Dream Over For Now
Faversham Town – 3 – Hythe Town - 0
Ryman League South - 30/04/13
Hythe Town's almost three month unbeaten run came to a shuddering halt at the hands of a ruthlessly efficient Faversham Town. As a result, Ray Turner's side will progress to Saturday's Ryman South Play-Off Final, against and at Maidstone United. Scott Porter's side were joining the hosts in trying to play through any big-game nerves, when a three goal, six minute blitz stunned the visitors. The first two goals converted within two minutes of one another, both set-up by the very familiar long-throw of ex-Hythe man Aaron Lacy. The warning signs were there as early as the first minute, when a Lacy throw picked out James Peacock who headed just over the bar. However, the Hythe support didn’t expect what was coming, as having played for the club last season, Lacy’s tactics are well known by the Reachfields outfit, and in the two previous league games had been dealt with comfortably. The visitors’ first chance of the evening fell to Jake Hobbs, who couldn’t keep his volley down after Ronnie Dolan had worked the ball across the box.
A scrappy, nervy first half-hour almost ended with Hythe taking the lead. Pat Kingwell brought the ball out from defence in typically classy fashion, before clipping a lovely pass out to Brendon Cass who had drifted out onto the flank. Cass sent in an excellent cross for his strike-partner Craig Thompson, who had to watch his header from six-yards be tipped over the bar brilliantly by Simon Overland, it was to prove to be a pivotal moment. With eleven minutes of the half remaining the home side took the lead, Lacy’s throw falling at the feet of Matt Bourne who managed to steer his shot through a crowded six-yard box and past Dan Eason, with a slight deflection for good measure. Two minutes later, the worst possible scenario unfolded for the visitors, as Lacy lined up another long-throw from almost the corner-flag, the Hythe defence looked nervous, Lacy’s throw was surprisingly to the back-post where Bourne fired home on the half-volley.
Darren Marsden had one of his better games against the Hythe midfield, and it was the ex-Herne Bay and Folkestone Invicta man that effectively ended Hythe’s play-off hopes just six minutes after the opening goal. The playmaker flicking Dave Botterill’s pass into the path of Renford Tenyue, who calmly fired his shot inside the near-post. It was the classic example of the snowball effect, Porter’s side close to taking the lead, only to find themselves fall behind, before a similar tactic to the opening goal caused panic and a second-goal. Finally, the third goal seemed to take advantage of the shock running through the away side, who had gone from almost taking the lead to having their season ended in just twelve minutes. If a miracle was to occur, then Hythe needed the spring-board of an early second-half goal, it didn’t come, and Faversham’s quality combined with Hythe’s frustration, almost turned the final third of the game into a non-event.
One glimmer of real hope had arrived just before the hour mark, Thompson heading just over after a decent run and cross from Hobbs. Hythe pushed for a consolation goal to regain some pride, Cass volleying wide at the back-post after a decent cross from substitute Kieran Byrne, whilst a long-range effort from Ronnie Dolan signalled the end of Hythe’s efforts on target on a night that had promised so much. However, that is the nature of the beast, with a chance of promotion that wouldn’t normally exist without the play-off system. In closing it must be remembered that in regards to league placing, this was the best ever season in the history of a club aiming to be promoted to a level of football they have never played at in their entire history. A club that must also congratulate the brilliant individual performance of skipper Dave Cook, winner of the Ryman South Golden Boot with a stunning twenty-seven goals from midfield. In closing, congratulations to Scott, his management team, the players, officials, and supporters of our club for another outstanding season!
Match Report & Interviews - Courtesy of www.kentishfootball.co.uk - Click Here
Scorers – Faversham Town – Bourne – 34, 36 mins – Tenyue – 40 mins
Hythe Town - Eason, Savage (Collado – 66), Walker, Kingwell, Cloke, Dolan, Cook (c), Thompson (Coburn - 79), Hobbs, Cass, Yianni (Byrne – 59) - Unused subs – A Porter, Elliott
Attendance - 606
Bring On The Play-Offs!
Walton & Hersham - 2 - Hythe Town - 2
Ryman League South - 27/04/13
Scott Porter's side managed to end the normal league season unbeaten, with their 17th game without defeat. A typical end of season affair took place at Walton & Hersham, with the home side twice taking the lead, only to be pegged back twice by a stubborn Hythe side. Michael Yianni and Dave Cook struck for the visitors, who now move forward to a play-off semi-final at Faversham Town. The winners of that tie will then have the mouth-watering prospect of a money-spinning final at Maidstone United or the chance to host Folkestone Invicta, Kent sides dominating the play-off positions. The final league game of the season took place in strange circumstances, lowly Walton putting in a performance worthy of a side in the play-offs, whilst the team in exactly that position seemed to already have an eye on Tuesday night.
The venue itself also provided a unique setting, as the pitch, surrounded by an athletics track, started as a dust bowl but ended drenched by a hailstorm! The game started in a scrappy style and it was the home side that enjoyed the first chances on goal, first having a goal disallowed as Hythe struggled to clear the first of many dangerous long-throws from John Clark. The same routine led to Sacha Mbaye firing wildly over from six-yards after Tony Reid's volley back across goal. Midway through the half Cook went close, running onto a defensive clearance that was ignored by the offside Brendon Cass, keeper Chris Manderson bravely winning the chase to the loose ball. Hythe ended the half in far better form than they started it, Jake Hobbs curling in a twenty-five yard free-kick that fell just the wrong side of the post, sending a ripple across the side-netting that convinced many Hythe supporters their side had taken the lead.
Manderson made the save of the game on the stroke of half-time, Cook running clear on goal from Jamie Collado's hooked through-ball, only for his precise eighteen-yard volley to be tipped over the bar. From the resulting Hobbs corner Craig Cloke headed just wide at the back-post, Hythe probably frustrated by the half-time whistle arriving. Three minutes after the restart, the home side took the lead, Reid heading home Liam Collins' free-kick to the back-post. Just seven minutes later Hythe finally showed their class, Craig Cloke playing Hobbs' corner into the path of Yianni who hit a sweet first-time volley from twenty-five yards low into the net, leaving Manderson motionless. Just a minute later, the Hythe support were again guilty of celebrating a goal that didn't actually come about! Ronnie Dolan played a lovely through-ball into the path of Hobbs who crossed with precision to Cook, the Hythe skipper glancing just wide from only six-yards out.
Midway through the second-half the hosts regained the lead, Will Turl forcing the ball home at close-range as the pressure from Clark's long-throws finally told. The home side threatened to finish the game off, Dan Eason tipping Turl's curling free-kick over the bar. However the visitors were about to finish the game strongly, as they fought to cling on to their brilliant unbeaten run, Cass and Dolan had goalbound shots blocked but four minutes from time Hythe hit an equaliser. A ball forward led to Cass being dragged down on the edge of the box, top scorer Cook stepped up to hit a fierce low free-kick that Manderson could only fumble into his own net.
Scorers - Hythe Town - Yianni - 55 mins - Cook - 86 mins - Walton & Hersham - Reid - 48 mins - Turl - 63 mins
Hythe Town - Eason, A Porter (Blackman - 88), Walker, Kingwell, Cloke, Dolan, Cook (c), Collado, Hobbs (Savage - 70), Cass, Yianni - Unused subs - Smith, Coburn, Elliott
Attendance - 140
Horsham - 3 - Hythe Town - 4
Ryman League South - 24/04/13
Hythe Town extended their unbeaten run to sixteen games with a 4-3 win, at the same time confirming that they will now face Faversham Town in the Ryman South Play-Offs Semi-Final on Tuesday 30th April. The final factor to be decided is home advantage, which will go to Hythe if they better or equal Faversham's result in their last game of the season on Saturday. Despite the final scoreline, this was a result that was never actually in doubt, with the home side scoring their third goal in the 89th minute and a further strike with almost the last kick of injury-time. Hythe were out of the traps the quickest, straight from kick-off Brendon Cass and Dave Cook combined to send Ronnie Dolan one on one with Michael Hunter who made a great low save. For the home side, Eddie Koboah's corner was lifted just over the crossbar by Charlie Farmer. One minute later Hythe took the lead, Dolan ending a patient move with a brilliant cross to the back-post that was met by a bullet header from Cook.
Two minutes later the visitors doubled their lead, Cook turning provider, Jake Hobbs slipping the offside trap to run clear on goal and calmly slot home a low finish. At the other end Ryan Waterman sent a half-volley just over as Hythe failed to clear their lines. Hobbs was soon involved again, sending Cass clear on goal, the striker lobbing a cross over Hunter but not quite finding Cook with the goal wide open. Scott Porter's side were rampant, the movement of Cass and Cook causing endless problems for the Horsham defence. It was Cass that sent Yianni clear through for a third goal in just twelve minutes, the midfielder smashing home at the second attempt after a good first save from Hunter. Farmer managed to get his head in the way of a certain goal as Dolan hit a thirty-yard half-volley towards the unguarded Horsham net.
Hythe continued to turn the screw, Yianni's cross to the near post picking out Cass who beat his man and shot low and hard, the overworked Hunter again making the save. The impressive Koboah was the home side's best outlet, and the winger created two good chances as the first-half drew to a close. Firstly his mazy run ended with Tony Nwachukwu beating the Hythe offside trap, although the Hythe defence recovered well to smother a good chance. A minute before the break Koboah combined with Billy Dunn to line up a shot from Ryan Waterman that Dan Eason did well to hold onto. Just after the restart the visitors should have made it four, Cook unable to finish a one on one after a lovely though-ball from Yianni, Hobbs failing to convert the rebound. Four minutes into the half the home side pulled a goal back, Karl Akehurst's free-kick forced home at close-range by Farmer.
Hythe were unfazed, as Yianni sent a volley across goal and just wide, following an uncleared free-kick from Hobbs. Just before the hour mark Hythe restored their three goal cushion, Yianni heading into the path of Cook who in turn threaded the ball through to Cass who had slipped the offside trap to slam home his finish off the inside of the post, from just inside the box. Hythe were threatening to run away with things as Cass played Hobbs and Cook clear on goal, Cook's effort saved, Hobbs firing just wide. Good work from Ashley Porter led to fellow substitute Lloyd Blackman looping a volley just over the crossbar. To their credit, the longer the game went on, the more the home side grew in confidence. As the game concluded with a relaxed pre-season feel, the hosts ended their home league campaign in style. Substitute Harry Smith getting in behind Hythe to slot home a fine solo effort. Before deep into injury-time, another substitute, Ryan Marriott, flicked home a header that gave Eason no chance.
Scorers - Hythe Town - Cook - 9 mins - Hobbs - 11 mins - Yianni - 21 mins - Cass - 57 mins - Horsham - Farmer - 49 mins - Smith - 89 mins - Marriott - 90+3 mins
Eason, Walker, D Winfield (Smith - 45), Kingwell, Coburn, Dolan, Cook (c), Collado, Hobbs (Blackman - 83), Cass, Yianni (A Porter - 72) - Unused Subs - Thompson, Elliott
Attendance - 126
Play-Offs Spot Secured!
Hythe Town – 2 – Worthing - 2
Ryman League South - 20/04/13
Dave Cook and Jake Hobbs both scored and set up a goal for one another, as Scott Porter’s side secured a historical first ever spot in the Ryman League South Division One Play-Offs! Hythe have now gone an outstanding fifteen games unbeaten, after visitors Worthing impressed to come from behind on two occasions to frustrate the Reachfields crowd. The home support had hoped that their side would sign-off at home with a win to make certain of a place in the place-offs. In the end, results elsewhere led to a guarantee of a minimum of fifth place, and with it a play-offs spot, in only our second ever season at this level of football!
The first chance of the afternoon fell to Cook, the Hythe skipper heading a dangerous free-kick from Hobbs just over, with only two minutes on the clock. The visitors settled, enjoying some decent early possession, however it would again be the home side to carve out the next chance on goal. Cook’s one-two with Brendon Cass led to Cass bundling his way through on goal, Cook eventually taking over, his shot scrambled clear at close-range. With fifteen minutes on the clock, Hythe took the lead, with probably their best goal of the season. Cook helped a cross on along the edge of the Worthing box, Hobbs did the rest, firing a stunning half-volley across goal from the corner of the eighteen-yard box, arrowed up to hit the inside of the post and into the net.
Four minutes later the visitors’ had a lifeline, Cook sliced his clearance, Dan Eason made an uncharacteristic error to miss a catch, Scott Kirkwood firing home at close-range. Just before the half-hour mark Hythe regained their lead in emphatic fashion, Cook heading home at the back-post after a brilliant cross from Hobbs, good work in the build-up from Michael Yianni and Ashley Porter. The home side started the second-half brightly, Cook again combining with Hobbs, who beat his man before firing in a vicious half-volley that was tipped over the bar. Next it was Worthing's turn to enjoy a decent period of pressure on the Hythe goal. Firstly Billy Medloc’s half volley forced Eason into a decent save, before a similar chance fell to Nico Pinilla, who had his shot turned around the post by Eason.
For Hythe, Hobbs’ free-kick was met by a flicked header from Thompson, the ball tipped over the bar by Worthing keeper Jack Fagan. The hour mark arrived, and another Hobbs’ corner caused an almighty scramble, debutant Lee Coburn and Thompson both going close. A lovely sweeping move involving substitute Jamie Collado, Brendon Cass, and Darren Winfield, ended with Hobbs firing his shot just over. Hythe continued to turn up the pressure, Hobbs playing Cass in on goal, the striker clearly fouled for a penalty, the Referee playing advantage, however Hobbs could only roll his shot just wide. The final twenty minutes saw the visitors grow in confidence and play their best football of the game. The home side were about to concede a share of the points, Kirkwood heading home at the back-post to end a decent period of pressure in and around the Hythe box.
Scorers – Hythe Town – Hobbs – 15 mins – Cook – 28 mins – Worthing – Kirkwood – 19, 88 mins
Hythe Town - Eason, A Porter, D Winfield, Kingwell, Coburn, Dolan, Cook (c), Thompson (Collado - 68), Hobbs, Cass, Yianni - Unused subs – Savage, Walker, Smith Elliott
Attendance - 348
Cook Brace Continues Run
Whitstable Town – 1 – Hythe Town - 2
Ryman League South - 13/04/13
Two goals from skipper Dave Cook extended Hythe Town's incredible unbeaten run to fourteen games, as they defeated Whitstable Town by two goals to one. It was the case of yet another Kent derby where too many players knew one another, and each other's strengths and weaknesses. However the game improved as a spectacle dramatically in a second-half that ended with Cook's brilliant winner ten minutes from time. The game got off to an explosive start, as straight from the kick-off Scott Heard forced his way through on goal, only for the alert Dan Eason to save bravely. The home side were enjoying some good possession, but the visitors were keeping their hosts comfortably at arms length. On fourteen minutes, Hythe were awarded a penalty. Craig Cloke's long-throw-in causing a scramble in the Whitstable box, ex-Hythe keeper Dean Ruddy adjudged to have fouled Brendon Cass as the ball spilt. Dave Cook did the rest, stroking home the spot-kick into the bottom-left hand corner.
Two minutes later another ex-Hythe man, James Everitt, firmly shoved Cook to the ground from behind, again in the penalty box. This time Cook's penalty was saved low by Ruddy to keep his side in the game. After a frantic opening period of play both sides took a breather, the game entering a scrappy twenty minutes. A pivotal three minutes arrived just before half-time, as Scott Porter's side almost doubled their lead, before the home side hit an equaliser. Firstly, Ronnie Dolan collected an Ashley Porter throw-in, before surging into the box and crossing to the back-post for Cook to slam his shot home, only for the offside flag to rule out a second Hythe goal. Four minutes before half-time Whitstable drew level, a great overlap from right-back Tom Axford led to a dangerous cross that Hythe failed to clear. In the scramble that followed former Folkestone skipper Michael Everitt launched a shot into the roof of the net to give Eason no chance.
As the second-half began it was all to play for, and to be fair, both sides showed more variation to their football, leading to a better spectacle. Four minutes after the restart Hobbs' corner caused an almighty scramble, leading to Craig Thompson having a header cleared off the line. Another ex-Hythe man, the impressive Laurence Harvey, made a vital saving tackle on Cook as he surged clear into the box, following a good ball forward from Porter and a decent lay-off by Cass. Hythe were now on top, a short corner routine leading to a Thompson cross missing Ruddy and having to be cleared off the line. Cook's half-volley ran just wide, but to give credit to the home side they had dealt with Hythe’s pressure. Now it was the hosts chance to turn the screw, as a well worked throw-in routine led to a cross, met by a point-blank range header from Ollie Lee that Eason did brilliantly to turn over the crossbar. Next, a good cross to the back-post from Tom Brunt was met by another ex-Hythe favourite, Buster Smissen, who headed just wide.
After a pivotal moment towards the end of the first-half had gone Whitstable's way, a similar key moment arrived ten minutes from full-time that went Hythe's way. One counter-attack from the home side had really stretched their opponents, as twice, substitute Dan Hanshaw seemed to take too long to shoot in the Hythe box, when a clear strike on goal seemed certain. Hythe scrambled clear, and thanks to Michael Yianni, they converted a near-miss into a winning goal. The midfielder running out of defence before playing a delightful ball out to Jake Hobbs on the flank, the winger surged forward before picking out Cook at the back post with a delightful cross that his captain forced home at close-range. Deep into injury-time a decent counter–attack from Whitstable led to a deep-hanging cross to the back-post, where Porter made the interception of the game to prevent a last-ditch equaliser. Hythe Town now stand two points (apologies for any incorrect maths!) from securing a historic first ever place in the Ryman South play-offs!
Scorers – Hythe Town – Cook – 14, 80 mins – Whitstable Town – M Everitt – 41 mins
Hythe Town - Eason, A Porter, Smith (Savage – 83), Kingwell, Cloke, Dolan, Cook (c), Thompson (Collado - 86), Hobbs, Cass, Yianni - Unused subs – Coburn, Walker, Elliott
Attendance - 220
Chipstead - 1 - Hythe Town - 4
Ryman League South - 09/04/13
Brendon Cass hit a scintillating eleven minute hat-trick, as Hythe Town made sure it wasn't an unlucky 13th game on their brilliant unbeaten run. Chipstead were effectively beaten as early as Jake Hobbs' 34th minute goal, which made it 4-1 to the visitors, who had put on an unstoppable first-half display of attacking football. Before a professional second-half display snuffed out any chance of an unlikely Chipstead comeback. Hythe enjoyed the brighter start out of the two sides, however it was the home side who had the first clear chance on goal, Sam Robinson bursting into the Hythe box and firing a shot across goal that deflected just wide. However an avalanche of goals were around the corner.
Firstly a clearance from Ronnie Dolan caught the Chipstead defence flat-footed, Cass timed his run to perfection, nodding the ball down before confidently firing a half-volley under keeper Martin Grant from just inside the box. Five minutes later Hythe doubled their lead, Jake Hobbs sent in an excellent corner to the near-post, met with perfect timing by a header from Cass. Suddenly, the home side had a lifeline, Dan Eason in the Hythe goal adjudged to have fouled following an uncleared long throw-in from Chris Ellis. So only three minutes after the second Hythe goal, Tom Jelley slotted home into the bottom-left hand corner. The two goal cushion would be restored after just three more minutes, this time Eason's clearance sending the alert Cass clear on goal to expertly poke home past Grant and seal a brilliant eleven minute hat-trick!
Just as things looked like they could get embarrassing, the home side managed to steady themselves. Liam Wright got in behind the Hythe backline but could only fire his shot just wide, before Jelley's curling twenty-five yard free-kick was tipped round the base of Eason's post. However the reality was that the visitors were still looking like they could score with most of their attacking moves. Eleven minutes before half-time they did just that, Craig Thompson slipping the Chipstead offside trap before unselfishly playing Hobbs into the box on the overlap, the winger confidently stroking the ball home, Hythe's accuracy in front of goal devestating. Just before half-time the hosts came close to a lifeline as Josh Andrew's shot deflected onto the Hythe crossbar, but fell to safety.
With the second-half came the expected improvement from the home side, but the defence for both sides came out on top in a tighter second period. Hobbs' free-kick found Dave Cook at the back-post, whose header flashed across goal with Cass and Thompson lurking. For Chipstead, Andrew's cross flashed across the Hythe goal, Eason doing brilliantly to get across goal and block Rob Haworth's shot at point-blank range. With twenty minutes remaining Dolan won possession before surging forward and playing a nice one-two with Cass to run clear and flash a dangerous cross through the box that just evaded Thompson. It was to be the last real chance of note, the game ending in a slightly different way than it had began, as a succession of off-target long-range shots from the home side failed to force Eason into another save.
Scorers - Hythe Town - Cass - 13, 18, 24 mins - Hobbs - 34 mins - Chipstead - Jelley - 21 mins (pen)
Hythe Town - Eason, A Porter, D Winfield (Smith - 54), Kingwell, Cloke, Dolan, Cook (c), Thompson ( Collado - 75), Hobbs, Cass (Blackman - 90), Yianni - Unused subs - Walker, Elliott
Attendance - 59
The Only Way Is Up!
