Most of the previous season’s squad remained at the club, the only departures being the retiring Daran Wilkins and Andy Towse, who was off to college. There were five arrivals from a disbanded Dover Reserves, Mark Garrood, Nick Day, Jon Sparks, Julian Holmes and Scott Porter. The first four would become regulars in the side. Dave Linstrem continued as manager, although reduced his playing duties and Gary Towse continued as reserve team manager. Barry Vincer and Martin Whybrow joined the board. Autorite Finishers continued as Hythe’s shirt sponsors, Saga and Sims Portex again provided financial support. There were 18 teams in the Premier Division of the Kent League, ground-less Canterbury played at Faversham and Sheppey at Sittingbourne, floodlight-less VCD were playing at Thamesmead and Cray at Bromley.
A promising start in the league would turn into a quite miserable second half to the season. It was the cups that provided a little success and some colourful moments. The first five league games were all tight affairs, with one win, two draws and two defeats. Then came an FA Cup tie at Greenwich Borough which was narrowly lost, 1-0. But it was realised that Greenwich had played at least one ineligible player and Hythe appealed to the FA. The appeal outcome found that Borough had in fact played four unregistered players and were removed from the competition. Hythe were reinstated to face a trip to Littlehampton Town in the next round. A first half Andy Bigginton header and a second half home equaliser resulted in a Tuesday night replay at Reachfields. Hythe spurned their chances and went down to a 1-0 extra-time defeat, with the club bemoaning a disappointing attendance of 102.
The game after the FA Cup defeat was a Vase tie at unbeaten Bracknell Town which Hythe won 2-1 with goals from Steve Hobbs and a cracking free-kick from Jon Sparks. Lee Bosson had signed from Sheppey and made his debut in this game. The next two rounds saw single goal victories, at home to Eastbourne Town and away to Whitstable Town. The Third Round Proper drew a trip to Berkhamsted Town where Hythe were on top until Town scored their first goal late into the second half, eventually winning 2-0. There was disappointment in the aftermath, feeling it a missed opportunity, but Berkhamsted must have been a good side as they ended up beaten Vase finalists.
At this point Hythe were seventh in the Kent League, with only three defeats and games in hand but that Vase defeat saw their league form plummet. The next seven league games were lost, a run ended with three draws. In between there was a run to the semi-final of the Kent Senior Trophy thanks to home wins over Kent County League sides Snodland and Knatchbull. The semi-final was played at VCD’s Oakwood ground, allowed for KCFA games and ended in a single goal defeat.
A league win at Slade Green in April was the first since November and 14 attempts. Hythe had fallen to fifteenth place, not helped by losing three points when Sheppey United folded in March and their results were expunged. Five more games failed to find a victory but the low-scoring season ended with a bang and an 8-0 win over Greenwich at Reachfields to finish in fourteenth position.
Hythe played 44 games in total, including 12 cup-ties. Mainstays were Nick Day in goal, defenders Andy Bigginton, Gary Miller, Mark Garrood, Andy Laker and Ben Bartlett, midfielders Paul Stanton, Jason Brazier and Jon Sparks and forwards Steve Ridley, Julian Holmes and Lee Bosson. Nobody broke double figures for goals scored, with only 54 in total, Ridley managed nine, Brazier eight and Steve Hobbs seven. Paul Stanton was Players’ Player and Manager’s Player of the Year, with Steve Ridley the inaugural winner of the Supporters’ award. Dean Widnall was the reserves’ winner. Gary Towse stood down as reserve team manager in January, the side finished in 16th place in Division One.
The club staged thirteen cup finals at the end of the season and also arranged a fireworks display (‘biggest attendance seen for years’) and a hen night (a ‘roaring success’). The season ended with news of a familiar name returning to Reachfields for next season.
|18/07/2000||Tonbridge Angels XI||F||Home||1-0||Holmes|
|05/08/2000||Knatchbull||F||Away||3-1||Holmes 2, Stanton|
|26/08/2000||Ramsgate||KLP||Home||2-1||105||Brazier, Porter pen|
|28/08/2000||Herne Bay||KLP||Home||2-3||129||Porter pen, Holmes|
|09/09/2000||Sheppey United||KLP||Away||2-0||56||Sparks, Holmes|
|23/09/2000||Bracknell Town||FAV2Q||Away||2-1||105||Steve Hobbs, Sparks|
|21/10/2000||Eastbourne Town||FAV1||Home||1-0||86||Steve Ridley|
|04/11/2000||Canterbury City||KLP||Home||6-0||73||Bosson, Hobbs 3, 1 pen, Stanton, Bartlett|
|20/11/2000||Erith Town||KLP||Away||3-2||89||Ridley, OG, Holmes|
|23/12/2000||Faversham Town||KLP||Away||1-2||79||Hobbs pen|
|06/01/2001||Knatchbull||KSTQF||Home||4-2aet||73||Brazier 2, 1 pen, Bartlett, Hobbs|
|20/02/2001||Beckenham Town||KLP||Home||2-2||50||Bosson, Garrood|
|07/04/2001||Slade Green||KLP||Away||4-1||48||Brazier, Ridley 2, Linstrem|
|05/05/2001||Greenwich Borough||KLP||Home||8-0||53||Bigginton 3, Laker, Ridley, Stanton 3|
The close season saw a couple of major changes off the pitch. Nine years after it had disappeared, the club returned to the name of Hythe Town which was seen as a popular move. Chairman David Clapson stood down after completing the three seasons he had promised when taking on the job and Paul Markland took over the role. Martin Giles and David Skeel joined the board. Autorite Finishers continued to sponsor the kit.
The Bass Brewers Kent League had seen champions Chatham Town promoted to the Southern League but had gained Kent County League champions Maidstone United, who Hythe would play in the first home the game of the season. Canterbury City appeared in the fixtures but failed to start the season.
There were a few departures from Dave Linstrem’s squad in the summer; Steve Ridley and Lee Bosson retired, Andy Laker and Steve Hobbs both joined Lydd Town and Mark Garrood signed for Ramsgate. Phil Hancock returned to the club and the demise of local club Knatchbull saw Hythe gain the signings of Danny Jennings, Alan Knowles and Darren Light. Matt Jones was appointed as reserve team manager.
The season got off to a solid start. An opening day win at Faversham was followed by a single goal home defeat to Maidstone in front of the best crowd of the season, 268. League wins over Greenwich and Cray were sandwiched around an FA Cup victory over Camberley Town. Hythe had to travel to Bromley in the next round, who were then struggling in the Isthmian Division One, losing to a first half goal where both sides thought they should have scored more. This game was then followed by an FA Vase exit, losing a replay at Bedfont after a draw at Reachfields.
At this point Hythe were in fifth place in the league table but a poor October, except for a season-best 5-0 win over Slade Green, saw the side slowly drop down the table. Damian Abel, from the reserves, and Justin Light, Darren’s twin brother, made their debuts for the first team. November did see a couple of wins, one in the league cup, and also the debuts of Roy Guiver and Justyn Lemar, signed from Folkestone Reserves. December was a grim month, four defeats and all by three goals and more bolstering of the squad with the arrivals of Kevin Clifford from Maidstone, Scott Thomas from Ashford and Geoff Jones and Farrell Cox from Dover. Christmas saw Hythe in twelfth position and VCD with a comfortable lead at the top.
Goals continued to be a problem for Hythe with only three victories in 2002. In nine of the fifteen games Hythe failed to register a goal and despite the defence being generally strong, often a couple of opposition goals – or even just one- was enough to take the points. Hythe slipped to finish in fourteenth position after failing to beat rock-bottom Faversham in the final league game. The reserves finished eleventh and bottom of the First Division South, goal scoring again a problem, with only twelve in their twenty league games. In the Premier Division Maidstone United came with a great late finish to overtake long-time leaders VCD to take the title on goal difference, but failed to gain promotion.
