1980s (part 2)........


1983-1984..........

For the second season running, Hythe suffered the misfortune of a broken leg in pre-season, this time it was Andy Couzens, who had only signed towards the end of the previous season to replace Tim Hulme. The side had also lost Terry Collins after a change in job but added forward Bruce Marchant from Lydd, defender Kevin Easter from local football and Dalton Perkins, who re-signed after two seasons away.

 

After the first home game the pitch was declared unfit for play and the next home match was postponed. In May the club had spread 250 cubic yards of top soil on the pitch but it was very poor quality and full of stones and other debris that all needed to be cleared.

 

The start of September saw the club sign Dave Westgarth, a former Folkestone Player of the Year who had also played for Maidstone and Dover. It was a poor start to the season, with five defeats in seven games. Three victories in the cups brightened things a little but league defeats were mounting, particularly a 5-1 home defeat to a Faversham side managed by the former Hythe boss Bob Davis. By now Tim Hulme had returned to the club.

 

It was not until November 26th, with the club second from bottom in the table, that the third league victory of the season was achieved. Four wins in a row helped before New Year defeats at Deal and Herne Bay. These would prove to be the last league defeats of the season. Goalkeeper Lee Harrington was stretchered off in that Deal game and would miss the rest of the season. Striker Ivan Pickering moved away due to his job as a Royal Navy PTI; the club signed ex-Folkestone defender John Smith and goalkeeper Cliff Egan, who had played for Erith & Belvedere before moving to the Hythe area.

 

The next seven games saw six victories, including a 4-2 win at Beckenham played in ankle-deep mud.  Sadly, there was a 4-3 defeat in the Kent Senior Trophy semi-final to Corinthian, a side who were not members of any league at the time. This was Hythe’s fourth appearance in the Kent semi-finals, losing them all.

 

The league form was strong and of the final nine games, six were won and three drawn to see the side finish in third position. It had proved to be a season of two halves.

 

Hythe had their best run in the FA Vase with wins over Bexhill and Egham before a second round defeat at Newport (Isle of Wight). There were Kent Senior Trophy wins over Deal, RASRA and Beckenham before the defeat to Corinthian. The Kent League Cup saw an early exit to Herne Bay.

The Hythe squad had Lee Harrington in goal, then Cliff Egan, full-backs Ian Daffin, Paul Roberts and John Smith, defenders Tim Hulme, Kevin Easter and Adrian Bray, midfielders Dave Westgarth, Clive Barham and David Bible and forwards Tony Hunter, Bruce Marchant, Ivan Pickering and Micky Heynes. Marchant top-scored with 17 goals, Hunter got 13 and Heynes 11. For this season the Kent League changed from two points to three points for a win. In total, Hythe played 38 games, winning 22, drawing 5 and losing 11, scoring 83 goals. Player of the Year was Ian Daffin, with Dick Purnell the Reserves’ winner.

 

 

Chairman Jim Robb stood down in March, after a 40-year connection as player, secretary and chairman with firstly Hythe Albion and then Hythe Town from 1969.

 

1983-1984 League Table......

Team Pld W D L F A GD Pts
Sittingbourne  30 24 3 3 87 26 61 75
Sheppey United   30 21 3 6 61 28 33 66
Hythe Town   30 17 5 8 63 39 24 56
Cray Wanderers  30 14 7 9 66 40 26 49
Tunbridge Wells   30 12 7 11 61 44 17 43
Crockenhill  30 11 10 9 37 34 3 43
Herne Bay   30 13 4 13 42 43 -1 43
Beckenham Town   30 12 6 12 56 54 2 42
Deal Town  30 13 3 14 54 54 0 42
Faversham Town   30 12 6 12 40 41 -1 42
Slade Green  30 11 4 15 38 52 -14 37
Darenth Heathside   30 9 8 13 44 50 -6 35
Alma Swanley  30 8 10 12 39 50 -11 34
Kent Police  30 8 6 16 27 63 -36 30
Whitstable Town   30 4 9 17 37 62 -25 21
Ramsgate  30 4 3 23 22 94 -72 15

1983-1984 Results.......