Hythe Town – 2 – Crawley Down Gatwick - 1
Ryman League South - 06/04/13
Goals from Dave Cook and Craig Thompson gave Scott Porter's Hythe Town a more than deserved 2-0 half-time lead. Opponents Crawley Down Gatwick mounted an expected comeback in a hard-fought second-half, but the Hythe defence only conceded the one goal, Hythe now move to 3rd in the league table, with a brilliant twelve game unbeaten run! The home side dominated the first-half, and should have been a couple of goals to the good after just ten minutes. One minute into the game Michael Yianni played a lovely ball into the path of Jake Hobbs who slotted home only to look up and see an offside flag. Just a minute later Brendon Cass found himself clear on goal, however as the visitor’s recovering defence blocked off the shot the Hythe striker found Yianni on the overlap, who forced Tony Di Bernardo into a good low save. On the ten minute mark Ronnie Dolan powered down the right before crossing for the unmarked Cass, who lifted his shot just over the crossbar.
Only one minute later Hythe surged forward yet again as Hobbs fed Thompson at the near-post, Di Bernardo providing a brilliant save around the post. Thompson was revelling in being recalled to the starting line-up, against a defence and goalkeeper that he had terrorised in the corresponding fixture at Crawley Down. Hythe’s football, and their next move in particular, was making a mockery of some of their recent criticisms, as a free-flowing passing move involved Yianni, Cook, and Hobbs who crossed to the back-post, Thompson missing his header by an inch or two. Ashley Porter was the next Hythe player to prompt an attack, playing a nice through-ball into the path of Cass, his lay-off perfect for Thompson to force Di Bernardo into an outstanding near-post save. Next, Cass really should have opened the scoring, heading over, with Di Bernardo beaten following a Hobbs’ cross.
It was all Hythe, and they deservedly took the lead just after the half-hour mark. Hobbs’ ball forward flicked on by Thompson, before Cass played the ball expertly down into the path of Cook, the skipper making no mistake with a blistering half-volley across goal to give the home side an inevitable lead. Four minutes before half-time the hosts doubled their lead, Thompson and Cass hunting down the visiting defence as they overplayed on the edge of their own box. The eccentric Di Bernardo blasted a clearance straight into the path of Thompson, whose shot caught the body of the visiting keeper but still made its way over the goal-line. As expected, a team of Crawley Down Gatwick’s standing were more than capable of a half-time regroup, but not for the first time in the last three months, the Hythe defence stood firm as the visitors dominated possession for the first fifteen minutes of the second-half.
Just before the hour mark the home side was denied a clear penalty, Thompson pushed in the back, a foul anywhere else on the pitch. Midway through the second-half Cass’ header sent Thompson clear on goal, however his attempted lob sailed over the crossbar to safety. Suddenly the visitors had a goal back, a goal probably deserved for their improved possession and work-rate. Luke Blewden’s low shot was saved brilliantly by Dan Eason, the Hythe defence unable to prevent Miles Mitchell slotting home the rebound. The home side reacted well, Hobbs’ cross to the near-post, knocked just wide by Thompson. The unpredictable Di Bernardo make an excellent brave save at the feet of Cass after Cook’s header sent him clear on goal. Finally, Hythe survived the last decent chance on goal, the always lively Blewden bursting into the box and pulling back a dangerous cross that Eason managed to claim.
Match Photos - Courtesy of Simon Giles - Click Here
Scorers – Hythe Town – Cook – 32 mins – Thompson – 41 mins – Crawley Down Gatwick – Mitchell – 76 mins
Hythe Town - Eason, A Porter, D Winfield, Kingwell, Cloke, Dolan, Cook (c), Thompson (Savage – 89), Hobbs, Cass, Yianni (Collado – 87) - Unused subs – Coburn, Smith, Elliott
Attendance - 205
Hobbs Delivers Again
Folkestone Invicta – 1 - Hythe Town – 1
Ryman League South - 01/04/13
For the second time in three days, Jake Hobbs scored from a twenty-yard free-kick. This time it meant that Scott Porter's side left Folkestone with a deserved point, windy conditions ruining the big Easter Monday Derby as a spectacle. Although both sides failed to adapt to the conditions, the visitors left the happier, the result keeping their rivals four points behind in the chase for the play-offs, Hythe with a game in hand. After a confident start from the hosts it was actually Hythe that enjoyed the first decent chance on goal. Ronnie Dolan’s through-ball found Michael Yianni who had slipped the home side’s offside trap, Invicta keeper Jack Delo rushed off his line but miscued his headed clearance, however efforts on goal from Yianni and Brendon Cass were scrambled clear.
Richard Atkins almost converted a decent near-post effort, whilst at the other end Dave Cook failed to trouble Delo after a good opportunity on the counter-attack. Josh Burchell enjoyed a mazy run and shot from distance, although the save was routine for Dan Eason. Jake Hobbs curled in a free-kick from twenty-five yards that Craig Cloke came close to converting, but frustrations were growing for both sets of supporters. Dane Luchford has a history with Hythe, having played for and against us at various times over the years, and it was the forward that would force the opening goal of the afternoon. Having already sent a decent effort just wide from distance, his close-range half-volley took a big deflection off Cloke to give Eason no chance at all in the Hythe goal.
It was now important for Porter’s side to make it to half-time without the hosts extending their lead, something that was achieved. Later in the game Invicta Manager Neil Cugley reacted furiously over the award of the free-kick that led to the Hythe equaliser. However the visitors actually had far more reason to be angered, when only a minute into the second-half Delo landed behind the goal-line with the ball in his hands following a Hobbs corner. Most in the ground expected the score to be 1-1, however the man in charge decided there had been a foul on Delo, when there had been barely any contact at all with the home keeper.
The hosts soon bounced back from that near miss, as Burchell’s free-kick caused an almighty scramble in the Hythe goalmouth that was eventually cleared. Darren Smith fired a twenty-yard free-kick just over, but the visitors were about to enjoy their best spell of the game, inspired mainly by the introduction of Craig Thompson, the hosts unsure what to do about Hythe’s change of shape. With eleven minutes remaining the scores were level, as Hobbs curled home a lovely twenty-yard free-kick around the Folkestone wall and into the bottom-right hand corner of Delo’s goal. Hythe could have won the game in injury-time when Yianni slipped into the box and curled a shot across goal and just wide.
Scorers – Hythe Town – Hobbs – 79 mins – Folkestone Invicta – Luchford – 36 mins
Hythe Town - Eason, Walker, D Winfield, Kingwell, Cloke, Dolan, Cook (c), Byrne (Thompson - 65), Yianni, Cass, Hobbs - Unused subs – Savage, Smith, Collado, Elliott
Attendance - 866
Two Goals Not Enough
Hythe Town – 2 – Faversham Town - 2
Ryman League South - 30/03/13
Hythe Town's amazing run without conceding a goal reached the 700 minute mark, however all good things come to an end. Having taken a two goal lead at home to play-off rivals Faversham Town, Scott Porter's side finally conceded two second-half goals that cancelled out first-half strikes from Jake Hobbs and skipper Dave Cook, although our unbeaten run has now reached a brilliant ten games! The game started in very positive fashion for the home side, who forced two corners in the opening five minutes, before Cook was denied a penalty for what seemed a push inside the penalty box. It wouldn’t matter to the Hythe support, as moments later Hobbs stepped up to drill home the free-kick, awarded just outside the line of the eighteen-yard box, a low hard finish into the bottom-left hand corner. Two minutes later the visitors almost drew level, via a familiar method, the long-throw of ex-Hythe right-back, Aaron Lacy, met by a glancing header from Dave Botterill that fell just wide of Dan Eason’s post.
The chances were coming thick and fast, John Walker’s throw-in returned by Michael Yianni, Walker sending in an excellent cross to the back-post where Cook should have done better, unmarked, six-yards from goal. A lovely one-two between the lively strike-partnership of Kieran Oliver and Luke Harvey sent Oliver clear on goal, only an outstanding last-ditch tackle from Walker denying the youngster the opportunity to go on and shoot at an unguarded Eason. The half-hour mark arrived with another chance for the hosts, Simon Overland racing off his line to deny Brendon Cass after Darren Winfield’s through-ball deflected into the path of the Hythe striker. Kieran Byrne, returning to the club on dual-registration from Ashford United, curled a free-kick from twenty-five yards that Overland held well. The longer the game went on, the more Byrne was enjoying himself back in a Hythe shirt, and the Reachfields crowd were lapping up some of the winger’s old tricks.
On the stroke of half-time Byrne did brilliantly to steal possession in midfield, before pushing a delightful through-ball into the path of Cass who shot across goal and inches wide. First-half injury time arrived, and with it came the second Hythe goal, Cook’s first strike in eight games, a lean spell by the club captain’s own high standards. Byrne was involved again, heading Craig Cloke’s cross onto the top of the crossbar, Overland failed to catch or tip the ball over and Cook did the rest from two yards out. The visitors were transformed in the second-half, battling for possession with a much improved level of success than the first period of play, their goals arriving with perfect timing. Seven minutes after half-time, Jamie Maxted charged forward to head home Wayne Wilson’s corner to the near-post. The goal gave our play-off rivals something to build on, and they went on to enjoy long spells of decent possession inside the Hythe half.
To the home side’s credit they dug in and managed to work their way back into the game, without Eason really having to make a save. With sixteen minutes remaining Scott Porter had seen enough, deciding to introduce the fresh legs of George Savage and Jamie Collado. The final fifteen minutes evened out as the game ended as it began, with chances at both ends, substitute Renford Tenvue having penalty claims turned down, whilst at the other end a one-two between Cook and Cass led to a half-volley from Cook that Overland was well positioned to deal with. With eight minutes remaining the visitors struck, again with excellent timing, Tenvue hunting down a lost cause and crossing dangerously, the ball striking the hand of Winfield, Wilson calmly stroking home the resulting spot-kick. Hythe almost snatched it in injury-time as substitute Craig Thompson sent Cook clear on goal, but the recovering Faversham defence smothered Cook as he looked to find Thompson with a return ball.
Scorers – Hythe Town – Hobbs – 7 mins – Cook – 45 mins – Faversham Town – Maxted – 52 mins – Wilson – 82 mins (pen)
Hythe Town - Eason, Walker, D Winfield, Kingwell, Cloke, Dolan, Cook (c), Byrne (Collado – 74), Yianni, Cass (Thompson – 81), Hobbs (Savage – 74) - Unused subs – Smith, Elliott
Attendance - 269
Unbeaten Run Continues
Herne Bay – 0 - Hythe Town – 0
Ryman League South - 28/03/13
All eyes were on Dan Eason, the Hythe goalkeeper returning to his old stomping ground for the first time since his move between these two old rivals. In reality, the ex-Herne Bay man didn't need to make a save as Hythe's defence made it an outstanding 651 minutes since they last conceded a goal, the visitors extending their unbeaten run to nine games! The only frustration for Scott Porter's side was the lack of clinical finishing, the game ending 0-0 after several clear-cut opportunities were missed. One of those opportunities arrived as early as the sixth minute, Darren Winfield crossing from his own uncleared corner, Brendon Cass heading straight into the arms of Luke Prentice from only six-yards out.
For the hosts, Rhys Lawson was a constant menace during the first-half, the winger carving out his first chance of the evening, coming off the flank to curl a dangerous shot just wide from the corner of the box. A deep-hanging cross from Jake Hobbs almost found Cass and Michael Yianni at the back-post, Herne Bay scrambling clear. Cass managed to hit the post, the Hythe striker relieved to see an offside flag after a neat one-two between Ronnie Dolan and his skipper, Dave Cook. After that impressive start from Hythe the home side settled and began to enjoy some possession themselves. However, the visitors ended the half as they had started it, by letting Simon Halsey’s side off with some wayward finishing.
Yianni swivelled to send Cass clear on goal, whose early rising shot fizzed just over Prentice’ bar, before Cook ended the half with a twenty-yard run that led to a twenty-yard shot rolling just wide. The home side started the second period of play the brighter, the Turner twins and Byron Walker the same threat to Porter’s side that they always were back in both side’s Kent League days. Charging down the slope they provided some exciting wing-play, but the end result was almost always a confident clearance or interception from Hythe. On the hour-mark Craig Thompson replaced John Walker, Hythe switching to a 4-4-2 formation, the change prompting one of Hythe’s best chances of the second-half. Dolan picked up an uncleared Hobbs’ free-kick, before slipping in Cass who beat the Bay offside trap and centred, Cook and Thompson agonisingly close to a tap-in.
The home side were looking more and more dangerous on the counter-attack, and Pat Kingwell did well to recover and deflect a decent effort from James Turner just wide. Winfield’s corner found Cloke at the back-post, the centre-back’s header cleared off the line, before a huge appeal for a Herne Bay handball in the box was waved away by the Referee. Hobbs curled a twenty-five yard free-kick just wide, but it would be the home side who would finish the stronger of the two sides. Tom Bryant headed Ben Brown’s free-kick just wide at the back-post, before substitute Dean Grant played Byron Walker clear on goal, former team-mate Eason alert to the danger, racing off his line to smother the ball. The game ended as it began, Hythe missing the perfect chance to wrap up all three points, Hobbs’ pinpoint pass landing at the feet of Cass who shot straight at Prentice from just six yards out.
Hythe Town - Eason, Smith (Savage – 87), D Winfield, Kingwell, Cloke, Dolan, Cook (c), Walker (Thompson – 60), Hobbs (Collado – 90), Cass, Yianni - Unused subs – A Porter, Elliott
Attendance - 153
It Just Goes On!
Hythe Town – 1 – Dulwich Hamlet - 0
Ryman League South - 16/03/13
Hythe’s scintillating form continued this Saturday at Reachfields, as Dulwich Hamlet’s title challenge crashed into Scott Porter’s clean-sheet machine. Craig Cloke scored the winner eight minutes from time after he had led his defence to a sixth consecutive clean-sheet, over 560 minutes of football since we last conceded a goal. This brilliant win extended our unbeaten run to eight games, with this, our fourth consecutive 1-0 victory. With all of the spotlight being on the Hythe defence and the in-form Brendon Cass, it was interesting to see what the Hythe Manager would do with a midfield that has struggled for consistency. The results were inspired, Dave Cook enjoying himself back in an advanced attacking role, with Mike Yianni and Ronnie Dolan seemingly thriving with the responsibilities of the deeper-lying roles. On the flanks Hythe looked revitalised, with the return from injury of Jake Hobbs, and the energy provided by John Walker, a brilliant performance all over the pitch away from the security of his normal full-back position.
As expected the visitors dominated possession, with the likes of Daniel Carr up-front, the youngster returning from a trial at Liverpool last week, and talented playmaker Erhun Oztumer playing in between the lines. However, after barely seeing the ball in the first five minutes the home side enjoyed the opening chance of the game, a poor back-header allowing Cass in on goal, his half-volley from fifteen-yards only finding the side-netting. Shortly after Carr clashed with Cloke, both players booked, although Carr seemed to get away with a clear push on Cloke. Oztumer played Carr into the Hythe box, the young striker flashing a dangerous cross through the six-yard box, although a lack of end product for the visitors would be an ongoing theme of the afternoon. Just after twenty-minutes, the rarely-tested Dan Eason forced away a dangerous inswinging corner, Walker managing to clear the danger, dribbling the rebound off the Hythe goal-line in a typically calm and collected fashion.
Hobbs was next to check in on the opposing keeper’s alertness, Phil Wilson having to parry a dangerous long-distance strike, Cass lurking as the Dulwich man gathered in the rebound. Carr hit the side-netting as Josh Turner’s cross to the back-post threatened, however Cook’s free-kick from the edge of the box deflecting wide was the final action of the first period of play. Three minutes after the restart Luke Hickie stung Eason’s palms, the Hythe keeper turning a decent effort over his crossbar. Wilson made sure he was quick off his line when a Hythe counter-attack via Cass and Hobbs almost found the Hythe skipper clear through on goal. The visitors were wasteful on the hour mark, when an impressive punch from Eason fell kindly at the feet of Nyren Clunis, who burst forward into the Hythe box before shooting wastefully wide.
At the other end, Wilson struggled with another good effort from Hobbs, before Cook hooked the hard-working Cass clear on goal, a brilliant recovery tackle from visiting skipper Peter Adeniyi denying Hythe’s man in form. With eight minutes remaining Hythe struck, Hobbs allowed a second attempt at a centre after his corner was half-cleared, the returning winger whipping in the best cross of the game, Cloke forcing home the winning goal at close-range to send Reachfields crazy! The home side ended the game on top, another quality cross from Hobbs finding Walker who forced Wilson into a double save, before Dolan struck a decent effort just wide. Finally Cass forced Wilson into a low save after being released clear on goal by Dolan. The reality was that by the final whistle the title favourites of this and last season had failed to even score a goal against their opponents for the third consecutive league game, a run that has now seen Scott Porter’s side defeat their talented opponents in all three of those games!
Scorer – Hythe Town – Cloke – 82 mins
Hythe Town - Eason, A Porter, D Winfield, Kingwell, Cloke, Dolan, Cook (c), Walker, Hobbs, Cass (Thompson – 86), Yianni - Unused subs – Blackman, Savage, Smith, Elliott
Attendance - 260
Leatherhead – 0 - Hythe Town – 1
Ryman League South - 09/03/13
Fifth replaced fourth as Hythe Town climbed above their closest league rivals Leatherhead, with their third consecutive 1-0 victory. Brendon Cass was the lone goalscorer for the third game running, as the Hythe defence again held firm with their fifth consecutive clean-sheet. Scott Porter's side have hit their best form at the most important stage of the season and are now seven games unbeaten, with only two dropped points during that run. Hythe enjoyed the first chance of the afternoon, Darren Winfield's early free-kick coming off the top of the crossbar via the head of a Leatherhead defender, Cass unable to convert the rebound at close-range. For the home-side right winger Andy Burns started to threaten with some mazy runs, one of which led to Tommy Hutchings blasting a low dangerous shot in from the edge of the the box, Dan Eason holding on well in the slippery conditions. Just a minute later Cass sent George Savage clear down the right, the winger's early lobbed shot from the corner of the box surprising keeper Andy Young, who was relieved to see the ball land on the roof of the net.
Midway through the first-half Hythe should have taken the lead, Ronnie Dolan's free-kick glanced on by Cass into the path of Hythe skipper Dave Cook. With only Young to beat Cook fired his rising half-volley just over from six yards. Minutes later the home side had their best chance of the afternoon, Hutchings hitting the base of the post with Eason at full-stretch, before curling the rebound just wide. The game was now in full swing and the chances were coming at both ends, Ashley Porter hitting a sweet half-volley from thirty-five yards out that Young had to tip round the base of his post. Leatherhead were soon down the other end, Neil Jenkins meeting an uncleared free-kick with a deflected half-volley just over the bar. Jerry Nnamani headed a decent chance just over, the centre-back seemingly more at home in his rare forays forward than at the back. Three minutes from half-time Cass wasted his easiest chance of the game, firing a volley right at Young after Lee Winfield's throughball sent the Hythe striker clear on goal.
The second-half was a really scrappy affair with both sides unable to take the initiative and build on decent first-half displays. Eventually the mistake came, and it was from the home side with twelve minutes remaining. The Leatherhead defence provided a slip, and a stumble, Cass did the rest, Hythe's in form striker pouncing on the loose ball before firing in a low twenty-yard shot, the confidence of the strike seemingly defeating Young who got nowhere near the finish. The home side were largely frustrated in the second-half with regular crosses and set-pieces simply meeting the most in-form defence in the division. Their final chance arrived with six minutes remaining as substitute Kevin Terry burst down the flank and into the Hythe box, only for his dangerous pullback to be cleared with confidence, the three points secured.
Scorer - Cass - 78 mins
Hythe - Eason, A Porter, D Winfield (Walker - 83), Kingwell, Cloke, Dolan, Cook (c), Savage (L Winfield - 36), Miller, Cass, Yianni (Thompson - 78) - Unused subs - Smith, Elliott
Attendance - 201
More Of The Same
Burgess Hill Town – 0 - Hythe Town – 1
Ryman League South - 06/03/13
For the second game running Brendon Cass hit the winner, as Hythe Town defeated Burgess Hill Town on their own patch with a single goal. It's now six games unbeaten for Scott Porter's side, who have not conceded a goal in their last 380 minutes of football. Our run of form has now taken us to fifth in the league table, right back in the play-off mix! Hythe had the opening chance of the game after just two minutes, George Savage on the overlap down the right-hand side, crossing to the back-post, Ashley Miller just hitting the side-netting with a back-post volley. Four minutes later Dan Eason produced the save of the game, which together with Cass' winner, would end up being the difference between the two sides. George Hayward slipped the Hythe offside trap to run clear into the box, however Eason beat away the winger's low shot with a fine full-stretch save.
Moments later Nicky Weaver curled a twenty-five yard free-kick inches wide, the hosts going on to enjoy more of the ball in the first period of play. For the home side, Hayward down the left and Wheeler down the right were a constant threat with their wing-play, but the Hythe defence were laying the foundations for another excellent clean-sheet and refusing to panic. At this point in the game Cass was living off scraps, Michael Yianni almost finding the Hythe striker lurking unmarked after a good run from Miller. For all their possession the home side couldn't force Eason into another noteworthy save, and it would be Scott Porter's sides turn to feel the more comfortable after the interval.
Straight from the restart Miller controlled Ashley Porter's cross before flicking Dave Cook clear into the box, the Hythe skipper unable to keep his volley on his weaker foot under control. Next it was Yianni with a decent effort, firing a low shot just wide from the edge of the box after good work from Cass. Hythe continued to press with Craig Cloke picking out Miller on the counter-attack, the young striker firing in a shot that Mark Zawadski got comfortably behind. The home side's forward line were now the ones feeding off scraps as the game reached the closing stages. A deep hanging cross from Darren Winfield was headed just wide by Cook, but Hythe were close to the breakthrough.
