A Perfect Ten
Chipstead – 2 - Hythe Town – 3
Ryman League Division One South – 10/12/13
Shaun Welford's brace against Chipstead made it an outstanding ten goals in the last ten games, which along with a Dave Cook goal sealed the points for Hythe with an excellent 3-2 victory. This was a game that for an hour provided plenty of entertainment, before the heavy fog rolled in to give the game a controversial ending.
However, it should be said that despite the conditions neither side let up the pace right up until the 90th minute, with all twenty-two players aware of what was happening around them, even if at times the spectators struggled!
The hosts were out of the traps quickly, playmaker and captain Dan Moody, lashing the first chance of the game just wide on the half-volley in the first minute. The same player then lined up a shot for Carton Murray-Price that Eason did well to hold onto.
For Hythe, a Pat Kingwell cross caused problems in the Chipstead box, Jamie Collado smashing in a dangerous shot that deflected for a corner. Taser Hassan took the resulting set-piece, with home keeper Asen Agov brilliantly tipping Welford’s thumping header just over the bar.
With only eight minutes played, the chances continued to flow, Ryan Cooper’s cross picking out Welford, who despite an attempted advantage from the referee, was clearly held back from a close-range shot. However, Cook’s resulting penalty was saved by the feet of Agov to keep things all square.
In fact, it would be the home side who would take the lead after fifteen minutes, Moody slotting home a low cross in worryingly unmarked fashion.
To be fair to the Hythe defence they eventually came to terms with the Chipstead attack’s pace and movement. But not before Josh Gallagher’s fierce drive was held well by Eason and Moody weaved his way into the box to curl his shot just over.
Hythe’s deliveries into the box were as dangerous as the Chipstead defence was fragile. One excellent centre from Hassan finding Cook and Lee Winfield unmarked at the back-post, both unable to make a telling connection as the ball was scrambled clear
The visitors made far better use of their spell on top, scoring two goals in six minutes to completely switch the momentum of the game around. The equaliser was as simple as it was effective, Sprosen’s cross from a deep position headed into the net by Welford, the striker comfortably out-jumping keeper Agov.
Sprosen wasn’t finished, and an even more impressive cross to the back-post, a minute before half-time, picked out skipper Cook, who headed home to give Hythe the perfect tonic going into the break.
Five minutes after the restart Hythe almost wrapped things up, Collado’s hooked pass sending Welford clear on goal, but this time Agov was in a more defiant mood, beating away Welford’s low hard shot.
Agov continued to impress, again tipping a Welford header over the bar, Hythe’s top-scorer meeting Cooper’s free-kick with a looping effort.
The only talking point of the remainder of the game was that fog, although as mentioned earlier, there was barely a mumble or a groan from either set of players as they showed no evidence of the conditions affecting their judgement or positioning on the field of play
In fact, a walk onto the pitch at the end of the game showed that the view of both goals from the half-way line was surprisingly better than anticipated. It seemed that the spectators were the main ones to suffer, as the match officials appeared happy to conclude proceedings.
There was still time for Welford’s deflected strike to make things more comfortable for Scott Porter’s side. Before the same player was brought down in the box, only to see Agov save the spot-kick that would have given the ex-Maidstone man his first hat-trick in a Hythe shirt
It was left to Moody to wrap up a surreal evening in a surreal way, an outrageous overhead kick finding the net to give Hythe a nervy few minutes of injury-time. The goal unsurprisingly ‘improved’ the conditions for the home bench, who could suddenly see things perfectly well as their side went in search of an unlikely equaliser that failed to arrive.
Scorers – Hythe Town – Welford – 38, 70 mins – Cook – 44 mins - Chipstead – Moody - 15, 89 mins
Hythe Town – Eason, Cooper, Sprosen, Kingwell, Walker, L Winfield, Cook (Webb – 70), Morrish, Welford, Collado (White – 78), Hassan – Unused Subs – Burchell, Blackman, O’Hara
Attendance - 51
Eastbourne Increase Hythe Misery
Hythe Town – 2 – Eastbourne Town - 3
Ryman League Division One South – 07/12/13
Lee Winfield scored one and made another, however the midfielder's performance was one of the few highlights as Eastbourne Town left Reachfields with three points. It's now three consecutive defeats for Scott Porter's side, as they look to bounce back from this 3-2 loss in Tuesday's crucial fixture at Chipstead.
From a Hythe point of view this was a combination of missed chances and poor defending that usually only has one outcome. The first chance of the game arrived with only thirty seconds on the clock, Shaun Welford’s cross directed just over the crossbar by James Morrish.
Ryan Cooper’s cross to the back-post was then met by a Welford header that went back across goal and just over. Ashley Miller was adjudged to be just offside as Taser Hassan supplied a nice through-ball that appeared to have the forward in on goal.
The Gillingham youngster was playing his final game of his agreed loan period, and has now decided to move on to Maidstone United of the Ryman Premier, we wish him well.
Welford continued to cause problems for a fragile-looking Eastbourne Town defence, heading just over following an excellent centre from Hassan. The missed chances were stacking up, with the concern being that this would increase the confidence of our out-of-form visitors.
The first hint of what was to come arrived shortly before half-time, Andrew Mensah weaving his way into the Hythe box and blasting a rising shot just over to put Dan Eason on notice.
It was a frantic end to the opening half as the returning Dave Cook rode two tackles and played Morrish one on one with young keeper, Jamie Broadbent. Morrish hit a confident shot, albeit with too much power, the midfielder’s shot rising over the bar.
Hythe weren’t finished, Morrish’s lifted pass sending Miller clean through on goal, his shot across goal but running just wide of the back-post. Welford realising that an outstretched boot may have been enough to toe the ball over the line. The away side were really riding their luck as they allowed Welford another close-range shooting opportunity that they again survived.
As the game resumed for the second-half, the home side simply continued where they had left off. Cook’s clearance finding Miller clear down the right, who in turn picked out Winfield and Morrish inside the box, the recovering defenders of Eastbourne just doing enough to prevent a close-range finish from both players.
Four minutes into the half, Scott Porter’s side were to begin to rue all those missed chances, Billy Medlock poking home at close-range, from a perfectly-placed low cross from Aaron Watson. The Hythe defence simply not alert to a second-phase attack after Medlock had gone close moments earlier.
The game was about to enter an action-packed thirty minutes, full of goals, errors, and debatable decisions. It only took five minutes for Hythe to get back on level terms, the oddest of goals finally being awarded to Welford. But not before it was thought that either Winfield’s cross had gone directly into the net, or an Eastbourne head had made the connection with the ball as opposed to the head of Hythe’s top scorer.
Shortly after their equaliser, Hythe should have taken the lead, Welford miscuing his pass to miss the chance to send Morrish clear on goal, following good work from Miller on the counter-attack.
The hour mark arrived with more suspect defending from the hosts, Medlock slipping the Hythe offside trap to go on to blast a confident close-range finish past Eason at head-height. Soon after Miller was harshly booked for simulation when most expected a Hythe penalty for a clear trip in the box.
With twenty minutes left on the clock Hythe were back in it, Winfield forcing home at close-range after Welford had headed down another decent centre from Hassan. It was a mixed performance from Hassan, but nobody can doubt the player’s ability to be involved in his side’s goals more often than not.
In fact it was Hassan who was again involved, chasing down Miller’s ambitious pass, almost the length of the visitor’s half, before crossing back to Miller to complete the move with a shot dragged just wide.
Ultimately the game was decided in bizarre circumstances following a long period of injury treatment to an Eastbourne player. Aaron Watson was finally confirmed as the scorer of the winning goal, as play resumed with an Eastbourne corner, and a headed finish that seemed to take the whole ground by surprise.
Much like the previous two goals from their opponents, Eastbourne taking the lead again seemed to jolt Hythe back into life as they closed the game back on top. Tommy Osborne’s cross to the back-post was controlled well by Hassan, although a fine block frustrated all who thought a goal was a certainty, which was most.
Morrish’s flicked header was scrambled off the line, before a long period of injury-time ended with Winfield’s shot being cleared in a tense goalmouth scramble.
Scorers – Hythe Town – Welford – 54 mins – L Winfield – 70 mins - Eastbourne Town – Medlock – 49, 60 mins – Watson – 83 mins
Hythe Town – Eason, Cooper, Osborne, Kingwell, Walker, L Winfield, Cook (Collado – 73), Morrish, Welford, Miller, Hassan – Unused Subs – Sprosen, Webb, White, O’Hara
Attendance - 191
Hythe Crash At Peacehaven
Peacehaven & Telscombe – 4 - Hythe Town – 0
Ryman League Division One South – 30/11/13
Hythe Town Captain, Dave Cook made his return from injury, however it wasn't to be in the best of circumstances. The midfielder had the thankless task of entering the field of play with his side 4-0 down to a very impressive Peacehaven & Telscombe side.
It should be taken as a positive that the away side didn't concede any further goals once their skipper was on the field of play. In fact, the visitors had some good chances in the final fifteen minutes, albeit in vain as the hosts wrapped up the points well before half-time.
The game actually started in fairly even fashion, both sides confident on the attack, the home side fluent in their passing, whilst for Hythe Ashley Miller looked the man in form.
After no real saves from either keeper, Peacehaven began to up the pace of their game, and with Jamie Collado playing in an unfamiliar right-wing role, Hythe were struggling to control the centre of midfield.
Midway through the half the first goal arrived, Jamie Brotherton running onto the ball with perfect timing to loop a half-volley over Dan Eason, Hythe conceding too much territory in a build-up that started deep in the home side’s half.
Charlie Walker was next to strike, flicking a deft header into the top-corner, Hythe failing to clear a corner that was sent right back into the box.
The hosts were now dominating as Josh Jones poked home at close-range after a low cross from the right.
Eason kept Hythe with a glimmer of hope going into the interval, tipping over Brotherton’s decent twenty-yard free-kick, as the half-time whistle arrived to give Scott Porter’s side a chance to regroup.
To be fair to Hythe, they came out for the second-half in determined fashion, with a patience in possession that was missing in the opening period. It was that patience that brought about a first, very good chance to get back in the game.
John Walker burst forward down the right, and as the defender rode one final tackle he got away a cross that was heading for a Shaun Welford tap-in, only for Craig Richards to make a crucial last-ditch intervention.
Inevitably, a piece of bad luck ended any hopes of an unlikely Hythe comeback, the ball rolling up Collado’s body in his own penalty box, seemingly drawn to his arm like a magnet. Walker put the penalty away on the rebound, as Eason’s brilliant save cruelly landed back at the feet of the taker.
The fresh legs of Dave Cook and Taser Hassan prompted Hythe’s best spell of the game, although we will never know how the home side would have responded if Hythe had converted one of several chances they had in the closing stages.
Firstly, Miller’s free-kick was met by a flicked Welford header that Antony Di Bernardo did well to tip over the crossbar. Before the strike duo combined again, Welford providing the assist for Miller who didn’t quite make a full connection on his close-range half-volley.
Hassan’s cross was headed back across goal by fellow substitute Cook, Welford heading wide with the goal at his mercy. The game then entered a period where Peacehaven responded with several decent efforts on goal, Eason continuing to defy with a mixture of competent saves and safe handling.
Two minutes from time, most thought a Hythe penalty had been awarded when Miller was tripped just inside the box. The man in the middle viewed things differently, awarding a free-kick just outside the box that Hassan failed to make the most of.
Injury time arrived with an excellent save from Di Bernardo, who somehow managed to get a foot in the way of Ryan Cooper’s thunderous strike, after Miller’s free-kick had fallen at the edge of the box.
Scorers - Peacehaven & Telscombe – Brotherton – 24 mins – Walker – 33 mins, 53 mins (pen) – Jones – 39 mins
Hythe Town – Eason, Cooper, Osborne, Kingwell, Walker, L Winfield (Cook – 57), Morrish, Collado, Welford, Miller, Sprosen (Hassan – 57) – Unused Subs – Blackman, O’Hara
Attendance - 91
Hythe Exit But Welford Run Continues
Maidstone United – 3 - Hythe Town – 1
Robert Dyas League Cup 3rd Round – 24/11/13
Ex-Maidstone skipper, Shaun Welford, struck against the club he won the play-offs with last season. However his seventh goal in as many games was in vain, as Hythe went down by three goals to one to a Ryman Premier side that can go top of its division with games in hand.
A strong Stones line-up caused Scott Porter's side a lot of problems during the first-half, giving the hosts a 3-1 lead at the break. However, the visitors left the Robert Dyas League Cup with their heads held high, coming close to the two second-half goals that would have taken the tie to penalties.
The home side were out of the traps in top of the Ryman Premier form, and made the perfect start after six minutes when impressive youngster Charley Robertson slipped Alex Flisher in on goal to slot home in cool fashion.
Hythe bounced back via the quick feet of Ashley Miller, the Stones defence struggling with the striker’s pace all evening. The Gillingham man left Steve Watt for dead down the right and powered clear on goal, only to attempt an over-elaborate but unselfish centre when he seemed certain to score himself.
Hythe continued to respond well to the early Stones’ goal, Welford heading home an equaliser off the underside of Lee Worgan’s crossbar, directly from Lee Winfield’s excellent corner.
However, that was enough warning for our higher league opponents to return to their best football, as they realised the away side weren’t going to lie down easily. Flisher led the way, dragging just wide after running clear onto a perfectly weighted header from Frannie Collin.
Collin’s snap-shot deflected dangerously, as Dan Eason made the first of several outstanding saves on an evening that showed why Scott was so keen to bring the ex-Herne Bay man to Reachfields.
Again, Hythe didn’t go into their shell, winning a corner that was taken quickly, Ryan Cooper crossing to Welford at the back-post, whose knock down was met by a close-range effort from Rhys Lawson that Worgan did well to beat away.
Ex-player Lawson was involved due to keeping his word when he left the club because of work commitments. His promise being that he would still play when both available, and required to play due to injuries.
Just a minute after that good chance for Hythe, Maidstone took the lead, Collins putting away his finish at the second time of asking, after the highly-rated ex-Gillingham, Dover, and Tonbridge Angels man made the most of some smart interplay.
Eason continued to earn the plaudits, making excellent saves from Robertson and Flisher, both shots low and hard and heading for the bottom corner, as the Stones threatened to run away with it.
It would be Robertson that converted the penalty he won, after being clipped at the end of a mazy run, as the hosts finally gave themselves a two-goal cushion going into half-time.
The opening fifteen minutes of the second-half produced Hythe’s best football of the evening. Luke Webb had replaced Taser Hassan at half-time, and the winger’s cheeky attempt at a lob almost came off after Worgan had spilt Cooper’s centre.
Next it was Miller’s turn to go close, lifting his shot just over after Welford had nodded down John Walker’s ball forward. The closest Hythe came to reducing the Stones lead came just before the hour mark. Ex-Stone Tommy Osborne hitting a thunderous shot against the bar from the edge of the box, following Webb’s uncleared corner.
Miller’s lovely run past three Maidstone defenders was a good as anything his opponents came up with on the night. However, after being pulled down on the edge of the box, he couldn’t reproduce the free-kick he scored three days prior against Burgess Hill Town.
With two minutes remaining, the away side had their last chance to create an exciting few minutes of injury-time. As the disciplined Stone’s defence made sure they had someone in place to clear Cooper’s flicked header off the line following Miller’s inswinging corner.
There was still one more opportunity for Eason to shine, as he once again denied the home support a fourth goal with a fine stop in the closing moments of injury-time.
Scorers - Hythe Town – Welford – 13 mins – Maidstone United – Flisher – 6 mins – Collin – 21 mins – Robertson – 37 mins (pen)
Hythe Town – Eason, Cooper, Osborne, Kingwell, Walker, L Winfield, Lawson (White – 88), Burchell (Quigley – 74), Welford, Miller, Hassan (Webb – 46) – Unused Subs – Cook, O’Hara
Attendance - 339
The Welford & Miller Show
Hythe Town – 3 – Burgess Hill Town - 0
Ryman League Division One South – 24/11/13
Shaun Welford's brace made it six goals in six games for the in-form striker, who is now averaging a goal every two games in a Hythe shirt.