Date Opponents Competition Venue Score Att Scorers
04/08/1983 Herne Bay F Away 2-1   Bruce Marchant, Tommy Horsfall
11/08/1983 Hastings United XI F Away 2-2   Chris Williams, Micky Heynes
15/08/1983 Ashford Town F Away 0-2    
20/08/1983 Darenth Heathside KLD1 Away 2-3   Tony Hunter 2
23/08/1983 Kent Police KLD1 Home 6-0   Hunter, Ivan Pickering, Marchant 2, David Bible, Clive Barham
27/08/1983 Beckenham Town KLD1 Home P-P   Postponed, pitch unfit after summer work
03/09/1983 Sheppey United KLD1 Away 2-4   Hunter, Adrian Bray
10/09/1983 Ramsgate KLD1 Home 3-0   Heynes, Williams, Marchant
24/09/1983 Herne Bay KLC1 Home 1-2aet   Ian Daffin
27/09/1983 Sittingbourne KLD1 Away 1-4   Barham
01/10/1983 Crockenhill KLD1 Away 1-3   Heynes
08/10/1983 Bexhill Town FAVP Home 4-1aet 40 Dave Westgarth, Barham, Hunter, Tim Hulme
15/10/1983 Slade Green Athletic KLD1 Away 2-2   Hunter 2
22/10/1983 Faversham Town KLD1 Home 1-5   Hulme
29/10/1983 Deal Town KST1 Away 3-2   Pickering, Marchant, Westgarth
05/11/1983 Egham Town FAV1 Home 1-0 50 Marchant
19/11/1983 Kent Police KLD1 Away 0-1    
26/11/1983 Ramsgate KLD1 Away 4-1   Pickering, Barham, Marchant, Westgarth
03/12/1983 Newport IOW FAV2 Away 2-5 244 Marchant, Hunter
10/12/1983 Beckenham Town KLD1 Away 4-1   Pickering, Barham, Hulme 2
17/12/1983 RASRA KST2 Away 2-0   Marchant 2
27/12/1983 Beckenham Town KLD1 Home 3-1   Marchant, Pickering, Westgarth
31/12/1983 Deal Town KLD1 Home 3-1   Marchant, Hulme, Bible
02/01/1984 Deal Town KLD1 Away 1-2   Westgarth
07/01/1984 Herne Bay KLD1 Away 1-2   Westgarth
21/01/1984 Sheppey United KLD1 Home 1-0   Barham
04/02/1984 Beckenham Town KSTQF Away 4-2   Barham 2, Marchant, Heynes
11/02/1984 Cray Wanderers KLD1 Away 1-0   Hunter
18/02/1984 Herne Bay KLD1 Home 4-1   Marchant, Hunter, Heynes 2
25/02/1984 Sittingbourne KLD1 Home 0-0    
10/03/1984 Alma Swanley KLD1 Home 1-0   OG
17/03/1984 Cray Wanderers KLD1 Home 2-1   Heynes, Barham
24/03/1984 Corinthian KSTSF Home 3-4   Hunter, Heynes, Bray
31/03/1984 Tunbridge Wells KLD1 Away 2-2   Bible, Heynes
07/04/1984 Slade Green Athletic KLD1 Home 2-0   Hunter, Heynes 
18/04/1984 Faversham Town KLD1 Away 3-0   Hunter, Hulme, Bible
21/04/1984 Whitstable Town KLD1 Home 5-2   Marchant 3, Hulme, Terry Collins
23/04/1984 Darenth Heathside KLD1 Home 2-0   **
28/04/1984 Tunbridge Wells KLD1 Home 2-1   Heynes, Hunter
30/04/1984 Whitstable Town KLD1 Away 2-0   Marchant, Bible
05/05/1984 Alma Swanley KLD1 Away 0-0    
12/05/1984 Crockenhill KLD1 Home 2-2   Marchant 2

1984-1985........

Manager Glenn Dempsey was able to stick with the squad that finished the previous season with a 15-match unbeaten run. The only change saw a fit-again Lee Harrington resume as goalkeeper, Cliff Egan dropping to the reserves.