With nine minutes remaining substitute Jake Hobbs whipped in a free-kick that Cass managed to head home up into the roof of the net to give the visitors a crucial lead. With just a minute remaining Hythe should have doubled their lead, substitute Craig Thompson chasing down and robbing Toby Phillips of possession. Ronnie Dolan unable to convert the striker's pullback, with Thompson himself unable to fire the loose ball into the net as Zawadski seemed beaten on both occasions. The home side managed to force a goalmouth scramble during injury time, but the Hythe defence ended the game as they started it, defiant, calm, and organised.
Scorer – Hythe Town – Cass – 81 mins
Hythe Town - Eason, A Porter (Walker – 59), D Winfield, Kingwell, Cloke, Dolan, Cook (c), Savage, Miller (Thompson – 84), Cass, Yianni (Hobbs – 76) - Unused subs – Smith, Elliott
Attendance - 111
Cass The Difference
Hythe Town – 1 – Walton Casuals - 0
Ryman League South - 02/03/13
Brendon Cass hit the winner as Hythe Town defeated Walton Casuals with a single goal, the visitors the latest in a string of lowly but much-improved sides to have visited Reachfields. It’s five games unbeaten for Scott Porter’s side who have notched four wins and three clean sheets since their last defeat. This was a totally professional performance from the home side, with the priority of a clean sheet a massive improvement to this current Hythe line-up. Going forward, the Hythe midfield seemed to enjoy their more flexible 4-2-3-1 formation, with Ronnie Dolan looking more comfortable in the centre of midfield, whilst Mike Yianni, Ashley Miller, and George Savage provided pace and skill in behind goalscorer Cass. The first chance of the afternoon fell to Yianni, played one on one by Cass, visiting keeper Gareth Williams just beating the Hythe man to the ball. Moments later, Miller cut in from his starting position on the left-flank to beat three of the Walton Casuals defence, weaving his way into the box but having his final shot blocked.
On the half-hour mark Craig Cloke’s long throw was met with a delightful touch from Yianni, the playmaker’s cross flashing dangerously across goal. For the second home game running Miller had a penalty claim turned down, before moments later Jerald Aboagye-Noel received an inevitable booking due to the torrid afternoon Miller was giving the Walton Casuals right-back. Eight minutes before half-time Hythe stuck the eventual winner, Miller again dragged down as the youngster threatened to enter the penalty-box, before dusting himself down and sending in a delightful free-kick to the back-post where Cass headed home. Hythe could have doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time as Savage provided the overlap and cross, only for Cook to miss his back-post header with the goal at his mercy.
The visitors started the second-half in lively fashion, Harry Hoadley spotting Dan Eason off his line, but the Hythe keeper was in no mood to give up his third successive clean-sheet, tipping Hoadley’s thirty-yard strike over the bar at full stretch. Roy Odiaka wasted one of several half-decent shooting positions throughout the second-half, Eason always comfortable when dealing with the Walton Casuals’ striker’s long distance efforts. At the other end, Savage fired a half-volley just over after the visitors failed to clear Craig Cloke’s long-throw. Mu Mann fired a dangerous volley goalbound after a decent cross to the back-post, but again Eason was alert to the danger in the Hythe goal.
Hythe’s best chance of the half arrived just after the hour mark, Miller beating three men en-route to the penalty-box before pulling back to Yianni whose goalbound effort deflected wide to safety. Yianni went close again, landing a forty-five yard effort on the roof of Williams’ net after the Walton Casuals’ keeper made a poor clearance to leave his goal unguarded. Hythe continued to push for a second, Cass chesting down and firing a half-volley just over. The home side ended the game on top, Miller with another mazy dribble and a curling shot just over, Cass having a looping volley tipped over the bar by Williams, before finally Williams managed to claw what seemed a certain own goal off the goal-line, after good work and a cross from substitute Craig Thompson.
Scorer – Hythe Town – Cass – 37 mins
Hythe Town - Eason, Smith (A Porter – 68), Walker, Kingwell, Cloke, Dolan, Cook (c), Savage, Miller, Cass, Yianni (Thompson – 79) - Unused subs – Hobbs, Blackman, Elliott
Attendance - 205
Four Games Unbeaten
Hythe Town – 0 – Merstham - 0
Ryman League South - 23/02/13
Hythe took their unbeaten run to four games as they shut out a decent looking Merstham side with their second successive clean-sheet. The much improved Hythe defence, marshalled by the excellent Pat Kingwell, kept their opponents at arms length, but it was a frustrating afternoon for the Hythe attack who failed to convert the clean sheet into three points, the game ending in a 0-0 stalemate. The visitors saw a lot of the ball early on, but it was mainly in the central third of the pitch with no need for Dan Eason to be called into action. In fact it was the home side who were far more efficient at carving out chances during the opening exchanges. Dave Cook had two good chances in quick succession, firstly just missing a tap-in from Ronnie Dolan's low cross through the six-yard box. Moments later the Hythe skipper went close again, his shot rising just over the crossbar from around the penalty spot, after some patient build-up play from Ashley Miller. A scrappy period of play followed, although Craig Cloke called the Merstham keeper Oshane Brown into action, who tipped the centre-back's decent shot over the bar.
The visitors finally turned their possession into a shot on goal, as Fabio Saraiva's shot from just inside the box was blocked by Cloke just a few yards from goal. In the final few minutes of the half Hythe had four excellent chances to take the lead. Firstly Miller played Craig Thompson one on one with Brown, the Merstham keeper just beating the Hythe forward to the ball, but unable to avoid a collision that put both men on the deck for a moment or two. Two minutes later the home side had a clear penalty turned down as David Graves pushed Miller to the ground with a firm shove in the back that left the youngster face down in the box. Good work from Dolan then picked out Thompson at the near-post whose neat flick set-up a shot that just hit the side-netting. Finally on the stroke of half-time, a mazy dribble into the box from Yianni ended with a cross and a Thompson lay-off that Miller could only fire just wide twelve yards from goal.
Greg Smith replaced John Walker at half-time, and ten minutes into the second-half Scott Porter chose to replace Thompson with Brendon Cass, with the three points seemingly there for the taking. However, just before the hour mark good work down the left from Lee Newman led to a dangerous low cross that fizzed through the Hythe six-yard box needing only a touch for a certain goal for the visitors. Cloke’s free-kick fell at the feet of Miller who again had penalty claims turned down, as his shot appeared to strike the arm of a Merstham defender, before Darren Winfield kept Brown warm with a decent drive from twenty-five yards. The home side were starting to think about how much time was left to grab the winner, and the visitors were gaining belief they could grab all three points via a counter-attack. It was at this stage in the game that Eason began repaying the faith shown in the ex-Herne Bay man, with Hythe’s new number one living up to his reputation of ‘one of the best keepers in the league.’
Darren Winfield misjudged a header at the back-post, and Jack McLeod seemed destined to find the next from no more than ten yards out, however Eason had other ideas, clawing the shot away with the save of the game. Two minutes later Saraiva’s blast from the edge of the box was dangerous enough, but Merstham also had men chasing in looking for the rebound, Eason dealt with the shot and also sent the ball far from danger with another fine stop. Hythe were suddenly rejuvenated, a brilliant run from Miller ending with a pullback to Cass, his shot from six-yards out turned round the post by Brown. The return of Jake Hobbs from injury also meant the return of the winger’s dangerous corners, one of which found Cloke at the back-post, the defender’s header scooped clear off the goal-line. Finally, Miller was again the provider, with yet another run to the by-line and then into the box, Lee Winfield firing Hythe’s final chance of the game over to leave the home side frustrated but still unbeaten.
Hythe Town - Eason, Walker (Smith – 45), D Winfield, Kingwell, Cloke, Dolan, Cook (c), L Winfield, Thompson (Cass – 56), Miller, Yianni (Hobbs - 74) - Unused subs – Savage, Elliott
Attendance - 204
Three Wins In A Row
Hythe Town – 1 – Three Bridges - 0
Ryman League South - 19/02/13
Ronnie Dolan's late winner sealed the three points, as Scott Porter's Hythe Town ground out an uncharacteristic but gritty and determined 1-0 victory. It's now nine points out of nine, with our latest victory over a much-changed and much-improved Three Bridges side that won't be at the bottom of the Ryman South for long. Dan Eason was the busier of the two goalkeepers in the first-half, with Hythe making more of the running after half-time. The lively Joel O’Hara had the first real chances on goal, one low shot turned around the post by Eason, the second moments later, a shot across goal and just wide. The partnership of Craig Thompson and Ashley Miller was again showing promising signs, but the visiting defence carried out a good job of containing the Hythe forward line in the opening stages. From a Hythe corner, Three Bridges’ sprung a quick counter-attack that ended with Elliott Romaine having a decent effort turned round the post by the alert Eason.
Hythe were starting to get some joy from the probing runs of Mike Yianni, but the home side were still largely frustrated, their closest effort on goal a Dave Cook blast just wide after good work from Dolan on the flank. Yianni’s next surge forward led to the ball dropping kindly for Thompson, whose half-volley from distance was a little ambitious. Into the second-half and the same combination worked again, Yianni picking out Thompson, whose neat flick led to the striker losing his marker and again firing in a half-volley that on this occasion went just over from twenty-yards. On the hour mark Craig Cloke should have scored his second ever Hythe goal in as many games, but headed over at the back-post after Thompson had centred Dolan’s uncleared free-kick. Just before the home side took the lead the visitors enjoyed a real purple patch. Substitute Romone McCrae weaved his way into the Hythe box before hitting a decent effort that again Eason was able to turn away to safety. Minutes later Hythe survived an almighty goalmouth scramble as Hassan Nyang finally blasted wastefully over at close-range.
With just over fifteen minutes remaining Hythe struck, with probably their best football of the game. Thompson and Yianni combined down the left before Yianni surged into the box, the ball worked across the area by a combination of Miller and Cook, before being blasted home low and hard by the late arriving Dolan. There could have been more goals in the closing stages as substitute Brendon Cass had a shot cleared off the line after Cook nodded down Dolan’s free-kick. Miller then threatened to add to his goal tally in a Hythe shirt, firing one effort just wide from the edge of the box, before moments later having a close-range effort met by an excellent save from Jess Grimstone in the Three Bridges’ goal. The lively McCrae slipped the Hythe offside trap, but could only shoot wildly over as Reachfields breathed a sigh of relief. Whilst at the other end Cass shot just wide, as the visitor’s defence finally buckled to leave Grimstone unprotected.
Scorer - Hythe Town – Dolan - 74 mins
Hythe Town - Eason, Smith (Walker – 90+5), D Winfield, Kingwell, Cloke, Dolan, Cook (c), L Winfield, Thompson (Cass – 74), Miller, Yianni (Savage – 74) - Unused subs – A Porter, Elliott
Attendance - 153
Town Dominate Second-Half
Ramsgate – 2 - Hythe Town – 4
Ryman League South - 16/02/13
Second-half goals from Craig Cloke, his first in Hythe colours, a penalty from Dave Cook, Ashley Miller's third goal in as many games and a late strike from substitute Brendon Cass blew Ramsgate away as Hythe came from behind to win this excellent Kentish derby. The Rams struck the opening goal after just two minutes as an uncleared corner fell to the impressive Curtis Robinson who guided home his finish through a crowded area. Hythe did manage to settle into their game despite the early setback, but it was fairly obvious that there was an open game emerging. Midway through the first-half Lee Winfield clipped Craig Thompson clear on goal, Thompson chesting the ball down into his path before firing a decent volley over home keeper Darren Hawkes, but also over the Ramsgate crossbar.
Just after the half-hour mark the visitors enjoyed their best move of the half, Darren Winfield feeding Pat Kingwell who charged forward before Michael Yianni took over on the overlap to cross to the back-post. Craig Cloke was on hand to nod down for Dave Cook, but the Hythe skipper fired over the bar from just inside the box. Ten minutes before half-time Sam Gore played the always dangerous Ian Pulman into the Hythe box, the experienced striker's rising shot met by an excellent fingertip save from Dan Eason. Moments later the lively Robinson's overhead kick was cleared off the line by Cloke. As the half closed Pulman was at the centre of everything for the hosts, a lovely mazy run taking him into the box, the final shot poked just wide of Eason's goal. Right on the stroke of half-time Hythe thought they had carved out an equaliser, but Thompson headed Dolan's free-kick wide after drifting unmarked at the back-post.
After a nervy start to the second-half the visitors suddenly found another gear, and began to build pressure on the Ramsgate goal, that pressure told on the hour mark when Dolan's corner was met by Cloke who headed home his first goal in a Hythe shirt off the underside of the crossbar. Ramsgate responded with James Sherman's blast just over the crossbar following an uncleared free-kick, before Macauley Murray missed a similar chance from open-play minutes later. The game was now end to end, but Hythe had the cutting edge as Dolan released Thompson down the right, his cross to Miller intercepted by a clear handball. Cook absolutely smashed home the spot-kick to put Hythe into the lead. Four minutes later Darren Winfield was adjudged to have also handled a cross, Warren Schulz calmly firing home into the bottom corner of Eason's goal from the resulting penalty. The home side were suddenly energised, Eason brilliantly tipping Pulman's low shot around the base of his post. At the other end Cloke volleyed over from an uncleared corner, before Pulman rifled another shot across goal and just wide.
However, the longer the half went on the more and more the visitors were upping their game, to the point that the host’s defence just couldn’t live with Hythe forward line. Brendon Cass had only been on the pitch a minute when Dolan clipped a pass that sent the substitute clear on goal, only for a stumble to prevent a certain winner. Dolan was again the provider as he sent Cook clear, the Rams defence doing an excellent job of blocking the shot of the Hythe captain, and the follow-up from Cass. The winner was inevitable, and it was provided by the excellent Lee Winfield, whose first-time pass on the counter-attack sent man of the moment Miller clear on goal to confidently slot home past Hawkes with a low finish. Hythe were now really in the mood and four minutes later Yianni started a move that Cass and Miller ended with a cute one-two that sent Cass clear on goal to smash home his finish past Hawkes, confirming that all three points were coming back to Reachfields.
Scorers - Hythe Town – Cloke – 61 mins - Cook – 65 mins (pen) - Miller – 81 mins - Cass – 85 mins – Ramsgate – Robinson – 2 mins – Schulz – 69 mins (pen)
Hythe Town - Eason, Walker (Smith – 74), D Winfield, Kingwell, Cloke, Dolan, Cook (c), L Winfield, Thompson (Cass – 78), Miller (Everitt – 87), Yianni - Unused subs – Elliott, Savage
Attendance - 185
Three Points At Last!
Hythe Town – 3 – Corinthian-Casuals – 1
Ryman League South - 12/02/13
Hythe Town finally notched their first win of 2013 with a 3-1 win over Corinthian-Casuals! Two goals from new loan signing Ashley Miller gave the hosts a clear lead, although the visitors struck back just before half-time. Hythe dominated the second-half, finally burying their nerves with a Nick Barnes strike two minutes from full-time. It was the visitors who had the first decent chance of the game, Jamie Byatt pouncing on a poor clearance and shooting just wide with a cute shot using the outside of his boot. Only a minute later Hythe almost took the lead themselves, Michael Yianni playing Miller clear on goal only for a bobble to hinder his effort on goal, Danny Bracken still making an excellent fingertip save. From the resulting Ronnie Dolan corner Craig Cloke sent in a low driven volley that Bracken was again able to deal with.
The opening goal for the home side arrived after just seven minutes, Dolan’s throw-in finding Craig Thompson who lost his man and pulled back to find Miller on the penalty-spot. The youngster’s shot deflected over Bracken and in, some deserved luck after that early bobble had foiled his earlier clear chance on goal. Either way, the Gills man was up and running in a Hythe shirt and would go from strength to strength as the half progressed. Dolan’s corner was headed back across goal by Dave Cook, Thompson missing his back-post header by an inch or two at most. After a poor showing at full-back the previous week, followed by a promising cameo in attack at Sittingbourne, Yianni was now repaying his Manager’s faith in bringing him back to Reachfields, showing some of the lovely footwork and dribbling that first took him from Hythe to Maidstone all those years ago. Miller was also enjoying his best work in combination with Yianni or on the opposite flank with Dolan, as Porter’s much-changed side suddenly looked loaded with pace and skill.
In defence Darren Winfield was enjoying his Ryman South debut at left-back. As was John Walker, a right-sided player whose versatility has led to years of playing on the left, but was now benefiting from a switch of flanks and bombing forward on his stronger foot. Yianni curled a good effort just wide from twenty-yards, but Reachfields wouldn’t have to wait much longer for their side’s second goal of the evening. Cloke’s blasted free-kick from thirty-yards hit the visitor’s wall, Miller picking up the loose ball twenty-yards from goal and curling a delightful effort into the top-right hand corner. Hythe were now back to their best football, as Thompson’s shot deflected into the path of Cook who forced Bracken into a brilliant double-save. Miller in particular was unplayable as the striker ran clear onto a Dan Eason clearance and hit the side-netting just when a thirty-minute hat-trick seemed certain.
Understandably, after a month of defeats it was likely that the home side would experience some jitters, and they began to creep in as Byatt pounced in the box to force home the ball after an uncleared free-kick. It was to be the only meaningful shot from a Corinthian-Casuals side that were barely allowed near Eason’s goal for the majority of the night. On the stroke of half-time Hythe thought they had restored their two-goal cushion as Dolan sent Miller clear down the right, the pullback met by a lovely curling goalbound effort from Thompson that deflected just wide. Into the second-half, Yianni was a constant threat, cutting in off the flank and firing in a dangerous shot that seemed destined for the net, but ended up hitting the offside Thompson.
The hour mark arrived with Yianni hitting a great effort from just inside the Corinthan-Casuals half that fell a yard wide of the unguarded goal, Bracken stranded following a poor clearance. Several corners and free-kicks passed without a further goal from the home side who introduced Brendon Cass, Jake Hobbs, and James Everitt to try and convert their increasing possession into goals. Finally two minutes from time Barnes forced his way through a crowded penalty box before a close-range finish gave Hythe reassurance the points were safe. There was still time in injury-time for Cook to flash a header just wide and have a penalty shout turned down.
Scorers - Hythe Town – Miller – 7, 31 mins – Barnes – 88 mins – Corinthian-Casuals – Byatt – 38 mins
Hythe Town - Eason, Walker, D Winfield, Kingwell, Cloke, Dolan, Cook (c), Barnes, Thompson (Cass – 69), Miller, Yianni (Hobbs – 69) (Everitt – 83) - Unused subs – Savage, Smith
Attendance - 121
So Close Yet So Far
Sittingbourne – 1 - Hythe Town – 0
Ryman League South - 09/02/13
Scott Porter's Hythe Town stopped the rot with an excellent away performance at high-flying Sittingbourne. However a mixture of top-class goalkeeping and wayward finishing gave Sittingbourne the three points. But on this evidence, it shouldn't be much more of a wait for three points and an avalanche of goals! Ashley Miller went close to a dream debut when he ran clear down the left from a Craig Thompson flick, cutting in off the flank but firing his final shot just over. Both sides had a long-throw routine in their armoury, and home skipper Simon Pettit's first effort caused a scramble that Dan Eason did well to deal with in the Hythe goal. Moments later Eason was again alert, quick off his line as Joe Taylor got in behind the Hythe defence. At the other end Dave Cook had his first sight of goal, firing just wide from twenty-five yards.
Pettit's cross was glanced just wide by Jonathon Hogg, and after Hythe had dominated possession for the first third of the game the home side were now settling into their game. With ten minutes of the half remaining Hythe had a clear penalty turned down as Cook was kicked in the face. The Referee's Assistant refused to offer an opinion despite a clear view of the incident, an approach he worryingly contradicted in the second-half. Moments later Hythe thought they had the lead as Ronnie Dolan brought down a ball in the box and fired a shot that deflected past keeper Adam Molloy towards the open net, only for a last-ditch clearance to deny the visitors a lead. Craig Cloke's long-throw led to Craig Thompson heading just wide via a deflection, the half finishing with Thompson again heading just wide from a Dolan corner.
Hythe carried on where they left off at the start of the second period, Cloke's centre collected by Thompson and fired dangerously across goal but just wide. Four minutes into the half Craig Cloke was accused of an aerial foul in the box, however Ryan Golding could only hit the post from the resulting spot-kick. The visitors should have taken the lead five minutes later as Molloy saved Cook's close-range effort after another long throw from Cloke. A similar combination from Cloke and Cook led to the skipper firing just over with Hythe building more pressure on the home side's goal. Dolan's free-kick found Cook whose shot was blocked, Kingwell having the ball cleared off his toe on the rebound. The impressive Dolan surged forward again, playing a neat one-two with Miller before firing a shot just over the bar.
With fourteen minutes remaining, the team of officials confused all involved, the Referee's Assistant changing his approach from the first-half and insisting on over-ruling the man in the middle. Substitute Hicham Akhazzan adjudged to have been clipped in the box, with Taylor making no mistake from the penalty-spot. Hythe introduced Mike Yianni, then James Everitt, and finally Brendon Cass, Yianni looking dangerous on the flank in the closing stages. One excellent run from Yianni led to a one-two with Barnes that ended with Yianni rifling a shot just past the post. With two minutes remaining the Hythe support finally thought they were going to break their run of defeats, a typically dangerous run from Miller leading to a push from behind from Ryan Cooper. From the resulting penalty, Molloy made an excellent save from Cook's fierce strike, the home side going on to claim all three points.