Gillingham loan signing, Ashley Miller, opened the scoring with a lovely twenty-yard free-kick, also setting up Welford's second, Reachfields really enjoying their new look strike-force.
The Hythe defence were outstanding, with the home support also enjoying the debuts of new signings James Morrish and Luke Sprosen. Hythe running out 3-0 winners over visitors, Burgess Hill Town.
In some ways this was a slow burning game, both sides getting on the ball in the opening stages, and both sides enjoying a spell of pressure just before half-time. However the majority of the second-half went the home side’s way, as they found the net three times in the final third of the game.
Hythe got things started via a dangerous run from Miller, debutant Morrish taking over, before setting up the opportunity for Hassan to sting the palms of Alan Mansfield.
Hassan’s half-volley deflected towards the bottom corner, Mansfield making a good low save around the post. Hassan turned in a decent performance, and it was the winger that combined with Danny Lye to set-up Miller on another charge towards goal. The forward slipping Josh Burchell clear on goal, Mansfield quick off his line to be first to the ball.
The away side enjoyed their best spell of the game either side of half-time, beginning with Danny Curd heading Darren Budd’s corner just past the near-post. The half ended with an alert save from Dan Eason, Sam Fisk’s cross met by a flicked header from Joe Keehan.
There was more of the same just after the break, Pat Harding’s half-volley whistling just wide, before Max Miller almost caught Eason off his line, but he could only lob wide of the Hythe goal.
Curd then made a vital block as Hassan’s dangerous low cross to the near-post came close to a tap-in for Miller, Welford heading just wide from the resulting Burchell corner.
The hosts were beginning to work up a head of steam as good build-up play from Hassan and Morrish ended with Tommy Osborne lashing a half-volley into the side-netting from twenty-yards.
Scott Porter’s side finally made the breakthrough, following a clear handball on the edge of the Burgess Hill box. Miller brilliantly curling home his free-kick around the wall and into the corner of Mansfield’s goal.
Sprosen replaced Burchell for the home side, before Eason again kept any alarm down to a minimum as his safe-hands calmly collected Max Howell’s header following a deep cross.
Five minutes after the Hythe opener the lead was doubled, Welford slipping the offside trap to run clear onto Lye’s hooked pass and force the ball home under the body of Mansfield.
Miller wasted a far easier chance on goal than the free-kick he had opened the scoring with, Sprosen’s header sending the youngster clear on goal, although his shot only found the side-netting.
That miss didn’t go on to haunt either Hythe or Miller, some nice play from Morrish releasing Miller down the right, who showed excellent strength before crossing perfectly for Welford to thump home his header at the near-post.
Scorers - Hythe Town – Miller – 62 mins - Welford – 67, 87 mins
Hythe Town – Eason, Cooper, Osborne, Kingwell, Walker, Lye, Morrish (White – 89), Burchell (Sprosen – 63), Welford, Miller, Hassan (Webb – 78) – Unused Subs – Blackman, O’Hara
Attendance - 165
Last Minute Heartbreak
Worthing – 3 - Hythe Town – 2
Ryman League Division One South – 16/11/13
After finding themselves two goals behind, partly due to a potential Ryman South 'Goal of the Season', Hythe regrouped to dominate a second-half that eventually ended in heartbreak.
Goals from Shaun Welford and Lee Winfield sealed the visitor's fightback to 2-2, Scott Porter's side also hitting the woodwork in each half.
However, heartbreak arrived in the form of a disputed 91st minute penalty for Worthing, that left Hythe with nothing to show from a game they almost deservedly took three points from.
It was a confident start from the hosts but the first real chance fell to Josh Burchell of Hythe, Simon Lehkyj beating away the winger’s decent effort on the bounce, the Worthing defence failing to deal with Dan Eason’s clearance.
Two minutes later, the away side almost took the lead, a positive run from Ashley Miller followed by a decent ball out to Taser Hassan on the flank, Welford meeting the final centre with a header against the crossbar.
The Hythe support were enjoying their side’s start, but it would be Worthing that would go on to enjoy the remainder of the first-half. Chris O’Flaherty fired a warning of what was to come, swivelling to hit a close-range shot that Eason did well to stop.
Just before the twenty-minute mark, the home side took the lead, Will Berry slamming home at close-range after a Worthing corner was headed against the Hythe bar.
Hythe reacted in positive fashion, Burchell heading into the arms of Lehkyj following Hassan’s cross, before Hassan himself fired a twenty-yard free-kick across goal and just wide.
The next two chances were pivotal to the half-time scoreline. Welford robbed Mark Knee of possession near the corner-flag, before bursting into the box and pulling back a centre that Miller met with a fierce shot that Lehkyj did brilliantly to keep out.
Seven minutes before the break, the goal of the game (and probably Worthing’s season) arrived. O’Flaherty turning on the run and hitting an unstoppable shot from around twenty-five yards that couldn’t have hit the top-right hand corner in more precise fashion, Eason’s involvement simply not relevant.
Incredibly, the same player almost scored in near-identical fashion just two minutes later. The only two differences being that it was a free-kick, and on this occasion Eason made a tremendous fingertip save to prevent the same outcome.
O’Flaherty was now pulling all the strings, playing Dan Turner into the box to shoot across goal and just wide. The home side had finished the half well on top, and it was down to Hythe to show a reaction.
Scott Porter certainly got that reaction from his side, the opening exchanges generally going Hythe’s way, one particular run from Miller taking him from the half-way line to the edge of the Worthing box, his shot blocked to safety.
However, just before the hour mark, the visitors slipped through the gears and produced some of their finest football of the season. Burchell’s mazy run took him off the flank before his pass along the edge of the box was dragged on by Miller into the path of Welford, who slammed home his tenth goal of the season in style.
More good play from Hythe led to Miller coming close to scoring himself, Lehkyj making a fine save from the youngster’s rising shot at the back-post. Within six minutes of their first goal Hythe equalised, Hassan’s corner headed home by Lee Winfield.
At this point there only looked like one winner, Porter demanded that his players kept playing in the same way to wrap up the points. But human nature kicked in, and once level, the Hythe players started taking less risk in their search for a winner
Turner dragged an opportunistic shot just wide, although that would be Worthing’s only real chance in the closing stages. The fresh legs of Luke Webb came on for Burchell and Hythe continued to make chances. Winfield almost repeating his goal, meeting Hassan’s corner with a shot against the post.
With two minutes remaining, Jamie Collado released Webb clear down the left, the substitute breaking into the box and forcing Lehkyj into a brilliant low save, that would be Hythe’s last chance to take the points.
With the play stretched, the game entered injury-time, a quick one-two from the Worthing attack leading to the ball being blasted at Ryan Cooper’s hand at close-range in the penalty-box.
It didn’t seem relevant if it was handball or not, a penalty being awarded was inevitable as the home crowd demanded their chance to win the game. The referee duly obliged and Knee slotted home into the bottom corner to give Eason no chance.
Match Photos - Courtesy of Grahame Lehkyj - Click Here
Scorers - Hythe Town – Welford – 58 mins – L Winfield – 64 mins – Worthing – Berry – 19 mins – O’Flaherty – 38 mins – Knee – 90+1 mins (pen)
Hythe Town – Eason, Cooper, Osborne, Kingwell, Walker, L Winfield, Collado, Burchell (Webb – 81), Welford, Miller, Hassan – Unused Subs – Blackman, Cook, O’Hara
Attendance - 268
Hythe Bounce Back Immediately
Hythe Town – 3 – Three Bridges – 1
Ryman League Division One South – 12/11/13
Taser Hassan's equaliser led the fightback for Scott Porter's side, before strikes from Shaun Welford and substitute Kieran Byrne sealed a 3-1 win over an impressive Three Bridges side.
The visitors were the better side in an opening period where the hosts seemed to be getting their FA Trophy exit out of both minds and legs.
However, that unmistakable Reachfields resilience and ability to score when it matters gave the home support plenty to cheer in a much improved second-half.
Five minutes into the game, Three Bridges warned the home side of their intentions, Gavin Gordon heading over from a dangerous position following Charlie Leach’s corner.
The first twenty minutes reminded those at Hythe of the speed and movement of our loan signing from Gillingham, Ashley Miller, the striker starting his second spell at Reachfields.
However, it was the Three Bridges attacking trio of Gordon, along with goalscorer Tony Garrod, and captain Elliott Romain that really impressed in the opening half. In hindsight the Hythe defence, and Dan Eason in goal, did a very good job of keeping them largely at bay, but there were some nervy moments to endure.
Garrod’s fiercely driven effort from twenty-yards surprised Eason, but the keeper made a brave save at the feet of Gordon who followed in on the rebound.
Just before the half-hour mark the away side took a deserved lead, a poor defensive clearance from Hythe leading to some neat interplay from the Three Bridges front three, Garrod confidently slipping his finish under Eason.
Hythe reacted instantly, a smart back-heel from Miller setting up a first-time cross from Hassan that Welford was agonisingly close to converting, a last-ditch interception denying an instant equaliser.
The half closed with plenty of good approach play from Three Bridges, but it was clear that Hythe needed to improve the tempo of their play after the break to get some sort of foothold in the game.
There was a hint of the required improvement just before half-time, Welford receiving the ball on the counter-attack, before making a driving run to the edge of the box, his hard shot saved low by Martin Grant.
Four minutes into the second-half Three Bridges had the ball in the back of the net, although Abu Touray was clearly offside as he converted the rebound from Romain’s decent effort from twenty-five yards.
Shortly after, Hythe had the equaliser, a lovely drop of the shoulder and cross from Josh Burchell only half-cleared, Lee Winfield’s attempted dribble falling into the path of Hassan who drilled home his second goal in as many games from just inside the box.
Eason continued to impress whilst dealing with the long range shooting of the visitors, Romain’s latest effort across the face of goal turned around the post.
Hythe were now beginning to win their midfield battles, Winfield and Jamie Collado seemingly getting stronger as the game progressed. Winfield went close to scoring himself but miscued his shot from ten yards following a low cross from Hassan.
With just under twenty minutes remaining, the home side took the lead, patient build-up leading to the type of cross from Tommy Osborne that Welford just doesn’t miss from, heading home his ninth goal of the season from six-yards.
With the sudden departure of Ronnie Dolan and injury to skipper Dave Cook, Hythe had the back-up of ex-player Kieran Byrne and son of ex-player Gary, Jordan Miller, both on dual registration from Ashford. Byrne’s introduction would lead to the ever-popular winger again showing he is capable of Ryman South football.
Three Bridges regrouped, with a good low effort from substitute Mitchell Casselman, before Garrod threatened to add to his tally, meeting a corner with a goalbound header than Eason did brilliantly to save on the line.
Suddenly frustration overspilt, Marlon Maxwell kicking the ball away one minute, cynically pulling back Welford the next, two yellows and an early shower as Hythe appeared to have finally seen off their opponents’ efforts.
That just left it to Byrne to bring back some happy memories of previous seasons in a Hythe shirt. Latching on to Welford’s flicked header from Osborne’s free-kick, before forcing the ball under Grant, the keeper not covering himself in glory for Hythe’s third.
Scorers - Hythe Town – Hassan – 54 mins – Welford – 73 mins – Byrne – 89 mins – Three Bridges – Garrod – 28 mins
Hythe Town - Eason, Cooper, Osborne, Kingwell (c), Lye (Walker – 46), L Winfield, Collado (Webb – 90), Burchell (Byrne – 74), Welford. Miller, Hassan - Unused Subs – Miller, O'Hara
Attendance - 151
Unbeaten Run Ends With Trophy Exit
Whitstable Town – 2 – Hythe Town – 1
FA Trophy Second Qualifying Round Replay – 06/11/13
Hythe Town's eight game unbeaten run came to an end with FA Trophy Replay heartbreak at 'The Belmont'.
Scott Porter's side appeared to be achieving the impossible as Taser Hassan's free-kick made the score 1-1, after Dan Eason had saved two penalties, and Lee Winfield received his marching orders for a second yellow card.
However, Ashley Baverstock struck the winner with nine minutes remaining, before Jamie Collado joined Winfield for an early shower, also for his second caution.
With Hythe weakened due to the injured Dave Cook, the unavailable Craig Cloke, and the suspended Ronnie Dolan, it was down to the home side to take the initiative.
However, with the impressive Baverstock again starting on the bench, it was simply a repeat of Saturday’s nervy first–half, with neither side prepared to take the risk of making the first serious mistake in the search of an early goal.
Hythe finally got their first sight of goal after fifteen minutes, Danny Lye slipping Shaun Welford into the box to beat the Whitstable offside trap. The striker's dangerous pullback was just scrambled clear with Josh Burchell close to a near-post shot.
For Whitstable the wait for an opening chance was even longer, Joe Kane scooping his near-post shot over, following Charlie Smith's cross from the right.
It was still really only half-chances for both sides, a burst from James Morrish taking him deep into the Hythe box, Craig Thompson unable to convert the pullback.
Collado headed into Luke Watkins’ arms after some patient build-up play from the visitors leading to a good cross from Ryan Cooper.
The game finally saw some real goalmouth action as Whitstable took the lead just after the half-hour mark. Smith’s decent strike beaten away by Dan Eason but converted on the rebound by Morrish.
The second-half started in far livelier fashion for the away side, a good John Walker cross was dropped by Watkins, Hassan picking up the ball and putting in a dangerous centre, before Ryan Cooper's shot on target was blocked and finally scrambled clear.
Nine minutes after the restart, and a Hollywood style script was taking shape, Jake Mackenzie brought down in the penalty box, Thompson confidently stepping up for the spot-kick following his two goals against his former club on Saturday.
The ex-Hythe man went straight down the middle but Eason stood his ground to make the save. The most pivotal minute in both of the two games continued to unfold, as Winfield made a clumsy challenge to receive his second yellow card of the evening.
With Hythe still in need of an equaliser they threw on the half-fit, but still dangerous Dave Cook as they found themselves in an all or nothing situation.
The drama continued to unfold as the impressive Mackenzie was again fouled, the home side awarded their second penalty of the evening. Morrish, goalscorer of the opening goal, stepped up to the responsibility of the spot-kick, only for Eason to make a tremendous save to his left as the ball seemed destined for the top corner.
The Hollywood script was still unfinished, and in true scripted fashion, Taser Hassan, our own aspiring actor, stepped up to curl home a lovely free-kick from just over twenty-yards that gave Watkins no chance.
With nine minutes remaining the hosts struck the winner in similar fashion to their opening goal. Ollie Brown’s shot parried by Eason, only for substitute Baverstock to pounce on the rebound to smash home and cap another impressive second-half substitute appearance.
Luke Webb joined a Hythe attack that forced several corners in the closing stages. The away side thought they had pulled off the unlikely when Lye met Hassan’s whipped cross, but his header flew wide, shortly before Collado received his marching orders.
Scorers - Hythe Town – Hassan – 66 mins – Whitstable Town – Morrish – 33 mins – Baverstock – 81 mins
Hythe Town - Eason, Cooper, Walker (Webb – 82), Kingwell (c), Osborne, Lye, Collado, Burchell (Cook – 58), Welford. L Winfield, Hassan - Unused Subs - O'Hara, Quigley
Attendance - 171
Game Of Two Halves
Hythe Town – 2 – Whitstable Town – 2
FA Trophy Second Qualifying Round – 02/11/13
Substitute Ronnie Dolan made one goal before scoring another, as this much anticipated FA Trophy Kent derby came alive in an action-packed second-half.
Shaun Welford did exactly the same for his team-mate, as a brilliant second-half emerged from a dreadful first-half that suffered both nerves and bad weather.
Inevitably, Craig Thompson scored the brace that takes this tie to a Wednesday night replay at 'The Belmont'.
The home side were out of the traps quickly, Taser Hassan running onto a Welford flick before crossing to the near post, Dave Cook and Josh Burchell both coming close to a near-post tap-in.
From the resulting corner, Burchell's centre was tipped just over the bar by visiting keeper Luke Watkins.
If the weather would go on to dominate the second-half of the opening period, it would be nerves that seemed to prevent any decent football being played during the opening exchanges.
However, a disjointed first-half still produced some clear-cut chances and nervy moments for both sets of supporters.
Hassan won back possession for his side before lifting a lovely pass to send Welford clear on goal, Watkins very quick off his line to win a block tackle on the edge of the box just as the striker fired off his shot.