 

The season started with a tame draw at home to Beckenham Town but the next six were all victories that saw Hythe top the early league table. The away game with Ramsgate in October was remarkable in that Hythe were awarded their first penalty in 48 games. Needless to say, it was missed, Tony Hunter shooting straight into the keeper’s arms.

 

The first defeat since the previous January was at home to Tunbridge Wells in the Kent Senior Trophy, swiftly followed by a FA Vase defeat at Banstead but the unbeaten run in the league continued into the new year. It came to an end with a 2-1 defeat at Crockenhill in February, after 31 matches and thirteen months. It had been Hythe’s first game for five weeks after bad weather had wiped out all of January’s fixtures. The side remained on top of the table, with Dempsey winning the Manager of the Month for December.

 

That defeat started another, unwanted run as Hythe lost the next three games including against Whitstable at a snow-covered Reachfields. They dropped to second in the table behind Sittingbourne but put together another run of three wins and two draws to return to the top. Easter saw two remarkable results that would shape the end of the season. On Good Friday Hythe beat Tunbridge Wells 4-1 at Reachfields, played the return game at Culverden the next day and lost 4-0.

 

April saw Lee Harrington change jobs and was unavailable on Saturdays, so Cliff Egan returned in goal. Striker Alan Hughes broke his leg scoring for the reserves, and Duncan Hood was carried off in the final league game with a serious knee injury.

 

The final six league games saw five wins and one draw, at Four Area Met Police, which was to prove disastrous. Hythe finished the season with a 3-1 win over Sittingbourne and were top of the table. Tunbridge Wells had four games remaining, against bottom half sides, and were twelve points behind, with a better goal difference. All four games were won and Hythe finished as runners-up by the narrowest of margins.

 

In the cups there was just the one victory, at Merstham in the FA Vase. Banstead were victorious in the next round. In the Kent Senior Trophy and Kent League Cup there were first round defeats to Tunbridge Wells and Sittingbourne.

 

Lee Harrington was the goalkeeper, Ian Daffin amd John Smith the full-backs, Duncan Hood and Adrian Bray the central defenders. In midfield was Clive Barham, David Bible and Dave Westgarth and the forwards were Tony Hunter, Micky Heynes and Bruce Marchant. Marchant top-scored with 14 goals, Heynes got 12, Hunter 11 and Westgarth 10. In total Hythe played 36 games, winning 23, drawing 6 and losing 7, scoring 74 goals.

 

Tony Hunter and Duncan Hood were both selected twice for Kent Representative games against the AFA and London Universities.

 

 

For the third season in a row, Hythe had arranged a weekend trip to Antwerp to play a game and enjoy a few beers. Two weeks before the trip there was the Belgian Heysel Stadium tragedy and UEFA banned all English sides from travelling to Europe, with Hythe one of the earliest victims.

 

1984-1985 League Table........

Team P W D L F A GD Pts  
Tunbridge Wells 32 22 6 4 83 39 44 72  
Hythe Town 32 22 6 4 70 33 37 72  
Sittingbourne 32 21 4 7 77 43 34 67  
Beckenham Town 32 17 8 7 67 46 21 59  
Cray Wanderers 32 17 2 13 59 51 8 53  
Greenwich Borough 32 15 6 11 62 49 13 51  
Faversham Town 32 13 8 11 44 42 2 47  
Darenth Heathside 32 13 7 12 45 43 2 46  
Metropolitan Police 32 10 13 9 66 66 0 43  
Whitstable Town 32 12 4 16 43 44 -1 40  
Alma Swanley 32 11 7 14 47 49 -2 39 (-1 Pts)
Deal Town 32 9 10 13 50 57 -7 37  
Herne Bay 32 7 8 17 43 57 -14 29  
Slade Green 32 7 7 18 35 66 -31 28  
Kent Police 32 8 3 21 48 88 -40 27  
Crockenhill 32 6 7 19 34 63 -29 25  
Ramsgate 32 6 6 20 36 73 -37 24  

1984-1985 Results.....