Scorer - Sittingbourne - Taylor - 76 mins
Hythe Town - Eason, Smith (Cass - 85), Walker, Kingwell, Cloke, Dolan, Cook (c), Barnes, Thompson (Everitt - 80), Miller, Winfield (Yianni - 67) - Unused subs - Savage, Elliott
Attendance - 144
Search For Win Continues
Hythe Town – 2 - Eastbourne Town – 4
Ryman League South - 02/02/13
Dave Cook's quest to win the Ryman South Golden Boot continued, with his 20th goal of the season in all competitions. However, it wasn't enough to stop his side slipping to a fifth successive defeat, Ross Treleaven's hat-trick inspiring Eastbourne Town to a 4-2 win at Reachfields. The away side were by far the quicker out of the traps, springing a quick counter-attack from Hythe’s first spell of possession to fly forward in numbers, Ethan Strevett’s toe-poke at the near-post blocked by Craig Cloke. Danny Curd had a good volley saved by Dan Eason and the warning signs were there early for Hythe. However, if they are to break this current sequence of defeats Hythe must learn to respond quicker off the ball and at set-pieces, and get back to seeing out the periods they fall under pressure. The home side did threaten to open the scoring when Ronnie Dolan picked out Brendon Cass, who rolled a good shot across goal but just wide.
When your luck is out it’s out, and not only did Hythe lose the in-form Jake Hobbs to injury after only twenty minutes, the break in play also handed the initiative back to the visitors. Treleaven beginning an impressive afternoon’s work to drift in behind the Hythe defence to chest down a quickly taken free-kick, and half-volley an impressive finish back across goal and into the top-right corner, giving Eason no chance. Not long after it was two, as Treleaven outstripped Mike Yianni to cross low for the easiest finish that Matt Aldred will ever put away. By now Yianni was cursing the fact that his latest debut in a Hythe shirt, was coinciding with an outstanding performance from Treleaven, a player who started the season with Blue Square South side Tonbridge Angels. The home side’s best spell of the game came in the lead-up to half-time, as Dolan’s corner was met by a glancing header from Pat Kingwell that was headed off the line. Five minutes before the interval Cook struck, firing home a low finish from a Cass lay-off after good work from Kingwell.
The fact Hythe were finding their way back into the game was mainly down to an inspired performance from Kingwell, who regularly bypassed his own midfield to surge forward and open up the visitors. The turning point of the game arrived on the stroke of half-time when the top-scorer in the league, Hythe skipper Cook, bundled his way clean through on goal. Just when Hythe’s main-man seemed to be getting his side out of trouble again, he chose to unselfishly square for a Cass tap-in, it was just enough delay for a recovering Eastbourne Town defender to intercept and hook clear, so Hythe trailed their opponents at the break. Four minutes after the restart the visitors seemed to have things wrapped up, Treleaven beating the Hythe offside trap to fire home a confident low finish. Scott Porter’s side weren’t finished and again scrapped their way back into it, via a cross from Dolan that flew in off a combination of the inside of the post and keeper Josh Pelling.
Craig Thompson and James Everitt entered the fray for Hythe, but Hythe’s options were again hit by injury as Yianni left the field due to a knock. It summed up Hythe’s day when Dolan, probably their most dependable passer, played the ball straight to a player in an Eastbourne shirt, Treleaven promptly released clear though on goal to complete his hat-trick with another confident finish under Eason. There was still time for Hythe to curse their luck again, as their best move of the game failed to set-up a grandstand finish. A typically excellent ball from Kingwell released John Walker who sent in the perfect low cross six-yards from goal, Cass’ anticipation half a second too late, and enough of a warning for the Eastbourne Town defence to tighten things up to see out the game.
Scorers - Hythe Town – Cook – 40 mins – Dolan – 63 mins – Eastbourne Town – Treleaven – 22, 49, 67 mins – Aldred - 29 mins
Hythe Town - Eason, Yianni (Everitt – 65), Walker, Kingwell, Cloke, Dolan, Cook (c), Barnes, Hobbs (Savage – 21), Cass, Winfield (Thompson – 64) - Unused subs – Smith, Elliott
Attendance - 235
More Missed Chances
Tooting & Mitcham United – 3 - Hythe Town – 2
Ryman League South - 12/01/13
Town's depressing post-Boxing Day run continued with this totally avoidable defeat at Tooting and Mitcham's impressive Imperial Fields ground. On view were many of the failings from the previous three matches, the inability to convert good approach work into goals, the defensive frailties, and that worrying condition, half-time-itus.
The home side had some real giants in the side in Carl Wilson-Denis, Nathan Koo-Boothe and Trevor Rowe, and looked an altogether more resolute unit to that which surrendered so tamely at Reachfields back in October. However straight from the start Hythe established a superiority that should have led to an unassailable half-time lead, as Ronnie Dolan and Lee Winfield combined effectively to set up many of Town's attacks down the left flank. In defence Dave Cook was moved back alongside his old partner Pat Kingwell, and both looked invincible in front of debut keeper Dan Eason. Still missing from the Maidstone battle were Craig Cloke, Taser Hassan and Greg Smith.
Despite their defensive responsibilities it was Ryman South top scorer Cook who volleyed in Kingwell's cross for the opening goal in the 19th minute. Straight after the restart Winfield's eighteen-yard blast was just tipped over by home keeper Darren Behcet and Town were flying. For Tooting, Wilson-Denis shot across Eason and just wide, but Dolan's runs were drawing foul-after-foul from the Tooting defence and Jake Hobbs blasted one free-kick just over as well as wasting a couple. The home side showed flashes of what they were capable of but although Wilson-Denis went close again most crosses were either over-hit or comfortably defended. At the other end though Hythe were somewhat predictably becoming wasteful and both Dolan and James Everitt were guilty of not putting good chances away. Then, right at the end of the half, there was home striker Tyrone Berry stooping to plant a low cross firmly into the net to level the scores.
The interval was noteworthy for two things. Firstly there were two substitutions for Tooting, and secondly a second-half warm-up led by Hythe Coach Lloyd Blackman. The only visible effect of the warm-up was that sub Cisse nearly scored immediately from the restart, his shot hitting the post with Eason beaten, the home side were now looking quicker and had adjusted their formation. However Hythe gave as good as they got and things got a little tetchy at times, none more so than when Ashley Porter tackled Roberts in the six-yard box, the latter booked by Referee Nolan Wilde for diving. Also, when an alleged head-butt on Nick Barnes brought on an altercation on the far side of the pitch, in which Barnes but not the Tooting player was cautioned. In the 70th minute good work between Hobbs and substitute George Savage led to a chance for the Maidstone hat-trick hero, and he finished with a neat shot past Behcet to give Hythe an opportunity to see out the game.
It was not to be though, and with the meagre home crowd unleashing a torrent of abuse at virtually everybody not in a Tooting shirt their side rallied for a grandstand finish. First it was Laurent Hamici punishing poor defending to equalise the scoring again, before in the 86th minute another fierce shot from the same player struck Cook and totally wrong-footed Eason, to nestle into the opposite side of the goal that he was covering comfortably. There was still time for Hythe to hit back but Cook's header was tipped over and Savage's cute lob just bounced clear of the post. With the cacophony continuing from some frankly disturbing home supporters it was time for the Hythe players to leave. As they did they perhaps would reflect on a defeat that had been helped on by Lady Luck, but there could be few complaints about the final outcome.
Match Report courtesy of Martin Giles
Scorers - Hythe Town – Cook – 19 mins – Hobbs – 70 mins - Tooting & Mitcham United – Berry – 45 mins – Hamici – 83, 86 mins
Hythe Town - Eason, A Porter, Walker, Kingwell, Cook (c), Winfield, Dolan, Barnes, Hobbs, Cass (Savage – 65), Everitt (Thompson – 65) - Unused subs – Smith, Blackman, Elliott
Attendance - 155
Kent Senior Cup Defence Over
Thamesmead Town - 3 - Hythe Town - 0
Kent Senior Cup 2nd Round - 08/01/13
A depleted Hythe Town squad still did enough to win a tough encounter with a typically well organised and hard-working Thamesmead Town side. However missed chances and defensive errors ended our Kent Senior Cup defence at the first hurdle. Scott Porter was without the injured Taser Hassan and Greg Smith, with Craig Cloke rested as an unused substitute, Hythe were also missing the cup-tied James Everitt. However a much changed line-up still did more than enough to win a game that they dominated in the first-half, before missed chances and individual errors again were the downfall for Porter's side. The hosts managed to survive Hythe's first-half domination, before turning in a much-improved and most importantly a more clinical second-half performance.
The first real chance arrived after ten minutes when Craig Thompson won an aerial challenge to set-up a Brendon Cass lob that Rob Budd did well to get back to and hold. Thompson and Cass combined again to battle their way into the penalty-box, Thompson's low driven effort again saved well by Budd. Midway through the first-half a Jake Hobbs' corner to the back-post found Cass, who slightly mistimed his leap for what seemed a certain close-range goal. A lovely one-two between Jake Hobbs and Cass led to Hobbs crossing for a stooping near-post header from Cass that Budd did well to gather in after an initial spill. Budd continued to frustrate Hythe with a good save after Thompson chested down a Lee Winfield through-ball and fired in a decent half-volley.
The hosts made the perfect start to the second-half, with their only goal of three that wasn't due to a Hythe error. Ashley Probets' free-kick from the deep met by an excellent glancing header from Lee Dawson that Dean Ruddy couldn't do anything about. The game's defining moments came either side of the hour mark, first Ronnie Dolan's surging run and shot was turned around the base of the post by Budd. Before Stuart Zanone robbed Nick Barnes of possession to surge through the Hythe back-line and blast a confident low finish under Ruddy. Zanone enjoyed a much-improved second-half performance, and minutes after his goal he cut another dangerous low shot across Ruddy's goal that the Hythe keeper did well to hold onto.
Hythe's best chance of the game fell to Cass, who when slipped one on one by a nice Ashley Porter through-ball, turned to hit a fierce rising shot that was again foiled by Budd. The closing stages saw the home side close out the game in a ruthlessly efficient manner, clearing their lines at every opportunity. The final chances of the game fell to Zanone, whose angled shot was saved well by Ruddy, Porter scrambling clear as the ball ran dangerously across goal. For a frustrated Hythe it was Thompson who sent in what seemed to be a goalbound half-volley, only for the ball to whistle just wide. Almost the final kick of the game was a long-range free-kick from Probets that surprised everyone to creep in at the back-post, another poor goal from a Hythe point of view.
Scorers - Thamesmead Town - Dawson - 47 mins - Zanone - 61 mins - Probets - 90 mins
Hythe Town - Ruddy, A Porter, Walker, Kingwell, Winfield, Dolan, Cook (c), Barnes, Hobbs (Savage - 73), Cass, Thompson - Unused subs - Blackman, S Porter, Cloke, Elliott
Attendance - 41
Hobbs Hat-Trick Not Enough
Hythe Town – 3 – Maidstone United - 4
Ryman League South - 05/01/13
A Jake Hobbs hat-trick was not enough to prevent a Maidstone United side who look destined to win the Ryman South title. Twice Scott Porter’s side came back at the Stones, but the pace and the firepower of the champions-elect was just too much. Stones Captain Shaun Welford, currently subject to a seven-day approach from the home side, inevitably struck within a minute of the start of both halves. However the one individual that stood out, in a wide open game that favoured the attacks of both sides, was winger Hobbs who took his tally to four goals in two games.
The afternoon couldn’t have got off to a worse start for the home side who gave away a free-kick on the edge of their own box. The outstanding Michael Phillips curled in a cute set-piece that Welford leaped to head home past Dean Ruddy. Hythe settled and Taser Hassan arrowed a low shot just wide of Deren Ibrahim’s post after ten minutes. Four minutes later the home side should have been level, James Everitt lifting a lovely ball into the path of Dave Cook, who found himself one on one with Ibrahim. If the confident Hythe skipper’s first-time half-volley was impressive, so was the stop from the Stones keeper.
With just seventeen minutes gone, this rollercoaster game produced another magic moment, Welford’s miscued shot on the counter-attack finding it’s way to Warren Whitely out on the left-flank. The dangerous winger glanced up on the corner of the penalty-box before curling an outstanding finish into the top-right hand corner. Things were about to get even worse for the home side, as Greg Smith and Taser Hassan both left the game early due to injury, replaced by George Savage and Lee Winfield.
Hobbs’ corner to the back-post picked out Cook, whose header back across goal was cleared off the line, as Hythe continued to threaten just as much as their visitors. A crucial five minutes then passed, as Whitely and Alex Brown both fired decent efforts just wide from distance, however Scott Porter’s side were about to grab a lifeline. Ten minutes before half-time Cook was dumped on the edge of the box, Hobbs did the rest, curling home into the bottom-right corner. Five minutes later it was that man Hobbs again, forcing Ibrahim into an excellent stop after a free-flowing move involving John Walker, Ronnie Dolan, Everitt and Cook, a similar move would be more successful moments later. Cloke pulled back Welford on the edge of the Hythe box, a caution for the Hythe centre-back, but the correct decision of a free-kick rather than a penalty. Two minutes into first-half injury-time Hythe drew level, the Stones committing men forward before the hosts sprung a counter-attack with their best football of the game.
Dolan surged forward, before Pat Kingwell, Cook, and finally Everitt worked the ball across the Maidstone box, to finally find Hobbs who fired home a confident finish into the roof of the net. At half-time the Hythe support felt like they had won the game, the feeling would last less than thirty seconds of the second-half, Welford smashing home a sweeping passing move that Hythe simply failed to live with. Again, the home side settled, Dolan’s free-kick from deep surprising Ibrahim who managed to tip the ball over his bar.
Ten minutes into the half the visitors again survived another key moment, Hobbs’ corner met by a Cloke header that Brown did brilliantly to clear off the line. Reachfields breathed again as Tom Mills played Welford one on one with Ruddy, only for an offside flag to save the day. Welford wasn’t having everything his own way as he headed just wide at the back-post following another dangerous corner from Phillips. However Phillips would cap a decent display with a goal, firing home at close-range after Hythe were yet again undone in the wide areas, Brown surging forward to cross to the back-post for the Stones’ fourth.
With just under fifteen minutes remaining Hythe were back in it, Dolan picking out Hobbs down the left, who cut in off the flank to curl a wonderful effort from the corner of the box, across goal and off the inside of the far post, a well deserved hat-trick for the in-form wide-man. Brendon Cass replaced Everitt as Hythe looked to push on for what had seemed an unlikely fourth, but the Stones’ defence held firm for the three points in a low key final ten minutes.
Match Photos courtesy of Simon Giles
Scorers - Hythe Town - Hobbs - 35, 45+2, 76 mins – Maidstone United - Welford 1, 46 mins - Whitely 17 mins - Phillips 63 mins
Hythe Town - Ruddy, Smith (Savage - 21), Walker, Kingwell, Cloke, Dolan, Cook (c), Barnes, Hobbs, Everitt (Cass – 77), Hassan (Winfield – 26) - Unused subs – Thompson, Elliott
Attendance - 709
Faversham Take Advantage
Faversham Town – 3 - Hythe Town - 2
Ryman League South - 01/01/13
Dave Cook’s tenth goal in a stunning seven games completed an excellent second-half comeback that began with Jake Hobbs’ first competitive goal in a Hythe shirt. However the defensive errors that had given hosts Faversham Town a two-goal lead in the first place, returned to haunt Scott Porter’s side. After doing all of the hard work to draw themselves level in a frantic three minutes just after half-time, ex-Herne Bay and Folkestone playmaker Darren Marsden was allowed in on goal to lob home a winner to leave the visitors frustrated. Hythe started in confident fashion, and with a surprisingly decent playing surface the visitors chose to attack on the flanks via Hobbs and the recalled Taser Hassan. With Ronnie Dolan restored to the middle of the park, Hythe were comfortable in winning and retaining possession, and were finding their wide men on a regular basis.
Hythe had early penalty shouts turned down when former Hythe right-back Aaron Lacy appeared to bundle over Cook as the Hythe skipper attempted to connect with a decent Hobbs’ cross. Two minutes later Hobbs lifted a delightful ball into the path of Cook who forced Simon Overland into a spilt save with a fierce low drive, James Everitt appeared to slot away the rebound, only for a brilliant, and typical block from Lacy to deny Hythe the opener. The visitors continued to dominate possession, earning five corners, but for all the possession and set-piece opportunities Porter’s side were lacking a cutting edge. Inevitably, the home side scored from their first shot on target, Dean Ruddy allowing Lacy’s corner to slip through his fingertips to give the ex-Hythe man an unlikely goal against his former side.
Hythe should have equalised just two minutes later, Craig Cloke’s long-throw flicked on by Cook, Everitt doing everything right inside the box to bring the ball under his control, but what seemed a certain goal ended with a mistimed effort that ran wide of Overland’s goal. Hassan, who had the beating of Lacy throughout, finally took real advantage of his opponent to surge into the box and fire an arrowed finish towards the bottom corner that Overland did brilliantly to turn around the base of the post. With half-time seconds away the home side couldn’t believe their luck, as they found themselves two goals to the good from the same amount of meaningful shots on target. Greg Smith’s poor back-pass led to Ruddy chopping down impressive youngster Kieran Oliver, Dave Botterill the first to react to his own saved penalty as Ruddy did well to stop the spot-kick.
Five minutes after the break Brendon Cass replaced Smith, as Hythe went three at the back in an attempt to turn the game around. The move had the desired effect as the visitors launched a total ambush on the Faversham goal that the home side simply had no answer to. First, pressure around the box led to a free-kick that Hobbs brilliantly curled home into the top-corner from just over twenty-yards. Two minutes later, a refreshingly quick corner routine from Everitt and Hobbs led to Hassan picking up the ball at the back-post and squaring for Cook to smash home the equaliser from six-yards out. Just when it seemed the visitors were going to run away with things, the hosts settled themselves and actually began to play their best football of the game, Marsden curling a warning shot just over after a decent passing move.
Five minutes later the same player made no mistake, lobbing Ruddy from the edge of the box after poor defending let the talented midfielder in on goal. There was still time for more drama as Overland secured a thoroughly deserved man of the match award, turning what seemed to be an unstoppable six-yard header from Cook over the bar, after an excellent centre from Everitt. Craig Thompson and George Savage entered the fray in the closing stages, but the home side were now in a position to frustrate Porter’s side and go on to close out the game and secure the points.
Scorers - Hythe Town – Hobbs – 53 mins - Cook - 55 mins – Faversham Town – Lacy – 30 mins – Botterill – 45 mins – Marsden – 65 mins
Hythe Town - Ruddy, Smith (Cass – 50), Walker, Kingwell, Cloke, Dolan, Cook (c), Barnes, Hobbs (Savage – 81), Everitt (Thompson – 75), Hassan - Unused subs – A Porter, Elliott
Attendance - 201
Ratty Breaks Folkestone Hearts
Hythe Town - 2 – Folkestone Invicta - 1
Ryman League South - 26/12/12
Ratty Everitt broke the hearts of those who have followed him for so many years in the 'Black & Amber', with a 72nd minute winner in the big Boxing Day Derby at Reachfields. Hythe dragged themselves back into the game with an improved second-half performance, sparked by yet another goal from midfield-man, skipper Dave Cook, his sixteenth league goal of the season leaving him one goal off the pace in the race for the Ryman South Golden Boot. Folkestone had the better of the first period of play, Josh Vincent heading home ten minutes before the interval, the visitors appearing to get to grips with the poor playing conditions quicker than their hosts. Scott Porter’s side had seemed to get any understandable early jitters out of their systems after the events of this fixture exactly a year ago, but half-time arrived at the right time for the home-side.
Once the second-half began it was clear that Hythe had settled down to play some better football, but they needed the adrenalin shot that their captain provided just before the hour mark. If Invicta had impressed in the first hour of play, the final thirty minutes went the home side’s way. Despite some excellent long-range shooting from the visitors, they were unable to deal with their host’s strength in depth in the closing stages. The quality of Taser Hassan, George Savage, and Brendon Cass introduced from the substitute bench, Hassan providing the cross for the winner. Johan Ter Horst had the first sight of goal when he flashed a header just wide, following a cross from Darren Smith after Josh Burchell’s mazy run. Typically Cook had the first real effort on goal for the home side, with an ambitious but on-target effort from twenty-five yards that kept Jack Delo on this toes in the Invicta goal.
Shortly after Delo just about did enough as Craig Thompson hunted down an Everitt flick that led to a feisty fifty-fifty challenge between the two. One thing that our neighbours have done well in all three of our Ryman South encounters is to switch the play dangerously from flank to flank on the counter-attack. Although the Hythe defence dealt with these attacks well, the pressure was beginning to build, and with it the Invicta corner count. It was no surprise that the opening goal came from a wide position, as Josh Vincent headed home Roland Edge’s cross to the back-post. There was an instant response from Hythe as Ronnie Dolan won a loose ball and broke clear into the Invicta half. The duel that then followed was fascinating, as the talented Dolan pushed the always outstanding Liam Friend back into his own box, only for the Folkestone skipper to recover and calmly snuff out the chance.
