by home keeper Harry Smart, but Leighton followed up to fire the loose ball home. It was now Hythe who went looking for a third as a long ball out of defence from Nathan Gordon found Alex Brown who blasted over the bar.
Substitute, Kane Phillip had shot blocked, but this time Leighton fired over. They finally sealed the game on the stroke of 90 minutes as the Westfield defence failed to clear and Frannie Collin was on hand to place the ball into the net. There was to be no repeat of the extraordinary finish last Saturday and the Cannons made their way comfortably through to the next round where they will have a home tie against Combined Counties Ascot United with game to be played on Saturday 4th September 2021.
Hythe can now look forward to the game on Saturday at VCD Athletic with confidence after this excellent win. Kick off at VCD is 3pm.
Team: Will Godmon, Liam Smith, Nathan Gordon, James Rogers, Tom Wynter, Scott Doe, Charlie Webster, Darren Oldaker (Jacob Gilbert 90 mins), Noel Leighton, Alex Brown (Frannie Collin 78 mins), Tom Walmsley (Kane Phillip 40 mins).
Scorers: Westfield – Kai Hamilton-Olise 34 mins. Hythe Town – Tom Walmsley 10 mins, Noel Leighton 75 mins, Frannie Collin 90 mins.
Hythe Town 3 Westfield 3
Emirates FA Cup Preliminary Round
Saturday 21st August 2021
A truly dramatic end to the game that saw the Cannons give away a two-goal lead and fall behind deep into injury time only for Eli Benoit to pop with an equaliser with the very last action in a 3-3 draw against Westfield at Reachfields on a humid Saturday afternoon.
The early exchanges in the game were very calm compared to what was to follow as the visitors waited sixteen minutes for their first effort as a shot from Kai Hamilton-Olise was saved by the legs of Hythe keeper Will Godmon. Westfield were then awarded a free kick but that was fired high over the bar by Troy Timothy. The hosts had to wait 23 minutes before their first attempt as Scott Doe sent in a cross that was headed over by Kane Phillip.
However, two minutes later a cross from the from Liam Smith from the right found Frannie Collin at the nearr post who rose above the Westfield defence to head the ball down and into the corner of the net. Both Afo Soyemi-Owlade and Azeez Alabi then sent efforts over the Hythe bar before, at the other end, deep into injury time Collin pulled a shot wide.
The visitors continued to struggle to hit the target as the game progressed as a cross from Afo Soyemi-Owlade found Hamilton-Olise who blasted well over when it seemed easier to score. Soyemi-Owlade then pulled a shot wide before Timothy hit a free kick straight at Godmon. On 53 minutes the Cannons increased their lead as a pinpoint pass from Darren Oldaker went straight into the path of Phillip who finished well to make it 2-0.
The game, which previously been played in a great spirit, then took a nasty turn as it all seemed to kick off around the bench area. A fracas followed which ended with the sending off of Phillip, unused substitute Jarred Trespaderne and Hythe manager Steve Watt. The Westfield assistant manager also saw red with it all leaving a nasty taste in the mouth. It will be interesting to see the video evidence to ascertain what actually happened.
This unsettled the hosts and on 68 minutes Soyemi-Owlade rolled an attempt against the upright and then Timothy blasted over. A minute into injury time Westfield pulled one back as Soyemi-Owlade broke through and fired home and then a minute later the scores were level when Kai Davis blasted the ball in. The Hythe defence were now shell shocked, and another goal followed a minute later as IK Hill sent the ball into the corner of the net.
However, somehow with the last action of the half, Benoit headed in to take the game to unlikely replay on Tuesday evening at Westfield. Kick-off will be 7:45pm.
Team: Will Godmon, Liam Smith, Nathan Gordon, James Rogers, Tom Wynter (Eli Benoit 84 mins), Scott Doe, Charlie Webster, Darren Oldaker (Jordan Sarfo 65 mins), Kane Phillip, Frannie Collin, Alex Brown (Tom Walmsley 90 mins).