Date Opponents Comp Venue Score Att Scorers
04/08/1984 Thames Polytechnic F Home 3-1   OG, Alan Hughes 2
07/08/1984 Hastings United XI F Away 3-0   Tony Hunter 3
11/08/1984 RASRA F Home 1-0   Hughes
18/08/1984 Beckenham Town KLD1 Home 1-1   Hughes
21/08/1984 Whitstable Town KLD1 Away 1-0   Bruce Marchant
25/08/1984 Greenwich Borough KLD1 Home 3-2   David Bible, Dave Westgarth, Ian Daffin
28/08/1984 Faversham Town KLD1 Home 2-0   Adrian Bray, Derek Graham
01/09/1984 Slade Green Athletic KLD1 Away 2-0   Bible, Marchant
04/09/1984 Sittingbourne KLD1 Away 2-1   Bray, Marchant
08/09/1984 Crockenhill KLD1 Home 1-0   Micky Heynes
15/09/1984 Deal Town KLD1 Away 1-1   Marchant
22/09/1984 Kent Police KLD1 Home 7-2   Westgarth 2, Clive Barham, Heynes 3, Marchant
29/09/1984 Herne Bay KLD1 Away 1-1   Westgarth
06/10/1984 Merstham FAVP Away 3-0 50 Marchant, Daffin, Barham
13/10/1984 Ramsgate KLD1 Away 2-0   Heynes, Marchant
20/10/1984 Cray Wanderers KLD1 Home 3-1   Hunter 2, 1 pen, Bray
27/10/1984 Tunbridge Wells KST1 Home 0-1    
03/11/1984 Banstead Athletic FAV1 Away 1-2 54 OG
10/11/1984 Cray Wanderers KLD1 Away 3-0   Marchant 2, Heynes
01/12/1984 Metropolitan Police (Area 4) KLD1 Home 6-3   Westgarth 3, Heynes 2, John Smith
08/12/1984 Darenth Heathside KLD1 Home 1-0   Westgarth
29/12/1984 Deal Town KLD1 Home 3-1   Hunter, Marchant, Barham
02/02/1985 Crockenhill KLD1 Away 1-2   Westgarth
09/02/1985 Whitstable Town KLD1 Home 1-3   Heynes
26/02/1985 Sittingbourne KLC1 Home 0-2    
02/03/1985 Greenwich Borough KLD1 Away 1-2   Hunter
09/03/1985 Ramsgate KLD1 Home 4-2   Dick White, Bible, Smith, Mark Hatcher
12/03/1985 Faversham Town KLD1 Away 1-0   Bray
16/03/1985 Slade Green Athletic KLD1 Home 1-1   Hunter pen
23/03/1985 Kent Police KLD1 Away 2-0   Bray, Hunter
30/03/1985 Alma Swanley KLD1 Home 1-1   Marchant
05/04/1985 Tunbridge Wells KLD1 Home 4-1 130 OG, Barham, Bible, Steve Harris
06/04/1985 Tunbridge Wells KLD1 Away 0-4    
13/04/1985 Darenth Heathside KLD1 Away 3-1   Hunter, Barham, Marchant
20/04/1985 Alma Swanley KLD1 Away 3-1   Hunter 2, 1 pen, Westgarth
24/04/1985 Herne Bay KLD1 Home 2-0   Heynes, Hunter
27/04/1985 Metropolitan Police (Area 4) KLD1 Away 1-1   Marchant
04/05/1985 Beckenham Town KLD1 Away 3-0   Hunter, Heynes 2
11/05/1985 Sittingbourne KLD1 Home 3-1 220 Smith, Marchant, Daffin

1985-1986......

Manager Glenn Dempsey made a number of additions to the squad for the new season, which included the return of Tim Hulme and Lee Harrington. Striker Steve Ireland and defender Mark Palmer joined from New Romney. Full back Les Thirtle joined, as did former Bromley Green pair Joe and Mark Valler. Micky Heynes had left to join Folkestone.

 

There was action off the field, with the club building a 200-seater stand (where the current clubhouse is) with sponsorship from Burlington Insurance. It was officially opened on August 10 with a game against a Past Hythe XI. The only previous cover was a small wooden structure on the Ranges side.