Ex-Hythe man Thompson pulled off a similar pass to his former team-mate to send James Morrish clear on Dan Eason's goal, on this occasion it was the Whitstable man standing on the ball that kept the scoreline at 0-0.
Burchell lined up a thunderous effort from Jamie Collado on the edge of the box, which seemed goalbound until blocked, Burchell also having his shot blocked on the rebound.
Just before half-time Charlie Smith could only find the side-netting following the rare event of either side getting in behind the opposition's defence.
The second-half was a totally different proposition, with almost ninety minutes of drama packed into just one half.
Soon after the restart the chances began to flow, Cook's shot deflected into the path of Welford who found himself with only Watkins to beat, but the visiting keeper was up to the challenge, beating the shot away.
With only ten minutes of the half gone Scott Porter made an inspired substitution, introducing Lee Winfield and Ronnie Dolan for Dave Cook and Josh Burchell. The move led to Hythe reshuffling in midfield and Dolan taking up his place on the right-flank.
The rewards were instant, with Dolan outstanding for the final third of the game. Within a minute of his introduction the talented youngster had surged down the wing and crossed perfectly for Welford to smash home his eighth goal of an increasingly impressive first season.
However four minutes later Reachfields was stunned, Thompson taking advantage of a defensive mix-up to run clear and beat Eason with a calm lob over the advancing Hythe keeper.
It was now end to end stuff as Hassan fired just over at the back-post after more good work from Dolan. The visitors were animated in their claims for a penalty soon after, however any award of a spot-kick would have also completely ignored a clear Whitstable foul a split-second earlier.
From the moment both sides scored, both played with far more confidence, the visitors also making a similarly inspired substitution to Dolan entering the fray.
The introduction of the lively Ashley Baverstock prompted a switch to a far more effective 4-4-2 formation. As a result Whitstable were now seeing far more of the ball, more often than not in the Hythe half.
However the regular home support has seen their side adopt an increasingly dangerous counter-attacking style in recent weeks. It was this style that gave Hythe the lead back, Dolan steering home the rebound from Welford's snap shot that Watkins had only parried.
But with twelve minutes remaining Thompson headed home an equaliser from a Whitstable corner, Thommo's non-celebration for either goal appreciated by all from Hythe.
The final ten minutes was pure cup football, end to end, tired legs, both sides sensing a dramatic winner. Smith was guilty of not converting a dangerous cross to the back-post, whilst for Hythe, Collado and Hassan had decent efforts blocked.
Deep into injury-time Hythe thought they had won it, Collado releasing Dolan down the right for one more dangerous cross, Welford unable to keep his unmarked header down at the back-post.
Scorers - Hythe Town - Welford - 56 mins - Dolan - 69 mins - Whitstable Town - Thompson - 60, 78 mins
Hythe Town - Eason, Cooper, Walker, Kingwell, Cloke, Lye, Cook (c) (Winfield - 55), Burchell (Dolan - 55), Welford, Collado, Hassan (Webb - 88) - Unused Subs - Blackman, O'Hara
Attendance - 303
Welford Strike The Difference
Hythe Town – 1 – Redhill – 0
Ryman League Division One South – 26/10/13
It's seven games unbeaten for Scott Porter's side, who produced a really professional performance in difficult circumstances to defeat Redhill by a single goal.
Shaun Welford's seventh goal of the season, just before half-time, was the difference between the home-side and their opponents, in their first Ryman South season.
The home support had been apprehensive at the start of proceedings, Pat Kingwell’s wedding day, congratulations Pat!, Best Man Dave Cook, and performing the same role at a different wedding, Tommy Osborne, all missing the game.
However, their replacements did an excellent job, Danny Lye dropping into centre-back with ease, John Walker looking like he hasn’t missed a game, and Jamie Collado exceptional in the centre of midfield.
After a solid start from Hythe, the first chance of the afternoon fell to Josh Burchell, sent clear by Welford’s flick, before penalty shouts were turned down as the recovering defender appeared to handle the ball.
Hythe had sparked into life, Ronnie Dolan’s miscued effort at close-range set-up by Welford, who picked up the rebound and forced Max Huxter into a decent save.
Craig Cloke should have added to his tally for the season, but his unmarked header from the penalty-spot went well over following Taser Hassan’s corner.
Welford was giving the Redhill defence a torrid time, playing the ball out to Ryan Cooper before heading the full-back’s delivery back across goal and just wide, Dolan close to converting at the back-post.
Hassan beat his man down the right before crossing dangerously, Burchell heading just over. The first half-hour had passed without a single shot on the home side’s goal, but that was about to change.
The familiar face of Richmond Kissi had the opening chance for the visitors, but the striker could only find the side-netting after getting in behind the Hythe defence for the first time.
However, the hosts would not be denied a deserved first-half goal. Firstly Lye went close, hitting the underside of the crossbar from a slightly offside position, after a well worked free-kick between Hassan and Burchell.
Six minutes before half-time Hythe struck, and it was refreshing to see Referee Alexander Guy’s attitude towards one of the most annoying aspects of modern football.
Cloke’s big clearance created a chase to the ball between Welford and Redhill keeper Huxter. Welford ensured he kept his arms by his side when jumping to head the ball, both players made contact with one another, but with no foul committed there wasn't any reason for complaint at all.
Unfortunately for Redhill they were already protesting for a foul that simply didn’t happen when Welford landed to smash home at close-range and give his side the lead. If only more referees would allow fair contact with goalkeepers, then more legitimate goals would be awarded.
The second-half started with more pressure from Hythe, Hassan curling his shot just over at the near-post after collecting up his own uncleared corner.
Kissi suddenly sprung into life, hitting a shot that with the assistance of the swirling wind, swung and seamed like a Jimmy Anderson delivery, Eason called into action, beating the shot away to safety.
Stand-in centre-back Lye only had one shaky moment over the ninety minutes, Kissi getting in behind the new signing to shoot across goal but wildly over.
Huxter was quick off his line to smother the ball at the feet of Burchell, after Dolan had played the winger clear through on goal.
Hassan went close again, on this occasion Welford working another uncleared corner back to it’s taker, the shot curling dangerously across Huxter’s goal, the Redhill man tipping over at full-stretch.
The visitors enjoyed their best spell in the final ten minutes of the game, although Porter’s side hung on in determined fashion.
Visiting captain, John Difford should have done better with a glancing header that Hythe scrambled clear. Before substitute Kevant Sebony’s twenty-five yard free-kick was tipped over by Eason.
It was the Redhill substitutions that were now causing all the problems for the home side, Chris Gregson hitting the bar with a fiercely driven effort from twenty-yards, Eason saving Tre Mitford’s effort on the rebound.
But an under-strength Hythe side were not about to throw away either the three points or their unbeaten run, as they secured their second clean-sheet in five days.
Scorer – Hythe Town – Welford – 39 mins
Hythe Town – Eason, Cooper, Walker, Lye, Cloke (c), Dolan, Collado, Burchell (Webb – 81), Welford, L Winfield, Hassan (Quigley – 90) – Unused Subs – White, Blackman, O’Hara
Attendance - 203
Six Unbeaten As Dolan Strikes
Hythe Town – 1 – Leatherhead – 0
Ryman League Division One South – 22/10/13
Hythe Town defeated an impressive Leatherhead side with a Ronnie Dolan strike to secure their first home win in the league this campaign.
The visitors played some of the best attacking football Reachfields has seen this season. However were lacking in front of goal, and had no answer to the levels of resilience Scott Porter's side were prepared to show as the game progressed.
So that is now six games unbeaten with only three goals conceded for a Hythe Town side that seem to be more settled and happy with their game-plan.
Together with that level of resilience and a clinical touch in front of goal, it has been a good month for Porter’s side, with plenty of work still to come.
The away side dominated the opening half-hour, although in hindsight, the Hythe back-line must be applauded for some splendid last ditch tackles and blocks, and the whole side’s ability not to buckle under pressure.
Dan Eason had punched clear of his line in a goalmouth scramble not soon after the first attack of the game. Ex-Folkestone Invicta captain, and now performing the same role for his new club, Darren Smith, watched his goalbound effort on the rebound deflect just wide.
However, the hosts showed that effective style just moments later as Shaun Welford’s flick sent Josh Burchell clear on goal, only for an excellent saving tackle from Jerry Nnamani to deny the Hythe man.
From the following corner, also taken by Burchell, skipper Dave Cook sent a half-volley crashing just wide from the edge of the box.
Cook was in the thick of it again six yards from his own goal, blocking Matt Smart’s fierce low effort. This followed a dangerous run from Paul Semakula, the forward weaving his way into the Hythe penalty area.
The impressive Kevin Terry flashed a dangerous cross through the Hythe six-yard box with Ian Draycott missing a back-post tap-in by an inch or two at most.
The home side again showed they could be just as dangerous with far less possession, Welford sending Burchell clear on goal but a little wide, which encouraged an early driven shot that Deren Ibrahim did well to beat away.
Terry’s lovely first-time half-volley from distance swerved in spectacular fashion, but Eason was equal to the best the Leatherhead man could offer with a fine low save.
Several dangerous crosses into the box had Hythe on the rack, Terry heading just wide at the back-post, but again Porter’s side appeared to weather the storm.
The next chance showed Kevin Terry that it didn’t matter how well he was playing, it wasn’t going to be his night, a brilliant saving tackle from Ryan Cooper preventing a certain goal as the Leatherhead man ran clear on Eason’s goal.
With eight minutes of the first-half remaining, Hythe struck a classic counter-attack goal. Cooper combined with Taser Hassan down the right, before slipping Welford in behind the Leatherhead defence.
The pullback into the box was perfectly timed for Ronnie Dolan to burst onto and smash home into the bottom-right corner to give Hythe a surprise but well-earned lead.
Craig Cloke looked to continue his goalscoring exploits from Saturday, but could only redirect Welford’s shot over the bar after another Burchell corner as half-time arrived.
An intriguing second-half was played out largely in the middle third of the pitch. Debutant Danny Lye was a growing influence as he settled into his new surroundings, the home side stronger and more composed on the ball as the game progressed.
The away side simply ran out of steam and went from playing the best football of the night to the worst. The hosts wearing down their opponents and simply waiting patiently for the opportunity to extend their lead without any unnecessary risks.
The only clear chance on goal in the second period of play arrived midway through the half. Everybody in the ground assumed Welford had found the back of the net, when actually his header has gone around the back of the goal following good work from Dolan and a decent cross from Hassan.
For the visitors, Mohamed Eisa fired just over from the edge of the box, after a defensive slip exposed Eason to an unexpected and rare second-half strike on his goal.
If Hythe can finish this month and start the next in a similar vein of form, then it will mean three more league points and over £3000 more in FA Trophy prize money. However the next two opponents at Reachfields, Redhill and Whitstable Town, will have plenty to say about that.
Scorer – Hythe Town – Dolan – 37 mins
Hythe Town – Eason, Cooper, Osborne, Kingwell, Cloke, Dolan, Cook (c), Burchell (Collado – 77), Welford, Lye, Hassan – Unused Subs – Walker, Webb, Blackman, O’Hara
Attendance - 166
Cloke Brace Sends Town Through
Hythe Town – 3 – Tilbury – 1
FA Trophy First Qualifying Round – 19/10/13
Two goals from defender Craig Cloke, together with Josh Burchell's second strike in a Hythe shirt put the home side through to Monday's FA Trophy draw.
Opponents Tilbury impressed, much like fellow Ryman North side Aveley had in the previous round. However they also found Scott Porter's side to be as equally clinical and tough to break down (more than once).
It's now five competitive games unbeaten for the Reachfields outfit, who have also earned over £5000 in FA Trophy prize money.
The game got off to a frantic start with three goals in six minutes, starting in the sixth minute.
Nathan Ashton’s square free-kick gave Sam Cutler the opportunity to hit a first time strike from twenty-five yards.
This was a challenge he duly accepted, unleashing a shot with the outside of his boot that beat both the Hythe wall and Dan Eason.
Three minutes later Hythe were level, Cloke’s ball into the box, missed by the pushed Shaun Welford, but met by the stooping header of Burchell into the bottom corner.
Another three minutes passed before Hythe took the lead, Burchell’s corner met by a towering header from Cloke that gave Chico Ramos no chance.
The game then settled into a period of play that winger Danny Francis dominated, one dangerous cross becoming a shot that Eason had to palm away at full stretch.
The same player flashed a cross right through the Hythe six-yard box, just after James Zanelli’s half-volley flew just over after the home side failed to clear a Tilbury corner.
A pivotal period of play closed the first-half, first it was Francis again, weaving his way into the Hythe box before forcing Eason into an excellent low save at close-range. Taser Hassan led the counter-attack, finally awarded a free-kick after the referee attempted to give the winger an advantage following two fouls.
From the resulting free-kick, Burchell found Cloke who headed home at close-range in similar fashion to his first goal. The two players had scored and set-up all of Hythe’s three goals as a frantic half drew to a close.
In fact, the two players have been pivotal to the hosts’ recent good form. Cloke has played his part in a solid defensive unit, whilst Burchell has been involved in as many goals as he has appearances, with two goals and five assists in seven games.
Straight after the restart Cloke was involved again, making a fine saving tackle on Harry Cook, after initially slipping over in the penalty-box.
Conor Mead slipped the Hythe offside trap to run clear on the home side’s goal. Before a combination of Eason and Ryan Cooper smothered the right-back’s shot, Osborne eventually clearing the danger.
Dave Cook couldn’t quite connect with his header, after Hassan had found the hard-working Shaun Welford on the counter-attack, the striker sending in a dangerous cross for his captain.
The final third of the game was a scrappy affair, Hythe comfortable with their two goal cushion, the visitors becoming frustrated at their lack of success in testing Eason in the Hythe goal.
The closest the away side came to equalising was Harry Cook smashing his near-post shot just wide, after good work from Ashton down the left, the same player forced Eason into an excellent full-stretch save with a looping header moments later.
The home side almost put the icing on the cake when Burchell picked up a poor clearance from keeper Ramos, but fired wide with an ambitious effort from just inside the Tilbury half.
But Porter’s side made their way to the final whistle in fairly comfortable fashion, allowing Under 18’s, Peter Carey and Jamie White, to make their competitive debut as late substitutes.
Match Photos Courtesy Of Elliott Mercer - Click Here
Scorers – Hythe Town – Burchell – 9 mins – Cloke – 12, 40 mins – Tilbury – Cutler – 6 mins
Hythe Town – Eason, Cooper, Osborne, Kingwell, Cloke, Dolan, Cook (c), Burchell (White – 86), Welford, L Winfield (Collado – 30), Hassan (Carey – 90+3) – Unused Subs – Blackman, O’Hara
Attendance - 187
Dress Rehearsal Goes Smoothly
Hythe Town – 2 – Ashford United – 0
Friendly – 16/10/13
Hythe Town ran out comfortable winners in this midweek friendly with close neighbours and friends Ashford United.
The Southern Counties East side, with the usual familiar faces on and off the pitch, gave the Reachfields outfit a good workout ahead of Saturday’s massive FA Trophy tie.
The home side had the first chance on goal after two minutes when Josh Burchell’s cross deflected towards the Ashford goal, Joe Mant tipping over the crossbar to prevent a goal.
However, Hythe didn’t have to wait much longer to make the breakthrough, Shaun Welford cutting out a poor defensive pass, before rounding Mant and slotting home from a tight angle.
Adam Scorer’s twenty-yard free-kick flew just wide, as a scrappy period of play took the half to the midway point, the visitors had now settled into a well contested game.
Taser Hassan miscued his finish at the back-post, after Burchell made a good run down the left, before crossing to Welford whose shot deflected on to the wide-man.
Similar events followed as Welford’s chest and volley rebounded out to trialist Chris Saunders, who probably should have done better from close-range.
Hassan’s twenty-yard strike curled just wide, whilst Welford was guilty of sending his lob wide, after running clear on goal following a defensive clearance from the hosts.
After signing right at the end of pre-season Connor O’Hara has waited patiently as understudy to Dan Eason for his debut in the Hythe goal. The youngster was introduced for the second-half and made a good save from David Peter’s shot shortly after the restart.