The half ended in fairly low-key fashion, with the exception of Jake Hobbs’ corner hitting the top of the Folkestone crossbar. Hythe started the second-half in more confident fashion but needed something to really spark things into life. A poor clearance was challenged for and won by Hobbs who then slipped Everitt into the penalty box, the striker’s former team-mates did enough to prevent his run but as the ball ran loose along the edge of the box there was only one outcome. Cook blasting an unstoppable low drive under Delo to finally give the Hythe support something to cheer against their neighbours. The home side were now enjoying themselves at last, as a lovely piece of skill from Dolan sent him clear down the left to slip Everitt one on one with Delo, only a slip due to the conditions saving the Invicta defence.
To their credit the visitors refused to go into their shell, continuing to move the ball around the Hythe box in dangerous fashion, Smith’s blast from twenty-five yards tipped onto and over the bar by Dean Ruddy. With eighteen minutes remaining lively substitute Taser Hassan was found down the left by John Walker, the winger taking on his man before checking back and sending in a pinpoint cross to Everitt. Ratty did the rest, with an excellent looping header back across goal to give Delo no chance, followed by a classy ‘non-celebration’ after so many years at Cheriton Road. The final twenty minutes was an edgy period of play, but the home side knew how precious their lead was, and gave 100% commitment for their supporters to make sure of the three points, and for now, the bragging rights.
Scorers - Hythe Town - Cook - 59 mins – Everitt – 72 mins – Folkestone Invicta – Vincent – 35 mins
Hythe Town - Ruddy, Smith, Walker, Kingwell, Cloke, Dolan, Cook (c), Winfield (Savage – 78), Hobbs (Hassan – 62), Thompson (Cass – 68), Everitt - Unused subs – A Porter, Elliott
Attendance - 1022
Carry On Cook
Hythe Town - 1 - Sittingbourne - 1
Ryman League South - 15/12/12
Dave Cook celebrated his achievement of scoring 100 goals in Hythe colours with a pre-match presentation in front of the Reachfields crowd, before typically going on to score his 101st goal in the 90th minute of today's game to ensure a share of the points with in-form Sittingbourne. Lee Winfield also celebrated the fact he made it 300 appearances in a Hythe shirt the previous week at Eastbourne, fantastic achievements for both players. The game got off to a blistering start as the home side almost opened the scoring in the first minute. Good build-up play from James Everitt leading to a Jake Hobbs cross that just evaded the touch of George Savage at the back-post. Two minutes later the visitors took a shock early lead, Hythe guilty of slow reactions as Tom Loynes smashed home at close-range, after a long-throw routine caused an almighty goalmouth scramble.
The home side reacted well, Cook heading a Hobbs corner just over, after Hobbs himself had a close-range effort blocked that seemed destined to find the net. The hosts were still not at the races in defence, and Russell Bedford should have doubled his side's lead, lobbing over after a clear run on the Hythe goal. Likewise for Sittingbourne, the visitors struggling with Hythe's delivery to the back-post, Adam Molloy's fingertip save denying Cook at point-blank range after an excellent delivery from John Walker. Brendon Cass went close, scooping over at close-range after a long-throw from Everitt, but this chance would be the end of the home side's best period of play in the game.
The scoreline could have looked very different, both ways, just before half-time. Craig Cloke volleyed into the side-netting as another Hobbs' delivery to the back-post troubled the Ward brothers' side, before Loynes shot just wide as Hythe failed to deal with the movement of the Sittingbourne forward line. Hythe made changes, first at half-time, with the swapping of Hobbs and Savage onto different flanks. Then just before the hour-mark, to a 4-3-3 formation, with the introduction of Craig Thompson. However, it was turning into a bad day at the office for the home side, and their opponents were happy to sit and protect what they had, threatening with the occasional dangerous counter-attack.
Reachfields thought the goal to spark their side into life had arrived, when Cook played Cass one on one with Molloy, but the slippery conditions ended that optimism as quickly as it had arrived. A freak free-kick for a back-pass was awarded eight yards from the Bourne' goal, Hobbs appeared to have found the net, only for a slight deflection to take the ball over the crossbar. Cass and Cook both went close in the final moments, both chances created from the hard-work and endeavour of Thompson. However skipper Cook was waiting for the dramatic final minute of normal time to make his mark, forcing home Lee Winfield's excellent cross, inevitably to the back-post.
Scorers - Hythe Town - Cook - 90 mins - Sittingbourne - Loynes - 3 mins
Hythe Town - Ruddy, Reeves (A Porter - 78), Walker, Kingwell, Cloke, Winfield, Cook (c), Savage (Thompson - 57), Hobbs, Cass, Everitt - Unused subs - Blackman, Hassan, Elliott
Attendance - 268
Century For Cook!
Eastbourne Town - 0 - Hythe Town - 2
Ryman League South - 08/12/12
Today Dave Cook scored his 99th and 100th goals in Hythe colours, achieved in only 198 appearances, mostly in midfield, and with a fair amount from centre-back. This incredible achievement, together with an excellent clean sheet, allowed Hythe to instantly return to winning ways after the disappointment of defeat at home to Ramsgate on Tuesday night. The game started in controversial circumstances as after five minutes Hythe were awarded a penalty for a foul on James Everitt. After a long period of time with Eastbourne players surrounding the referee, the man in the middle took advice from his assistant before awarding a free-kick for an alleged dive by Everitt. In truth it was probably not a free-kick or a spot-kick, simply a coming together of players inside the box. Just before the twenty-minute mark the visitors actually were awarded a penalty, Luke Denton clearly handling Ronnie Dolan's half-volley following a good cross to the back-post from Jake Hobbs, skipper Dave Cook smashing home the spot-kick into the roof of the net.
Two minutes later Hythe came close to doubling their lead, another cross from Hobbs, this time picking out Everitt who had lost his marker inside the box, his low volley met with an excellent stop from home keeper Josh Pelling. The lively Richard Greenford should have done better toe-poking just wide at the back-post following a dangerous cross from deep. Next Greenford turned provider, flashing a dangerous ball across the face of Hythe's goal, the winger probably the home side's biggest threat throughout. The hosts should have scored an equaliser just after the half-hour mark when Danny Curd slipped the Hythe offside trap to run clear on goal, only to roll his finish just wide. In truth this was the only totally clear chance on Dean Ruddy's goal all afternoon, credit going to a ruthlessly efficient performance from Scott Porter's side.
Ten minutes before half-time Hythe had the ball in the net, Dolan smashing home a long-throw from Everitt at the back-post, however an infringement was spotted in the box and the scoreline remained unchanged. The travelling support wouldn't have to wait long though as a minute before half-time Hythe had their second goal of the afternoon. Everitt chasing down a lost cause only to be badly fouled by the clumsy Denton, from the resulting Hobbs' free-kick Cook headed home his 100th goal as a Hythe Town player! The second-half was a dogged affair with Hythe happy to hold what they held, whilst the home side were to be frustrated by their visitor's ability to hold their opposition at arm's length. It should have been game over ten minutes into the half, Cook releasing Everitt down the right whose cross picked out Dolan, the midfielder curling his effort just over.
Greenfield wasted a similar chance for Eastbourne but the game was getting tighter for both side's attacks. With twenty minutes remaining the home side had made all three of their substitutions and were looking better for it. Probably the best passing move of the half ended with one of those substitutes, John Lansdale, drilling a low hard effort just wide from twenty yards. Hythe introduced Taser Hassan and Lee Winfield for the closing stages with one more decent chance for both sides. First Everitt's free-kick deflected to Dolan whose half-volley was well held by Pelling. Finally, the home side had the ball in the net with two minutes remaining, but there would be no consolation due to a clear offside decision in the build-up.
Scorers - Cook - 19 mins (penalty), 44 mins
Hythe Town - Ruddy, Reeves, Walker, Kingwell, Cloke, Dolan, Cook (c), Barnes, Hobbs (Hassan - 73), Cass (Winfield - 88), Everitt - Unused subs - Savage, Blackman, Elliott
Attendance - 222
Rams Raid Reachfields
Hythe Town - 0 - Ramsgate - 2
Ryman League South - 04/12/12
An impressive looking Ramsgate outfit took full advantage of an under-par performance from Scott Porter's side to leave Reachfields with all three points. The home side probably had the better of the first-half, but the visitors upped their game after the interval and their hosts failed to do the same. Hythe almost took the lead after just three minutes when Dave Cook spotted ex-Hythe man Danny Twyman off his line and fired a lob just wide from well over thirty-yards. An excellent cross-field pass from James Everitt found Jake Hobbs clear down the right, the Hythe winger electing to shoot before getting shut down, his effort running just wide. Twyman was nervous in the Rams goal, probably due to the injury that eventually forced an early shower, another clearance falling short to Ronnie Dolan, who also sent a lob just wide. Hobbs' free-kick just evaded the outstretched toe of Craig Cloke, whilst at the other end the Rams had their first decent chance on goal, Macauley Murray's fierce free-kick beaten away by Dean Ruddy, Hythe surviving the almighty goalmouth scramble that followed.
Murray flashed another dangerous free-kick across the face of the Hythe goal, a tactic that the home side failed to deal with all night. It looked like it was going to be one of those nights when the impressive Hobbs fired home an unstoppable half-volley into the top corner, only for a mysterious free-kick to be awarded for an apparent infringement seconds earlier. Hythe's entire forward line all played their part in a lovely passing move that ended with a goalbound Everitt strike that hit Dolan and fell to safety due to the midfielder's own accidental slip. Dolan almost scored himself moments later, curling a a twenty-yard strike just the wrong side of the post and into the side-netting. With young Shannon Harris replacing the experienced Twyman in the Ramsgate goal, Hythe were probably guilty of not testing the replacement keeper as the half drew to a close, although they were probably the happier of the two sides at half-time.
Two minutes into the second-half the game was turned on it's head as Murray's free-kick across the face of Hythe's goal again caused problems, that hesitancy allowing Warren Schulz to force Ruddy into a close-range save, visiting skipper Dean Hill converting the close-range rebound with ease. Scott Porter reacted to his side falling behind with the introduction of Taser Hassan on the hour mark, and the duo of Craig Thompson and Brendon Cass ten minutes later. In reality though Hythe continued to struggle to get back into the game, and Ramsgate enjoyed the remaining clear chances on goal. Ian Pulman shot wildly off-target when he should have probably scored after slipping the Hythe offside trap. Tom Chapman wasted a similar chance with a shot across goal that went a lot closer to doubling the visitor's lead.
Finally, with two minutes remaining, Pulman found the net with a close-range finish after Tom Axford had burst clear to take advantage of Hythe throwing men forward in search of an equaliser. The home side did enjoy a purple-patch just prior to that killer second goal from the Rams, Jake Hobbs firing in several dangerous crosses and corners, the winger's work deserving more end product. Cass, Dolan, and Thompson all had various close-range finishes scrambled clear, all three probably doing as much as they could in the positions they found themselves in. The visitors outstanding commitment in defence, including ex-Hythe man Tom Parkinson, probably the key to gaining all three points.
Scorers - Ramsgate - Hill - 47 mins - Pulman - 88 mins
Hythe Town - Ruddy, Reeves, Savage (Cass - 68), Kingwell, Cloke, Dolan, Cook (c), Barnes, Hobbs, Everitt (Thompson - 68), Winfield (Hassan - 59) - Unused subs - A Porter, Blackman
Attendance - 193
Captain Cook Strikes Again
Merstham - 1 - Hythe Town - 4
Ryman League South - 01/12/12
Captain Dave Cook hit his second hat-trick of the season as hosts Merstham failed to live with his side's firepower, as a tireless display kept the home side away from Dean Ruddy's goal for the majority of the afternoon. The Reachfields outfit have now scored eight goals in two games, with Cook hitting five of those goals to inspire his side to six wins and one draw from the last eight games. Scott Porter's side set the tone at the start of both halves, completing the basics brilliantly to stop their clearly capable opponents playing, before striking with a goal after twelve minutes in both the first and second half. Hythe's opening goal came directly from the hard work and pressure they applied to their opponents in their own half. Cook intercepting a pass along the home defensive-line before lobbing Lloyd Anderson in the Merstham goal.
The hosts reacted well, Luke I'Anson's free-kick nodded down in the Hythe box, James Evans' driving a low hard shot that Dean Ruddy did well to save, Hythe scrambling clear. Just before the half-hour mark the visitors conceded a sloppy goal, Dean Gunner forcing the ball home at close-range as Hythe failed to clear a Merstham free-kick. Jake Hobbs' excellent interception allowed him to play James Everitt clear on goal, Everitt shot past Lloyd Anderson but just wide, Hythe close to retaking the lead within minutes of the Merstham equaliser. Soon after the same combination led to penalty shouts for a push on Everitt, the man in black turning away Hythe's appeals. Five minutes before half-time Cook doubled his tally, Ronnie Dolan's corner headed back across goal by Nick Reeves, the skipper nodding home at close-range. The half ended with a Hobbs' corner being met by a Reeves header that flashed across goal and just wide.
The second-half followed a similar pattern to the first, Merstham enjoying more possession than in the first-half, but without any real danger being created around the Hythe goal, the visitors putting in an ultra-professional second-half display and notching two more goals to secure the three points. First Cook completed an excellent hat-trick, nodding home a Hobbs' free-kick across goal and just inside the far-post. Before substitute Brendon Cass took only ten minutes to make his mark, slotting home Reeves' through-ball, after another excellent delivery from Hobbs was only half-cleared by the home defence. Two minutes later Hythe almost scored the goal of the game, Hobbs doing brilliantly to chase down a lost cause and cut back an outswinging cross, that Dolan met from just inside the box with a thunderous first-time volley that flew just over the bar. In the final minute of the game it would be Dolan who would go close again, striking the base of the post after, inevitably, another Hobbs' centre that the home defence couldn't live with.
Scorers - Hythe Town - Cook - 12, 40, 57 mins - Cass - 81 mins - Merstham - Gunner - 29 mins
Hythe Town - Ruddy, Savage, Walker, Kingwell, Reeves, Dolan, Cook (c) (A Porter - 88), Barnes, Hobbs, Everitt (Cass - 70), Winfield - Unused subs - Thompson, Blackman, Elliott
Attendance - 114
Top Spot Within Reach
Worthing - 3 - Hythe Town - 4
Ryman League South - 17/11/12
Hythe Town almost ended a rollercoaster afternoon at Worthing top of the Ryman South League table, a 95th minute equaliser for Maidstone United denying Scott Porter's side the perfect end to an amazing away day. It wasn't the best afternoon to be a defender as both side's potent attacks tore into one another, with Hythe scoring four goals in a brilliant first-half display, before the home side 'won' the second-half 1-0 to ensure that the visitors really had to work hard to take home maximum points. Worthing Man of the Match Tom Lawley started the afternoon as he intended to continue, volleying a half-cleared ball back across goal and into the bottom corner of Dean Ruddy's goal, the home side only taking two minutes to open the scoring. There was no need for the travelling contingent to worry though as eight minutes later Scott Porter's side found an equaliser. James Everitt collected Ronnie Dolan's deflected shot, before side-stepping the challenge of Steve Metcalf, however the right-back couldn't resist the tackle, tripping Everitt, leading to a Hythe penalty. Skipper Dave Cook made no mistake with the spot-kick, hitting the ball low and hard to give Banasco-Zaragoza no chance in the Worthing goal.
Things got even better for the visitors when they took the lead just four minutes later, Cook nodding down Nick Reeves' centre, Taser Hassan smashing home a half-volley from near the penalty-spot. Metcalf looked to redeem himself, firing a volley just over at the back-post, whilst at the other end Craig Cloke sent an ambitious effort just over the crossbar from thirty-five yards following good work from Jake Hobbs. The home side's best form of defence was clearly attack, with their forward line a lot more impressive than their counterparts in defence. Just after the half-hour mark the home side drew level, Lawley firing home his second goal of the afternoon after Ruddy saved his initial shot following another decent set-piece. Hythe's frustrations lasted just one minute as Hobbs' cross was only half-cleared and Cook volleyed home his tenth goal of the season.
Only three more minutes passed before the goal-rush continued, this time Hobbs' free-kick was claimed by Banasco-Zaragoza, however the home keeper's throw-out fell straight to the feet of Reeves, who from just outside the box sent in an exquisite lob to give the visitor's a two goal cushion. Banasco-Zaragoza appeared to be effected by the four goal blitz from Porter's side and was duly replaced at half-time by substitute keeper Josh James. The second-half continued where the first left off, Everitt clattering the crossbar with a fine long-range effort just before the only goal of the half was scored, Tom Lawley completing a fine hat-trick with a near-post header that flashed across Ruddy's goal into the opposite corner, the Hythe keeper making contact but unable to prevent the home side gaining a lifeline.
The hosts played some lovely passing football down the flanks in the second-half and enjoyed regular set-piece opportunities, however Porter's side remained a threat on the counter-attack. One breakaway led to a one-two between Ronnie Dolan and Everitt to send Dolan into the box, the midfielder hitting the Worthing woodwork, his low shot finding the base of the near-post. The home side had a similar chance, Jamie Brotherton releasing Chris O'Flaherty into the box to pull back a dangerous cross that Ruddy did well to intercept. The home side were beginning to turn the screw, Lawley playing Scott Kirkwood clear on goal, Ruddy making a fine low save. With seven minutes remaining Kirkwood was given his marching orders for a second yellow card, once the Referee's Assistant reminded the man in charge of an earlier caution for the same player! In the closing stages Hythe decided to hold what they held, Ruddy making one final excellent save after Matt Daniel's turn and shot following a cross from Luke Gedling.
Scorers - Hythe Town - Cook - 10 mins (pen), 33 mins - Hassan - 14 mins - Reeves - 36 mins - Worthing - Lawley - 2, 32, 50 mins
Hythe Town - Ruddy, Reeves, Walker, Kingwell, Cloke, Dolan, Cook (c), Winfield (Thompson - 84), Everitt (Cass - 88), Hobbs, Hassan (Savage - 80) - Unused subs - A Porter, Elliott
Attendance - 227
So Close To Three Points
Hythe Town - 1 - Walton & Hersham - 1
Ryman League South - 10/11/12
Hythe Town missed the chance to cement themselves in the top two of the Ryman South table. Reachfields were on the verge of celebrating the three points after substitute Craig Thompson had scored one of the goals of the season, before being pushed in the box to be awarded a 91st minute penalty. Unfortunately visiting keeper Sheikh Ceesay wasn't following the script, diving to his left to save Brendon Cass' penalty to ensure the points were shared. Hythe got off to a great start with wingers Jake Hobbs and Taser Hassan firing in a series of dangerous crosses and corner-kicks, each almost finding the crucial touch from Ratty Everitt or skipper Dave Cook. However, the visitor's first chance of the afternoon fell to Graeme Purdy who headed just wide from Gary Frewen's cross when he probably should have scored.
Hassan was giving right-back Aryan Tajbakhsh a real test, and the Hythe man's latest run and cross almost dropped in at the back-post. Hassan's wing-play aside, the visitors went on to enjoy their best spell of the game with some decent counter-attacking football, Ashley Quashie was denied the opening goal of the game due to an offside flag. However the first goal of the afternoon would arrive minutes later, Purdy forcing the ball home at close-range after Dean Ruddy had tipped Harold Odametey's driven shot onto the inside of the post. Only two minutes had passed since the goal, when the home side should have drawn level, Everitt meeting George Savage's cross six-yards from goal, Ceesay making a brilliant save around the post.
Again Ceesay tipped round the post, this time from Ronnie Dolan's low drive after good work from Everitt and Hobbs. The half ended with a crucial save from Ruddy, coming off his line to make a low block on the shot from Frewen after a mazy run into the Hythe box. The home side's performance improved after half-time, Cook's close-range shot cleared off the line after Hobb's centre was headed back across goal by Everitt. Three minutes after his appearance as a substitute Craig Thompson lit up the game with an outstanding finish, Savage's ball forward flicked along the edge of the box by Everitt to Thompson who fired an unstoppable looping volley from twenty-yards to put Hythe right back in the game.
Hobbs had a decent free-kick turned over via the crossbar, before turning provider for Everitt whose low hard shot from the edge of the box was well saved by Ceesay. Brendon Cass replaced Everitt as the game began to get stretched and the defending started to get more desperate as both sides took risks in the closing stages. Hythe's best chance from open play came when Hobbs fired the perfect cross through the six-yard box, Cass and Thompson both unable to convert at close-range. In the first of three minutes of injury-time Hythe felt they had done enough to win the game as Thompson was flattened going for a Hobbs' cross, however Ceesay had different ideas as he denied Cass and the hosts all three points with a decent low save from the penalty-kick.
Scorers - Hythe Town - Thompson - 54 mins - Walton & Hersham - Purdy - 23 mins
Hythe Town - Ruddy, Savage, Walker, Reeves, Cloke, Dolan, Cook (c) (Thompson - 51), Winfield, Hobbs, Everitt (Cass - 74), Hassan - Unused subs - Blackman, A Porter, Elliott
Attendance - 272
Winning Streak Ends
Hythe Town - 2 - Leatherhead - 3
Ryman League South - 06/11/12
Hythe Town came from behind twice during the eventful visit of a decent looking Leatherhead side to Reachfields. However a third occasion was too much to ask, as Scott Porter's side's excellent four game winning streak came to an end with a 3-2 defeat. The Hythe goals came from a Dave Cook penalty, and a headed finish from Brendon Cass. The visitors got off to the perfect start to silence the home crowd, Hythe guilty of standing off Kev Terry who fired home a low shot that squirmed through the grasp of Dean Ruddy. Ratty Everitt should have made it three goals in two appearances in a Hythe shirt, just missing the connection on a point-blank range header from a Jake Hobbs free-kick. Two minutes later Hobbs was the threat again, Gareth Williams making a good save from another dangerous free-kick. Williams made the save again, this time from a decent effort from Ronnie Dolan, running onto a Dave Cook lay-off on the edge of the box.