Scorer: Hythe Town – Frannie Collin 25 mins, Kane Phillip 53 mins, Eli Benoit 90 + 6 mins Westfield – Afo Soyemi-Owlade 90 + 1 mins, Kai Davis 90 + 2mins, IK Hill 90 + 3mins.
Hythe Town 1 Corinthian 2
Pitching In Isthmian League South-East
Saturday 14th August 2021
The Cannons sunk to defeat against League new-boys Corinthian on a warm Saturday afternoon at Reachfields.
It was in fact Hythe who created the first opportunity as Noel Leighton nodded the ball onto Alex Brown who shot straight at Corinthian and ex-Cannon keeper Aidan Prall who collected the ball easily. However, it was another former Hythe player who gave the visitors the lead on 11 minutes. A free-kick from just outside the area was blasted goal wards by Jack Mahoney. Hythe keeper Will Godmon appeared to have got to the ball but was only able to palm it into the roof of the net.
This seemed to stun the hosts and they weren’t able to really regain the initiative during the rest of the half. On 21 minutes Godmon saved well tipping over a free kick from Oscar Housego but the referees assistant was flagging for offside. In a rare Hythe attack Brown fired a shot from the edge of the area which Prall pushed around the upright. Within the five minutes added on for injury time at the end of the half Jordan Sarfo and Leighton were unable to get on the end of a Brown cross. However, it could have been two with the last move of the half as from a narrow angle Mahoney sent a shot across the face of the goal.
Hythe came out with more purpose in the second half and began to look dangerous. Josh Gilbert mishit a shot wide and then Sarfo curled an attempt just the wrong side of the post. He was to repeat the feat seven minutes later. In between there was a chance for the visitors as an Andres Tobon cross was nodded wide by Mahoney. On 63 minutes Hythe struck back as Brown sent in a rasping shot into the top corner of the net giving Prall no chance and the scores were level.
The Cannons now looked the more likely as substitute Kane Phillip looked impressive as he forced his way through but the final effort was too close to Prall. He then turned provider as a cross found Tom Walmsley whose attempt was easily saved by the busy Prall.
However, it was Corinthian who had the last laugh deep into injury time as the Hythe defence failed to clear and Luke Tanner was left to tap the ball into an empty net to give the visitors the win and leave Hythe disappointed.
Hythe will now need to regroup before the important FA Cup tie next Saturday (21st August 2021) at home to Westfield. Kick off will be 3pm at Reachfields.
Team: Will Godmon, Liam Smith, Nathan Gordon, James Rogers, Scott Doe, Eli Benoit, Jacob Gilbert (Frannie Collin 59 mins), Darren Oldaker (Tom Walmsley 80 mins), Noel Leighton, Alex Brown, Jordan Sarfo (Kane Phillip 59 mins).
Scorers: Hythe Town – Alex Brown 63 mins. Corinthian – Jack Mahoney 11 mins, Luke Tanner 90 mins.
Margate 2 Hythe Town 0
Saturday 7th August 2021
The Cannons completed their pre-season with a 2-0 defeat at a breezy Hartsdown Park on Saturday afternoon. Despite the result, it was a good performance from the team against an Isthmian Premier League team.
It was Hythe who started more brightly with an opportunity after seven minutes as Jordan Sarfo beat the Margate keeper Pat O’Haman but the ball was cleared off the line by Ben Swift. Margate soon had an attempt of their own as former Cannon Ryan Palmer sent a shot straight at Hythe keeper Will Godmon. Godmon was then to produce a great save as he palmed a shot, from another ex-Hythe player, Sam Blackman, around the post.
A trialist opened the scoring for the Gate on 68 minutes as he got on the end of a cross from Ben Greenhalgh which substitute keeper Ryan Pattison failed to collect. Hythe should have been level four minutes later as Alex Brown was brought down in the penalty area. He, however, sent the resultant kick too close to O’Haman who saved easily.
Prior to getting a second goal Margate rattled the upright before they sealed the game as Jake Embery finished neatly after 81 minutes.