Luke Webb is another player on the fringes of Scott Porter’s squad, and he did his chances no harm at all with a lovely cross from the left on the hour mark, that Welford met with a nice stooping header into the bottom corner.
As the game entered its final third, the shooting became long-range as Saturday's games probably entered the minds of both sides. Ronnie Dolan and Lee Winfield both struck decent efforts for the home side, with O’Hara tipping Ashford’s Tom Scorer’s effort wide.
The final ten minutes saw the pleasing introduction of three of Tim McRaye’s Under 18’s squad, Pete Carey, Sam Ansell and Jamie White all seeing their first bit of action in a first team shirt.
It was Carey who almost set-up a third Hythe goal in the closing stages, playing a lovely one-two with fellow substitute Dave Cook, before racing clear down the right and crossing perfectly back to Cook who headed just over.
Scorer – Hythe Town – Welford – 6, 60 mins
Hythe Town – Eason (O’Hara – 45), Cooper, Osborne, Kingwell (c), Cloke, Dolan, Saunders (Cook - 56), Burchell (Webb – 56), Welford (Carey – 80), L Winfield (White – 85), Hassan (Ansell – 85)
All Square At Reachfields
Hythe Town – 1 - Horsham – 1
Ryman League Division One South – 09/10/13
This was a brilliant advert for Ryman football down at Reachfields. Visitors Horsham deservedly took a point away from a game they impressed in for long periods, the final score 1-1.
Both sides seemed to be lacking in what the other could offer, Hythe the bigger threat inside their opponents’ box but sometimes hurried in their play, Horsham more comfortable in possession but lacking a cutting edge.
Shaun Welford was the Hythe scorer, with a lovely header into the top corner, Taser Hassan providing the cross.
It was Hassan that had the first shot on goal of the evening, curling a twenty-yard free-kick towards the bottom corner that Michael Hunter held comfortably.
It didn’t take long for Horsham find their passing game, and they worked an opening down the left that ended with Billy Dunn’s dangerous cross having to be beaten away from goal by Dan Eason.
Hassan ran onto Welford’s flick, the winger attempting an ambitious half-volley that on reflection was the best available option, regardless of the ball sailing to safety.
Much like their FA Trophy tie on Saturday, the home side were playing largely on the counter-attack, whilst their opponents were also growing in confidence as a really decent game developed.
Another flick-on from Welford found Burchell whose shot deflected back to Welford, the shot was an attempted lob with Hunter stranded off his line, although the Hythe man didn’t quite get enough on his effort to clear the Horsham keeper.
The pace was relentless, in particular from Horsham right-winger Tony Nwachuknu, who seemed to take it upon himself to single-handily pull his side back into the game.
Much like his opposite number, Eason had a moment where he found himself stranded out of goal, Byron Napper’s attempted lob landing on the roof of the Hythe net.
Next Eason made the save of the game, tipping Napper’s four-yard header onto the bar and then jumping to his feet to gather the rebound, Nwachuknu inevitably supplying the dangerous cross after a good break down the flank.
Another run and cross from Nwachuknu found the toe of Gabriel Odunaike who, from only six-yards out, again brought the best out in Eason, this time with a low save.
Tommy Osborne decided he had seen enough of Nwachuknu’s mazy runs, making an excellent close-range block, as the impressive winger weaved his way deep into the Hythe box.
The equaliser arrived with some controversy, with question marks over both the awarding and timing of a Horsham free-kick. The ball was then pumped into a crowded Hythe box, before Eason was clearly fouled and a goalmouth scramble ended with Napper forcing home at close-range.
Nwachuknu carried on where he left off as he began the second-half by slipping the Hythe offside trap to cross dangerously through the six-yard box, Craig Cloke making an excellent clearance.
Some nice football between Ronnie Dolan and Jamie Collado ended with Dolan dragging a decent long-range effort wide, before Hythe then freshened things up with the introduction of Luke Webb for Josh Burchell.
Odunaike’s mazy run ended with a lay-off for Ross Morley, whose fiercely struck effort seemed on-target before it took a deflection off Pat Kingwell.
Odunaike’s excellent first touch and acceleration took him clear on goal on the hour mark, however Eason was in top form, making a great ‘outfield’ block tackle to prevent the away side taking the lead.
Kingwell’s free-kick from all of forty-five yards almost flew over the head of Hunter in the Horsham goal, before the keeper made a more routine save, pushing Webb’s decent free-kick around the base of the post.
Welford blasted just over, as Horsham failed to clear one of several Hythe corners in quick succession. Ryan Cooper then burst forward, beating two men and crossing for Dave Cook, Hunter making a smart save from the Hythe captain’s looping header.
Both sides went for the win in the closing stages, Billy King crossing for Odunaike to head just over from the penalty-spot. Odunaike also had the final chance of the game, dragging his shot well wide from a decent position on the counter-attack.
In between those two Horsham chances, Hythe thought they had won it. Hassan breaking clear down the right before picking out Cook inside the box, the first shot hit team-mate Welford, the rebound, hit by the same player, brilliantly tipped over the bar by Hunter.
Video Goal Highlights - Click Here
Scorers – Hythe Town – Welford – 19 mins – Horsham – Napper – 45+1 mins
Hythe Town - Eason, Cooper, Osborne, Kingwell, Cloke, Dolan, Cook (c), Burchell (Webb – 58), Welford, Collado, Hassan - Unused subs – Hickman, Blackman, O'Hara
Attendance - 200
Town Complete Cup Hat-Trick
Hythe Town – 2 - Aveley – 1
FA Trophy Preliminary Round – 05/10/13
Hythe Town made it three wins out of three, in three different cup competitions. However, this was without a doubt their most impressive.
Scott Porter's side came from behind to defeat Aveley 2-1. Before spending long periods of the second-half soaking up the pressure from their impressive opponents, of the Ryman League Division One North.
The steely determination to grind out, essentially all that matters in cup football, a win, certainly impressed the Reachfields support. Captain Dave Cook's first-half brace enough to seal the win.
The afternoon had got off to a poor start for the home side, as they fell behind to a great goal after just six minutes, Junior Appiah curling home into the top-right hand corner from just inside the left-hand side of the box.
It didn’t take long for Hythe to strike back, two minutes later, trickery from Rhys Lawson led to an obvious foul in the box from Sam Holloway, three minutes after Aveley had taken the lead, Cook had smashed his penalty down the middle to give Jack Giddens no chance.
Soon after, the hosts almost took a quick lead, Shaun Welford flicking on Dan Eason’s drop-kick, to find Josh Burchell, who couldn’t quite get enough power behind a nice effort from just inside the box.
Teddy Nesbitt almost produced a carbon copy of his side’s first goal, curling his effort just wide with Eason at full stretch.
Just before the half-hour mark Hythe took the lead, Cook’s brilliant near-post header flashing into the opposite corner, to do justice to Burchell’s excellent corner.
But in hindsight the end of the first-half was a warning as to how much pressure the visitors were able to apply to the Hythe defence.
Danny Hopkins’ dangerous cross flashed through the Hythe six-yard box, Stephenson unable to get any sort of touch to convert the chance into a certain goal.
Aryan Tajbakhsh’s centre was even more dangerous, although on this occasion the Hythe defence was well on top of the situation. Burchell curled his effort just wide from the edge of the box as an intriguing half came to a close.
The away side started the second-half on top, Tajbakhsh’s corner palmed away from danger by Eason, before Jason Twum hit the outside of the near-post after the Aveley man slipped into the Hythe box from the flank.
It didn’t take long for Hythe to realise that their opponents still had plenty in the tank, as they also decided that sensible defending and counter-attacking football was the best approach for the final third of the game.
Ryan Cooper’s excellent box-to-box run down the left ended with a poor centre, as Cook drifted out, unmarked, to the edge of the Aveley box. Before Welford drilled just wide after latching onto a decent ball forward.
Appiah looked to double his personal tally to draw his side level, a fierce effort from just inside the box beaten away well by Eason.
Substitute Taser Hassan almost made an instant impact, forcing Giddens into a low save after running clear onto Welford’s flicked header.
The lively Appiah drilled across goal and just wide after good work from Petrit Elbi to line up the chance on the edge of the Hythe box. Before the home side sprung a counter-attack, Cook finding substitute Tom Hickman free at the back-post, Giddens making a fine low save.
The final twenty minutes featured long periods of impressive possession from Aveley, along with several dangerous corners. However the home defence were keeping their opponents outside of the penalty area, with the final ball often lacking due to Hythe's organisation.
Finally Craig Cloke made a crucial goal-line clearance from the most dangerous of the away side’s corners. Substitute Aaron Gayle also found the net from a similar set-piece, although the goal was disallowed as Eason was clearly held down by more than one of his opponents.
Scorers – Hythe Town – Cook – 9 mins (pen), 28 mins – Aveley – Appiah – 6 mins
Hythe Town - Eason, Cooper, Osborne (Hickman – 50), Kingwell, Cloke, Collado (Dolan – 55), Cook (c), Burchell, Welford, L Winfield (Hassan – 67), Lawson - Unused subs – Blackman, O'Hara
Attendance - 162
Five Is Our Lucky Number
Hythe Town – 5 - Faversham Town – 0
Kent Senior Cup Second Round – 01/10/13
At the fifth time of asking, Hythe Town finally notched their first win of the season at Reachfields. The scoreline...5-0, as Scott Porter's side thrashed Faversham Town to progress to the next round of the Kent Senior Cup.
Shaun Welford and Josh Burchell had an excellent evening in the Hythe forward line, Welford scoring two, Burchell setting up two as well as opening the scoring with his first goal in a Hythe shirt.
Goals from Taser Hassan and the again impressive Lee Winfield, together with a clean-sheet and a fine display from young Jamie Collado, completed the perfect evening for the Hythe support.
After some early glimmers from the visitors, the hosts soon took control, Welford picking out Dave Cook on the edge of the box, who laid off for Burchell to curl his shot just wide.
Patient build-up play down the left between Burchell and Tommy Osborne, a theme of the evening, led to a Burchell cross, Cook and Welford both going close.
Hythe took the lead after ten minutes, in the simplest fashion, the bounce of Dan Eason’s drop-kick misjudged by the Faversham defence, Burchell running clear to clip home his first goal since moving from neighbours Folkestone Invicta.
The away side looked to strike back, Jamie Maxted looping an unmarked header just over from Dave Botterill’s dangerous free-kick. Osborne continued to be a decent outlet down the left for Hythe, the defender flashing a shot across goal that ran just wide.
It was a good night for left-backs, as Maxted again threatened for Faversham, curling a fierce effort across goal that Eason did well to beat away, the Hythe defence scrambling clear.
With ten minutes of the half remaining, Cook could not believe that he hadn’t scored his eighth goal of the season, an outstretched Faversham leg (possibly from keeper Simon Overland), denying the Hythe skipper as he seemed certain to head home from six-yards, after brilliant work down the right from Ryan Cooper.
Collado’s quick free-kick created chaos in the Faversham box, Welford turning on the loose ball to fire in a low drilled effort that Overland did well to beat away with his legs.
Three minutes before half-time the home side deservedly doubled their lead, Winfield curling home a perfectly placed free-kick from twenty-yards around the Faversham wall, and into the bottom-right hand corner.
The last opportunity of the half fell to the away side, and the outcome was pivotal to the rest of the game. Bourne’s header from a corner appeared goalbound, only for Burchell to manage to clear the ball to safety via the underside of the Hythe crossbar.
A low-key second-half exploded into action as Scott Porter utilised the strength in depth on his bench to take the game away from our opponents.
However, before they could enjoy the final third of the game, the Hythe support were thankful for the save of the game from Eason, the keeper maintaining a second successive clean sheet, palming away Daniel King’s close-range effort.
Substitute Tom Hickman’s fine tackle on the counter-attack sent Welford racing clear into a deserted Faversham half, but the striker would be denied what would have eventually been a hat-trick, as his lifted effort hit the post.
The blossoming partnership of Burchell and Welford was there for all to see in the closing stages.
Burchell had just been denied by a brilliant last-ditch challenge after Welford had sent him clear on goal. But the home side picked up the loose ball and worked the play back through Burchell, whose classy dragged back-heel allowed Welford to smash home across goal.
With ten minutes remaining, the same combination worked again, Burchell sending Welford clear to roll his finish home. Either side of that goal, Taser Hassan and Ronnie Dolan were introduced as Hythe cranked up the pressure.
Two minutes later it was five, the visitors committing everybody forward only for Hythe to spring a counter-attack into the empty Faversham half. Hassan pushing the ball past the last man on the half-way line to run half the length of the pitch and slot home under Overland.
Scorers – Hythe Town – Burchell – 10 mins – L Winfield – 42 mins - Welford – 65, 80 mins – Hassan - 82 mins
Hythe Town - Eason, Cooper, Osborne, Kingwell, Cloke, Collado, Cook (c) (Dolan – 73), Burchell, Welford, L Winfield (Hickman – 60), Lawson (Hassan – 64) - Unused subs – Blackman, O'Hara
Attendance - 140
Progress To Third Round Achieved
Whitstable Town – 0 - Hythe Town – 1
Robert Dyas League Cup Second Round – 28/09/13
Dave Cook's goal was the difference between the two sides as Hythe Town defeated Whitstable Town in the Robert Dyas League Cup Second Round.
This was a professional display from the Reachfields' outfit, their defence providing a much needed clean sheet, whilst on another day there could have easily been another two or three goals for the Hythe Town support to enjoy.
Lee Winfield impressed, in his first appearance of the season, as did John Walker and Taser Hassan, as all three of Scott Porter's changes provided food for thought.
The visitors dominated the opening third of the game, the only criticism being a lack of chances being converted to goals.
After ten minutes, a perfectly weighted through-ball from Winfield sent Shaun Welford clear, but wide, on goal. Luke Watkins making an excellent one-handed save from the striker’s fiercely struck shot.
From the rebound, veteran ex-international Ian Cox, made a crucial block as Cook looked to capitalize on the unguarded goal. Shortly after, Craig Cloke had a close-range effort saved, following a cross from Welford after good work from Hassan.
Welford made the most of a cross-field pass from Tommy Osborne, shifting inside his marker and forcing Watkins into a decent save from an early drilled shot.
With eighteen minutes on the clock, Hythe made the breakthrough. Patient football from the back ended with good work from Ronnie Dolan and Walker, Dolan releasing Hassan down the right before Cook smashed home the winger’s pulled back centre.
Next, Hassan did a number on ex-Hythe defender, Laurence Harvey, losing his man down by the corner flag with a flash of skill, however the otherwise excellent centre-back was glad to see his former team-mate curl his cross beyond all of his team-mates.
The combative Mathieu Guila rode through several fierce Hythe challenges, before Joe Lester took over to burst into the Hythe box and shoot back across goal and off the inside of the post.
Jordan Wells appeared certain to level the scoreline, as he steered the rebound towards the open net, however Cloke had different ideas with a brilliant and crucial goal-line clearance.
Wells was involved again, swivelling on a clearance, but only able to find the body of Eason, before another patient passing move from the visitors ending with Watkins gathering up Walker’s dangerous cross after good work from Welford.
Shortly after the restart Hassan couldn’t believe that he had failed to connect with Welford’s perfectly flighted cross from the left. Next it was Hassan again, firing wide after Dolan had sent the winger clear on goal.
Winfield’s free-kick caused panic in the Whitstable defence, but Welford headed a difficult chance over from six-yards.
The final thirty minutes was probably the most enjoyable for the hosts, although at times they were guilty of over-playing from the back.
Substitute Scott Heard’s free-kick flashed dangerously through the Hythe box, before Wells turned to hit a fierce low shot that Eason was able to deal with
Hythe were beginning to become a threat on the counter-attack, Burchell sending Welford clear on goal, the Hythe player rounding Watkins before attempting a lob that had to be nodded clear of goal.
From the resulting Burchell corner, Dolan’s back-post shot deflected up into the path of Welford, whose looping header had the visiting support celebrating, until they realised the ball had settled on top of the goal-net and not inside it.
Welford was involved again, turning provider to cross dangerously, Dolan picking up the pieces before firing in a shot that deflected just wide.