More good build-up led to another strike from distance for Hythe, this time from George Savage, but the home side were being kept at arms length by a Leatherhead performance that was showing equal amounts of strength and skill. The visitors had penalty claims turned down, whilst Vernon Francis cracked a decent effort through the crowded Hythe box and just wide. The half ended with a Craig Thompson header falling just wide from a Savage centre, as Scott Porter's side arrived at half-time frustrated. If nothing else, the home side started the half by digging in and refusing to roll over and give up their recent winning run. That determination built pressure on the Leatherhead goal, and when a Hobbs' free-kick was handled in the box, Cook made no mistake from the penalty spot to draw Hythe level.
However the Hythe goal sparked something in their opponents, and in under ten minutes they had retaken the lead, Francis forcing home an uncleared corner. Everitt fired just wide after some lovely wing play from Savage, as Hythe came again, Brendon Cass entering the game with fifteen minutes remaining. Cass made an immediate impact, losing his marker to head home Taser Hassan's cross just four minutes after his introduction, full-back John Walker involved in the build-up, probably Hythe's most consistent performer this season. However, it clearly wasn't to be Hythe's night, as a leggy final ten minutes led to the goal of the game being scored by the visitors, a goal worthy of winning this rollercoaster of a game. With eight minutes remaining on the clock Tom Bradbrook's cross was headed back across the Hythe goal to Terry, who completed his brace steering home a delightful first-time volley.
Scorers - Hythe Town - Cook (pen) - 59 mins - Cass - 79 mins - Leatherhead - Terry - 6, 82 mins - Francis - 68 mins
Hythe Town - Ruddy, Savage, Walker, Reeves, Cloke, Dolan, Cook (c), Thompson (Cass - 75), Hobbs, Everitt, Hassan - Unused subs - Winfield, Blackman
Attendance - 185
Ratty Brace On Debut
Hythe Town - 2 - Whitstable Town - 0
Ryman League South - 03/11/12
New signing James 'Ratty' Everitt enjoyed a dream debut as his brace secured Hythe Town's fourth consecutive Ryman South win, taking Scott Porter's side to second in the league table. It was a workmanlike performance from the home side, on an edgy afternoon where everybody seemed to know everybody both on and off the pitch. Although the game itself wasn't a classic, those supporting the home side would have loved the clinical strikes from their new signing, along with the hard work from their side to keep opposition chances to a minimum, and a third clean sheet in four games. Porter's side have only conceded one goal in their four game winning run, away to Crawley Down Gatwick.
An impressive crowd of over 300 witnessed a tight first-half with very little chances for either side, Everitt almost opening his account for Hythe after just eighteen minutes, running clear onto Dave Cook's through-ball before slipping his shot past Rob French but just wide. Good work from Scott Heard teed up a Hythe Town legend, Buster Smissen, for his first sight of his former club's goal, dipping a decent effort just over Dean Ruddy's bar from twenty-yards. The rest of the half was a scrappy midfield battle, but it ended perfectly for the home side. George Savage, forward from right-back, combined well with Jake Hobbs before turning and firing in a cross to Everitt just inside the box, the new man chesting down the ball before firing a looping half-volley over French via a slight deflection.
The second-half saw more of Hythe as an attacking threat, a free-kick from Ronnie Dolan just after the restart finding Everitt, who chested down before shooting just over from distance. Nick
Reeves' free-kick picked out Hobbs, his cross in turn finding Thompson, who headed just over at the near-post.
Hythe's latest signing was of course lining up against his brother, Michael Everitt, also formerly of Folkestone Invicta and wearing the captain's armband for the visitors. It was Michael whose fierce close-range drive was blocked by the outstanding Craig Cloke as the hour mark approached.
Thompson continued to threaten to convert Hobbs' crosses to the near-post, whilst at the other end Smissen's flick sent first-half substitute Dane Luchford clear on the Hythe goal, Ruddy making a fine low save from the opposition's manager's younger brother. Again, Thompson threatened, firing an excellent cross from Savage into the side-netting. Next, Everitt turned provider, spinning to play Hobbs clear down the right on the counter-attack, the winger cutting inside his marker before hitting a decent effort that French did well to beat away. With twenty minutes remaining Everitt claimed his brace, Hobbs' free-kick across the face of the Whitstable goal, converted low into the bottom-right hand corner by the new man.
Tempers flared in the closing stages as a running spat between Luchford and Savage led to Luchford escaping with just a caution. However, the home side introduced fresh legs from the bench and closed the game out, an excellent three points secured without the suspended Pat Kingwell, injured Nick Barnes, and the unavailable Lee Winfield.
Scorers - Hythe Town - Everitt - 45, 70 mins
Hythe Town - Ruddy, Savage, Walker, Reeves, Cloke, Dolan, Cook (c), Everitt, Hobbs (Blackman - 89), Thompson (Cass - 68), Hassan (Dryden - 83) - Unused subs - Smith, Elliott
Attendance - 314
Town Hit The Heights
Dulwich Hamlet - 0 - Hythe Town - 2
Ryman League South - 30/10/12
In recent weeks Hythe Town produced probably their performance of the season away to Corinthian-Casuals, and on Saturday probably their result of the season defeating league leaders Crawley Down Gatwick on their own patch. Three days after defeating the league leaders away from home, Scott Porter's side defeated title favourites Dulwich Hamlet, again away from home, and this time it was the result and the performance of the season. Dulwich Hamlet is probably the toughest away day in the Ryman South, Hythe Town returned with a clean sheet and three points that move the Reachfields outfit up to third in the league table and cap an outstanding month and a scintillating return to form. As expected the hosts were out of the traps quickly with ten minutes of intense pressure on the Hythe goal. However, a continuing theme of the evening would emerge, attractive, quick passing moves from the hosts that often ended with a dangerous cross through the Hythe box but no end product.
The first chance for the visitors arrived after thirteen minutes, Jake Hobbs curling a decent free-kick just wide from twenty-five yards. The free-kick earned by the hard-work and endeavour of Craig Thompson, another theme of the night. The crucial period of the game came midway through the first-half, with Hythe surviving the first clear-cut chances on their goal. Firstly Dean Ruddy raced from his goal-line to clear from just in front of Frankie Sawyer, who had slipped the Hythe offside trap to run clear on goal. Crucially, Ruddy made the save of the game on twenty minutes, a double-save in fact, first tipping Erhun Oztumer's close-range blast into the air and then recovering to claw the rebound away from the gaping net. As the half progressed the Dulwich shooting became further from the Hythe goal, and with it more erratic.
The second-half was a totally different proposition, and in hindsight Hythe were the better side by far. The half started in despair as following good work from Thompson and Dolan, skipper Cook went clear on goal, however if felt like a goal had gone in at the other end when his shot skewed wide, little did the Hythe support know. Their side continued to win possession more often, and higher up the pitch, whilst the Hythe back line held firm, including for one night only ex-player Tom Parkinson, a loan signing from Canterbury City covering the suspension of Craig Cloke. Midway through the second-half Hythe had the breakthrough, a quick short corner from Hobbs. a fantastic centre from Taser Hassan, and a bullet header from Thompson, his second goal in as many Ryman South starts.
Ruddy produced the goods again, Daniel Carr denied one on one with a lovely low save, after the Dulwich substitute was slipped in behind the Hythe defence. It was the only warning the visitors needed, Cook shooting just wide after substitute Brendon Cass had fired in a half-volley from Hobbs' free-kick. Next, Ronnie Dolan's shot ran just wide after a decent run from Hassan and a lay-off from Cook, a second Hythe goal suddenly appeared very likely. When that second goal arrived, the source was as unlikely as the shot was unstoppable. Pressure on the Dulwich goal was only half-cleared, and Nick Barnes hit a stunning thirty-yard volley that flew into Phil Wilson's bottom corner to secure Hythe their result and performance of the season.
Scorers - Hythe Town - Thompson - 67 mins - Barnes - 85 mins
Hythe Town - Ruddy, Reeves, Walker, Kingwell, Parkinson, Dolan, Cook (c), Barnes, Hobbs, Thompson (Cass - 73), Hassan (Dryden - 88) - Unused subs - Savage, Blackman, Elliott
Attendance - 330
Summit In Sight
Crawley Down Gatwick - 1 - Hythe Town - 2
Ryman League South - 27/10/12
Hythe Town produced their result of the season, as they travelled home from the current Ryman South leaders with three points that take Scott Porter's side up to sixth-place in the league table. The Reachfields outfit now look towards the tough journey to Dulwich Hamlet on Tuesday night, as they aim to be the first club to defeat their hosts on their own patch this season, a result that could take Hythe to the giddy heights of second in the Ryman South. A thoroughly entertaining game started at break-neck speed, with the most likely scorer for both sides having the first sight of goal. Luke Blewden having a good shot blocked by Nick Reeves, whilst at the other end Dave Cook's strike ran just wide. Just as Hythe were building some pressure they were undone by a defensive clearance that showed up their own defensive line to be too high. Defender Callum Donaghey's clearance sending Blewden clear on goal, his low shot giving Dean Ruddy no chance after just five minutes. Seven minutes later a resurgent Hythe were deservedly level, John Walker's quick throw returned by Nick Barnes, before Walker's cross was ducked by Dave Cook to find Craig Thompson who marked his first league start of the season with a fine turn and finish.
Hythe were now showing some of their best football of the season as Cook's flick sent Thompson clear on goal, Crawley keeper Anthony Di Bernardo making the save. Ronnie Dolan found the unmarked Cook just inside the box, although the skipper's first time shot was just wide. Good work on the flank from Taser Hassan ended with a cross that was met by a bicycle kick from Thompson that flew just over. On twenty-one minutes the visitors took the lead, a flowing move from the Hythe midfield ending with Jake Hobbs pulling back for Dolan to pass his finish into the bottom corner from the edge of the box. Hythe continued to dominate as Nick Reeves collected his own blocked free-kick before firing a shot just wide, just before an incorrect offside decision denied Thompson another clear run on goal from a Cook pass. Just before the half-hour mark Thompson turned and released Hassan clear down the flank, the winger's cross picking out the unmarked Cook who couldn't quite convert the chance at full stretch.
The hosts were rattled and home keeper Di Bernardo escaped a red card after jumping to his feet and throwing the ball at Cook at point-blank range. Cook and Thompson continued to cause havoc, both combining to force Thompson clear on goal, Di Bernardo making an excellent low save with his legs. It had been all one-way traffic but the home side managed to fashion a chance just before half-time, Gabriel Odunaike weaving his way into the Hythe box to cross to home captain Fraser Logan whose header was brilliantly turned over the bar by Ruddy. Just a minute into the second-half a poor clearance from Di Bernardo landed at the feet of Thompson, but with the goal at his mercy the striker slipped at the crucial moment. Miles Mitchell's run and cross from the left found Blewden who headed just over, but the remainder of the half would be very different to the first period of play.
Hythe had put a lot into the first-half, but their hosts didn't have much at all in return. The game turning into a fairly scrappy affair that pleased Hythe more than their game-chasing hosts. Scott Porter introduced Brendon Cass, Jimmy Dryden, and George Savage as the second-half progressed, and eventually the visitors found themselves back amongst the goal-scoring opportunities. A brilliant run from Dolan took him past three men before the midfielder slipped Cass in on goal, the ball just running out of control before a final shot. With ten minutes remaining Dryden cut in off the flank to hit a tremendous twenty-yard half-volley that was tipped onto the inside of the post before being gathered in by Di Bernardo. Dolan continued to threaten, dribbling past several defenders before lining up a shot for Hassan that was saved low. With five minutes remaining Cook played Cass clear on goal, the overworked Di Bernardo making a fine double save.
Scorers - Hythe Town - Thompson - 12 mins - Dolan - 21 mins - Crawley Down Gatwick - Blewden - 5 mins
Hythe Town - Ruddy, Reeves, Walker, Kingwell, Cloke, Dolan, Cook (c), Barnes, Hobbs (Dryden - 65), Thompson (Cass - 57), Hassan (Savage - 84) - Unused subs - Blackman, Elliott
Attendance - 109
The Climb Continues
Hythe Town - 1 - Horsham - 0
Ryman League South - 23/10/12
Hythe Town put the setback of Saturday's early red card and eventual defeat to Chipstead firmly behind them, with a comfortable three points secured from the visit of Horsham. Scott Porter's side have now risen to a season-high placing of 12th in the Ryman League South, with the games in hand to take them right into the play-off mix. On the night it was pretty much one-way traffic, with Dean Ruddy largely untested, and the only question mark over the home side's performance being the lack of goals converted from chances. Hythe almost took the lead as early as the third minute, Jake Hobbs' curling free-kick tipped around the post by a full stretch Michael Hunter in the opposition goal. The twenty minutes or so that followed, with the scoreline level, probably was the visitors best period, with some attractive build-up play but very little end product.
Horsham best effort arrived when Eddie Koboah's run and cross from the right was met by a header from Gary Chapman that Dean Ruddy held onto confidently.
After twenty-six minutes Hythe took the lead, skipper and top scorer Dave Cook receiving the ball out wide before showing real confidence in running at the Horsham defence to commit two men before entering the box and smashing home his shot into the bottom corner. Minutes later a poor clearance from Horsham goalkeeper Hunter left his goal exposed, Ronnie Dolan volleying first-time from thirty-yards, his shot running just wide. Hythe were now dominating as Taser Hassan cut in off the flank to dribble his way along the byline, his shot hitting the outside of the base of the post. Craig Cloke's defensive clearance made it all the way to Hobb's whose first touch took him clear on goal only for Hunter to equal his fine early shot with an excellent stop. Just after half-time Hobb's free-kick was chested down by Cloke for Nick Barnes who blasted his shot from the edge of the box just over. On the hour mark Cass just over-ran the ball to waste a good opportunity on goal after forcing himself though a crowded Horsham box.
The visitors were still in the game on the counter-attack, Gary Chapman cutting in off the flank but only finding the side-netting with a driven effort at the near-post. Good work from Barnes and Dolan allowed Barnes to play Cook clear on goal, Hunter making another excellent save to continue to frustrate the majority inside Reachfields. Penalty shouts were turned away as Hassan's shot appeared to be clearly blocked by an arm rising above head height, from the resulting corner Cass had a shot from six-yards saved brilliantly by the overworked Hunter. Hythe continued to dominate, Hassan breaking into the penalty-box and pulling back a cross that just evaded Hobbs, Cook and Cass before Dolan's goalbound blast was blocked desperately. The game almost ended with a goal for substitute Craig Thompson, who just beat Hunter to the ball on the edge of the box before volleying just over with the empty goal at his mercy.
Scorer - Hythe Town - Cook - 26 mins
Hythe Town - Ruddy, Reeves, Walker, Kingwell, Cloke, Dolan, Cook (c), Barnes, Hobbs (Dryden - 87), Cass (Thompson - 77), Hassan - Unused subs - Elliott, Savage, A Porter
Attendance - 170
Town Almost Pull Off Miracle Result
Hythe Town - 0 - Chipstead - 1
Ryman League South - 20/10/12
A 1-0 defeat at home is not normally considered as a contender for one of the performances of the season to date. However, some poor finishing was the only thing that prevented Scott Porter's side from gaining at least a share of the points in impossible circumstances. Reduced to ten men after just ten minutes, and a goal behind to opponents Chipstead after eighteen minutes, it looked like a long afternoon for the home side. Remarkably, Hythe Town dominated the second-half, creating but ultimately missing enough clear chances on goal to not only equalise but to win the game! Hythe actually had a very positive start to proceedings, penalty shouts turned away for a push on Dave Cook, before the ball broke to Ronnie Dolan who curled a lovely strike just wide from the corner of the box. The red card moment soon arrived, Pat Kingwell receiving his marching orders for kicking out in retaliation to a foul.
The home side had a key opportunity to turn things around within minutes, Craig Cloke guilty of firing over a clear chance on goal from six-yards out following Dolan's corner. Probably the visitor's best performer on the day, right-back Josh Andrew, was the scorer of the only goal of the afternoon, an outstanding solo effort breaking forward from the half-way line and blasting an unstoppable drive past Dean Ruddy from just inside the box. After a long period of decent and inevitable possession from Chipstead, the half ended with a flurry of chances. Jake Hobbs' free-kick was headed just over by Cloke, before Kyle Green's cross to Rob Haworth led to an outstanding last-ditch challenge from John Walker to deny the Chipstead man.
Green was again the provider as Ruddy made a brilliant save at close-range from James McShane, as Hythe kept within touching distance going into the break. Two chances within two minutes could have turned the game either way just after the restart, Ruddy saving at the feet of substitute Shane Graham, who ran clear onto a lucky deflection from a Nick Reeves clearance. However, Hythe were about to show signs of what was to come, some good work from Hobbs sending Brendon Cass clear on goal, the shot on goal wildly over, as Hythe's top scorer attempted to take advantage of the poor position of Chipstead keeper Martin Grant.
Scott Porter made moves to accelerate his side's grip of the game, introducing George Savage to the defence to free up Dave Cook back into the midfield from covering Kingwell's absence since that red card. Dolan's uncleared free-kick fell to Barnes, who beat one man on the edge of the box before firing his shot inches wide. Cook was now back in the thick of the action, Grant saving the Hythe skipper's header following a cross from Reeves, it was beginning to feel that the home side should be level at the least. Still the chances came for Hythe as Cass shot on the turn, Grant tipping his effort round the post. With just over fifteen minutes remaining, the home side's best chance of the afternoon fell to Cass, sent clear by Reeves through-ball, Grant again denying the Hythe number ten, whose attempted lob was saved brilliantly. Hythe went more direct in the closing stages, with the introduction of Craig Thompson and Jimmy Dryden at the expense of their usual width. However the final fifteen minutes didn't produce that vital goal, with Chipstead unlucky not to double their lead on the counter-attack.
Scorer - Chipstead - Andrew - 18 mins
Hythe Town - Ruddy, Reeves, Walker, Kingwell, Cloke, Dolan, Cook (c), Barnes, Hobbs (Savage - 59), Cass (Dryden - 83), Hassan (Thompson - 75) - Unused subs - Smith, Elliott
Attendance - 209
Whitstable Town - 4 - Hythe Town - 3
Ryman League Cup 2nd Round - 16/10/12
Changed line-ups from Scott Porter and Justin Luchford, seven goals, a red card, and those familiar faces lining up for the opposition, who needs to stay at home watching some Polish rain fall? Hythe Town came off the worse of a seven goal thriller at the Belmont, in a game where they came up against former players Laurence Harvey, Buster Smissen, Nick Shaw, and Dane Luchford, of course managed by ex-Assistant Manager Justin Luchford, and not forgetting Damian Abel, one of a few 'rested' players in the crowd for both sides. The evening started with mixed fortunes for the hosts, as they forced a succession of early corners but lost Dane Luchford to injury, replaced by ex-Folkestone Invicta skipper Michael Everitt. With fifteen minutes on the clock the visitors fell behind, Ashley Porter's clearance rebounding off Craig Cloke and into the path of the impressive Jake Mackenzie who made no mistake with his finish past Tom Elliott in the Hythe goal.
The goal actually settled Porter's side down, some good work from George Savage leading to the young winger crossing to the near-post, Harvey making a tremendous close-range block on Thompson's goalbound effort. Just before the half-hour mark Hythe were level, Taser Hassan's corner only half-cleared to the edge of the Whitstable box, Savage doing the rest with a smart half-volley guided into the bottom corner to give Shaw no chance. Harvey headed just over from another of the regular Whitstable corners, but the home side suffered more disruption as on this occasion it was captain Shame Hamshare that left the field with an injury, replaced by veteran Nicky Southall. Two minutes into first-half injury-time the game had it's pivotal moment, another dangerous corner from the home side leading to Craig Cloke instinctively handling the ball on the goal-line, the inevitable red card followed before Southall despatched the penalty with ease to give his side a half-time lead.
Porter reacted at half-time by introducing Pat Kingwell for the unfortunate Savage, Hythe switching to a 4-4-1 formation. Smissen, a player who once came close to fifty goals in a season in Hythe colours, had an electric start to the second-half, but was unable to convert any of his chances on goal. Unbelievably, it was Hythe's defensive substitute, Kingwell, who scored the opening goal of the half, picking the ball up on the half-way line before striding forward to the edge of the penalty-box and stroking home a slightly deflected finish, an outstanding solo effort. However, it would be bettered, as the home side went on to take advantage of the extra man.
Southall had already chanced his luck from distance on the hour mark, before James Morrish stepped up with just over twenty minutes remaining to chest down a clearance and smash an unstoppable looping effort from thirty-five yards up and over Elliott to reclaim the lead for his side. Harvey headed home from a corner and it appeared to be game over, however the visitors had other ideas. A gift of a goal, but a goal forced by sheer hard-work and determination, arrived with three minutes remaining. A suicidal pass along the edge of the Whitstable box provided Craig Thompson with the easiest chance of the evening, the Hythe man coolly side-stepping Shaw to roll home a deserved goal, and to create a last-gasp push for a Hythe equaliser that sadly didn't arrive, but if it had would have taken the evening onto a penalty shoot-out.