Hythe played a mere 37 games in their season, with defender Chris Todd playing in every one. Defenders Gary Miller, Andy Bigginton and keeper Nick Day also played over 30 games, midfielders David Gear and young Dean Widnall, and forwards Darren Light and Dan Jennings all made well over 20 appearances. In all, 33 players were used. The poor season up front was highlighted with the Golden Boot shared between Jennings and Light with a grand total of five goals each. Nick Day was Players’ Player of the Year, Chris Todd Manager’s Player and Gary Miller Supporters’ Player.
|04/08/2001||Peacehaven & Telscombe||F||Away||1-7||D Light|
|07/08/2001||Westfield||F||Home||6-2||Bigginton, Jennings 4, D Light|
|11/08/2001||Faversham Town||KLP||Away||2-0||77||Widnall, Jennings|
|25/08/2001||Greenwich Borough||KLP||Away||2-0||35||Jennings, Bartlett|
|01/09/2001||Camberley Town||FACP||Home||1-0||102||D Light|
|04/09/2001||Cray Wanderers||KLP||Home||2-0||65||Hughes, Bartlett|
|13/10/2001||Slade Green||KLP||Home||5-0||83||Knowles, Brazier 2, 1 pen, Bennett, Hughes|
|20/10/2001||Cray Wanderers||KLP||Away||2-3||91||Hughes, Bartlett|
|10/11/2001||Beckenham Town||KLP||Home||2-2||50||Guiver, Brazier pen|
|17/11/2001||Herne Bay||KLP||Away||2-1||138||Jennings, Guiver|
|24/11/2001||Erith Town||KLC1||Away||3-2aet||54||Widnall, Brazier, Guiver|
|05/01/2002||Whitstable Town||KLP||Home||3-2||82||Cox pen, Bigginton, Hancock|
|02/02/2002||Tunbridge Wells||KLP||Home||3-2||78||Cox pen, Thomes, Guiver|
|09/02/2002||Cray Wanderers||KLC2||Away||1-2||50||D Light|
|26/03/2002||Lordswood||KLP||Away||2-0||68||D Light pen, Jennings|
|20/04/2002||Faversham Town||KLP||Home||3-3||68||Thomas pen, Jones, Widnall|
Dave Linstrem began his fourth season as Hythe Town manager but it would prove to be a season of change. Experienced former player Kevin Hughes returned to take charge of the reserves. Andy Bigginton had chosen to retire and his defensive partner Chris Todd had left the club. Keeper Nick Day wanted to retire but he would soon return between the sticks. James Gibson and John Smith were announced as signings but hardly featured.
Off the field, the club had a new shirt sponsor in Sotirio’s Restaurant; the kit remained all red except for some white on the sleeves. The Kent League had new sponsors in Go Travel, a Chislehurst-based travel agent but contained the same clubs as the season before.
August saw a solid start to the season with three wins and two defeats. The winning goal at Thamesmead came from a Scott Porter free-kick on the half-way line, described by the manager as ‘like an exocet missile’. The home win over Herne Bay saw a ‘Sam Denly’ listed amongst their substitutes. One of the defeats was at Deal, who would prove a thorn in the side during the season in the league and in three cups. Indeed, there was a speedy exit in the FA Cup with a 4-2 defeat at the Charles Ground but the club were sitting a heady second in the league table.
Next was a departure from the Vase, after a 1-1 draw at Reachfields came a dramatic defeat at Deal, 6-4 after extra time. Hythe were 3-2 down when Michael Heath and David Gear were sent off, went 4-2 down, equalised through Darren Light and a Jason Brazier penalty to force the extra 30 minutes but lost 6-4 and Light to another red card. The defeat was shrugged off with two league wins that saw a return to second place with Mark Robertson and Jason Brazier again amongst the goals before a comprehensive 4-0 reverse at Whitstable saw the home side take second place for themselves. After this game Dave Linstrem stepped down as manager, the official line was that he had taken the club ‘as far as he could’. David Gear and Gary Miller would take caretaker charge for the next three games.
Three heavy defeats followed, not helped by player suspensions and unavailability. The new manager was to be Paul Fisk, with ex-Gillingham, Cambridge United and Dover Athletic man Lee Palmer as his assistant. They moved over from Folkestone Invicta where they had been running the reserve side. A number of players were also to move over to Hythe, the likes of Lee Winfield, Michael Yianni, and Dan and Frank Fisk. Darren Walmsley joined from Tunbridge Wells, Scott Thomas returned to the club from Deal and Kevin Clifford also returned. Jeff Ross, a favourite from the Walton years, also found his way back to Reachfields.
Results soon improved, although cup exits in the Kent League Cup and Kent Senior Trophy were hampered by many of the new men being cup-tied and unable to play. Of the final seventeen league games, seven were won and only four lost. The Kent League title was a battle between Maidstone and Cray but Hythe managed away draws at both clubs in the run-in. In fact, the Kent League season came to a unique end. Bottom of the table Faversham were unable to continue playing, their final game being a defeat at Greenwich on 15th March. They tendered their resignation to the league in April but this meant it was too late for their records to be expunged and the league rules stated the title was to be decided on a points-per-game average to allow for clubs who had played one or two games fewer. So it was that Cray, on 62 points from 29 games were declared champions over Maidstone, with 63 points from 30 games. Hythe finished in eighth place, only the second top-half finish in the last eight Kent League seasons. The reserves, who had also changed managers to Matt Jones and then to Justin Luchford during the season, finished bottom of the twelve-team Division One South.
Only 35 first team games were played and Justyn Lemar made the most appearances with 33. Gary Miller, Nick Day and Dean Widnall all played over 30 games, Nick Day, Scott Porter, Dan Fisk, Jason Brazier and Mark Robertson all played in more than half of the games. Robertson was leading scorer with 11 goals, Jeff Ross scored eight and Jason Brazier seven. Players’ Player of the Year was Dean Widnall, Scott Porter was Manager’s Player and Nick Day Supporters’ Player. Adam Todd won both of the Reserves’ trophies.
|27/07/2002||Oakwood||F||Away||2-1||Jones, J Brazier|
|06/08/2002||New Romney||F||Home||4-1||Light, Hopkins, Widnall, Gibson|
|10/08/2002||Slade Green||KLP||Home||3-2||87||Gibson, J Brazier, D Light|
|17/08/2002||Thamesmead Town||KLP||Away||2-1||107||D Light, Scott Porter|
|20/08/2002||Herne Bay||KLP||Home||2-1||95||Widnall, John Smith|
|31/08/2002||Deal Town||FACP||Away||2-4||248||D Porter 2|
|07/09/2002||Thamesmead Town||KLP||Home||2-3||73||J Brazier pen, Widnall|
|21/09/2002||Deal Town||FAV2Q||Home||1-1aet||103||J Brazier pen|
|24/09/2002||Deal Town||FAV2QR||Away||4-6aet||120||Heath 2, D Light, J Brazier pen|
|28/09/2002||Faversham Town||KLP||Away||3-2||58||J Brazier pen, Widnall, D Light|
|12/10/2002||Lordswood||KLP||Home||3-1||75||Robertson, J Brazier 2|
|26/10/2002||Deal Town||KLP||Home||1-3||91||D Light|
|16/11/2002||VCD Athletic||KLP||Home||1-1||84||D Porter|
|14/12/2002||Greenwich Borough||KLP||Home||3-1||62||D Fisk 2, Robertson|
|21/12/2002||Tunbridge Wells||KLP||Home||3-1||77||Ross, Yianni, Robertson pen|
|18/01/2003||Cray Wanderers||KLP||Away||2-2||86||Robertson, Ross|
|08/02/2003||Faversham Town||KLP||Home||3-0||67||D Fisk, Roberson 2, 1 pen|
|22/02/2003||Beckenham Town||KLP||Home||2-0||78||Ross 2|
|01/03/2003||VCD Athletic||KLP||Away||2-1||107||Robertson pen, D Fisk|
|19/03/2003||Tunbridge Wells||KLP||Away||2-1||62||Robertson, S Porter|
|22/03/2003||Greenwich Borough||KLP||Away||4-3||25||Robertson 2, Ross 2|
|21/04/2003||Maidstone United||KLP||Away||1-1||433||D Porter|
|26/04/2003||Herne Bay||KLP||Away||3-3||100||Widnall, Robertson, S Porter pen|
Paul Fisk started his first full season as Hythe manager, with Lee Palmer as his assistant and Justin Luchford running the reserves. Go Travel continued as the league sponsor and Sotirio’s restaurant were again the Hythe shirt sponsors, an all-red kit with white trim. Cray Wanderers had achieved the double last season but did not gain promotion. Faversham Town had folded before the end of the previous season but two new clubs joined the league, Kent County League champions Sevenoaks Town and the unknown quantity that was Sporting Bengal United. Martin Whybrow’s programme now contained photographs and the occasionally waspish ‘Awayday File’ made its debut.