The home side continued to enjoy more possession in the closing stages, however they failed to trouble Eason in the Hythe goal.
In fact Dolan went close to a second for the visitors, Watkins making another fine save after substitute Craig Thompson’s delightful through-ball.
Scorer – Hythe Town – Cook – 18 mins
Hythe Town - Eason, Walker, Osborne, Kingwell, Cloke, Dolan, Cook (c), Burchell, Welford (Thompson – 74), L Winfield (Collado – 69), Hassan (Lawson – 56) - Unused subs – Cooper, O'Hara
Attendance - 146
Hythe Fail To Find Breakthrough
Ramsgate – 1 - Hythe Town – 0
Ryman League Division One South – 24/09/13
Hythe Town spent a frustrating evening at Ramsgate as their latest Ryman South fixture ended up in a 1-0 defeat.
Macauley Murray's outstanding twenty-five yard free-kick turned out to be the winning goal, as Scott Porter's side's goalscoring touch deserted them.
Hythe hit the crossbar, whilst Ronnie Dolan and Rhys Lawson both came close with the goal at their mercy.
The away side enjoyed decent amounts of possession but ultimately left with nothing to show for their efforts.
The evening began with a toughly contested opening period, mainly in the midfield areas. Although the tweak of Hythe’s shape to allow Lawson and Josh Burchell to offer more support to Shaun Welford appeared to give the visitors an early foothold in the game.
The opening chance fell to Tom Hickman, who curled his effort across goal and just wide after picking up the pieces from a Dolan corner. For the home side, a couple of long-throw routines from skipper Curtis Robinson found the Hythe defence in an organised mood.
Just as the game began to settle, Ramsgate found themselves 1-0 up, and they had Murray to thank, a perfectly struck free-kick from the left finding the top-right hand corner to give Dan Eason no chance.
Hythe bounced straight back, Burchell’s corner was headed off the underside of the crossbar, before the rebound went just wide as Dolan and Lawson both came close to a quick Hythe equaliser.
Lawson took up the opportunity to open up his legs and get away from the attentions of a stretched Rams’ defence, only to shoot low into the body of Daren Hawkes when a goal seemed certain.
Hythe continued to push, Pat Kingwell, back from suspension, surged forward from the back before playing a perfectly weighted through-ball that sent Hickman clear in the left channel, again the final finish wasn’t in the same class as the approach play.
The home side started the second-half brightly, Tom Chapman getting away down the right, before flashing a dangerous low cross into the Hythe six-yard box that Scott Porter’s side managed to clear to safety.
Eason tipped over a deflected corner, as the ball threatened to loop over the Hythe keeper for a second Ramsgate goal. Whilst Ben Laslett scooped just over from the around the penalty-spot, the hosts probably enjoying their best spell.
However, the visitors were beginning to threaten on the counter-attack, Dolan surging through the middle to effectively take two Rams’ defenders out of the equation, before slipping Lawson one on one with Hawkes, unfortunately the winger dragged his shot wide.
Hickman’s long-range effort created chaos in the Ramsgate penalty box, ex-Hythe man, James Everitt, making an outstanding block on Dolan as he threatened to take things into this own hands just yards from goal.
Porter introduced Craig Thompson as Hythe continued to push, but it just didn’t seem to be their night in front of goal, Welford choosing to lob when a header seemed the easier option after a Craig Cloke clearance had sent the striker clear on goal.
Dolan’s free-kick picked out Cloke, the defender’s flicked header finding his captain, Dave Cook, whose shot back across goal ran just wide.
Tricky home striker, Ian Pulman, had an uncharacteristically quiet evening, but he could have easily sealed the points, lobbing just over at the end of a quick counter-attack when it seemed to easier to find the net.
Welford headed wide at the near-post, following a Ryan Cooper’s cross, but it was to be Hythe’s last decent effort on goal as frustration seemed to kick-in and the ideas ran dry to allow the hosts to close out the game and the three points.
Scorer – Ramsgate – Murray – 29 mins
Hythe Town - Eason, Cooper, Osborne, Kingwell, Cloke, Dolan, Cook (c), Burchell (Thompson – 66), Welford, Hickman, Lawson (Hassan – 79) - Unused subs – Walker, Collado, O'Hara
Attendance - 136
Guernsey Take Full Advantage
Guernsey – 5 - Hythe Town – 1
Ryman League Division One South – 21/09/13
Hythe Town’s first ever flight to Guernsey for a Ryman South fixture ended in disaster, as the hosts ran rampant to take full advantage of a poor performance from the away side.
The Hythe defence had no answer to a stunning performance and hat-trick from Guernsey’s Ross Allen, whilst the visitors’ approach play remains an ongoing concern.
The first fifteen minutes was, as expected, a period of play that allowed Guernsey to assess their opponents and Scott Porter’s side the same, as well as adjusting to their surroundings.
The home side’s first corner of the game had flashed dangerously through the Hythe six-yard box. Whilst for Hythe, Rhys Lawson had volleyed over following Ryan Cooper’s long-throw.
Glyd Dyer’s deflected cross looped dangerously up into the air, before landing on the roof of Dan Eason’s net. Debutant Josh Burchell took advantage of some good hold-up play from Dave Cook, the ex-Folkestone man’s decent effort turned around the post by Chris Tardif.
After seventeen minutes Dominic Heaume struck the opening goal of the afternoon, expertly poking home Ryan Zico-Black’s free-kick from deep. Defensively it was a poor goal for Hythe to concede, and one which settled the hosts.
The dangerous Dyer burst forward again, only to shoot over from twenty-yards. That chance followed a warning shot from Allen, who had almost controlled a cross to the near-post on his chest, Eason gathering the loose ball.
Worryingly, Hythe were playing to Guernsey’s strengths, as their attacks broke down in areas of the pitch that allowed the home side to spring their quick counter-attacks on a regular basis.
On the half-hour mark, the Guernsey lead was doubled, some lovely footwork from Zico-Black leading to a cross to the back-post, where Allen opened his account for the afternoon with a lobbed finish.
Hythe prevented a quick third, blocking Marc McGrath’s close-range effort. Lawson was doing his best to link up with Shaun Welford, one break down the right leading to Welford being fed the ball in a dangerous area, the final shot blocked.
On the stroke of half-time a Lawson free-kick was only half-cleared to the edge of the box, however Hythe had committed purely to the six-yard box so were unable to take advantage of the loose ball.
As you would expect, the visitors managed to settle things down after the break, but a three goal blitz in just six minutes destroyed any hopes of a comeback the travelling support had held.
First of all, Allen turned provider, charging clear down the right before picking out the unmarked Matt Loaring six-yards from goal, the ball lifted past Eason into the top-right corner of the goal.
Next Loaring returned the favour with a through-ball to Allen, Craig Cloke slipping as he attempted to make the crucial interception, Allen did the rest cutting across goal and around Eason to clip home a calm finish.
Allen was all over Hythe, and he completed his hat-trick with a lovely finish across goal and into the top corner, after slipping the offside-trap down the left.
John Walker, Ronnie Dolan and Craig Thompson replaced Ryan Cooper, Jamie Collado and Josh Burchell but the damage was already done.
The visitors actually enjoyed their best spell of the game in the final fifteen minutes and really should have pulled the score back to at least 5-3, a scoreline that would have flattered the Reachfields outfit.
Dolan looked eager to regain his starting place with a bright little cameo, firstly the young midfielder played Tom Hickman in behind the Guernsey defence, only for his arrowed finish to come back off the inside of the far-post to safety.
Next a tired challenge on Lawson gave Hythe a cast-iron penalty, Dolan heading home the rebound as Cook’s thunderous strike bounced back off the underside of the crossbar.
With a couple of minutes remaining Dolan was again involved, crossing to Welford who should have done better with an unmarked header over from just six-yards.
Finally, a nice flick-on from substitute Thompson sent Hickman clear through on goal again, this time Tardif made a fine low save from the angled shot.
Next up for Scott Porter’s side is the midweek trip to Ramsgate, a win would only be our second in the last eight games. However the fiercely competitive nature of the Ryman South League means that only three points currently separate ourselves from the play-off positions.
Scorers - Hythe Town – Dolan – 78 mins – Guernsey – Heaume – 17 mins - Allen – 30, 60, 63 mins – Loaring – 57 mins
Hythe Town - Eason, Cooper (Walker – 67 mins), D Winfield, Osborne, Cloke, Collado (Dolan – 69), Cook (c), Burchell (Thompson – 73), Welford, Hickman, Lawson - Unused subs – Blackman, O'Hara
Attendance - 1049
Ten Man Hythe Salvage Point
Hythe Town – 1 – Herne Bay – 1
Ryman League Division One South – 11/09/13
Ten man Hythe managed to salvage a point from an eventful Kent derby with old rivals Herne Bay.
Having lost Nick Barnes to a red card towards the end of the first-half, Scott Porter's side reshuffled and never really looked a man short.
Taser Hassan had opened the scoring by sweeping home his first goal of the season from a Shaun Welford cross.
However Welford then found the net at the wrong end of the pitch to equalise for the visitors from a dangerous corner.
The half-time score of 1-1 remained the same until the final whistle. With Herne Bay's Danny Walder also missing a tense injury-time penalty, after Dan Eason was adjudged to have fouled substitute Ben Brown.
The home side couldn’t have had a better start, Welford’s flick-on sending Barnes clear on goal in the first minute. The midfielder chipping a delightful shot over Jack Delo, incredibly the shot firstly came off the inside of the woodwork, before the away side survived both a handball shout and the ball having to be cleared off the line.
Herne Bay settled, Walder’s dangerous cross flashing across the Hythe goal, Eason making a good save around the post with Danny Lawrence in close attendance. Connor Sanders couldn’t believe he had missed when he fired wide from close-range after a dangerous corner taken by Walder.
Hythe made similar inroads from a corner routine as Hassan’s uncleared centre led to an overhead kick from Jamie Collado that was cleared off the Bay goal-line. The half-hour mark then arrived with the opening goal from the hosts.
The lively Welford dropped his shoulder to lose his man down the right-hand side of the penalty-box, before delivering a pin-point cross that Hassan couldn’t fail to smash into the net at close-range.
Only seven minutes had passed before the visitors equalised, Welford unable to stop himself heading into his own net as Walder’s corner was flicked right into the Hythe striker’s path at the near-post.
The flashpoint arrived five minutes before half-time when an elbow from Barnes struck Lawrence in the face, the match officials concluding that a red card was the appropriate punishment.
The home side were not fazed after being reduced to ten men, both in the final few minutes of the half or during the much longer test of the entire second-half.
In fact they could have taken the lead when Welford’s looping header was tipped over the bar by Delo, after a fine delivery from ‘Player of the Month’, the again impressive Ryan Cooper.
Welford’s guided through-ball sent Hassan clear on goal on the stroke of half-time, but the impressive recovery of the Herne Bay defence, a theme of the evening, prevented another one on one opportunity.
Half-time allowed the Hythe management team to set a plan to still attempt to win the game, even with inferior numbers.
Substitutes Ronnie Dolan and Tom Hickman joined Collado as a battling midfield trio designed to firefight. Whilst Rhys Lawson was given the unenviable task of providing pace and width on the counter-attack, as well as support to Welford.
With the players carrying their instructions out in determined fashion, it was a game-plan that almost instantly came off. Shortly after the restart, Sanders had to make an excellent last-ditch challenge to deny Lawson who had been sent clear on goal by Welford.
Yet again, the Bay support were to be thankful for the pace of their back-line, Lawson flicking Welford one on one with Delo, only for both of his close-range shots to find the block of an opposing defender.
The creeping up of the quality and quantity of possession from the away side had an inevitable feel about it, however Porter’s side remained a threat, even if their breaks up field were becoming increasingly rare.
Michael Turner’s pace was really beginning to crank up the pressure on the Hythe defence, as one half of the Herne Bay twins burst into the Hythe box to force Eason into the save of the game with a low full-stretch push around the post.
The visitor’s clever free-kick routine provided Turner with an even closer-range shooting opportunity, the Hythe support breathing a sigh of relief as the ball flew wildly over Eason’s crossbar.
With ten minutes remaining, the introduction of the trickery of Herne Bay's Ben Brown was intended to create at least one last match-winning opportunity, and deep into injury-time that was exactly what it did.
Eason rushed from his goal to claim the ball as it ran through the home side’s box, but Brown just got a toe to the ball which Eason then clipped.
The penalty decision was correct, although a booking for the Hythe keeper was harsh, considering the accidental nature of the collision and the Hythe player blocking the sight of Brown rushing in.
However, this brave second-half performance from the home side led to the slice of luck that their efforts had deserved, as the pressure of converting one point to three got to Walder, the midfielder dragging his spot-kick wide.
Given the absence of suspended skipper Dave Cook and the unavailable Tommy Osborne, along with the evening’s events, this was probably a point gained by the home side, and two points dropped by their opponents.
However our former Kent League rivals have now definitely settled at this level of football as new manager, the young Sam Denly, enjoyed his seventh game of an excellent unbeaten run.
Scorers - Hythe Town - Hassan - 29 mins – Herne Bay – Welford (OG) - 36 mins
Hythe Town - Eason, Cooper, D Winfield, Kingwell (c), Cloke, Collado, Thompson (Dolan – 45), Barnes, Welford (Yianni – 85), Hassan (Hickman – 45), Lawson - Unused subs - Walker, O'Hara
Attendance - 184
Happy Away Days
Merstham – 0 - Hythe Town – 2
Ryman League Division One South – 07/09/13
League games, away from home, always a positive for Scott Porter's side regardless of form. Back on their travels in the Ryman South, and it’s now ten away points from twelve for the Reachfields outfit.
This was a typical Hythe Town performance, numerous man of the match candidates, an underworked Dan Eason due to an excellent defensive performance, and efficient work in the final third.
Shaun Welford scored his third league goal of the season, and the same player forced Hythe's second, Merstham defender David Graves converting the big striker's cross into his own net.
Hythe started brightly, Taser Hassan's dangerous free-kick headed just wide of his own goal by David Graves. From the following corner, also taken by Hassan, Craig Cloke headed just wide.
The home side settled, the impressive Tommy Hutchings firing in a shot that Dan Eason held comfortably. Twenty minutes in the visitors took the lead, Welford latching onto Tommy Osborne's free-kick to lift the ball over Brannon Daly into the Merstham goal.
Taurean Roberts' mazy run ended with a shot over Eason's bar, whilst for Hythe Welford's flick-on was centred by Hassan, the last man for Merstham preventing a certain tap-in for Hythe skipper Dave Cook.
The first-half ended without alarm for Scott Porter's side, with Rhys Lawson and Hassan's probing runs down the flanks showing the host's defence up as an area of weakness.
However for the visitors, the signs of a confident clean-sheet were emerging, with Ryan Cooper and Tommy Osborne impressing at full-back.
It would be Hythe that came out of the traps the quicker following half-time, their second goal arriving just two minutes after the restart.
Nick Barnes' lovely through-ball sent Welford clear down the left-hand side of the penalty-box, the goalscorer's centre fired into his own net by Graves.
Hythe continued to impress, Daly making an outstanding save from Welford's close-range header after Hassan's decent cross.
The home side were hanging on as Barnes sent Cook clear on goal only for a last-ditch tackle to frustrate Hythe's top-scorer. The Hythe midfield were dominating, with Barnes, and in particular Jamie Collado, impressing in the middle of the park.
Cloke again headed just wide from another dangerous Hassan free-kick, before Collado fired just over from distance after a quick free-kick routine prompted by Osborne. Good persistence from Lawson led to a cross to the back-post where Hassan's half-volley back across goal was tipped over at full-stretch by Daly.
Cooper's lovely clipped through-ball sent Welford clear on goal, although on this occasion Daly comfortably saved the striker’s low shot.
Welford was in the thick of it again, chesting down an excellent pass from Hassan and attempting a first-time lob that went just over Daly’s crossbar.
The quality of Hythe’s defensive performance was shown when Eason made his first meaningful save of the game with ten minutes remaining, tipping Dean Gunner’s dipping cross just over the crossbar.
Substitute Joe Holland fired a deflected low drive just wide as the home side enjoyed their best spell of the game, but the Hythe defence was in no mood to give away a consolation goal, let alone an equaliser.