Overall, the game had been a positive workout for the Cannons as they prepare for next weeks league season curtain raiser at home to Corinthian. Kick off at Reachfields is 3pm.
Team: Will Godmon (Ryan Pattison 65 mins), Liam Smith (Jarrod Trespaderne 61 mins), Nathan Gordon (Connor Cheek 87 mins), James Rogers, Scott Doe, Charlie Webster (Morgan Williamson 71 mins), Darren Oldaker (Jacob Gilbert 61 mins), Noel Leighton (Frannie Collin 77 mins), Jordan Sarfo (Tom Walmsley 19 mins), Alex Brown (Kane Phillip 77 mins).
Scorers: Margate – Trialist 68 mins, Jake Embery 81 mins.
Hythe Town 1 Maidstone United 2
Pre Season Friendly
Thursday 29th July 2021
A dominant performance from Hythe resulted ended in a 2-1 defeat to Maidstone United on Tuesday night.
The Cannons had the first chance on 31 minutes, as Jordan Sarfo made a run into the box, playing the ball to Alex Brown who missed an open goal. Luckily, it was Sarfo who scored Hythe’s opener in the 43rd minute. Darren Oldaker’s corner was headed away, with the rebound going to Sarfo, who tapped the ball in. Unfortunately, it took Maidstone only a minute to reply. There were calls for a handball against Maidstone, who took advantage of Hythe’s lapse of concentration to give the ball to TT Walters, whose shot from outside the box beat the keeper to send the Stones level.
The first chance of the second half went against the Cannons, who allowed Alfie Pavey a header in the box, but he blasted the ball past an open goal. Two minutes later, in the 57th minute, captain Charlie Webster made a run into the penalty area, with Tom Hadler saving the shot. The rebound went out to Alex Brown; however, he was unable to control the header. Maidstone managed to get a late winner on 88 minutes, as a cross from Roarie Deacon was turned into the net by Hythe’s George Sibley.
Despite the result, the performance was very encouraging going into the new season. Hythe’s final pre-season match is away at Margate on August 7th, before returning to Reachfields for our opening game of the season against Corinthian on August 14th.
Hythe line-up: A Trialist, Liam Smith, Nathan Gordon, James Rogers, Eli Benoit, Scott Doe, Charlie Webster, Darren Oldaker, Noel Leighton, Jordan Sarfo, Alex Brown. Substitutes: Tom Walmsley, Jacob Gilbert, Jarred Trespaderne, George Sibley, A Trialist
Scorers: Hythe Town – Jordan Sarfo 43 mins. Maidstone United – TT Walters 44 mins, George Sibley (OG) 88 mins
Report by Tom Ellerby
Bearsted 1 Hythe Town 3
Saturday 24th July 2021
A depleted Cannons side put up a good performance as they easily brushed past Bearsted in a 3-1 away victory on a warm Saturday afternoon.
Hythe dominated from the start and were ahead after 12 minutes as Darren Oldaker planted a free kick on the edge of the area coolly into the corner of the net. It could have been two four minutes later as Alex Brown got on the end of a Charlie Webster cross slamming the ball against the upright.
On 18 minutes they did take a deserved 2-0 lead as new signing Jordan Sarfo surged down the left putting in a cross that managed to get through to Noel Leighton who after a couple of stabs managed to poke the ball home.
The Cannons made it three on 24 minutes as another Oldaker free kick was spilled by the Bearsted goalkeeper and Alex Brown was on hand to tap in the rebound. The hosts managed to narrow the gap on 36 minutes as a ball was sent into the Hythe penalty area and it was side footed past Hythe keeper Will Godmon.
The second half was a lot quieter with a couple of notable chances as firstly Godmon was called to make a point blank save and then at the other end a Tom Walmsley header was tipped over by the Bearsted keeper.
It was a comfortable win for Hythe as they now look forward to their next pre-season fixture at home to Maidstone United on Thursday evening (29th July 2021) with kick off at 7:45pm.