Most of the squad remained from the second half of the previous season with an important addition, the return of Ian Hayes from Deal Town. Hopes were high for a decent season, and having the better of an opening day draw with champions Cray proved a good start. As results improved so did the attendances, regularly reaching 120-130 compared to the 70-80 of previous seasons.
After four league games the cups took over. In the FA Cup there was a trip to Croydon, one level higher in Isthmian League Division One. A late Jeff Ross goal earned the replay that would again finish as a 1-1 draw, Roy Godden with the Hythe goal. Hythe scored all five of their penalties to go through 5-4. The next round saw a comfortable 3-1 win over Wessex League Alton Town to earn a Kent derby tie with Maidstone United. This saw an away win in front of 604 spectators, the biggest competitive Reachfields gate since the Walton era. Sandwiched in between the last two games was an FA Vase trip to Three Bridges, which ended in a 2-0 defeat.
Back to league action, there was a hefty home defeat to Thamesmead before a run of six wins in a row that saw Hythe climb to fifth place in the table. The run was ended by a very creditable draw at Maidstone and a 5-0 thumping at VCD Athletic. After a narrow win over Deal there were three cup wins, two in the Kent League Cup and a penalty shootout win in the Kent Senior Trophy. In December Mike Yianni was signed by Maidstone after impressing against them twice.
After a run of only one win in seven games there was another good run, seven wins in a row that started with the Kent Senior Trophy semi-final at Lordswood but sadly ended by losing in the final to a very late Cray goal at Ashford. That winning run saw Paul Fisk win the March Manager of the Month award. Joining for the last couple of months of the season were striker Mark Pollard from Herne Bay and a returning Kevin Clifford. Hythe would finish in sixth place in the table, the best performance since returning to the Kent League. This was despite losing the last two games, where the defeat at Cray saw the home side clinch the league title for the second year in a row and, this time, promotion to the Ryman League. Hythe Reserves, under managers Paul Longman and Mark Jones since November, finished eighth in Division Two.
The team benefitted from a settled side, and extra cup games saw the first team play 44 games. Dan Fisk played in 42 of them and Roy Godden 41. Jason Brazier, Nick Day, Scott Thomas, Dan Porter, Julian Holmes, Dean Widnall, Gary Miller, Ian Hayes and Scott Porter all managed more than half of the matches. Roy Godden was the leading goalscorer with 15, Jason Brazier scored one fewer with Mark Pollard next with six. Dan Fisk was the Players’ Player of the Year, with Roy Godden winning both the Manager’s and Supporters’ awards. Terry King and Justyn Lemar won the Reserves’ titles.
|Sporting Bengal United||32||1||2||29||26||110||5|
|22/07/2003||St Leonards||F||Away||3-3||Widnall, Godden pen, Walmsley|
|26/07/2003||Folkestone Invicta||F||Home||2-2||Godden 2|
|29/07/2003||Rye & Iden United||F||Home||0-1|
|02/08/2003||Sidley United||F||Home||2-0||Brazier pen, Wire|
|04/08/2003||East Grinstead Town||F||Home||2-1||Godden, Yianni|
|16/08/2003||Sevenoaks Town||KLP||Home||4-1||134||Widnall 2, Brazier 2|
|02/09/2003||Croydon||FACPR||Home||1-1aet||165||Godden||won 4-3 on pens|
|06/09/2003||Lordswood||KLP||Home||3-1||93||Brazier, Widnall, D Porter|
|13/09/2003||Alton Town||FAC1Q||Home||3-1||136||D Porter, Brazier 2|
|21/10/2003||Herne Bay||KLP||Home||3-1||117||Hayes 2, Widnall|
|25/10/2003||Sporting Bengal United||KLP||Away||3-0||73||Godden, Walmsley, F Fisk|
|28/10/2003||Ramsgate||KLP||Home||3-0||129||Yianni, Brazier, D Fisk|
|01/11/2003||VCD Athletic||KLC1||Away||4-2||42||Brazier 2, S Porter, Godden|
|08/11/2003||Slade Green||KLP||Home||1-0||127||F Fisk|
|11/11/2003||Sporting Bengal United||KLP||Home||2-0||109||Godden, Walmsley|
|15/11/2003||Maidstone United||KLP||Away||1-1||266||F Fisk|
|22/11/2003||Deal Town||KLP||Home||3-2||123||Godden, OG, Brazier|
|29/11/2003||Whitstable Town||KST2||Home||4-1||102||Godden 2, D Fisk, Holmes|
|03/01/2004||Sevenoaks Town||KSTQF||Home||1-1aet||130||S Porter pen||won 3-0 on pens|
|17/01/2004||Greenwich Borough||KLP||Home||2-1||160||S Porter pen, Brazier pen|
|23/02/2004||Erith Town||KLP||Away||1-1||87||M Pollard|
|09/03/2004||Deal Town||KLP||Away||2-0||69||Pollard, D Porter|
|13/03/2004||Slade Green||KLP||Away||4-1||44||Pollard 3, Godden|
|20/03/2004||Lordswood||KLP||Away||3-1||42||Brazier, Godden, Thomas|
|27/03/2004||VCD Athletic||KLP||Home||2-1||103||Brazier pen, Godden|
|03/04/2004||Whitstable Town||KLP||Home||1-0||205||D Porter pen|
|10/04/2004||Greenwich Borough||KLP||Away||3-0||31||D Porter, Godden 2|
|17/04/2004||Cray Wanderers||KSTF||Neutral||0-1||335||at Ashford Town|
The Go Travel Kent League Premier Division was back down to 16 clubs after the promotion of Cray Wanderers in the summer. Manager Paul Fisk now had Justin Luchford as his assistant, with Paul Longman and Mark Jones looking after the reserves. A wet summer had helped the condition of the pitch, although a thunderstorm had seen the first friendly, at home to Dover Athletic, postponed. Keeping up a tradition of players returning to Reachfields, Michael Yianni had re-signed after spending most of last season at Maidstone United. Farrell Cox also returned, from Deal Town, and Brian Pearce joined, from Ashford Sunday football. There was a new shirt sponsor, Carr Construction, with again an all-red kit but featuring red, white and black sleeves. Season tickets were available for £40/£25.