 

Another change saw Hythe enter the FA Cup for the first time. It seems that the club could have entered years earlier but nobody had considered it. Hythe’s first tie was away to Lancing, where preparations were thrown when both goalkeepers were unavailable. Midfielder Mark Hatcher was forced to play in goal but was hardly troubled in a 3-0 Hythe win. The next round saw Southern League Ashford Town come to Reachfields and a crowd of over 300 watched a giantkilling thanks to a lone Tim Hulme goal. It set up another home tie, against Isthmian Premier side Croydon, with Hythe outclassed in a 5-1 defeat. They had lasted longer than Folkestone and Dover in the competition though.

 

It would prove to be an unusual season for Hythe; used to challenging for the league title and next to no cup success; 85-86 would prove to be the opposite. Cup games regularly interrupted the league games, wins were far too rare and Christmas arrived with the club in 15th position. By this time regular Clive Barham had joined Canterbury in the Southern League.

 

Bad weather saw only four games played in January and February, one of which saw Hythe score all four goals in a 2-2 draw at Greenwich. The squad saw some additions for the last three months, which would see 19 games played. Roger King, brother of reserve team player Andy King, was signed from Ramsgate, John McQuillan joined from Bromley Green and both Micky Heynes and Ivan Pickering signed on dual terms from Folkestone.

 

To help with the fixture backlog Hythe played what was believed to be the first-ever Kent League game on a Sunday, gaining a 5-2 win at Four Area (Met Police). A second Sunday game later that month, at home to Alma Swanley, was less successful, losing 5-1.

 

In the Kent Senior Trophy Hythe reached their fifth semi-final, and produced their fifth defeat, at Four Area (Met Police), just six days after winning there in the league.

 

The league season was a disappointment, with more defeats than victories, Hythe finishing in 13th place a long way behind champions Alma Swanley. Lee Harrington was the regular goalkeeper, Ian Daffin and John Smith the full-backs, centre-backs saw no regular pairing, midfield also saw many changes with only Tim Hulme as a regular. Forwards were Tony Hunter, Bruce Marchant, Steve Ireland, Micky Heynes and Joe Valler. Hulme top scored with ten goals, Marchant and Ireland managed nine each. Hythe played 46 games, their most since joining the Kent League, winning 18, drawing 8 and losing 20, scoring 69 goals. Player of the Year was Bruce Marchant, with Andy King winning the reserves’ award. Secretary Ted Maycock received a medal from the KCFA for long and meritorious service to local football over 34 years.

 

 

1985-1986 League Table......

Team P W D L F A GD PTS
Alma Swanley 34 22 9 3 78 39 39 75
Sittingbourne 34 21 7 6 76 37 39 70
Crockenhill 34 21 5 8 68 33 35 68
Darenth Heathside 34 17 11 6 57 32 25 62
Tunbridge Wells 34 15 13 6 99 58 41 58
Faversham Town 34 16 6 12 53 50 3 54
Greenwich Borough 34 13 10 11 51 54 -3 49
Ramsgate 34 12 8 14 50 53 -3 44
Kent Police 34 12 7 15 53 61 -8 43
Thames Polytechnic 34 11 9 14 36 49 -13 42
Herne Bay 34 12 6 16 34 52 -18 42
Hythe Town 34 11 7 16 50 59 -9 40
Metropolitan Police 34 12 4 18 54 63 -9 40
Cray Wanderers 34 9 12 13 34 51 -17 39
Beckenham Town 34 10 7 17 43 64 -21 37
Whitstable Town 34 9 9 16 37 52 -15 36
Slade Green 34 5 10 19 14 42 -28 25
Deal Town 34 6 4 24 36 74 -38 22

1985-1986 Results.......