Despite this purple-patch from Merstham, the away side remained a threat on the counter-attack in the closing stages.
Substitute Ronnie Dolan poked just wide from a Hassan cross, before another substitute, Michael Yianni, sent Welford clear on goal again, his final shot only finding the side-netting.
Scorers - Hythe Town - Welford - 20 mins - Own Goal - 47 mins
Hythe Town - Eason, Cooper, Osborne, Kingwell, Cloke, Collado (Dolan - 69), Cook (c), Barnes (Yianni - 81), Welford, Hassan (Winfield - 83), Lawson - Unused subs - Thompson, O'Hara
Attendance - 115
FA Cup Heartbreak
Three Bridges – 2 - Hythe Town – 1
FA Cup Preliminary Round – 31/08/13
Our FA Cup journey starts and ends at the Preliminary Round this year, after Three Bridges ran out as deserved 2-1 winners.
Dave Cook struck a 90th minute consolation penalty, the visitors coming very close to a last minute equaliser that actually would have been harsh on the home side.
Second-half substitutes Craig Thompson and Taser Hassan both made their first appearances of the season for Scott Porter's side, who must now look forward to this Saturday's visit to Merstham.
After an even first ten minutes the sparring came to an end when Elliott Romain forced Dan Eason into a good low safe, after the Hythe keeper's clearance had deflected into the striker's path.
The hosts enjoyed a number of corners throughout, but the visitors were happy dealing with any aerial threat.
For Hythe, Rhys Lawson volleyed just over an unguarded net after Shaun Welford had flicked on Ronnie Dolan's corner. Three Bridges striker, Abu Touray, glanced just wide from a corner supplied by impressive home skipper, Lee Carney.
It was Carney who surged forward for the next chance on goal, arrowing a shot on the half-volley that Eason saved well. Romain blasted just wide, as a result of the best chance to come from the strong kicking of home keeper Martin Grant.
Hythe were now under pressure but were still able to find some joy on the counter-attack via Lawson, one run taking the winger from one half to another, Welford going close to converting the final low cross.
Carney's shot deflected just wide after another flowing move from the home side, whilst for Hythe Michael Yianni fired over after a shooting chance opened up on the edge of the Three Bridges' box.
Seven minutes before half-time the hosts took a deserved lead, Touray chasing through the Hythe box, winning the ball, and firing back across goal under Eason.
Hythe responded well from the kick-off, Yianni playing Welford into the box, however Grant confidently held a low shot.
Lawson created the final chance of the half, bursting down the right flank and crossing to the back-post, Cook glancing wide.
Hythe enjoyed a bright start to the second-half, Cook nodding down a Welford cross into the path of Yianni who smashed a half-volley against the crossbar from around the penalty-spot. Grant spilled Welford's close-range effort after Yianni had flicked on Dolan's free-kick.
However, six minutes after the restart Three Bridges scored a killer second goal. Carney taking advantage of indecision in the Hythe box following a low cross, to fire home into the bottom-right hand corner with an accurate finish.
Romain swivelled to blast a near-post shot just over, and Scott Porter had seen enough, deciding to make his first substitutions.
Craig Thompson and Taser Hassan were introduced just before the hour for Yianni and Hickman, Hythe switching to a 4-4-2 formation.
The home side continued to threaten, Carney hitting a driven shot just wide after a neat one-two with Romain.
The tie entered the closing stages as Hassan's free- kick was headed just wide by Cook. With five minutes remaining Pat Kingwell received his marching orders for a second yellow card.
However as the game entered injury-time Hythe had a sudden lifeline, Cook smashing home a penalty after Dan Attwater was adjudged to have fouled Welford in the box.
The final seconds of injury-time almost produced an equaliser, Grant making two excellent close-range saves from Thompson and Cook after Welford's centre caused panic in the home box.
But it was too little too late for Hythe who, after a promising start to the season, need to settle back down to a definite style of play, and bring more consistency to their performances.
Scorers – Hythe Town - Cook – 90 mins (pen) - Three Bridges – Touray – 38 mins – Carney – 51 mins
Hythe Town - Eason, Cooper, D Winfield, Kingwell, Osborne, Dolan (Cloke – 81), Cook (c), Hickman (Hassan – 57), Welford, Yianni (Thompson – 57), Lawson - Unused Subs – Walker, Webb, O’Hara
Attendance - 85
Welford Strike Earns Derby Day Point
Folkestone Invicta – 1 - Hythe Town – 1
Ryman League Division One South – 26/08/13
Local rivals Hythe Town and Folkestone Invicta yet again showed their supporters that nerves will indefinitely affect this much anticipated but rarely entertaining fixture. On this occasion it was Scott Porter’s side who made the early running, but failed to convert possession and chances into goals.
The second-half belonged to the home side, Johan Ter Horst scoring a skilful opening goal with twenty minutes remaining. However, it was the lively Rhys Lawson that got into the Invicta box to square for Shaun Welford’s second goal of the season, nine minutes from time.
So honours even until Boxing Day, when it will be another edgy affair as these two sides, full of friends and foes, lock horns for the sixth occasion since Hythe’s return to the Ryman League.
Hythe should have taken the lead in only the first minute, Welford taking advantage of a poor back-header to run clear on Roddy Hayward’s goal, shooting to the far-post but agonisingly wide. Porter’s side were by far the stronger starters, Michael Yianni slipping Lawson clear into the box, Hayward making a fine low save.
The home side enjoyed their first chance of the game as the impressive Phil Stevenson burst forward from right-back to cross to the near post, Ter Horst unable to convert his headed finish.
Stevenson’s dangerous free-kick was well blocked, before Ryan Cooper made an excellent challenge to deny Dane Luchford’s volley, after the Hythe defence misjudged another ball forward from Stevenson.
Luchford’s dangerous cross led to a corner that the winger himself also took, Frankie Chappell heading back across goal and just wide. Midway through the half the visitors again threatened to take the lead, Yianni slipping the offside trap and squaring for Welford who missed a tap-in by an inch or two.
The influential Stevenson burst forward again, this time making it into the Hythe box, before a good low shot was met by an excellent block by Pat Kingwell. Matt Newman and the worryingly quiet Stuart King both headed over from further crosses supplied by Stevenson, whilst for Hythe, Yianni headed a Ronnie Dolan free-kick into the safe hands of Hayward.
Hythe ended the half as they had started it, Welford shooting just over, this time from Tom Hickman’s centre. The home side started the second-half brightly, but again the visitors were guilty of not converting clear chances on goal.
Dolan’s ball forward was nodded down by Welford into the path of Lawson, who from eight yards out ballooned over, when a second goal in as many games for Hythe, seemed certain. Josh Burchell’s introduction for the home side seemed to seize the momentum for Neil Cugley’s side, the winger replacing the in-form Luchford.
Decent counter-attacking football down the left from Folkestone led to King swivelling inside the Hythe box but firing over. Before Ter Horst gave the Hythe defence a warning, dribbling his way past three Hythe defenders but shooting wildly over with Eason to beat.
Kingwell saved Hythe’s blushes with an excellent block after Ter Horst took advantage of a miscued pass by Tommy Osborne. The goal had been coming, and the source was inevitable, as Ter Horst displayed a lovely piece of skill to spin off behind the Hythe defence and confidently slot home under Eason.
Hythe were understandably becoming more direct in the closing stages, which in turn was bringing more set-piece opportunities. Dolan’s corner to the back-post was met by a Yianni shot that deflected just wide, the Hythe equaliser would come from the very next corner.
Invicta failed to clear the next centre from Dolan, Darren Winfield picking up the play and slipping Lawson in behind the home side’s offside trap. The ex-Faversham and Herne Bay man did the rest, accelerating into the box before supplying the perfect cross for Welford to convert from inside the six-yard box.
Hythe substitute Jamie Collado had a goal disallowed for offside, whilst for the home side, Roland Edge’s dangerous cross flashed through the Hythe six-yard box. The home side almost sealed all three points during the four minutes of injury-time, a typically opportunistic Stuart King strike pinging off the Hythe crossbar, before in the closing seconds Newman fired just wide as Hythe failed to clear their lines.
Scorers - Hythe Town – Welford - 81 mins – Folkestone Invicta – Ter Horst – 70 mins
Hythe Town - Eason, Cooper, D Winfield, Kingwell, Osborne, Dolan, Cook (c), Hickman (Barnes – 86), Welford, Yianni (Collado – 81), Lawson - Unused Subs – Cloke, Walker, O’Hara
Attendance - 485
Lawson Makes Instant Impact
Hythe Town – 1 – Hastings United – 2
Ryman League Division One South – 24/08/13
Rhys Lawson made a massive impact on his debut in a Hythe Town shirt, although his almost certain 'Goal of the Season' was ultimately in vain. After dominating the first-half of this entertaining fixture with Hastings United, the home side were guilty of not putting away the chances their play deserved.
With our opponents being relegated from the Ryman Premier there was always a chance that our undefeated visitors had some quality up their sleeves. Substitute Kenny Pogue's brace in the final thirteen minutes was a timely reminder of how hard you have to work for points in the Ryman South.
It was Hastings that actually had the first sight of goal, Sam Adam’s decent effort from twenty-yards held confidently by Dan Eason in the slippery conditions. The hosts soon began to enjoy themselves, Shaun Welford with the first chance on goal, but caught in two minds as Ronnie Dolan’s drifting cross set-up a shooting opportunity.
Two minutes later Welford went close again, glancing just wide from a Dolan corner. The Hythe striker would continue to be frustrated as Tom Hickman’s run down the right led to a Michael Yianni dribble into the box, the visiting defence blocking Welford’s attempt to convert the pullback.
Again Welford went close, finding the side-netting with a near-post shot after good work from Dolan and Hickman. After Hythe’s good start the visitors began to threaten on the counter-attack. Matt McLean took advantage of Darren Winfield’s slip to cross for Jamie Crone, Ryan Cooper making an excellent block on the final close-range effort.
McLean provided the assist again, a lovely through-ball providing Crone with a clear shot on goal, but on this occasion the striker’s tame effort was comfortably held by Eason. More good defending foiled Welford after a dangerous Lawson cross, set-up by a good cross-field ball from Winfield.
The final few minutes before half-time were very eventful, Dolan’s corner created a goalmouth scramble, the ball rolling along the line before Yianni failed to find the top corner with a close-range shot designed to avoid the crowded goal-line.
One minute before half-time, Scott Porter’s side took a deserved lead, and in some style. Cooper’s clipped pass was met by the aerial back-heel of Yianni, before debutant Lawson hit a first-time half-volley from twenty-yards that hit the top-left corner in unstoppable fashion.
The home side came close to a second on the stroke of half-time as Cooper’s cross to the back-post picked out Welford, his shot back across goal running agonisingly wide, the second-half would become a far more even affair.
Hastings made a decent start to the second period of play, Danny Ellis heading just wide after Tim Olorunda’s cute ball to the Hythe back-post. For the home side, Cooper and Lawson combined with a lovely one-two on the edge of the Hastings box, Cooper’s cross picking out Yianni, whose shot from the penalty-spot deflected just wide.
Josh Pelling tipped Winfield’s twenty-five yard free-kick just over, whilst at the other end Ellis’ close-range effort met the stubborn block of Cooper. Further impressive defending from Pat Kingwell denied Crone, after the frustrated forward managed to slip the Hythe offside trap.
Just after the hour mark Hythe would have two real chances to make sure of the points. Firstly, a controversial offside decision denied Welford a goal as keeper Pelling failed to hold onto a Winfield free-kick.
Next it was Lawson’s turn to provide the threat with a great run from deep in his own half to inside the Hastings’ box, the final pullback so close to providing Dolan with an easy near-post tap-in.
The away side had refused to panic and defended well during the Hythe periods of pressure, an equaliser thirteen minutes from time and a 90th minute winner broke Hythe hearts.
The home side had failed to clear the danger from a Hastings’ corner when Eason saved Sean Kelly’s close-range effort, but he was unable to prevent substitute Kenny Pogue as he poked home the rebound. The same goalscorer struck the killer winning goal, sweeping home Danny Ellis’ low cross from the right to leave Hythe feeling short-changed.
Scorers - Hythe Town – Lawson – 44 mins – Hastings United – Kenny Pogue – 77, 90 mins
Hythe Town - Eason, Cooper, D Winfield, Kingwell, Osborne, Dolan, Cook (c), Hickman (Barnes – 39), Welford, Yianni (Collado – 83), Lawson - Unused Subs – Cloke, Walker, O’Hara
Attendance - 315
Two In Two For Yianni
Hythe Town – 1 – Whitstable Town – 1
Ryman League Division One South – 20/08/13
Michael Yianni continued his purple-patch of form with his second goal in as many games, as Hythe Town scored in the first minute of a tight Kent derby with Whitstable Town.
The final score was 1-1, ex-Hythe striker, Mo Takaloo, also notching his second goal of the season with a first-half equaliser. Much has been written about Nicky Southall's side's early return to pre-season, and it has to be said that the visitors did look stronger as the game progressed.
However, the home side should have wrapped up the points in the opening half-hour or in the final ten minutes as the game swung one way and then another. Hythe made that perfect start with a move typical of the way they have started the season.
Yianni combined with Darren Winfield down the left before Winfield’s cross picked out Dave Cook at the back-post. The Hythe skipper’s lay-off found Yianni who had now made his way into the box. The first shot was cleared off the Whitstable line, but the forward made no mistake with the rebound, firing home his finish off the inside of the post.
More good work from Winfield led to a dangerous cross flashing through the visitor’s six-yard box, that only needed a touch from either side for the ball to end up in the net. More good possession from the home side led to Ronnie Dolan and Ryan Cooper combining down the right, Cooper’s cross picking out Cook on the penalty-spot whose low shot was blocked well.
Scott Heard was beginning to threaten for the visitors, getting in behind Hythe for the first time and shooting just wide. Cooper’s shot directly off a Dolan corner was cleared off the line, as Whitstable survived Winfield’s driven shot on the rebound and a further two Hythe corners.
Visiting captain, James Morrish, headed the ball down dangerously into the path of Heard, although a crucial slip prevented a one on one opportunity. Winfield’s cross was headed back across goal by Cook, looping just wide of Luke Watkins’ goal.
Winfield and Yianni combined well again, before Tom Hickman burst forward to join the move and charge towards goal, shooting low, hard, but just wide. The first half-hour belonged to Scott Porter’s side, but it was the visitors that had the better of things for the next thirty minutes, half-time seemingly continuing the improvement.
Frustrated by the lack of a second-goal, Hythe were looking vulnerable to counter-attacks, and the equaliser came in just that fashion, Takaloo poking home Heard’s decent centre four minutes before half-time.
There was a collective sigh of relief from the home support when Eason beat away a fierce twenty-five yard effort from Morrish a minute before the end of the first-half. Deep into injury-time it was Morrish again, getting the wrong side of Pat Kingwell, the centre-back recovering well to make a fine block on a near-post effort.
Shortly after the restart Steve Hafner’s free-kick ran dangerously through the Hythe box and just past the back-post. Although Whitstable continued to impress in possession, in hindsight the home-side were beginning to edge back into the game. Southall had seen the opportunity to grab all three points, having introduced substitutes Jake Mckenzie and Joe Lester before the hour mark.
However, Scott Porter’s side are continuing their stubborn ways from last season, and they once again had fought through a period of a game without being at their best.
Midway through the second-half Hythe hit the woodwork, Cook came close to heading home Dolan’s corner, before Kingwell picked up the loose ball and hit the inside of the post with a shot across goal. Kingwell continued to influence from the back, stinging the palms of Watkins with a decent effort from distance.
The closing stages offered both sides one final chance to win the game, first it was substitute Lester that took advantage of a slip from Osborne to go clear on Eason’s goal, but shoot wildly over from a tight angle. In the final minute of normal time Kingwell headed Dolan’s corner straight into Watkins’ arms from only six-yards out.