The league began well, with wins in the first three games before the cups took over, all too briefly. In the FA Cup there was an entertaining 1-1 draw with Littlehampton at home before a 3-2 defeat in the midweek replay. In both games Hythe had started strongly and were leading but could not hold on. The Vase gave an attractive home tie with Whitstable Town, Hythe were 2-0 down but 3-2 up by half-time, but again would suffer defeat late in the game. The following week came the ignominy of defeat at Kent County League side Bearsted, in the Kent Senior Trophy. Hythe had lost the services of Dan Porter due to work commitments but signed Dean Yorath from Sittingbourne.
In between those cup games came the infamous game against Sporting Bengal United. This was the first Kent League game refereed by former Army referee, Andy Carter. It could be said that he found refereeing at this level very different to matches played under Army discipline. Even the mildest querying of a decision was a yellow card. At the final whistle Hythe finished with seven men, all for two yellows, with both manager and assistant dismissed as well, and a 2-0 defeat. The club appealed all the dismissals and at the hearings, held in December, had them all overturned.
Hythe’s good start saw them at the top of the table but October was a mixed month with two wins and two defeats plus the return of Roy Guiver, but it was better than what was to follow. There was just the one win in seven games and the goals had dried up. At the end of January Hythe had fallen to tenth position but would then achieve three 1-0 wins in a row, over Slade Green and Erith Town in the league and a first-ever win over Maidstone United, in the Kent League Cup. A run of five away games saw two wins but again scoring was to prove a struggle. In the Kent League Cup semi-final Hythe were twice defeated 1-0 by Herne Bay over the two legs despite playing well but did manage their best attendance of the season, 315, in a game intelligently moved to Good Friday.
The club managed some decent results in April, with a few goals going in, culminating in a 7-2 win at bottom of the table Lordswood. Defeat in the final game against VCD saw Hythe finish sixth in the table but a distant 23 points behind champions Ramsgate. The reserves, now under the sole charge of Mark Jones, had a much better season than in recent years, finishing ninth out of thirteen in Division Two and winning the Kent Floodlight Trophy, run on a league basis with four other teams.
Hythe played 38 games, winning 16, drawing 6 and losing 16, scoring 53 goals. Roy Godden played in all but one game, with Ian Hayes, Nick Day, Scott Thomas, Dan Fisk, Dean Widnall, Michael Yianni, Darren Walmsley and Jason Brazier all playing 30+ matches. Lee Winfield came into the side, playing in 17 matches in the second half of the season. Godden was the top scorer, with 12 goals, followed by Mark Pollard with 9 and Winfield with 7, usually spectacular. Ian Hayes won both Players’ Player and Supporters’ Player of the Year, with Darren Walmsley chosen for the Manager’s award. Justyn Lemar and Stuart Taylor won the Reserves’ trophies.
|Sporting Bengal United||30||8||5||17||42||71||29|
|27/07/2004||Hastings United||F||Home||2-0||100||Luchford, Walmsley|
|31/07/2004||Chatham Town||F||Home||2-3||Widnall, Pollard|
|14/08/2004||Sevenoaks Town||KLP||Home||3-1||109||Pollard, Godden, Brazier|
|17/08/2004||Deal Town||KLP||Home||2-1||148||Godden, Pollard|
|21/08/2004||Erith Town||KLP||Away||2-1||54||Pollard, Godden|
|02/09/2004||Littlehampton Town||FACEPR||Away||2-3||141||Hayes, Godden|
|18/09/2004||Sporting Bengal United||KLP||Home||0-2||120|
|25/09/2004||Whitstable Town||FAV2Q||Home||3-4||155||Fisk, Brazier, Godden|
|13/10/2004||VCD Athletic||KLP||Away||2-1||48||Yianni 2|
|23/10/2004||Sevenoaks Town||KLP||Away||2-1||58||Godden, Cox|
|06/11/2004||Beckenham Town||KLC1||Away||0-0aet||45||(won 3-1 on pens)|
|15/02/2005||Slade Green||KLP||Away||2-1||46||Pollard, Godden|
|19/02/2005||Sporting Bengal United||KLP||Away||1-1||65||Godden pen|
|12/03/2005||Thamesmead Town||KLP||Away||3-2||30||Pollard 2, Godden|
|02/04/2005||Beckenham Town||KLP||Home||3-1||102||Hayes, Brazier, Winfield|
|09/04/2005||Greenwich Borough||KLP||Away||2-1||32||Guiver, Widnall|
|12/04/2005||Thamesmead Town||KLP||Home||2-0||74||Winfield, Pollard|
|16/04/2005||Herne Bay||KLP||Home||2-2||138||Hayes 2|
|20/04/2005||Lordswood||KLP||Away||7-2||45||Widnall, Godden, Brazier, Fisk, Winfield 3|
This season saw a new sponsor for the Kent League, The Kentish Observer newspaper. The league remained at 16 clubs; having seen champions Ramsgate promoted to the Ryman League there was the rare event of gaining a club due to a relegation from the Ryman, Erith & Belvedere. This was the first true relegation since Corinthian fourteen seasons earlier. Paul Fisk continued as manager with Justin Luchford as his assistant and the reserves had a new man in charge, Scott Porter, his playing days curtailed through injury. Carr Construction continued as shirt sponsors, red shirts with black side panels, and black shorts.
There were a few departures from last season’s squad, Scott Thomas and Roy Godden moved to Deal, although Godden would return by the start of the league season. A few ex-Hythe players made returns, Dan Porter, Adam Todd and Lee Blackman. Darren Winfield also signed to join up with brother Lee.
The season would prove to be an unusual one for Hythe. The last three seasons had seen league finishes of 8th, 6th and 6th with little in the way of cup success. Good runs in the FA Vase and Kent League Cup would see the club play 18 cup matches but struggle to find any form or results in the league.
After a lone league defeat at Tunbridge Wells Hythe played at home to Combined Counties side Raynes Park Vale in the FA Cup and gained a flattering 4-1 win. This earned a trip (a 350-mile round trip the secretary pointed out) to Isthmian Division One side Bashley, one level above Hythe, who won 4-0.
By now Hythe had signed striker Richard Sinden, who would forge a dangerous partnership up front with Roy Godden. This was quickly seen in the first FA Vase game, a 6-2 win at Sussex County side Pagham with Sinden and Godden getting two apiece. Next up was a home tie with Wessex League Moneyfields, Hythe coming from a goal down to win thanks to goals from Dan Fisk and Sinden. The first round proper saw a trip to VT (formerly Vosper Thorneycroft, now known as Sholing) where a Damian Abel goal took the game into extra time and a twice-taken Godden penalty won an exciting game.
The second round gave Hythe a home tie with another Wessex club, Thatcham Town, second in their league behind Winchester but with games in hand. Thatcham led, goals from Abel and Godden put Hythe ahead before Thatcham equalised but Dan Fisk’s glancing header from a free-kick proved to be the winner. There was another home tie in the Third Round, to Isthmian Division Two (the same level as Hythe) side Chalfont St. Peter. This time Hythe seemed to take control of the game by scoring twice, Abel and Godden, but after the visitors got a goal back there was an element of holding on until the final whistle.
The fourth round saw another home tie, against the Wessex League leaders Winchester City, and FA Vase winners two seasons previously. In front of a bumper crowd of 441 it proved to be a tie too far for Hythe. Despite a good performance Hythe were always chasing the game and lost 3-1 with Sinden getting the home goal.
There was another good run in the Kent League Cup. For this season, to add some extra fixtures, clubs were divided into four groups to play on a league basis, with the top two progressing to the quarter-finals. Hythe’s group included Erith & Belvedere, Herne Bay and Sporting Bengal. The first group game, at Erith & Belvedere, had echoes of a game the previous season. Hythe had four players sent-off, the last in the 87th minute at which point the referee, incorrectly, abandoned the game. Hythe were leading 4-2 at this point, having scored once with nine men and again with eight men. As in the previous season, Hythe’s appeals were successful and the result stood. There were big wins over Bengal, 7-1 and 6-2 with Sinden scoring seven of those, and Hythe finished as runners-up to Herne Bay.