Scorers - Hythe Town - Savage - 26 mins - Kingwell - 53 mins - Thompson - 87 mins - Whitstable Town - Mackenzie - 15 mins - Southall - 45+2 mins (pen) - Morrish - 69 mins - Harvey - 79 mins
Hythe Town - Elliott, Smith (Cass - 78), Walker, A Porter, Cloke, Winfield, Savage (Kingwell - 45), Barnes (c), Thompson, Dryden, Hassan (Dolan - 64) - Unused subs - Cook, Hobbs
Attendance - 84
Captain Cook Hits Hat-Trick
Corinthian-Casuals - 1 - Hythe Town - 3
Ryman League South - 13/10/12
Hythe Town produced their best performance of the season, as they ran out comfortable winners away to Corinthian-Casuals on 'Non-league Day.' Dave Cook's hat-trick was the difference between the two sides, but on another day Hythe could have doubled their tally as Scott Porter's side continue their climb up the Ryman League South table. A mix-up in the Hythe defence gave the home side an early lead, Jamie Byatt slotting home with ease to get Hythe off to the worst possible start. However, much to the pleasure of the travelling away support, Scott Porter's side didn't look back and barely gave their hosts a look in for the rest of the afternoon. Jake Hobbs curled a free-kick just over from twenty-five yards, and Cook fired an opportunistic volley just over from the edge of the box. but it wouldn't be long until the same two players combined for the Hythe equaliser.
Patient build-up play led to an excellent cross from the wing from Hobbs and Cook did well to get across his marker and head home at the near-post. Hobbs' corner was headed just over by Craig Cloke, before Brendon Cass spotted Danny Bracken off his line, firing a tremendous effort from thirty-yards that thumped against the crossbar. Just before the half-hour mark the visitors took the lead, Cook winning and converting a fiercely struck free-kick from twenty-yards. Cook redirected a Nick Reeves strike just wide, and Hythe were now playing their best football of the season. A signal of Hythe's confidence was shown a minute before half-time as full-back John Walker burst into the opposition box, beating two men, but only finding the side-netting with his final shot.
Shortly after the restart Hobbs' corner was only half-cleared as far as Taser Hassan, who looked to be curling home a delightful finish from the edge of the box before Bracken tipped over his effort at full-stretch. More patient play from Hythe led to Ronnie Dolan striking just wide, before Hythe had penalty appeals turned down as Hobbs was pulled back inside the penalty-box. Hobbs was now beating Casuals' left-back Dave Hodges every time he got the ball, but was the victim of some dreadful decisions from the officials as time and time again the hapless defender got away with tripping and pulling the Hythe winger. More good work from Hobbs led to a one-two between Cass and Dolan that sent Dolan clear on goal, only for a heavy touch from Dolan to send the ball into Bracken's arms.
With twenty minutes remaining Hythe struck a deserved third goal, Dolan surging forward and taking on the Casuals' midfield before playing the perfect through-ball for Dave Cook to fire home his third goal of the afternoon. Porter's side had dominated, and when Byatt fired a speculative strike into the arms of Dean Ruddy, it was both his and his team's first shot on goal since he had opened the scoring in the fourth minute. Substitute Steve Barilli's surprise shot from the edge of the box hit the inside of Ruddy's post, and full-back Hodges' ended a poor afternoon with a shot across goal and just wide, the home side taking risks in an attempt to cut the deficit in injury-time. However, the improving Hythe defence held firm and it was actually Hassan volleying into the arms of Bracken that signalled the end of the game's chances on goal.
Scorers - Hythe Town - Cook - 13, 28, 70 mins - Corinthian-Casuals - Byatt - 4 mins
Hythe Town - Ruddy, Reeves, Walker, Kingwell, Cloke, Dolan, Cook (c), Winfield (Dryden - 77), Hobbs (Savage - 74), Cass (Thompson - 77), Hassan - Unused sub - Blackman
Attendance - 115
Stones Back Home
Maidstone United - 1 - Hythe Town - 1
Ryman League South - 09/10/12
Hythe Town finally got to visit their old friends and rivals from the Kent League at their real home, Maidstone United's brand new Gallagher Stadium! An excellent crowd of 1401 witnessed the home side get the better of the first period of play and take the lead just before half-time. Scott Porter's side clawed their way back into the game in the second-half to gain a deserved draw, thanks to an equaliser from Brendon Cass. It was a frantic start to proceedings as straight from kick-off Alex Flisher skewed an early sight of goal wide, whilst at the other end some good work from Ronnie Dolan gave Dave Cook time to hit a rising shot from twenty yards just over the crossbar. Excellent play from Taser Hassan took him past two Maidstone men and into the penalty box, his pull-back met by a goal-bound strike from ex-Stones player Nick Barnes, a strike that almost knocked out Nick Humphrey in the home defence, the ball falling to safety.
Ian Draycott's first time through-ball caught the Hythe defence flat-footed as Paul Booth ran clear on goal, Dean Ruddy making a fine fingertip save across the face of his goal to keep the scores level. A quick free-kick taken by Craig Cloke from the halfway line almost caught out the experienced Charlie Mitten in the Stones goal, whilst at the other end his opposite number was making a rare error, Ruddy failing to hold onto a corner from the home side to prompt an almighty goalmouth scramble that the Hythe defence managed to clear to safety. As the half-hour mark arrived Ruddy made amends with another great save, this time from Welford at point-blank range after an uncleared free-kick from the home side.
Hythe then carved out their best chance of the half, the impressive Jake Hobbs showing good skill out on the flank before firing in the perfect cross for Brendon Cass who beat one man with his first touch to go clear on Mitten's goal, but found the home defence in defiant mood as they blocked the final shot from Hythe's top scorer. With four minutes of the half remaining the home side took the lead, Booth slamming home a penalty controversially awarded for handball by Nick Reeves to give the impressive Stones' support reason for cheer, but to leave all those connected with Hythe incensed due to a clear ball mark on the body of Reeves' shirt. The home side had been the more fluent of the two sides, but the Hythe defence were keeping the Stones' attack at arms length. Moving into the second-half it would be a case of could Scott Porter's side move the game back towards the opposition goal, something that would be achieved in a very careful but eventually effective manner.
In the opening stages of the second-half Maidstone continued to enjoy more of the ball, but half-chance by half-chance Hythe clawed their way back into the game. Cook had a shot just wide, Hassan went close at the back-post after more good work by Hobbs, and Hobbs free-kick to the near-post surprised Mitten. Hythe scrambled clear a decent Maidstone free-kick on the hour mark, as Hythe began to believe they grab an equaliser. Justice was done as penalty appeals were waved away for an apparent foul by Ruddy on Shaun Welford. With just over fifteen minutes remaining the hard-working Cass intercepted a poor back-pass by Draycott to run clear on goal and curl a decent finish past Mitten. There would be some anxious moments in the closing stages as both sides made changes designed to win the game, but the final whistle finally arrived and both sides took a point home for their efforts.
Scorers - Hythe Town - Cass - 73 mins - Maidstone United - Booth - 41 mins
Hythe Town - Ruddy, Reeves, Walker, Kingwell, Cloke, Dolan, Cook (c), Barnes, Hobbs (Winfield - 85), Cass (Thompson - 80), Hassan - Unused subs - Savage, A Porter, Elliott
Attendance - 1401
Back To Winning Ways
Hythe Town - 5 - Tooting & Mitcham United - 2
Ryman League South - 06/10/12
Hythe Town began their climb up the Ryman League South with a comprehensive defeat of Tooting & Mitcham United. A Ronnie Dolan brace, together with goals from Dave Cook, Brendon Cass, and Jimmy Dryden saw off our skilful but distracted opponents, who somehow kept eleven players on the pitch, but had a member of their management team sent-off in the closing stages of the game. Hythe were the more focused of the two sides right from the start, as Dolan intercepted a poor pass after just three minutes before surging into the opposition box and curling a lovely finish past Darren Behcet into the top-right corner. The visitors best form of defence was clearly going to be attack as Sol Pinnock forced Dean Ruddy into a good early save. Moments later Pinnock played strike-partner Kai Bichard clear into the Hythe box, Ruddy making an outstanding save at point-blank range.
The game settled for a period before Dylan Merchant appeared to handle in the area, the Referee's Assistant awarding a penalty, only for the man in the middle to over-rule and award a free-kick fractionally outside the Tooting box, Jake Hobb's resulting free-kick curling just the wrong side of the post. Minutes later a Hobbs' free-kick threatened to find Cass at the back-post, Hythe's top scorer's shirt pulled continuously before the inevitable award of a penalty, Behcet saved Cook's spot-kick, and Cass' follow-up before finally Cook slammed home at close-range. As the half-hour mark arrived the visitors pulled a goal back, Pinnock crossing from the right for Bichard to poke home a smart finish at the near-post.
Hythe looked to restore their two goal cushion as Hobbs' free-kick was headed back across goal by Cook and just into the side-netting by Cass. Minutes later Hythe did restore that two goal lead with the best goal of the afternoon. Hobb's free-kick was only half-cleared to the edge of the box where Dolan chested the ball down before firing home an unstoppable volley across goal into the top-left corner to complete a fine brace. On the stroke of half-time the visitors gained a lifeline as a mistimed header from Pat Kingwell allowed Pinnock in on goal, the Tooting man forcing the ball past Ruddy and into the Hythe goal to end a breathtaking half. However, four minutes after half-time it was effectively game over, Taser Hassan intercepting a pass in the visitors back-line before accelerating into the box and squaring the perfect ball for Cass to slot home.
Dolan played Cook one on one but Behcet was quick off his line to deny the Hythe skipper as Hythe threatened to run away with things. With just over ten minutes remaining the visitors should have been reduced to ten men, as substitute Jordan Wilson's poor two-footed, off the ground challenge on Jake Hobbs was followed by Wilson placing his hand around Hobb's throat, amazingly Wilson escaped with only a caution. With ten minutes remaining Craig Thompson ran onto Hobb's clipped through-ball before crossing to the near-post for fellow substitute Jimmy Dryden to back-heel home a delightful finish to give Scott Porter's side a more than deserved three goal cushion at the final whistle.
Scorers - Hythe Town - Dolan - 3, 37 mins - Cook - 24 mins - Cass - 49 mins - Dryden - 80 mins - Tooting & Mitcham United - Bichard - 30 mins - Pinnock - 45 mins
Hythe Town - Ruddy, Savage, Walker, Kingwell, Reeves (Dryden - 64), Dolan, Cook (c), Barnes, Hobbs (Winfield - 81), Cass (Thompson - 76), Hassan - Unused subs - A Porter, Elliott
Attendance - 228
Hythe Town - 0 - Hampton & Richmond Borough - 4
FA Trophy First Qualifying Round Replay - 02/10/12
Hythe Town were left to rue missed opportunities at key moments in both games against an experienced, hard-working, and organised Ryman Premier side, in the form of Hampton & Richmond Borough. Scott Porter's side gave an excellent account of themselves over the two games in four days against higher league opposition, and it was only when they took risks and chased the tie with nothing left to lose that the difference in divisions truly showed. The visitors started the brighter, Dean Ruddy tipping Charlie Moone's shot around the post, Hythe surviving the goalmouth scramble that followed from the resulting corner. The return of Ronnie Dolan to the starting line-up provided Hythe's biggest threat as the fit-again youngster showed no fear in taking on the opponents midfield and defence on a regular basis. Midway through the first-half Hythe began to settle, with only a questionable offside decision preventing Brendon Cass running clear onto Jake Hobbs' through-ball, before a flurry of corners for the home side and another decent sight of goal for Cass.
Just at the visitors were showing early signs of possible frustration they were gifted a goal due to the wet conditions, instantly settling their game and increasing the size of the challenge for the hosts. John Walker was the unfortunate Hythe man to accidentally slip and allow Moone in on goal to lift home a simple finish over the stranded Ruddy. Cass continued to make the right runs, a last-ditch tackle preventing Dave Cook's through-ball sending the Hythe striker again clear on goal. Just before half-time Cass turned provider, finding Cook on the edge of the box whose half-volley rose just over the crossbar. Eight minutes into the second-half, and the conditions again played their part as Ruddy failed to hold onto James Simmonds' twenty-yard shot, Malvin Camara on hand to convert the rebound.
Porter responded with the introduction of Taser Hassan, Craig Thompson, and Craig Cloke, Hythe switching to a 3-5-2 formation. The change almost had an instant reward, providing a pivotal moment in the game that could have changed the feel of the evening. Cook surged forward through the centre and played Cass into the box, his cross to substitute Thompson just missing his strike-partner's outstretched toe for a tap-in to leave Reachfields frustrated. Cloke's driven free-kick from thirty-five yards flew along the turf before taking a deflection that forced Rodney Chiweshe into a good low save. The final stages of the game led to inevitable risks being taken by Porter's side, and finally Hampton & Richmond Borough had the space to express themselves as Moone completed his hat-trick with two clinical finishes to end Hythe's hopes of forcing extra-time.
Scorers - Hampton & Richmond Borough - Moone - 28, 79, 87 mins - Camara - 53 mins
Hythe Town - Ruddy, Savage (Thompson - 60), Walker (Cloke - 60), Kingwell, Reeves, Dolan, Cook (c), Barnes, Hobbs, Cass, Dryden (Hassan - 59) - Unused subs - A Porter, Elliott
Attendance - 151
Back To Reachfields
Hampton & Richmond Borough - 1 - Hythe Town - 1
FA Trophy First Qualifying Round - 29/09/12
Hythe Town forced a deserved replay with their Ryman Premier opponents this Tuesday night, after an excellent away-day display at Hampton & Richmond Borough. Both sides could have scored two or three goals in a see-saw battle, and an excellent game for the neutral. The first chance of the game fell to Joe Benjamin who forced Dean Ruddy into a good low save after good work from Charlie Moone. Three good crosses from the returning Jake Hobbs all came close to finding Brendon Cass, Dave Cook, and Jimmy Dryden, it was a promising source that would eventually come good for the visitors. Midway through the first-half the home side were patient in carving out a chance for Joe Turner to drive a fierce shot that Ruddy did well to turn around the post. In return, good work from Lee Winfield and Hobbs led to a cross from Winfield that Dryden headed just wide at the back-post.
Dryden's cross was flicked on by Cook, Cass firing just wide from the edge of the box with Hythe now enjoying their best spell of the game. A cross from Nick Barnes was met by a looping header from Dryden that Rodney Chiweshe did well to deal with, but the Hythe goal was just around the corner. Cass and Cook's one-two into the box sent Cass clear on goal only for a recovering defender to deflect his shot, the ball looping up and just wide of the home side's goal. From the resulting Jake Hobbs corner, and with seven minutes of the half remaining, Nick Reeves sent a lovely looping header back across goal and into the top corner to give Hythe the lead. Two minutes later Billy Jeffreys played Moone clear into the Hythe box but the final shot almost found the corner flag and Hythe breathed again.
Given the fact our opponents played Blue Square South football last season, their reaction after half-time was both understandable and expected. Within a minute of the restart the hosts were level as Harkin headed home at close-range after a sweeping move down the left. Two minutes later the same move almost gave the home side the lead, this time Ruddy producing a good save. With the hour mark arriving Hobbs' free-kick was headed just over by Dryden, followed shortly by the return of Ronnie Dolan from injury, replacing Lee Winfield. With twenty-five minutes remaining Hythe keeper Dean Ruddy came close to a red card, but escaped with a yellow after bringing down Moone, who seemed to be clear on goal running onto a clearance that caught the Hythe defence by surprise. With the final ten minutes approaching George Savage did well to clear a dangerous cross from Harkin, whilst at the other end Dryden followed a good run with a decent shot blocked to safety.
The final ten minutes were frantic as the visitors realised there was nothing to lose and the home side looked to avoid a replay. Barnes played a ball into the path of Cook, however the skipper dragged his shot wide. Substitute JJ Bates got a bit of luck, avoiding a free-kick for pulling back Savage within the Hythe box before rolling a dangerous ball across the six-yard box that only needed the slightest touch for a winner. On the counter-attack substitute Taser Hassan's cross to the back-post was almost converted by Cass. Before in the final minute of normal time Cass almost won the tie with a double attempted strike, the second beaten away by Chiweshe back into a crowded box, and falling into the path of a Hampton defender to clear. Straight back down the other end, Gary Holloway's shot deflected dangerously before being hooked clear by Cook. Finally Dryden's long throw-in was flicked on by Cook before rolling agonisingly through the host's six-yard box.
Scorers - Hythe Town - Reeves - 38 mins - Hampton & Richmond Borough - Harkin - 46 mins
Hythe Town - Ruddy, Savage, Walker, Kingwell, Reeves, Winfield (Dolan - 59 mins), Cook (c), Barnes, Hobbs (Hassan - 70 mins), Cass, Dryden - Unused subs - Smith, A Porter, Elliott
Attendance - 202
Town Progress To Next Round Of Trophy
Hythe Town - 4 - Ware - 0
FA Trophy Preliminary Round - 15/09/12
Scott Porter's Hythe Town ran out comfortable winners over Ware FC of the Ryman North, and now progress to the FA Trophy First Qualifying Round. Two goals from Brendon Cass, along with strikes from skipper Dave Cook and Nick Reeves gave Hythe a convincing 4-0 victory, meaning that they will now travel to Hampton & Richmond Borough, of the Ryman Premier League, on Saturday 29th September. The afternoon got off to a feisty start as Cass appeared to be head-butted by Michael Akande, the Ware man escaping with a caution. Visiting captain Dave Bastian also got the run of the green as he seemed to handle the ball away from the attentions of his opposite number Cook inside the penalty box, but no spot-kick was awarded. Bookings continued to mount up for the visitors as it became apparent that Hythe simply needed to stay uninvolved with their opponents antics to run out as comfortable winners.
Craig Cloke's low driven free-kick deflected just wide, but four minutes from half-time the home side took the lead. Dean Ruddy's drop-kick expertly headed on by the excellent Jimmy Dryden into the path of the equally impressive Cass, the Hythe striker rounding keeper Rhys Madden before coolly squaring for Cook to force home at close-range. It was perfect timing for Hythe manager Scott Porter who simply sent his side back out after half-time to finish off the job. Within three minutes of the restart Hythe had a comfortable lead, John Walker's cross-field pass picking out George Savage at the back-post. The young winger shaping to shoot on the volley, before brilliantly dummying and beating his man to cross to Cass who curled home a close-range finish. Another five minutes passed before the game was effectively ended as a contest, Louis Rose sent off for a poor two-footed challenge on Cook.
As the hour mark passed, Hythe began to enjoy themselves as Reeves did well to steer home a volleyed finish directly from a Savage corner to the back-post, for Hythe's third goal of the afternoon. Substitute Taser Hassan sent Cass clear on goal, only for Cass to be denied by a good stop from Madden. Next Cass returned the favour, Hassan firing in a fierce shot on the angle from just inside the box that Madden could only punch away. Finally, in the 90th minute the home side finally scored a deserved fourth as Nick Barnes' header in the middle of the park sent Cass clear on goal, Hythe's top scorer in these early stages of the season calmly poking the ball through the legs of Madden for his second goal of the day. This was a much-improved performance from Porter's side, who looked back in the groove they found during an impressive pre-season.
Scorers - Hythe Town - Cass - 48, 90 mins - Cook - 41 mins - Reeves - 61 mins
Hythe Town - Ruddy, Reeves (Smith - 74), Walker, Kingwell, Cloke, Winfield (A Porter - 85), Cook (c), Barnes, Dryden, Cass, Savage (Hassan - 65) - Unused subs - Blackman, Elliott
Attendance - 165
Comfortable Victory Over Old Friends
Hythe Town - 4 - Deal Town - 2
Friendly - 11/09/12
Hythe Town ran out comfortable winners in a hastily arranged friendly with our near neighbours and old friends and rivals from the Kent League, Deal Town. Goals from Dave Cook, Brendon Cass and Jimmy Dryden meant it was 3-1 to the home side by half-time, with Nick Reeves adding a fourth goal in the second-half. Deal struck a further consolation goal with the final kick of the game to give a final score of 4-2 to Scott Porter's side. On the night it was George Savage who made an immediate effect, dribbling past several desperate Deal tackles as early as the first minute, before allowing Jimmy Dryden to step up and curl a brilliant twenty-five yard shot that ex-Hythe keeper Jon Sparks did really well to tip over the bar. Cook scored the opening goal of the evening, collecting and firing home at close-range from a Savage cross. Good work down the right on the counter-attack led to Andy Miller bursting into the Hythe box, before smashing home a good low finish across Ruddy and inside the far post.
Hythe retook the lead as Lee Winfield's corner was driven goal-bound by Craig Cloke, before being poked home at close-range by Cass. The goal of the game arrived two minutes before half-time, a lovely cross-field pass from Nick Reeves picking out Dryden on the corner of the Deal box, the experienced striker looping home an outstanding first-time half-volley up and over Sparks and into the top corner. Shortly after the restart Reeves forced home an uncleared corner from Savage to make Hythe totally comfortable. The usual amount of friendly fixture substitutions followed, as both sides enjoyed the benefit of a non-competitive midweek fixture. One of those substitutes Tre Mitford slipped the Hythe defence to fire home past Tom Elliott in the Hythe goal with the final kick of the game.