Scorers - Hythe Town – Yianni – 1 min – Whitstable Town – Takaloo – 41 mins
Hythe Town - Eason, Cooper, Walker, Kingwell, Osborne, Dolan, Cook (c), D Winfield (Webb – 87), Welford (Barnes – 73), Yianni, Hickman - Unused Subs – Cloke, Blackman, O’Hara
Attendance - 228
Three Games Unbeaten
Walton & Hersham – 0 - Hythe Town – 4
Ryman League Division One South – 17/08/13
Hythe Town maintained their unbeaten start to the Ryman South season, as they fired four goals past Walton & Hersham without reply.
The home side were reduced to ten men as early as the fifth minute, following a two-footed lunge from Mark McLeod. However, this was no walkover for Scott Porter's side, the hosts looking vastly improved from last season, despite their disadvantage.
Two more goals for Dave Cook, means the Ryman South Golden Boot holder is already on five goals after only three games of the season. The in-form Michael Yianni was the key man for Hythe, involved in all but one of the Hythe goals, that being Shaun Welford's first league goal in a Hythe shirt.
The first chance of the game fell to Welford, who hit the side-netting after electing to shoot rather than head at the back-post. Then came the flashpoint, and there were no complaints from the home side when Mcleod’s poor challenge on Ronnie Dolan correctly resulted in a red card.
Darren Winfield's through-ball picked out Welford, who with only keeper Tim Roberts to beat sent an ambitious volley just over the bar. This season's new strike-partnership of Welford and Yianni was unexpected but has been both effective and enjoyable to watch.
The two combined for the next chance on goal, Yianni's cross controlled and fired just wide by Welford. Next Yianni picked out Winfield down the left, the cross to the back-post leading to an excellent double save from both Welford's header and the close-range follow-up shot.
Good work followed from Pat Kingwell, the defender bringing the ball out from the back before picking out the run of Yianni whose deft-flick sent Welford and Cook clear on goal, a brilliant saving tackle from Greg Ngeno preventing the charge on goal.
Dan Eason turned Andre Scarlett's looping half-volley onto the bar, a fine save. Hythe defended the resulting corner and quickly broke upfield, Winfield picking out the run of Yianni, the forward then clumsily clipped from behind for a clear Hythe penalty, Cook did the rest, rolling home into the bottom corner.
Five minutes later the visitors had the opportunity of another spot-kick, Yianni's quickly taken free-kick picking out the run of Tom Hickman, keeper Roberts dragging down the midfielder, another easy decision for the officials to make. However on this occasion Roberts was able to redeem himself, guessing correctly as Cook chose to strike straight down the middle.
From the resulting Dolan corner, Cook went close to making amends, heading just wide. Two minutes before half-time Scott Porter's side doubled their lead, Welford taking advantage of a mix-up as the Walton & Hersham defence tried to pass out from the back, racing clear on goal to slot home confidently with the outside of his foot.
Nine minutes into the second-half the visitors secured all three points, Dolan's corner sent goalbound by the head of Welford, before Hickman attempted and then Yianni succeeded in converting the rebound from Roberts' save.
The game inevitably drifted for both sides before Hythe produced their best football to round things off with a fourth goal. The warning had came with twenty minutes remaining, Dolan and Ryan Cooper combining down the right, Cooper picking out Yianni who forced Roberts into a low save, Welford also going close with the rebound.
Seven minutes later, Hythe produced the best footballing move of the game for their final goal of the afternoon. Winfield's raking pass, the width of the pitch, picked out Yianni on the right, a dribble into the Walton box led to a cross that Welford dummied brilliantly for Winfield to rejoin a great move, crossing for Cook to head home his fifth goal of the season.
The ten men of Walton & Hersham had given a spirited performance considering the circumstances, the game ending with the home side almost grabbing an equaliser.
Substitute Ben Hammond's cross was met by a flicked shot from Scarlett that was kept out by the save of the game from the full-stretch Eason. Before Will Turl wasted the final chance of the afternoon, heading into the side-netting from only four yards, Hammond again providing the centre.
Scorers - Hythe Town - Cook - 34 (pen), 77 mins, Welford - 43 mins - Yianni - 54 mins
Hythe Town - Eason, Cooper, Walker, Kingwell, Osborne, Dolan, Cook (c), D Winfield, Welford, Yianni (Barnes - 83), Hickman (Newbon - 81) - Unused Subs - Cloke, Blackman, O'Hara
Attendance - 105
Up & Running
Faversham Town – 2 - Hythe Town – 3
Ryman League Division One South – 13/08/13
Hythe Captain Dave Cook scored his second and third goals of the season, before a Ronnie Dolan strike gave Hythe an eventual winning goal over local rivals, Faversham Town.
Cook also had a penalty saved, the hosts opening and closing the scoring via Wayne Wilson and the familiar face of Brendon Cass.
This was an excellent performance from a Hythe side with a point to prove. The visitors came out on top in a brilliant advert for Ryman South football, as the memories of last season's play-off semi-final defeat at the same ground were firmly forgotten.
Shaun Welford got things going for Hythe, stealing the ball off ex-Hythe man Aaron Lacy before playing inside to the Hythe midfield, Cook's final shot running wide.
Three very familiar long-throw routines from Lacy were survived by the visitors, however the Hythe midfield were moving the ball with some confidence. The trio of Michael Yianni, Ronnie Dolan, and Jamie Collado were giving Welford excellent support, the experienced striker thriving on some great movement in and around the Faversham penalty-box.
However, it was the home side that took the lead, impressive winger Wayne Wilson curling home a brilliant twenty-five yard free-kick into the top corner to give Dan Eason no chance.
Within a minute Hythe had a lifeline, Ryan Cooper's cross leading to a push on Tom Hickman and the award of a penalty. Cook's fiercely struck spot-kick was saved onto the crossbar by Simon Overland, the ball looping high into the air, Cook heading the rebound just wide.
Despite the setback the visitors were still playing the better football, there would only be three minutes between the opening goal and the Hythe equaliser, with the saved penalty sandwiched in-between. Dolan and Yianni played a nice one-two into the box, Yianni bursting forward before laying off for a Collado cross that Cook slotted home at close-range.
Three minutes later Hythe could have taken the lead, Welford latching onto Pat Kingwell's clearance, running clear on goal but failing to trouble Overland with his final shot.
Luke Harvey was proving to be a menace in the home side's forward line, the ex-Herne Bay captain bursting into the Hythe box and flashing a dangerous cross through Hythe's six-yard box that just evaded Cass.
Kingwell responded for Hythe, bringing the ball out from defence and finding Yianni, who in turn set up the unmarked Cook on the edge of the box, Overland comfortably dealing with the shot.
Next it was the turn of Welford to lead the charge, Hickman busting a gut to go one on one on the overlap, a well-timed challenge from Ashley Brown preventing a clear run on goal.
Ten minutes before half-time Hythe took a deserved lead, Cooper’s long-throw only half-cleared to the edge of the box, where Dolan connected with a tremendous half-volley. Overland made a fine stretching save, but it was the ever alert Cook who was the first man to the rebound to fire home his second goal of the evening.
Just a minute before half-time the home side could have equalised, Dave Botterill meeting a Wilson centre with a glancing header that John Walker brilliantly cleared off the line. Following the restart Faversham began to get the better of the otherwise excellent Hythe midfield, beginning to build some pressure on the visitor’s goal.
Ten minutes into the second-half the Hythe support breathed a sigh of relief. Harvey just getting goal-side of new loan signing, Maidstone United defender, Tommy Osborne. However, Eason racing off his line was enough to force Harvey into a rushed effort that was comfortably saved.
Darren Marsden was seeing plenty of the ball as the home side pushed on for an equaliser, before Hythe suddenly struck a classic counter-attack goal.
Hickman showed both determination and skill to gain possession from a defensive clearance, heading the ball past the outstretched boot of the last Faversham defender.
The midfielder seemed certain to open his account in a Hythe shirt as he charged towards Overland, before he calmly rolled the ball across the Faversham box for Dolan to tap home.
The goal typified the effort by the Hythe midfield to join in with and get beyond Welford throughout. Good work from Yianni gave the opportunity for Collado to finish things off for the visitors, but Overland had other ideas with the save of the game denying an excellent twenty-yard strike.
With eighteen minutes remaining Ray Turner’s side got themselves right back in the game, Harvey’s cross from the left deflecting and looping up to find Cass for a predatory headed finish that felt all too familiar.
The score updates must have confused at least a few people, as for the first time in a long time a Cass goal didn’t increase the Hythe scoreline! Both teams had turned in a real shift, and the final fifteen minutes saw some desperate attempts to find a breakthrough from the home side, and at times some stretched defending from the visitors.
Harvey put a headed chance over, whilst substitute Renford Tenyue fired a half-chance wide. As ever though, it was the Faversham long-throw and corner routines that caused the most danger.
However a reshuffled Hythe defence performed with confidence, backed up by a faultless performance from Dan Eason in goal, as the visiting side closed out a really decent three points.
Scorers - Hythe Town – Cook – 17, 35 mins – Dolan – 67 mins – Faversham Town – Wilson – 14 mins – Cass – 72 mins
Hythe Town - Eason, Cooper, Walker, Kingwell, Osborne, Dolan, Cook (c), Collado, Welford, Yianni, Hickman - Unused Subs – Savage, Newbon, Blackman, O’Hara
Attendance - 195
Carry On Cook
Hythe Town – 1 – Tooting & Mitcham United - 1
Ryman League Division One South – 10/08/13
Hythe Captain Dave Cook's third minute penalty ultimately ensured that his side came away with a share of the points, as Hythe Town drew their opening fixture of the Ryman South season with an impressive Tooting & Mitcham United side.
A clumsy challenge in the box was the only answer to a positive start from the home side, Pat Kingwell bundled over following a Ronnie Dolan corner so early in the game.
However, Scott Porter's side had to battle as the visitors came right back into the game, impressing the home support for long periods before Frankie Sawyer finally struck an opportunistic, yet deserved equaliser.
Hythe started strongly, with a Dolan surge taking him from the half-way line to just inside the visitor’s box, it would prove to be a telling contribution.
The resulting corner, also taken by Dolan, fell into a mass of bodies, Kingwell emerging with the ball only to be met by a clumsy challenge from Colin Hartburn that got none of the ball. The Referee, with a direct view of the incident, had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, Cook did the rest with a fierce strike into the top-right corner giving keeper Paul Smith no chance.
The visitors didn’t seem to be put off by the early Hythe goal, ex-Dulwich Hamlet man Frankie Sawyer getting in behind the Hythe defence and rounding Dan Eason, Craig Cloke making a crucial goal-line clearance from the rolled shot.
Michael Yianni produced a lovely mazy run to beat three Tooting men, before laying off for a Shaun Welford shot that appeared goalbound before a crucial deflection wide. Whilst at the other end Hartburn almost made amends, meeting a corner to the near-post but heading just over.
The half-hour mark arrived with Sawyer continuing to give the hosts problems, the forward dribbling into the Hythe box, before Kingwell made a telling block on the eventual shot.
Sol Pinnock enjoyed a strong end to the half, the left-winger flashing one cross, low, straight through the Hythe six-yard box. Patient build-up play from Tom Hickman and Dolan opened up a chance for Yianni to shoot just wide from the edge of the box, as an entertaining first-half came to a close.
Shortly after the restart, Jordan Cheadle’s twenty-five yard free-kick into the Hythe box surprised everyone, bouncing just wide of Eason’s back-post. For the home side Dolan’s corner was met by a glancing header from Welford six yards from goal, that rose just over the crossbar.
For all the patient and probing possession from the visitors, their deserved equaliser actually had an element of good luck. A clearance forward beat the entire Hythe defensive line, a mistimed block allowing the ball to find Sawyer who skilfully brought the ball down and raced clear to confidently stroke home under Eason.
Now it was the home side’s chance to bounce back, the visitors surviving three successive Hythe corners and a disallowed goal. Darren Winfield’s free-kick to the back-post headed back across goal by Cook and then into the net by Welford, only for the offside flag to be spotted by the celebrating Hythe players.
The home side had created enough chances to win the game, however so had the visitors, who had a determination about them that should lead to a successful campaign after last season’s struggles. It would be the danger-men, Sawyer and Pinnock who would go the closest to winning the game for their side.
Sawyer latching onto a hooked throughball, before hitting a low shot across goal and just wide. Before Pinnock made his way off the flank and into the Hythe box, forcing Eason into a decent near-post save.
With Craig Thompson suspended and Taser Hassan unavailable, it was typical that the home side were forced to reshuffle due to Nick Barnes and Craig Cloke picking up early knocks.
With Golden Boot holder, Dave Cook, beginning the game in the forward-line before dropping into midfield and finally defence. Taking everything into consideration, the Reachfields outfit will look back on this as a good point.
Scorers - Hythe Town – Cook – 3 mins (pen) – Tooting & Mitcham United – Sawyer - 64 mins
Hythe Town - Eason, Cooper, D Winfield (Newbon – 77), Kingwell, Cloke (Walker – 45), Dolan, Cook (c), Barnes (Savage – 13), Welford, Yianni, Hickman - Unused Subs – Blackman, O’Hara
Attendance - 262
A Winning Habit
Hythe Town – 1 – Sutton Athletic - 0
Pre-Season Friendly – 03/08/13
Hythe Town continued their pre-season winning run, with their fourth win in a row. It seemed more like the first day of pre-season rather than the last, as the heat seemed to affect the pace and quality of the football on offer. However, it should be said that this was a battling performance from Hythe's young Kent Invicta League opponents, Sutton Athletic.
The plus point for Hythe was that fourth consecutive win, Craig Cloke enjoying his afternoon more than most as he added the winning goal to his fourth consecutive clean-sheet alongside his fellow defenders. Hythe made their now regular strong start, Cloke releasing Taser Hassan down the right, Craig Thompson meeting a cross to the near-post but only able to hit the side-netting.
A lovely dinked through-ball from the in-form Michael Yianni, sent Nick Barnes clear on goal, although Dean James made the first of several excellent saves as he pushed the midfielder’s fierce effort wide. Yianni’s crossfield ball picked out Hassan who raced away from the last defender to force James into another brilliant save, getting down to beat away Hassan’s angled shot across goal.
Hythe were beginning to enjoy themselves, Cloke heading against a post, albeit in an offside position, following Darren Winfield’s cross. Thompson bundled his way through on goal after being found by a good ball from Ryan Cooper, although James was in too good form to be caught out by an early surprise shot.
With half-time approaching an unmarked Sutton header flew just over Dan Eason’s crossbar, whilst for Hythe, Thompson went close with an overhead volley after Yianni’s cross had been flicked on by Hassan.
A scrappy second-half came to life at the midway point, a dangerous cross flashing through the Hythe six-yard box, enough of a warning for Scott Porter to liven things up with the introduction of Tom Hickman and George Savage.
With twenty minutes remaining, the home side finally got the better of James in the Sutton goal, Thompson beating the visiting keeper in a chase to the ball. The striker’s cross ran through the area, but with an unguarded net, a full-stretch Yianni couldn’t quite steer the ball home.
With fifteen minutes remaining, Hythe finally took the lead. A good cross from Savage to the back-post was headed back across goal by Dave Cook, James unable to hold onto his save, Cloke on hand to poke home the winner.
There should have been a second for Porter’s side, Savage running clear onto Barnes’ through-ball and crossing for Thompson, one shot saved, another blocked on the line, before finally Yianni fired the rebound just wide.
Full Match Photos - Courtesy Of Carlton Photographic
Scorer - Hythe Town – Cloke – 75 mins
Hythe Town - Eason, Cooper, D Winfield, Walker, Cloke, Dolan (Hickman – 67), Cook (c), Barnes, Thompson, Yianni, Hassan (Savage – 67) - Unused Sub - Elliott
Attendance - 132
Three In A Row
Phoenix Sports – 0 - Hythe Town – 1
Pre-Season Friendly – 30/07/13
Hythe Town notched their third successive victory and clean-sheet, Dave Cook's fourth goal of pre-season enough to defeat Kent Invicta League champions, Phoenix Sports. Hythe dominated possession for long periods, with Michael Yianni linking well between midfield and attack.
The first chance of the evening arrived after just three minutes, Ryan Cooper and Shaun Welford combining well, before Yianni provided the final ball for Welford to shoot just wide from the edge of the box. Darren Winfield seemed to be fouled in an attempt to fire home a dangerous Taser Hassan cross, but with the match officials unsighted no penalty was awarded.