This earned an away quarter-final tie at Thamesmead Town, where a fine performance earned victory thanks to two Abel goals before the home side managed a late penalty. The semi-final was against Maidstone United, on their way to the league and cup double, who were made to work had for 2-1 wins in each leg.
The cup successes were a welcome distraction from the league, where the side seemed to be stuck in twelfth place all season. There were only seven victories and the goals dried up in the new year, only 41 in total and ten of those were against Sporting Bengal. The reserves also had a struggle in the league, ending up eleventh and bottom of Division Two. Since October they had been managed by former player Leigh Holdway, after Scott Porter had moved up to first team assistant manager when Justin Luchford had left the club.
Hythe played 48 games, winning 17, drawing 7 and losing 24, scoring 84 goals. Dan Fisk played in 45 of the games, Darren Walmsley and Roy Guiver made over 40 appearances and Ian Hayes, Richard Sinden, Roy Godden, Dean Widnall, Jason Brazier, Lee Winfield, and Damian Abel made over 30. Richard Sinden was leading goalscorer with 24 goals, Roy Godden managed 19 and Damian Abel 13. Roy Guiver was both Manager’s and Players’ Player of the Year, Roy Godden was the Supporters’ choice. Stuart Daffin and Justyn Lemar won the reserve team awards.
|Erith & Belvedere||30||17||7||6||50||31||58|
|Sporting Bengal United||30||3||6||21||27||107||15|
|Erith & Belvedere||6||3||1||2||11||9||10|
|Sporting Bengal United||6||0||1||5||4||25||1|
|16/07/2005||Bearsted||F||Away||4-0||Blackman 2, Jones, D Winfield|
|30/07/2005||Folkestone Invicta||F||Home||2-6||Blackman, Fisk|
|20/08/2005||Raynes Park Vale||FACEP||Home||4-1||116||Hayes, Brazier 2, L Winfield|
|29/08/2005||Maidstone United||KLP||Home||2-2||368||Brazier pen, Godden|
|06/09/2005||Lordswood||KLP||Away||2-2||73||D Porter pen, Widnall|
D Porter, Godden 2, 1pen, Sinden 2,
|24/09/2005||Erith Town||KLP||Home||3-3||67||Godden, Sinden 2|
|22/10/2005||Herne Bay||KLP||Away||2-3||124||Sinden, Godden|
|29/10/2005||VT||FAV1||Away||2-1aet||95||Damian Abel, Godden pen|
|05/11/2005||Greenwich Borough||KLP||Home||3-1||112||Sinden, Guiver, Widnall|
|12/11/2005||Erith & Belvedere||KLCG||Away||4-2||78||Sinden, Guiver, Abel, L Winfield|
|19/11/2005||Thatcham Town||FAV2||Home||3-2||130||Abel, Godden, Fisk|
|22/11/2005||Sporting Bengal United||KLCG||Home||7-1||60||Guiver, Sinden 3, Abel, Godden 2|
|03/12/2005||Sporting Bengal United||KLP||Away||6-0||24||
Godden 2, 1 pen, Sinden 2, Abel,
|10/12/2005||Chalfont St Peter||FAV3||Home||2-1||202||Abel, Godden|
|14/01/2006||Maidstone United||KLP||Away||2-5||312||Hayes 2|
|25/01/2006||Sporting Bengal United||KLCG||Away||6-2||30||Sinden 4, Fisk, Godden|
|28/01/2006||Tunbridge Wells||KLP||Home||2-3||122||OG, Hayes|
|31/01/2006||Erith & Belvedere||KLCG||Home||0-1||55|
|04/02/2006||Erith Town||KLP||Away||2-1||45||Godden 2, 1 pen|
|11/02/2006||Thamesmead Town||KLCQF||Away||2-1||28||Abel 2|
|18/02/2006||Erith & Belvedere||KLP||Home||1-1||96||Sinden|
|01/04/2006||Erith & Belvedere||KLP||Away||1-3||97||Abel|
|08/04/2006||Greenwich Borough||KLP||Away||1-2||35||S Porter pen|
|15/04/2006||Sporting Bengal United||KLP||Home||4-0||103||Godden 2, 1 pen, S Porter pen, Hayes|
This would be Paul Fisk’s fourth full season in charge of the first team and despite another final position of sixth, perhaps it was the season that started to see Hythe compete at the top end of the table. The signings were of a higher quality with some excellent performances but still lacking in the necessary consistency. John Walker joined from Folkestone Invicta, Dale Skelton from Dover Athletic and the much-travelled goalkeeper Dave Wietecha joined, although the club would end up using eight different goalkeepers during the season. In addition, the club managed to retain most of the previous season’s regulars. Scott Porter remained as assistant manager but the reserve side was transformed by the arrival of Dave Johncock, assisted by Leigh Holdway.
The Kent League went through the season without a sponsor. Maidstone United had been promoted into the Ryman League but the numbers remained the same after Croydon were transferred from the disbanded Isthmian Division Two. VCD Athletic moved back to their upgraded home ground, Oakwood. Hythe continued to be sponsored by Carr Construction and had another new kit, a very snazzy thick red and white striped shirt with red shorts and socks.
League form was generally good but the club could not really put a run together. There were only eight defeats with five of those to the teams that finished above Hythe in the final table. After catching up on games after the early cup ties, Hythe seemed stuck in sixth position from October right up until the season’s end. The squad was strengthened during the season with the arrivals of Buster Smissen in September, Barry Crawford in December, Aiden Pursglove in October and Joe Nielson in November, initially on loan from Folkestone but later signed permanently. We gained Nielson in return for Damian Abel and Roy Guiver moving to Folkestone Invicta.
Other than an extended run in the Kent League Cup, the other cups were over quickly. In the FA Cup Hythe led Lordswood 2-0 before being taken to a replay at Martyn Grove. This time there was no mistake, with some spectacular goals in a 6-0 win, Stuart Daffin scoring four of them. This gave Hythe a home tie with VT, Vase opponents from the previous season. Despite a Roy Godden header in the first minute the game finished 1-1 after 90 minutes and, unusually, both clubs had agreed to play extra-time, where the visitors scored twice to win the tie.
After last season’s Vase successes, Hythe entered at the Second Round with a trip to Hailsham Town. On a very wet day a poor performance saw a 2-0 defeat. In the Kent Senior Trophy there was the delight of a 4-0 win at Erith Town followed by the ignominy of a 4-0 defeat at West Wickham, of the Southern Amateur League.
The Kent League Cup was again run with a group stage, this time Hythe being in the only five-team group. After winning the first three games it needed a final match victory at VCD to qualify for the quarter-finals. The draw produced a trip to a frosty Beckenham Town where a last-minute winner from defender Will Dunlop saw Hythe through. The semi-finals paired Hythe with unbeaten league-leaders Whitstable Town. After a 2-2 draw in the first leg, with Hythe twice coming from behind, hopes were high for the second leg. This also proved to be a close affair, Buster Smissen levelling after an early Whitstable goal and the tie went to extra-time. The winner, from a highly contested penalty for handball, put the visitors into the final. Whitstable would lose to Thamesmead Town in that final, but win the league and gainpromotion to the Ryman League.
The reserves had a very creditable season, after many years of struggle. At one point they were second in the table but bad weather and many postponements after Christmas saw them forced to play 14 of their games after the start of April. Unsurprisingly they faltered a little to finish fifth of thirteen in the league and fourth of six in the Floodlight Trophy.