Scorers: Hythe Town-Darren Oldaker 14 mins, Noel Leighton 18 mins, Alex Brown 24 mins. Bearsted-Unknown 36 mins
Attendance: H/C 101
Hythe Town 1 Tunbridge Wells 1
Tuesday 23rd July 2021
On Tuesday night, Hythe played out a 1-1 draw against SCEFL side Tunbridge Wells. Ahead of the match, Steve Watt made four changes from the 2-1 defeat to Folkestone. George Sibley, Jacob Gilbert, Tom Walmsley and Charlie Webster all came into the side.
The Wells got off to a better start, hitting the post just two minutes into the game. They then took the lead in the eighth minute, with one of their players making a run into the box and squeezing the ball past Harry Brooks in the Cannons goal. Hythe had to wait 35 minutes until their first chance, as the Wells goalkeeper reacted late to a shot from Jacob Gilbert, just managing to get down to it. On the stroke of half time, the equaliser came. A looping cross from the left-hand side of the pitch was nodded down into an empty net by Noel Leighton, scoring his second goal of pre-season.
The second half was very quiet, with the only major chance coming from the Wells, whose left-back hit a powerful shot against the post. Hythe made five subs in the second half, with Jordan Sarfo, Alex Flisher, Eli Benoit, Connor Cheek and a trialist all coming onto the field. There was a moment of concern when centre-back Cameron Rearden stayed down injured for a number of minutes, but luckily, he was able to get up and make his way off the pitch with help from his team-mates.
Hythe are back in action away at Bearsted on Saturday 24th at 3PM, before returning to Reachfields to take on Maidstone United at 7:45PM on Thursday 29th July.
Folkestone Invicta 2 Hythe Town 1
Saturday 17th July 2021
On Saturday, Hythe went down 2-1 to Folkestone Invicta on a hot and sunny afternoon. Steve Watt made three changes from the win over Canterbury, with Frannie Collin, Alex Flisher and goalkeeper Harry Brooks coming into the line-up.
Hythe got off to a dream start when a ball was played out wide to Alex Flisher, whose shot from the edge of the penalty area beat Tim Roberts in the Invicta goal to give the Cannons the lead after just six minutes. However, that lead only lasted for five minutes, as a cross from Folkestone’s Ade Yusuff was slammed into the back of the net by Ronnie Dolan. Things almost got even worse on 15 minutes, when Tyler Sterling made a darting run into the box, which resulted in a shot that hit the crossbar. Folkestone did eventually take the lead in the 18th minute, when Alfie Paxman went one-on-one with the keeper and went around him, only for Cameron Reardon to shove him over and concede a penalty, which Paxman himself stepped up and scored to the keeper’s left, with Brooks diving the wrong way. Invicta had several more chances during the first half, hitting the post from a Sterling free kick on 36 minutes, as well as several shots going over the bar.
Hythe began the second half by bringing on Charlie Webster and new signing Jordan Sarfo, who both made a big impact on the match. Both Frannie Collin and Sarfo went one-on-one with Roberts in the Folkestone goal, with the keeper saving on both occasions. On 79 minutes, Hythe had arguably their best chance of the half. After narrowly hitting the crossbar, the ball rebounded to Tom Walmsley, who really should’ve done better, missing an open goal and firing the ball wide for a goal kick. During the second half, Hythe made three more changes, with Walmsley, Jacob Gilbert and George Sibley all getting onto the pitch.
Hythe return to Reachfields on Tuesday 20th July at home to Tunbridge Wells, with the match kicking off at 7:45PM.
Line-up: Harry Brooks, Liam Smith, Jarred Trespaderne, James Rogers, Cameron Reardon, Eli Benoit, Alex Brown, Darren Oldaker, Noel Leighton, Frannie Collin, Alex Flisher. Substitutes: Charlie Webster, Jordan Sarfo, Tom Walmsley, Jacob Gilbert, George Sibley
Scorers: Folkestone Invicta - Ronnie Dolan 11 mins, Alfie Paxman 18 mins (pen). Hythe Town - Alex Flisher 6 mins
Hythe Town 1 Canterbury City 0
Pre Season Friendly
Tuesday 13th July 2021
Hythe enjoyed their first home win in nine months as a late Morgan Williamson free kick earned them a 1-0 victory over SCEFL side Canterbury City. Manager Steve Watt made three changes from the 0-0 draw against Kennington, with Jarred Trespaderne, Eli Benoit and a trialist all making their first home starts of the season.