Scott Porter's side were moving the ball around confidently on a lovely playing surface, Yianni getting away a decent low effort as Hythe continued to play with a good shape and plenty of energy. Welford fired a half-volley just over, after good work from Nick Barnes, and another decent cross from Hassan. Another patient period of play led to Dolan curling a shot just wide from twenty yards, whilst at the other end the home side got in behind the Hythe defence for the first time, however the chance was wasted.
Two minutes before half-time the visitors took a deserved lead. Winfield was fouled in the box, however before the Referee could make a decision, a clear handball led to a Hythe penalty. Dave Cook stepped up to smash home an unstoppable spot-kick to give his side the lead. Ten minutes after half-time Eason made a decent save as a twenty-yard strike curled towards the top-right corner of his goal.
Hythe were again moving the ball around well as a Dolan surge led to Cook going close with a blocked shot. Welford looked to be clear in on goal, before an unpunished handball prevented the striker from continuing his goal-scoring form. Yianni had a good low effort well saved before more impressive work from the midfielder led to Hassan being released down the right, the final cross headed just over by Cook.
Craig Cloke kept a third successive clean-sheet intact with a hooked goal-line clearance. Finally, Hassan's surprise shot from the flank was turned around the near-post, as the visitors were forced to settle for a single goal victory, but a very pleasing night's work.
Scorer - Hythe Town - Cook - 43 mins (pen)
Hythe Town - Eason, Cooper (Savage - 69), D Winfield, Walker, Cloke, Dolan, Cook (c) (Collado - 76), Barnes, Welford, Yianni (Thompson - 79), Hassan - Unused Sub - Elliott
Attendance - 55
Welford Making Up For Lost Time
Hythe Town – 4 – Ashford United – 0
Pre-Season Friendly – 27/07/13
Shaun Welford scored his second and third goals in only two pre-season games, the striker returning from injury. His new strike-partner, Hythe skipper Dave Cook also notched his third goal in four games, the Golden Boot race could be an interesting one this season at Reachfields! The final scoreline was 4-0 to Hythe Town, as opponents Ashford United struggled to deal with the clinical finishing of Welford and Cook.
Whilst at the other end of the pitch Dan Eason secured his second successive clean-sheet. Hythe's defence, in particular, stand-in centre-back John Walker, looking solid again. As usual, a strong looking Ashford United squad kept their hosts on their toes right up until the final whistle.
The home side made the perfect start when after three minutes Welford calmly slotted home after taking advantage of a defensive slip-up. Three minutes later, Craig Cloke was alert to the danger as an excellent cross came through the Hythe six-yard box, with ex-Hythe player and Kent League winner, Sam Conlon close to the tap-in.
An uncharacteristic lapse in concentration from Eason gifted Ashford with an open goal that luckily for Hythe, wasn’t taken advantage of by the visitors. That chance came shortly after Tom Scorer’s shot had looped off Eason and just over. Dolan’s quick corner found Ryan Cooper, the right-back’s clipped cross headed just wide by Welford.
A decent Cuthbert effort kept Eason on his toes midway through the first-half, however Hythe were about to double their lead. Typical of his form since returning in a Hythe shirt, Dolan surged down the right-flank, before playing a lovely raking pass into the path of Welford, who despite the best efforts of the last defender, forced home both his and Hythe’s second goal of the afternoon.
Jordan Miller headed just over for the visitors, before clinical Hythe struck again, Cooper’s cross destined to pick out a back-post tap-in for Welford, leading to an inevitable close-range own goal from another ex-Hythe man, Ollie Finch. Three minutes into the second-half Hythe had their fourth, Darren Winfield’s fine cross from a deep position met by an excellent looping header from Cook.
Conlon’s decent strike from the edge of the box was tipped over by Eason, whilst for Hythe, Welford again went close, heading Cooper’s cross just wide after a good run from the young defender. Welford combined with Michael Yianni and substitute Jamie Collado, Welford crossing for Yianni, who couldn’t quite get his close-range shot away after a good passing move.
Another Kent League winner, Kieran Byrne, cut in off the left flank but failed to trouble Eason with a curling shot from just inside the Hythe box. The game ended with a close-range effort from both sides, Cloke’s header brilliantly tipped over at full stretch after another good centre from Winfield, before Conlon failed to convert a nod-on from substitute and former Reachfields favourite, Roy Guiver.
Scorers – Hythe Town – Welford – 3, 31 mins – Own Goal – 41 mins - Cook – 48 mins
Hythe Town – Eason, Cooper, D Winfield, Walker, Cloke, Dolan (Carey – 85), Cook (c) (Savage – 57), Barnes, Welford (Farbrace – 83), Hickman (Collado – 34), Yianni - Unused Sub - Elliott
Attendance – 149
Cook The Difference
Hythe Town – 1 – Tonbridge Angels – 0
Pre-Season Friendly – 23/07/13
Dave Cook's second goal of pre-season, an unstoppable 60th minute penalty, was the difference between Hythe Town and Tonbridge Angels. This was a much improved performance from Scott Porter's side, the home side returning to form with their first win of the season.
Hythe's powerful midfield impressed, with Tom Hickman and Ronnie Dolan again in action, as the defence also did their job with a clean-sheet. Craig Thompson had a lively evening up-front, with Shaun Welford not risking a minor niggling injury.
Hythe came really close to opening the scoring after just eight minutes, Dolan charging from one half to another before playing a lovely through-ball to send Thompson clear on goal, the striker’s deft finish seemed to be goalbound but rolled agonisingly wide.
Cook’s flick found Hickman on the edge of the box, the former rivals combining well, Hickman firing a half-volley across goal and just wide. Dolan was all over the pitch, a raking pass picking out the run of Ryan Cooper, the right-back finding Thompson at the near-post, who in turn crossed to Cook who headed just over the open goal. Another Dolan surge, this time down the left, led to Darren Winfield firing in a great cross to the back-post that Cook headed just wide.
Charlie Slocombe made a brilliant saving tackle as Cooper burst clear into the box, the assist inevitably provided by Dolan. Shortly after the start of the second-half a good low save denied an unlikely twenty-five yard half-volley from Craig Cloke, Hickman close to converting the rebound.
The breakthrough arrived on the hour, Dolan sending Taser Hassan clear into the Tonbridge Angels box, a clumsy challenge leading to a Hythe penalty that Cook absolutely smashed home into the top-right corner. It could have been two four minutes later, Cooper and Thompson combining to release Hassan down the right, Hickman’s diving header an inch from converting the perfect cross.
With the return of Dolan and the arrival of Hickman, this was the strongest of Scott Porter’s pre-season squads so far, with the exception of the injured Welford. It was no surprise then that this was also Hythe’s most fluent performance from the first two weeks of the new season.
Scorer – Hythe Town – Cook – 60 mins (pen)
Hythe Town – Eason, Cooper (Kennedy – 72), D Winfield (Walker – 68), Kingwell, Cloke, Dolan, Cook (c), Barnes (Yianni – 63), Thompson (Blackman – 72), Hickman (Collado – 68), Hassan
Attendance – 103
Dolan & Eason Return
Lydd Town – 1 - Hythe Town – 1
Pre-Season Friendly – 20/07/13
Ronnie Dolan made a surprise return in a Hythe shirt and Dan Eason returned in goal, as Scott Porter's side put in a performance that eradicated a lot of the errors of the week's two earlier performances. Interestingly, one of the most impressive performers against Hythe in recent years, ex-Faversham skipper Tom Hickman, also appeared in a Hythe shirt with an assured performance in the centre of midfield.
The game itself ended as a 1-1 stalemate, opponents and hosts, Lydd Town, putting in a very impressive performance considering this was the Kent Invicta League side's first pre-season fixture. The home side had several ex-Hythe men in action, and look likely to have a decent season after frustrating their visitors for long periods.
Hythe made the perfect start, Nick Barnes’ through-ball feeding Connor Hitchin just inside the box, the young forward dropping his shoulder to lose his man and poke home through the legs of the advancing Craig Smith after only one minute. Hythe were lively, earning three successive corners, before Barnes and Hickman combined to set up a shot from Michael Yianni that deflected just wide.
Smith tipped over a lovely twenty-yard free-kick from Dolan, but after that chance the home side settled down and started to pass the ball, ex-Hythe man Gary Lockyer’s first sight of goal fired just wide. Craig Thompson drifted a shot across goal and just over the crossbar after good work from Dolan, Hythe beginning to enjoy themselves, with full-backs Ryan Cooper and Darren Winfield joining in most attacks. Pat Kingwell had to be alert at the back when another ex-Hythe man, Lloyd Taylor, burst into the box before the big centre-back made a decent last-ditch challenge.
Three more corners arrived for the visitors, and the third led to Dolan’s close-range looping half-volley being turned over again by the stubborn Smith. The home side had a much-improved second-half, beginning with Luke Hughes’ cross being headed just wide by Lockyer.
Hickman came close to this first goal in a Hythe shirt, but again Smith stood firm, Barnes sending Hickman clear on goal, only for a brave double save to keep Lydd within one goal of their opponents. With numerous substitutions from both sides, the game entered its scrappiest period, although for the home side it was an enjoyable end to the game. Alex Coyne fired past Eason after slipping clear into the box when Hythe failed to clear a Lydd corner.
With fourteen minutes remaining the hosts had the chance to cause a real upset, however Eason had different ideas, saving Lockyer’s penalty to his right to ensure honours were even at the final whistle.
Scorers – Hythe Town – Hitchin – 1 min – Lydd Town – A Coyne – 68 mins
Hythe Town – Eason, Cooper (Whelan – 83), D Winfield, Kingwell, Cloke (Walker – 55), Dolan (Collado – 55), Hickman (Savage – 67), Barnes (c), Thompson (Newbon – 80), Yianni (Kennedy – 83), Hitchin
Attendance – n/a
Under-Strength Hythe Struggle Against Dere’s
Hythe Town – 0 – Erith & Belvedere – 6
Pre-Season Friendly – 16/07/13
On Tuesday night a weakened Hythe Town line-up lost 6-0 to an impressive Erith & Belvedere side. With Dan Eason and the returning Taser Hassan both still unavailable, Craig Thompson and Sam Bewick injured, Shaun Welford left the action early in the game, along with Nick Barnes at half-time and Craig Cloke on the hour mark, as Scott Porter's side struggled to deal with some ruthless finishing.
Much like on Saturday, the home side started strongly, Darren Winfield’s curling free-kick to the back-post met by Welford who had his close-range effort cleared to safety. Eight minutes into his first game of the season George Savage made an excellent recovery tackle, as Richard Monan burst into the Hythe box following a swift counter-attack.
Ryan Cooper’s long-throw was flicked on by Dave Cook at the near-post, Welford missing a back-post tap-in by a whisker. Hythe’s new striker would only last twenty-seven minutes, coming off as a precautionary measure at this early stage of the season. The game entered a scrappy period of play, and Porter’s side seemed to be content with a 0-0 scoreline at half-time. The visitors had different ideas, as Monan latched onto an inspired through-ball to win the ball cleanly from Hythe keeper Tom Elliott and steer home the opening goal of the evening.
The first-half ended with Richard Morgan shooting just over the Hythe crossbar after another useful counter-attack. Two minutes after the restart, the home support thought they had an equaliser, Savage with a fine curling cross to the near-post, met by a glancing Cook header that flashed across goal but just wide.
In a similar fashion to the Margate game, the hosts threatened, only to shoot themselves in the foot, Monan firing home a close-range second, after the Hythe defence failed to deal with Arron Jeffrey’s low cross. There was a glimmer of hope with twenty-five minutes remaining, as a dangerous centre from Savage clipped the top of the Dere’s bar, keeper Jack Bradshaw scrambling to cover his goal.
The game ended in disastrous fashion for the home side, Mo Contah heading home unmarked from a corner to the back-post, Morgan wriggling clear of the Hythe defence to calmly slot home, before Marvin Alabonso’s speculative twenty-five yard shot slipped through Elliott’s hands. Brad Killick headed home a simply-worked corner routine to cap a four-goal fifteen minute blitz, that showed the Reachfields outfit how much work is needed ahead of the first day of the new Ryman South season.
Scorers – Erith & Belvedere – Monan – 41, 49 – Contah – 70 – Morgan – 72 – Alabonso – 78 – Killick - 85
Hythe Town – Elliott, Cooper, D Winfield, Kingwell, Cloke (Jordan – 60), Savage, Cook (c), Barnes (Collado – 45), Welford (Blackman – 27) (Newbon – 65), Yianni, Walker (Whelan – 70)
Attendance - 93
Welford Makes Instant Impact
Hythe Town – 2 – Margate – 5
Pre-Season Friendly – 13/07/13
Shaun Welford made one goal and scored another on his debut in a Hythe Town shirt, as Scott Porter's side were defeated 5-2 by Ryman Premier side Margate. Hythe had taken the lead as the new strike partnership of Welford and last year's Ryman South Golden Boot winner, Hythe skipper Dave Cook, combined for the first goal of the 2013/14 season.
After providing the assist for the opener, Welford struck his side's second to bring Hythe back to 3-2, after some poor defending had given the visitors a 3-1 lead at half-time. Hythe's higher league opponents' quality told in the closing stages as two second-half strikes showed the difference between the two side's pre-season preparations. Margate blew the cobwebs away at Ashford United on Tuesday night, however Porter's side were in action for the first time this season.
The home side had started the stronger, and should have opened the scoring after ten minutes, when Welford beat the high defensive line of Margate by being ‘offside’, but in his own half. The first of Hythe’s summer signings raced clear on goal, shifting the ball expertly past Craig Holloway in goal, before miscuing his shot at the open goal, the ball sailing over.
Five minutes later Hythe took a deserved lead, Welford picking up the play down the right following a throw-in for the home side, and crossing brilliantly into the six-yard box, Dennis Peyer only able to clear the ball into the path of Cook, the ball ricocheting into the net at close-range.
Hythe should have doubled their lead just two minutes later when winger Ben Jordan, who looked assured on debut, crossed from the right, Cook heading just over at the near-post. The first third of the game was definitely the best for the home side, however the visitors would have the better of the remainder of the contest.
Phil Walsh put Hythe keeper Tom Elliott on notice with a decent low strike on the half-hour mark. However the real damage was about to come in the shape of a seven minute, three goal burst, which began with Tommy Murphy rounding Elliott to calmly slot home after a cute through-ball from Phil Walsh.
Two minutes later Margate took the lead, Walsh heading home George Craddock’s curling free-kick across the face of the Hythe goal. On the stroke of half-time the visitors struck a third goal. leaving a half-time scoreline that didn’t seem possible after thirty minutes, Charles Ademone firing home low and hard from the edge of the box, after a fine passing move.
The home side steadied the ship after half-time, although Scott Porter’s opportunity to see Cook supporting a strikeforce of Welford and Craig Thompson frustratingly lasted only six minutes, Thompson picking up a knock soon after his introduction to the game.
There were a couple of decent chances for Hythe around the hour mark, the fit-again Nick Barnes clipping Michael Yianni clear through on goal, a heavy first-touch giving the midfielder too much to do, before Welford had a shot cleared off the line, Yianni again involved, supplying the corner. With twenty-five minutes remaining Hythe were back in it, Welford firing home another set-piece that Margate had failed to deal with.
However the comeback would be short-lived, as within five minutes the visitors had struck with a fourth and fifth goal. Firstly substitute Warren Whitely expertly lifted the ball over the advancing Elliott, before Pat Kingwell gave away a penalty that another substitute, Zac Attwood, made no mistake with. Elliott made a fine low save as Whitley threatened to extend both his own, and his team’s tally, whilst in the closing stages debutant substitute Mitchell Mckay’s fine shot deflected onto the Margate crossbar to safety.
Scorers – Hythe Town – Cook - 15 – Welford - 65 – Margate – Murphy - 38, Walsh - 40, Ademeno - 45, Whitely - 67, Attwood - 70
Hythe Town – Elliott, Cooper, D Winfield, Kingwell, Cloke, Collado (Thompson 55) (Newbon – 61), Cook (c), Barnes, Welford (Blackman – 81), Yianni (McKay – 83), Jordan (Walker – 71)
Attendance - 184