The first team played 49 games, winning 24, drawing 11 and losing 14, scoring 91 goals. Lee Winfield topped the appearances with 46, John Walker, Dale Skelton and Roy Godden all made over 40 while Dan Fisk, Jason Brazier, Darren Walmsley, Gavin Ransley, Will Dunlop and Buster Smissen played in over 30 games. Smissen top scored with 20 goals, Godden 15, Brazier and Winfield both scored ten.
Lee Winfield was Manager’s Player of the Year; John Walker was Players’ Player and Jason Brazier the Supporters’ Player. Justyn Lemar won both of the Reserves awards.
An enjoyable finale to the season saw the club run a coach to the first FA Vase final at the new Wembley Stadium, where a record 36,232 saw Truro City defeat AFC Totton 3-1.
|Erith & Belvedere||32||16||8||8||68||50||56|
|Sporting Bengal United||32||2||5||25||28||124||11|
|01/08/2006||Ashford Town||F||Away||3-1||Skelton 2, Daffin|
|05/08/2006||Sidley United||F||Home||3-1||Ward, Daffin, Godden|
|08/08/2006||Lydd Town||F||Home||3-2||Brazier, Godden, Abel|
|19/08/2006||Lordswood||FACEP||Home||2-2||147||Abel, Brazier pen|
|22/08/2006||Lordswood||FACEPR||Away||6-0||70||Winfield, Daffin 4, Skelton|
|26/08/2006||Erith & Belvedere||KLP||Home||2-2||93||Daffin, Skelton|
|16/09/2006||Herne Bay||KLP||Home||2-1||108||Fisk, Smissen|
|23/09/2006||VCD Athletic||KLP||Home||2-0||130||Skelton, Winfield|
|10/10/2006||Lordswood||KLCG||Away||3-0||52||Godden 2, Winfield|
|17/10/2006||Faversham Town||KLP||Home||3-0||153||Walker, Godden, Smissen|
|31/10/2006||Lordswood||KLCG||Home||3-0||85||Pursglove, Godden, Abel|
|11/11/2006||Sevenoaks Town||KLP||Away||2-1||65||Chandler pen, Winfield|
|21/11/2006||Slade Green||KLCG||Home||2-0||60||Daffin, Chandler|
|25/11/2006||Erith Town||KST2||Away||4-0||40||Godden, Brazier, Taylor, Neilson|
|14/12/2006||VCD Athletic||KLCG||Away||3-1||72||Godden, Winfield, Skelton|
|16/12/2006||Sporting Bengal United||KLP||Away||2-0||28||Smissen 2|
|23/12/2006||Deal Town||KLP||Home||4-1||142||Taylor, Smissen 2, Winfield|
|09/01/2007||Herne Bay||KLP||Away||1-3||67||Brazier pen|
|13/01/2007||Tunbridge Wells||KLP||Home||4-3||127||Brazier pen, Godden, Smissen, Hayes|
|16/01/2007||Lordswood||KLP||Away||4-0||52||Pursglove, Smissen 3|
|27/01/2007||Slade Green||KLP||Home||3-0||127||Brazier pen, Winfield, Pickering|
|06/02/2007||Beckenham Town||KLCQF||Away||2-1||75||Hayes, Dunlop|
|17/02/2007||Erith Town||KLP||Away||2-1||61||Pursglove, Smissen|
|03/03/2007||Sporting Bengal United||KLP||Home||7-0||110||
Smissen 3, Brazier pen, Godden 2,
|13/03/2007||Whitstable Town||KLCSF1L||Away||2-2||206||Brazier, Skelton|
|24/03/2007||VCD Athletic||KLP||Away||3-4||105||Winfield, Brazier pen, Godden|
|27/03/2007||Whitstable Town||KLP||Home||1-1||151||Brazier pen|
|31/03/2007||Beckenham Town||KLP||Home||2-1||82||Crawford, Brazier|
|07/04/2007||Tunbridge Wells||KLP||Away||2-1||104||Smissen, Godden|
|14/04/2007||Erith & Belvedere||KLP||Away||2-2||75||Smissen, Pursglove|
|21/04/2007||Slade Green||KLP||Away||4-0||48||Brazier pen, Godden, Smissen 2|
After a decent sixth position the season before, Hythe were looking to progress further with some impressive summer recruitment. Manager Paul Fisk had signed defender Sam Marsh and midfielder Simon Rainbow from Folkestone, and Ian Ross and Tom Adlington both signed from Ashford Town. But most impressive was the arrival of Paul Hyde as goalkeeper, a problem position from the previous season. Hyde, now 44, had made over 1500 senior appearances at clubs including Hillingdon Borough, Hayes, Wycombe Wanderers, Leyton Orient, Dover Athletic and Welling United.
The Kent League, again without a sponsor, had seen last season’s champions Whitstable Town promoted to the Ryman League and they were replaced by the Kent County League champions, Holmesdale.
Martin and Sue Giles had taken over as stewards of the social club, Dave Johncock continued as the reserves manager, now assisted by Albie Barker. The first team continued in their red and white stripes, now sponsored by Red Eagle Recruitment.
The pre-season friendlies could not have gone better, with six wins out of six and 26 goals scored. The first two league games were won before an all-too familiar defeat at Deal but then the cups took over. After wins at Merstham and at home to Ryman League Whyteleafe, Hythe were drawn at home to Dover in the second qualifying round. On the day, Dover were unbeaten under their new manager Andy Hessenthaler and there was a big Dover following in the crowd of 1109. Hythe rose to the occasion, leading early when a cross was deflected in for an own goal and getting a second from a Lee Winfield penalty after Joe Nielson was brought down in the second half. Despite late Dover pressure Paul Hyde, playing against his former club, and the Hythe defence stood firm until Dover got a consolation in injury time. The next round saw another home tie, to another Ryman side, Ware. The heroics could not be repeated and Hythe lost 3-1.
In between the FA Cup games, Hythe were making FA Vase progress. Two more home ties saw progression against Slade Green and Shoreham but an away trip to Arundel, the week after the Dover triumph, saw a miserable 5-0 defeat.
The league campaign resumed with an easy win over the newcomers Holmesdale before a crushing defeat at title rivals Beckenham 6-3. That Hythe led 2-1 at half-time made it even harder to take. After three easy wins came possibly the poorest result of the season, a single goal defeat at Slade Green that left Hythe in fifth place. But December saw the squad strengthened with the signings of midfielder Dave Cook and strikers Marcus Hodges and Pat Kingwell from Bromley Green, a Kent County League side that had run Holmesdale very close for the title the previous season. James Gregory had joined the month before, from Sittingbourne. Roy Godden left and joined Deal Town.
Results improved and after a defeat at rivals VCD, a run of ten games unbeaten took Hythe to the top of the table. A Ryman League ground inspection produced a long list of work to be done, large and small, in only a few weeks. Many volunteers, led by Barry Vincer, ensured that the grading was achieved. But on the pitch a home defeat to Beckenham dropped the club to third and took the title out of their own hands. A heavy defeat at Erith & Belvedere ended all title hopes and a draw and a defeat saw Hythe end up fourth, some distance behind champions Thamesmead Town.
Hythe again did well in the Kent League Cup, comfortably winning their group and earning a home quarter-final tie with Thamesmead. A polished performance saw a 5-0 win and the two-legged semi-final with Herne Bay was also won emphatically, 6-1 on aggregate. Having made the final, after three seasons of semi-final failure, the match at Cheriton Road was a total anti-climax, the side never got going and lost to Erith Town by a single goal.