Date Opponents Comp Venue Score Att Scorers
10/08/1985 Past Hythe XI F Home 6-0   Tony Hunter 3, David Bible, Mark Hatcher 2
12/08/1985 Canterbury City F Away      
13/08/1985 Ashford Town F Home 1-1   Tim Hulme
17/08/1985 Greenwich Borough KLD1 Home 0-1    
21/08/1985 Ramsgate KLD1 Away 2-0   Adrian Bray, Ian Daffin
24/08/1985 Lancing FACP Away 3-0 116 Bruce Marchant 2, Bible
28/08/1985 Herne Bay KLD1 Home 3-1   Hunter 2, 2 pens, Steve Ireland
31/08/1985 Thames Polytechnic KLD1 Home 2-3   Marchant, John Smith
07/09/1985 Ashford Town FAC1Q Home 1-0 300 Hulme
14/09/1985 Whitstable Town KLD1 Home 2-1   Ireland 2
21/09/1985 Midland Bank FAVP Home 2-1 60 Daffin, Clive Barham
28/09/1985 Croydon FAC2Q Home 1-5 356 Barham pen
01/10/1985 Sittingbourne KLD1 Away 0-3    
05/10/1985 Kent Police KLC1 Away 1-0   Glenn Dempsey
12/10/1985 Crockenhill KLD1 Home 2-2   Marchant, Barham
19/10/1985 Camberley Town FAV1 Away 1-3 30 Barham
26/10/1985 Kent Police KST1 Home 3-0   Bible, Hulme, Barham
02/11/1985 Beckenham Town KLD1 Away 0-2    
09/11/1985 Crockenhill KLC2 Home 1-2   Joey Valler
16/11/1985 Darenth Heathside KLD1 Home 1-2   Marchant
23/11/1985 Slade Green Athletic KLD1 Home 1-0   Marchant
30/11/1985 Cray Wanderers KLD1 Away 0-1    
03/12/1985 Dover Athletic F Away 2-2   Ireland, Hulme
07/12/1985 Deal Town KLD1 Home 3-1   Ireland, Hulme, J Valler
14/12/1985 Deal Town KST2 Home 1-0   J Valler
21/12/1985 Faversham Town KLD1 Home 0-1    
28/12/1985 Whitstable Town KLD1 Away 1-1   Hulme
11/01/1986 Greenwich Borough KLD1 Away 2-2   Ireland 2
18/01/1986 Crockenhill KLD1 Away 0-1    
01/02/1986 Corinthian KSTQF Home 2-2aet   Hunter, Smith
04/02/1986 Corinthian KSTQFR Away 1-0   Ivan Pickering
08/03/1986 Herne Bay KLD1 Away 1-2   OG
15/03/1986 Kent Police KLD1 Away 2-2   John McQuillan, Steve Harris
16/03/1986 Metropolitan Police (Area 4) KLD1 Away 5-2   Marchant, Hulme, Daffin, Ireland, Dempsey
22/03/1986 Metropolitan Police (Area 4) KSTSF Away 2-3   Hulme 2
25/03/1986 Faversham Town KLD1 Away 0-2    
29/03/1986 Alma Swanley KLD1 Away 1-4   Hunter
31/03/1986 Tunbridge Wells KLD1 Home 2-4   Smith, Marchant
05/04/1986 Beckenham Town KLD1 Home 1-0   J Valler
12/04/1986 Thames Polytechnic KLD1 Away 0-2    
13/04/1986 Alma Swanley KLD1 Home 1-5   Marchant
21/04/1986 Kent Police KLD1 Home 3-0   Ireland, OG, Micky Heynes pen
23/04/1986 Deal Town KLD1 Away 0-0    
28/04/1986 Sittingbourne KLD1 Home 2-2   Hunter, Hulme
30/04/1986 Ramsgate KLD1 Home 2-0   Heynes, Hulme
03/05/1986 Slade Green Athletic KLD1 Away 3-1   Heynes pen, J Valler, Hulme
05/05/1986 Cray Wanderers KLD1 Home 3-1   Heynes 2, J Valler
07/05/1986 Darenth Heathside KLD1 Away 1-3   Ireland
14/05/1986 Metropolitan Police (Area 4) KLD1 Home 1-4   Heynes pen
17/05/1986 Tunbridge Wells KLD1 Away 3-3   Hunter 3