The Cannons were all over Canterbury in the first half, dominating both the chances and the possession. In the seventh minute, Cameron Reardon headed the ball onto Noel Leighton, who in turn headed the ball just over the bar. Later in the half, on 39 minutes, one of the trialists forced a fine save from the foot of the Canterbury goalkeeper, with the ball going behind for a corner.
It took until the 69th minute for the first real chance of the second half, with Reardon’s ball evading everyone but Charlie Webster, who was unable to get a good enough connection and the ball sailed away.
The deadlock was broken in the 81st minute, when another trialist won a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area, which 17-year-old substitute Morgan Williamson put into the back of the net, scoring his first senior goal. During the half, six changes were made for Hythe, with Alex Brown, Morgan Williamson, Tom Walmsley, Connor Cheek and two trialists all coming onto the pitch.
Hythe’s next match is away at Folkestone on the 17th of July, with the match kicking off at 3PM.
Report by Tom Ellerby
Hythe Town 0 Kennington 0
Saturday 10th July 2021
Hythe’s first home match since 17th October finished goalless as Steve Watt’s side played their third match of pre-season against SCEFL side Kennington. The game was rather uneventful, with very few chances going to either side. Hythe’s line-up contained eight players who had been with us last season; Will Godmon, Liam Smith, Nathan Gordon, James Rogers, Darren Oldaker, Charlie Webster, Alex Brown and Alex Flisher all started the match. The eleven also contained new signings Cameron Reardon and Noel Leighton, as well as a trialist.
Hythe dominated the chances in the opening stages, with Cannons goalkeeper Will Godmon having to make a save in the 12th minute, denying Kennington’s Ryan Philpott a goal against his former side. Another former Cannon was also involved a minute later, with keeper Joe Mant facing Noel Leighton one-on-one, grabbing the ball from the feet of Hythe’s new number 9. On 32 minutes, Darren Oldaker, who spent some time with Welling United while the Isthmian League was on hold, had an opportunity from a free-kick, but the ball sailed wide to the top left of the goal.
The second half was also fairly quiet. A trialist came on at half-time and made quite an impact on the match, hitting the side netting on 72 minutes after being denied a penalty three minutes before. During the second half, Steve Watt made six substitutions, with Tom Walmsley, Jarred Trespaderne, Eli Benoit and Morgan Williamson all making welcome returns to Reachfields, as well as two trialists.
The Cannons are back in action on Tuesday 13th July at home to Canterbury. Kick-off is at 7:45pm.
Report by Tom Ellerby
Deal Town 3 Hythe Town 0
Saturday 3rd July 2021
A depleted Hythe Town, who played a mixture of first team and young trialists, went down 3-0 at Deal Town on Saturday afternoon.
The Cannons were on the back foot as early as the second minute as a Connor Coyne shot flew just out of the reach of Hythe keeper Will Godmon and under the cross bar into the net to give the hosts the lead. They were two up in 14 minutes as the visitor’s defence failed to clear the ball from a Coyne cross with Ben Chapman firing the ball home.
With the hosts taking a two-goal half time lead it required a great save from Godmon to save Hythe falling further behind. However, on 58 minutes Deal sealed their win as Sam Wilson bundled the ball into the net to make it 3-0.
Despite the result, this was a good workout and an opportunity for some of the younger players to show their potential prior to the new season. The Cannons follow this with their first home fixture next Saturday (10th July 2021) as they entertain Kennington at Reachfields. Kick off will be 3pm.
Scorers: Deal Town – Connor Coyne 2 mins, Ben Chapman 14 mins, Sam Wilson 58 mins.
Attendance: H/C 140