The reserves again played a big part in the season, being run in the old-fashioned way of bringing through young local players and allowing first team fringe players, and those returning from injury,
to get games. Poor results at the start and end of the season saw them finish ninth in Division Two and sixth in the Floodlight Trophy East.
The first team played 51 games, winning 34, drawing 5 and losing 12, scoring 128 goals. Sam Marsh made the most appearances, 48, with Lee Winfield, Dale Skelton, Mike (Buster) Smissen, Paul Hyde and Jason Brazier making 40+; Tom Adlington, Gavin Ransley, Ian Ross, Simon Rainbow and John Walker all 30+. Top scorer was Smissen with 47, Winfield got 20, Brazier 13 and Dave Cook 9. Sam Marsh was Manager’s Player of the Year, Lee Winfield Players’ Player and Buster Smissen Supporters’ Player. Darren Walmsley and John Boxer won the Reserves’ awards. In addition, Paul Fisk won the Kent League Manager of the Month in September, November and February; Buster Smisssen won the Kent League Golden Boot with 42 goals.
|Erith & Belvedere||32||13||10||9||68||49||19||49|
|Sporting Bengal United||32||4||4||24||31||115||-84||16|
Aiden Pursglove 2, Mike Smissen 2,
Joe Neilson, Dale Skelton
|24/07/2007||Rye United||F||Home||3-1||Jason Brazier, Smissen, Will Dunlop|
Pursglove, Smissen, Lee Winfield 2,
|01/08/2007||Folkestone Invicta||F||Home||3-1||300||Smissen 2, Neilson|
Ian Ross, Pursglove, Winfield,
Ian Hayes, Skelton, Smissen
|07/08/2007||Ashford Town||F||Home||3-2||Skelton 2, Smissen|
|11/08/2007||Lordswood||KLP||Away||4-1||62||Smissen 3, Winfield|
|18/08/2007||Merstham||FACEP||Away||3-2||93||Brazier, Neilsen, Smissen|
|25/08/2007||VCD Athletic||KLP||Home||3-0||119||Neilsen, Smissen 2|
|08/09/2007||Slade Green||FAV1Q||Home||3-0||105||Neilson 2, Smissen|
|11/09/2007||Faversham Town||KLP||Home||5-0||142||Winfield, Smissen, Hayes 2, Brazier|
|15/09/2007||Littlehampton Town||FAC1Q||Home||3-1||130||Smissen 2, Hayes|
|29/09/2007||Dover Athletic||FAC2Q||Home||2-1||1109||Wilkins og, Winfield|
|20/10/2007||Holmesdale||KLP||Home||4-0||87||Smissen 2, Brazier 2|
|23/10/2007||Holmesdale||KLCGD||Home||3-0||62||Fisk, Winfield 2|
|27/10/2007||Beckenham Town||KLP||Away||3-6||140||Brazier, Hayes, Smissen|
|03/11/2007||Slade Green||KLCGD||Home||5-1||70||Godden 3, Smissen, Winfield|
|07/11/2007||Herne Bay||KLP||Away||3-0||95||Brazier, Smissen, Winfield|
|10/11/2007||Holmesdale||KLCGD||Away||3-0||48||Brazier, Hayes, Smissen|
|17/11/2007||Erith Town||KLP||Home||2-1||86||Brazier, Smissen|
|24/11/2007||Erith & Belvedere||KLP||Home||8-1||104||
Gregory, Smissen 4, Luckham,
|27/11/2007||Beckenham Town||KLCGD||Home||3-0||72||Brazier, Ransley, Smissen|
|11/12/2007||Slade Green||KLCGD||Away||2-0||27||Brazier, Hodges|
|22/12/2007||Lordswood||KLP||Home||3-0||109||Winfield 2, Cook|
|29/12/2007||Sporting Bengal United||KLP||Home||5-0||125||Brazier, Smissen 2, Cook, Rainbow|
Kingwell, Smissen 2, Skelton,
Taylor og, Gregory, Hodges
|29/01/2008||Thamesmead Town||KLCQF||Home||5-0||118||Sly 3, Smissen, Kingwell|
|02/02/2008||Faversham Town||KLP||Away||3-1||142||Winfield, Kingwell Smissen|
|09/02/2008||Tunbridge Wells||KLP||Home||2-1||183||Smissen 2|
|12/02/2008||Deal Town||KLP||Home||3-0||155||Winfield 2, Cook|
|16/02/2008||Sporting Bengal United||KLP||Away||7-1||52||Smissen 4, Winfield, Cook, Neilson|
|23/02/2008||Sevenoaks Town||KLP||Away||4-2||52||Smissen, Winfield, Kingwell, Brazier|
|01/03/2008||Erith Town||KLP||Away||3-2||64||Smissen 2, Winfield|
|18/03/2008||Herne Bay||KLCSF1L||Home||4-1||184||Smissen 3, Cook|
|02/04/2008||Herne Bay||KLCSF2L||Away||2-0||169||Burrett og, Hayes|
|05/04/2008||Sevenoaks Town||KLP||Home||2-0||140||Able, Cook|
|12/04/2008||Erith & Belvedere||KLP||Away||1-4||83||Winfield|
Paul Fisk was in charge for his sixth full season, with Scott Porter as his assistant. Dave Johncock continued to look after the reserves, with Darren Walmsley as his deputy. The Kent League had found a sponsor after two blank years, Bulmers Cider taking over the role. Last season’s Kent League champions, Thamesmead Town, had moved up to the Ryman League and their place was taken by Norton Sports, champions of the Kent County League, who would ground-share at Herne Bay. Gary Staniforth had joined the Hythe board, season tickets were available for £60/£30 with match admission £6/£3, including programme. The kit reverted to all-red, with white flashes, again sponsored by Red Eagle Recruitment.
Summer departures were Ian Ross, Will Dunlop to Herne Bay and James Gregory to Margate. Dave Cook had trained pre-season with Folkestone but had chosen to remain at Hythe. New signings included Ben Sly, after impressing on loan the previous season, Nick Shaw as the second keeper and Gary Mickelborough.
After a pretty successful pre-season, Hythe got off to a great start in the league and by the end of September were in second place, unbeaten with six wins and one draw. There were a few Saturdays off thanks to cup games, a visit to Pagham saw a comfortable 5-1 win before Ryman League South table-toppers Walton & Hersham were beaten 2-1 at Reachfields. This gave a home tie with VCD Athletic and despite playing against ten men for more than a half, the game ended goalless. In the midweek replay the home side were too strong and won 3-0. Hythe entered the FA Vase at the first round stage and suffered a 3-0 home defeat to Combined Counties side Egham Town.
Back in the league October saw good away wins at Herne Bay and Faversham sandwiched by a disappointing home draw with Erith & Belvedere but Hythe were now top of the table. The Kent League Cup had returned to a knockout competition after three years of group games. All rounds would be over two legs, with initial opponents Sporting Bengal being on the wrong end of a 14-3 aggregate score.
The next game would end in a first league defeat, away to league-leaders Holmesdale, immediately followed by a heavy home defeat to Faversham, which dropped Hythe to third. A revival saw five wins in a row, and a return to the summit, only to lose heavily away to Erith Town. The quarter-final of the League Cup saw a 6-1 aggregate win against Slade Green and an inconsistent run in the league, where there was a pattern of two victories then a defeat over the next nine games. January saw the signing of striker Mo Takalobighashi and the return of Roy Guiver.
There was disappointment in the League Cup semi-final, despite a 3-1 win in the home leg, the second leg would see Erith Town through, needing extra-time to win 4-1 to reach the final. A home defeat to Greenwich was followed by wins over Tunbridge Wells and Beckenham to set up a virtual winner-takes-all game against title rivals VCD on Easter Monday at Reachfields. Most in the crowd of over 300 went home disappointed as the Vickers scored two late goals to take the points and, a couple of games later, the title. Their run in the second half of the season was very impressive, they had been as low as fifteenth before Christmas. Hythe went into their last game at Slade Green needing a win to guarantee second place, which was achieved comfortably, 5-2. This would be the fourth time Hythe had been Kent League runners-up, but the first time for 24 seasons. The reserves had a really good season, finishing in third position in Division Two and fifth in the Kent Floodlight Trophy (East).
Attendances were up for the season, thanks to the good football, the title challenge and plenty of goals. The average for league games was 164, the best was 320 against Tunbridge Wells which was an ‘In for a quid’ promotion, and 307 for the Easter VCD game.
Hythe played 44 games, winning 28, drawing 5 and losing 11, scoring 103 goals. Pat Kingwell played in all but one game, sometimes in attack and latterly in defence. Paul Hyde, Dale Skelton, Dave Cook and Lee Winfield missed fewer than five games, and Tom Adlington, Ben Sly, Gavin Ransley, Gary Mickelborough and John Walker played 25+ games. Cook top-scored with 19 goals, Kingwell 13, Mickelborough 12 and Mike Smissen, in an injury-hit season, and Lee Winfield both scored 10. Pat Kingwell won both Players’ and Supporters’ Player of the Year, Tom Adlington won the Manager’s award.
|Erith & Belvedere||32||16||5||11||67||50||17||53|
|Sporting Bengal United||32||0||0||32||26||160||-134||0|
|*Erith Town awarded 2 points, ** Greenwich Boro' deducted 1 point|
Skelton, Winfield, Smissen,
Pat Kingwell, Skelton,
|26/07/2008||Chatham Town||F||Home||1-5||103||John Walker|
Dave Cook, Mickelborough,
|09/08/2008||Sevenoaks Town||KLP||Home||3-1||133||Cook (pen), Skelton, Winfield|
Kingwell, Skelton, Ransley,
|25/08/2008||Deal Town||KLP||Home||2-1||185||Kingwell, Smissen|
|30/08/2008||Walton & Hersham||FACP||Home||2-1||209||Kingwell, Smissen|
Cook (pen), Smissen, Winfield,
|20/09/2008||Sporting Bengal United||KLP||Away||3-1||46||Cook 2 (2 pens), Smissen|
Mickelborough 2, Smissen,
Winfield 2, Sly, Neilson
|15/10/2008||Herne Bay||KLP||Away||3-2||142||Ransley, Kingwell, Cook|
|18/10/2008||Erith & Belvedere||KLP||Home||1-1||163||Cook|
|21/10/2008||Faversham Town||KLP||Away||3-1||136||Sly 2, Kingwell|
|25/10/2008||Sporting Bengal United||KLC21L||Home||10-1||87||
Ransley, Neilson, Kingwell 3, Sly 2,
Mickelborough, Cook (pen), O'Leary
|01/11/2008||Sporting Bengal United||KLC22L||Away||4-2||TBC||Kingwell, Skelton, Walmsley, Bouvier|
|22/11/2008||Croydon||KLP||Away||2-1||65||Cook 2 (1 pen)|
|29/11/2008||Sporting Bengal United||KLP||Home||5-0||92||
Cook (pen), Bouvier 2, Kingwell,
|20/12/2008||Beckenham Town||KLP||Away||3-1||70||Brazier 2, Cook|
|27/12/2008||Norton Sports||KLP||Home||4-1||158||Cook 2, Mickelborough, Winfield|
|27/01/2009||Slade Green||KLCQF1L||Home||2-1||101||Cook, Sly|
|31/01/2009||Slade Green||KLCQF2L||Away||4-0||62||Brazier 2, Mickelborough, Takaloo|
|17/02/2009||Herne Bay||KLP||Home||5-1||154||Guiver 2, Mickelborough 2, Takaloo|
|28/02/2009||Slade Green||KLP||Home||3-0||131||Takaloo, Brazier, Guiver|
|07/03/2009||Tunbridge Wells||KLP||Home||2-0||320||Sly, Smissen|
|10/03/2009||Sevenoaks Town||KLP||Away||2-3||81||Takaloo, Smissen|
|17/03/2009||Erith Town||KLCSF1L||Home||3-1||122||Cook, Takaloo, Smissen|
|21/03/2009||Erith & Belvedere||KLP||Away||2-0||74||Mickelborough 2|
|31/03/2009||Tunbridge Wells||KLP||Away||2-1||101||Winfield, Takaloo|
Winfield, Smissen, Skelton
|Erith & Belvedere||30||10||6||14||46||62||-16||36|
|Sporting Bengal United||30||7||4||19||44||95||-51||25|
|18/07/2009||Hollands and Blair||F||Away||5-1||80||Punton 2, Walker, Beaney, Winfield|
|21/07/2009||Lydd Town||F||Away||5-0||50||Winfield, Punton, Cook, Pursglove, Byrne|
|27/07/2009||Ramsgate Town||F||Away||3-2||112||Byrne, Punton, Cook|
|30/07/2009||New Romney||F||Home||5-0||85||Chandler, S Taylor, Punton, Pursglove, OG|
|01/08/2009||Rye United||F||Home||3-2||84||Pursglove 3|
|04/08/2009||Westfield||F||Home||7-0||80||Pursglove 2, Byrne 2 Bond, Ransley, Hodges|
|08/08/2009||Erith & Belvedere||KLP||Home||5-2||146||Kingwell 2, Byrne 2, Pursglove|
|22/08/2009||Fisher||KLP||Home||6-0||158||Byrne 3, Cook 2 (1 pen), Kingwell|
|29/08/2009||Eastbourne Town||FACP||Home||4-0||152||Kingwell 3, Byrne|
|05/09/2009||Greenwich Borough||KLP||Away||2-2||30||Kingwell, Byrne|
|12/09/2009||Faversham Town||FAC1Q||Home||2-1||215||Kingwell, Cook|
|17/10/2009||Tunbridge Wells||KLC1R1L||Away||3-1||86||Cook 2 (1 pen), Yianni|
|24/10/2009||Tunbridge Wells||KLC1R2L||Home||2-1||119||Yianni, Cook|
|31/10/2009||Norton Sports||KLP||Home||1-2||152||Winfield (pen)|
|07/11/2009||Holmesdale||KLP||Home||4-0||110||Byrne, Cook, Boxer, Yianni|
|17/11/2009||Canterbury City||F||Home||2-2||Yianni, Byrne|
|28/11/2009||Fisher||KLP||Away||4-0||83||Yianni 2, Kingwell, Cook|
|23/01/2010||Tunbridge Wells||KLP||Away||3-0||92||Thompson, OG, Ralph|
|06/02/2010||Sporting Bengal United||KLP||Home||6-1||112||Yianni 2, Driscoll, Cook (pen), Clarke, Byrne|
|20/02/2010||Erith Town||KLP||Home||3-1||106||Thompson, OG, Ward|
|02/03/2010||Sevenoaks Town||KLP||Away||3-4||65||Cook 2 (1 pen), Yianni|
|13/03/2010||Erith & Belvedere||KLP||Away||1-1||59||Thompson|
|24/03/2010||Herne Bay||KLP||Away||2-1||102||Byrne, Cook|
|05/04/2010||Beckenham Town||KLP||Home||3-1||107||Ward, Chandler (pen), Smith|
|17/04/2010||Lordswood||KLP||Away||5-0||63||Thompson 3, Driscoll, Boxer|
|21/04/2010||Sporting Bengal United||KLP||Away||4-3||25||Ward 2, Thompson, Cook|
|24/04/2010||Erith Town||KLP||Away||4-3||52||Thompson 2, Cook, Walker|