Scorers - Hythe Town - Cook - 12 mins - Cass - 33 mins - Dryden - 43 mins - Reeves - 53 mins - Deal Town - Miller - 25 mins - Mitford - 90 mins
Hythe Town - Ruddy (Elliott - 73), Reeves, Walker (A Porter - 70), Kingwell, Cloke (Smith - 57), Winfield (Blackman - 76), Cook (c), Barnes, Dryden, Cass, Savage (Hassan - 64)
Attendance - 100
Frustrations Grow For Town
Three Bridges - 2 - Hythe Town - 1
Ryman League South - 01/09/12
Scott Porter's side were guilty of handing their hosts victory, as Three Bridges ran out 2-1 winners, our winless run continuing to a fourth game. Hythe threw away the points as their strikeforce failed to convert three one on one opportunities, and made two defensive errors to provide their hosts with the two goals that led to the three points. Three Bridges had pace and skill up front, but were weak at the back, John Walker making a good early block on a decent effort for Marcus Elliott, who together with Abu Touray, formed a lively partnership up front for the home side. Early crosses from Jake Hobbs and Greg Smith signalled Hythe's intentions to test the home defensive line with urgency.
After sixteen minutes, the game had it's first defining moment as the impressive Joel O'Hara had his shot pushed onto the crossbar by Dean Ruddy. Hythe sprung a quick counter-attack and Pat Kingwell, continuing in the forward line, showed good strength and skill to run clear of his marker and play Taser Hassan in on goal, the winger making no mistake with a smart low finish. Seven minutes later, Hythe missed the first of several clear chances to extend their lead. A carbon-copy of Hythe's first goal, with the difference being the first of several outstanding saves from Three Bridges keeper Simon Lehkyj. Hassan and Kingwell were continuing to cause problems, as was O'Hara who had a half-volley flash across goal and just wide. O'Hara was clearly the danger man for the home side as more good movement led to another dangerous shot across goal and just wide.
Just before half-time Hythe went close again, Hobbs firing in a dangerous driven shot that Lehkyj could only parry, Kingwell picked up the rebound and crossed to Dave Cook and Brendon Cass, who if not for the efforts of Ellis Hooper had the empty goal at their mercy. Hythe started the second-half well, with Hassan a constant threat, although his crossing wasn't getting the finishing it deserved in the box. Just after the hour mark the visitors missed two more clear chances to extend their lead. Firstly, Craig Cloke's header forward was hooked on by Kingwell to send Cass clear on goal, his lobbed finish over Lehkyj going wide of the unguarded net. Moments later Cass' downwards headed from Hobbs' cross hit the bar.
With just over twenty minutes remaining the game took a massive twist, as Dean Ruddy claimed the ball in his area with a sliding catch, however his follow-through was clumsy and led to a foul on Touray, Tim Rivers made no mistake from the penalty-spot and it was game on. Seven minutes later substitute Siao Blackwood intercepted Cass' crossfield pass and played O'Hara in on goal, who made no mistake at close range. Scott Porter introduced Jimmy Dryden and George Savage, and in the final stages his side had enough clear chances to win the game. A poor back-header put Kingwell in on goal, Lehkyj making a stunning save from the Hythe man's attempted lob. Minutes later Lehkyj made the save of the game, as he tipped Kingwell's twenty-yard volley over the bar with a full stretch fingertip save to leave Hythe totally frustrated.
Scorers - Hythe Town - Hassan - 16 mins - Three Bridges - Rivers - 70 mins - O'Hara - 77 mins
Hythe Town - Ruddy, Smith (Savage - 86), Walker, Reeves, Cloke, Hobbs, Cook (c), Barnes, Kingwell, Cass (Dryden - 77) Hassan - Unused subs - A Porter, Blackman, Elliott
Attendance - 172
Second-Half Display Lifts Reachfields
Hythe Town - 2 - Burgess Hill Town - 2
Ryman League South - 27/08/12
A poor first-half display from Hythe Town led to a triple half-time substitution and a vastly improved second-half performance from the Reachfields outfit. Scott Porter's side trailed 1-0 at half-time to Burgess Hill Town, but the return of Brendon Cass and Craig Thompson to the Hythe front-line sparked Hythe into life, as they came from 2-0 down with goals from Nick Barnes and Craig Thompson to almost grab all three points, finally having to settle for a 2-2 draw.
Hythe were quick out of the traps with Ronnie Dolan and Tom Parkinson combining down the left to find firstly the head of Taser Hassan and then the boot of Nick Barnes, the midfielder's final shot firing just wide. After just eight minutes Hythe's game-plan was already under scrutiny as the visitors took the lead via a freak own-goal from Nick Reeves, Nicky Wheeler's cross looping off the top of the centre-back's head and up and over Dean Ruddy into the Hythe net.
The home side looked to work their way back into the game, Dolan picking up his own deflected free-kick before surging past several men into the Burgess Hill box, before having his fierce low effort turned around the base of the post by Mark Zawadski. Craig Cloke's long-throw was flicked on by Parkinson only to be scrambled clear off the visitor's goal-line. The first-half ended with clear-cut chances for both sides, Pat Harding hooking over from just two yards out after Ryan McBride's shot was saved well by Ruddy.
For Hythe, Parkinson just headed into the side-netting after meeting Jimmy Dryden's free-kick to the back-post. Half-time saw the introduction of Hythe's three most potent goalscorers, Cass and Thompson joined by skipper Dave Cook, currently struggling for full match-fitness. The effect was immediate as the home side tore into the visitors. The perfect run and cross from Hassan almost found the head of Thompson, with any touch at all certain to find the net, more good work from Hassan followed with Cook glancing just wide.
Unfortunately, Hythe's eagerness to get back on level terms backfired as they were caught out on the counter-attack, Sam Fisk's cross to the near-post lifted into the net at close-range by McBride. Hythe weren't effected at all as a minute later Dolan's free-kick across the face of goal was powered home by Barnes. Cass went close with two volleyed efforts sandwiching three successive corners for Scott Porter's side as they searched for the equaliser.
With fifteen minutes remaining, Hythe were level, Thompson lifting Dolan's through-ball up and over the advancing Zawadski, Barnes chasing the ball into the net to ensure Hythe were now level. Hythe should have won it in the closing stages, Hassan cutting off the wing and sending a half-volley just over the bar. Barnes played Cass clear on goal but the Hythe striker didn't realise how much time he had before dragging wide, finally Cook's header was held as Hythe simply left themselves too much to do in an enthralling second-half.
Match Photos - Courtesy of Simon Giles - Click Here
Scorers - Hythe Town - Barnes - 57 mins - Thompson - 75 mins - Burgess Hill Town - Reeves - Own Goal - 8 mins - McBride - 56 mins
Hythe Town - Ruddy, Parkinson, Walker, Reeves, Cloke, Dolan, Dryden (Cass - 45), Barnes (c), Kingwell (Thompson - 45), Winfield (Cook - 45), Hassan - Unused subs - Hobbs, Savage
Attendance - 178
FA Cup Dream Over
Dulwich Hamlet - 1 - Hythe Town - 0
FA Cup Preliminary Round - 25/08/12
Hythe Town's FA Cup dreams are over for another year as they fell to defeat to fellow Ryman South side Dulwich Hamlet. Once again the two teams fought out a close contest that finished in the narrowest of results for the home side. Town had been the victors last season on the tight Reachfields pitch but, restored to their own excellent surface, Hamlet just edged through by virtue of them being just that little bit quicker in everything they did. Scott Porter sprang a surprise by playing Pat Kingwell as the spearhead of the attack with the retuning Craig Cloke partnering Nick Reeves in the back four. However, Kingwell was fed only scraps for most of the first half as the lively Dulwich midfield and attack dominated proceedings. On seven minutes John Walker made the first of several vital clearances when he cut out Nyren Clunis' dangerous cross while Dean Ruddy did well to palm away after Tom Parkinson spilled the ball under pressure. More Hamlet pressure ensued and Reeves made himself the saviour with a brilliant last-ditch tackle to foil the advancing Clunis.
As thunder rumbled ominously above, Dolan was just unable to control Walker's excellent through ball and Cloke saw yellow after a clash with big home striker Carl Wilson-Denis. Tempers continued to rise as both Kalvin Morath-Gibbs and Dean Carpenter wasted home chances and Taser Hassan blasted over for the visitors. Worryingly the lively Dryden picked up an unjustified caution to remind Hythe supporters of the two he received last season on this ground and by now the home faithful were baying for red cards after every tackle. The second period began with a downpour of biblical proportions that made the surface treacherous but Town had now upped their game. Dolan caught the eye with some excellent attacking runs and Reeves headed a chance straight at keeper Phil Wilson. At the other end Dulwich were still dangerous and Ruddy got the slightest of touches to an effort by sub Frankie Sawyer that rattled the crossbar.
The breakthrough came in the 67th minute when Morath-Gibbs fired home a loose ball after some frantic but ineffective Town defending. As the storm raged on Hythe's defenders did well in near impossible conditions to keep their side in with a chance of an all-important equaliser. Porter brought off Kingwell and Dryden and created a new strike-force in Brendon Cass and Craig Thompson. Thompson was threatening with his powerful runs but too often he was brought up for fouls or offsides. It was Cass who went the closest two minutes from normal time when he just failed to find the target with a half-chance laid on by third substitute George Savage. The home crowd had got what it wanted with further bookings for Parkinson and Nick Barnes but added time brought nothing other than the realisation that the single goal Hythe needed to give themselves a fighting chance had never really looked like coming.
Scorers - Dulwich Hamlet - Morath-Gibbs - 67 mins
Hythe Town - Ruddy, Parkinson, Walker, Cloke, Reeves, Dolan (Savage 75), Barnes (c), Winfield, Dryden (Cass 73), Kingwell (Thompson 73), Hassan - Unused subs - A Porter, Smith, Cook, Elliott
Attendance - 210
Hythe Lose Unbeaten Record
Hythe Town - 0 - Herne Bay - 1
Ryman League South - 21/08/12
After a perfect pre-season record, and an opening day win away to Walton Casuals, Scott Porter's side ended a frustrating evening in front of goal by conceding an 87th minute winner to Danny Williams of Herne Bay. Our visitors will be delighted with their first ever Ryman South victory being away to their old rivals, where as Hythe Town will need to quickly regroup ahead of their trip to Dulwich Hamlet in the FA Cup this Saturday. Hythe started strongly, Taser Hassan and Ronnie Dolan combining well down the left, Hassan lining up Nick Barnes for a double blast at goal, the first rebounded, the second arrowing just wide. Bay keeper Dan Eason made a smart save from Dave Cook, after the Hythe skipper redirected another shot from Barnes at close-range, whilst at the other end Nick Reeves made an excellent block on Danny Williams' shot, who together with Mike Turner did a brilliant job on the counter-attack all night for the visitors. Dolan's corner was headed down by Cook, with Brendon Cass not quite able to convert at close-range.
Twenty minutes had passed when Williams wriggled clear from Pat Kingwell and forced Dean Ruddy into a good save. Hythe were struggling to find success with both their final pass and accuracy of their shooting, Barnes and Dolan firing decent efforts just wide from distance, a theme of the evening for the home side. The visitors had the ball in the net in the lead-up to half-time, Williams heading home from an offside position, whilst for Hythe Jake Hobbs curled a twenty-yard free-kick just wide, and Kingwell hooked a shot just wide from a Hassan corner. Moving into the second-half, if Herne Bay felt their disallowed goal was harsh then it was honours even when Dolan appeared to be dragged down inside the penalty box only for a free-kick to be awarded twenty-yards from goal. This added to Hythe's frustration that Cook was running onto the loose ball, with no advantage played, and even more so when Hobbs wasted the resulting free-kick.
With the hour mark approaching Dolan's curling free-kick was tipped wide by Eason, whilst for the visitors Tom Bryant's final touch from a Bay free-kick ran along the Hythe goal-line to safety. It wasn't turning out to be a great night for Hythe Manager Scott Porter, who had already lost Lee Winfield to injury during the warm-up, the Hythe boss' frustration grew when attacking substitutions were quickly followed by the injury of Cook, and managing to complete the ninety minutes, centre-back Reeves. Hythe were earning plenty of set-piece opportunities, but were unable to convert their chances to goals, and all the while, the threat of the current Kent League champions was growing on the breakaway, the battle between Turner and Hythe full-back John Walker a brilliant and intriguing stalemate. Ironically three minutes from time the Bay struck from a set-piece, substitute Andy Irvine returning the original free-kick back into the box where inevitably the excellent Williams hooked home the winner in style to break Hythe hearts.
Scorers - Herne Bay - Williams - 87 mins
Hythe Town - Ruddy, Parkinson, Walker, Kingwell, Reeves, Dolan, Cook (c) (Savage - 66), Barnes, Hobbs (Thompson - 60), Cass (Dryden - 66), Hassan - Unused subs - Elliott, A Porter
Attendance - 258
The Perfect First Day
Walton Casuals - 1 - Hythe Town - 3
Ryman League South - 18/08/12
Hythe Town continued their outstanding pre-season form into the opening day of the season with an ultra-professional performance in the blistering heat at Walton Casuals. Scott Porter's side will kick themselves for not keeping a clean sheet, and on another day could have scored several more themselves. The visitors made the perfect start to the new campaign when they opened the scoring after just two minutes, Tom Parkinson combining well with Jake Hobbs down the right before crossing perfectly for skipper Dave Cook to fire home at close-range. Some good work from Taser Hassan earned Hythe their first corner, which eventually led to Lee Winfield looping a volley just over the crossbar. The home side began to find their feet as Hythe survived a goalmouth scramble created by a long throw routine, and shortly after Parkinson blocked well as Brendan Sebuliba threatened to drive home from the edge of the box.
Cook's cross from the right on the half-hour mark evaded the Walton defence but ran under the foot of Hassan, just as the winger looked likely to open his account for the new season. At the other end Sol Patterson-Bonner slipped the Hythe offside trap but skewed his effort wide. Five minutes before half-time Michael Cornett amazingly escaped a red card for pulling down Brendon Cass from behind as he ran clear on goal. The ball was within a couple of yards of Cass, but worryingly the man in charge declared the ball was in the keepers hands at the time of the foul. Back to the action and Nick Barnes headed just over from a Hobbs corner, before on the stoke of half-time Gareth Williams made the save of the game as Cass looked to fire home Cook's cross from just six yards out.
Eleven minutes into the second-half Hythe doubled their lead, Cass making no mistake from close-range following Hassan's excellent run and low centre. Hythe introduced the fresh legs of George Savage, Craig Thompson and Jimmy Dryden, and despite the setback of a goal for the hosts, always looked likely to extend their lead in the closing stages. Hassan's corner was missed by Williams and headed back across goal by Parkinson, but Walton survived the scramble, two minutes later the home side pulled one back as Hassan Nyang headed home Craig Lewington's corner. Dryden had a decent effort saved after more good work from Hassan but the third Hythe goal was close. Four minutes from time Hassan's run and cross found his good friend and debutant George Savage at the back-post who made no mistake at close-range. Hythe should have made it four in injury-time when Thompson ran clear onto Dryden's flick but could only volley over the crossbar.
Scorers - Hythe Town - Cook - 2 mins - Cass - 56 mins - Savage - 86 mins - Walton Casuals - Nyang - 77 mins
Hythe Town - Ruddy, Parkinson, Walker, Kingwell, Reeves, Winfield, Cook (c) (Dryden - 73), Barnes, Hobbs (Savage - 62), Cass (Thompson - 68), Hassan - Unused subs - Elliott, A Porter
Attendance - 88
The Perfect Pre-Season
Hythe Town - 3 - Aveley - 2
Pre-Season Friendly - 11/08/12
Hythe Town made it seven wins out of seven as they completed pre-season with their 100% record intact. A brace from Brendon Cass meant that it was 2-2 at half-time with Ryman North side Aveley, before new signing Jake Hobbs capped off an impressive pre-season with a spectacular second-half winner. Scott Porter's side have scored 24 goals during pre-season, whilst conceding only 4 goals, with our opening fixture in the Ryman South now only a week away. Hythe were caught cold for the opening goal of the afternoon as a quick free-kick from Marc Sontag found Paul Burnett out on the left flank, the first-time half-volley delivery that followed was almost impossible to defend, with Jordan Cox' close-range finish equally impressive. Midway through the first-half Hythe drew level as a typically excellent cross from Hobbs found Cass in the box, the Hythe man was instantly fouled, calmly rolling home the resulting penalty.
Shortly after a stunning block from Carl Patten denied Taser Hassan an almost certain close-range finish following more good work from Cass. As half-time approached the home side took the lead for the first time in the game, Nick Barnes combining with Hobbs before sending Cass clear with a lovely looping through-ball, Cass firing home his fifth goal of pre-season. Disappointingly, the visitors drew level just two minutes later, Cox grabbing his second of the afternoon with a cool lobbed finish as the Aveley striker slipped the Hythe offside trap. Two minutes before half-time the end to end nature of the game continued as Craig Thompson ran clear on goal from a Hobbs through-ball, but his early strike arrowed just over Ronnie Worster's crossbar.
Into the second-half and the home side were going close again, Hobbs' cross nodded down by Tom Parkinson and then goalbound by Cass who was denied a hat-trick by a goal-line clearance. Substitutes began to flow, and it was Aveley who began to look more likely for the winner, Ricky Edwards' free-kick thumping the inside of the Hythe post, and Daryl Wilson missing a sitter at the back-post. In the closing stages the home side managed to gather themselves and re-apply pressure for the winner, Hobbs doing brilliantly to win possession on the edge of the Aveley box before instantly firing a low hard shot across goal and inside the base of the post. There was still time for Cass to again go close to a hat-trick, but the Hythe man skewed wide after being set-up by strike-partner Thompson.
Scorers - Hythe Town - Cass - 23, 37 mins - Hobbs - 87 mins - Aveley - Cox - 11, 39 mins
Hythe Town - Ruddy (Elliott - 67), Parkinson, Walker, Kingwell, Reeves (Smith - 17) (A Porter - 74), Winfield (Dryden - 51), Hobbs, Barnes, Thompson (Blackman - 89), Cass, Hassan
Attendance - 101
Winning Run Continues Against Old Friends
Hythe Town - 2 - Bromley Green - 1
Pre-Season Friendly - 07/08/12
Hythe Town made it six wins out of six in pre-season, as Assistant Manager Clive Cook, Captain Dave Cook, and Vice-Captain Pat Kingwell came up against their former club Bromley Green. To credit our opposition this was one of our tougher friendlies, made even trickier by being reduced to ten men during the first-half. However Scott Porter's side came good again with goals from Craig Thompson and the winner from Lee Winfield. The home side started the evening on top, but it soon became clear that a well-drilled Bromley Green side were looking more dangerous on the counter-attack than most of our pre-season opponents. In fact the visitors were enjoying some decent possession when Hythe took the lead out of nowhere. Jake Hobbs with some excellent work down the right-hand side before a perfect cross into the box that Thompson headed home for the opening goal of the evening.
Hobbs almost found the net himself, cutting in from the flank and firing into the side-netting before the game took a sudden turn. On the half-hour mark Thompson was given a red card for dissent, and with the home side still reeling ex-Hythe man Gary Lockyer rounded off a fine move to equalise, within a minute of the referee's decision at the other end of the pitch. Greg Smith combined well with Hobbs to line up George Savage for a close-range effort that should have found the target but flew over. Two minutes into the second-half and Hythe should have taken the lead, another great cross from Hobbs flashing across the face of the Bromley Green goal, just missed by Cook's outstretched boot and then fired wide at close-range by Savage.
Soon after, Scott Porter introduced Pat Kingwell and Nick Reeves and switched to a 3-4-2 formation to accommodate his ten men in a more attacking line-up. Just after the hour mark it appeared to do the trick as Hythe enjoyed their best spell of the game, Savage dribbling past two men into the box before having a fierce rising shot turned onto the bar. Hobbs fired an opportunistic half-volley just wide from forty-yards and Kingwell rolled his man and sent a shot just wide as Hythe pressed for a winner. With eight minutes remaining that winner arrived, Hobbs' corner flicked on by Cook and hooked home by Lee Winfield.
Scorers - Hythe Town - Thompson - 19 mins - Winfield - 82 mins - Bromley Green - Lockyer - 30 mins
Hythe Town - Ruddy, Smith (Reeves - 53), Walker (Kingwell - 53), Cloke, Parkinson (A Porter - 83), Winfield, Cook (c) (Blackman - 84), Barnes, Thompson, Hobbs, Savage - Unused Sub - Elliott
Attendance - 105
Sutton Athletic's Big Day
Sutton Athletic - 1 - Hythe Town - 2
Pre-Season Friendly - 04/08/12
Hythe Town were privileged to take part in the first ever game at the London Hire Services Stadium, Sutton Athletic's new home as they prepare for their second season in the Kent Invicta League. Brendon Cass spoilt the party with a second-half brace after Lee Sperring scored the first ever goal at our host's new ground during the first-half. All at Hythe Town FC wish Sutton Athletic all the best for the season ahead and thank you for the warm welcome. Hythe started brightly with Craig Thompson lining up an early crossing opportunity for Jake Hobbs that the home keeper spilt, Dave Cook unable to convert at close-range. Shortly after, another decent save denied Hobbs, after the lively forward was sent clear between the home side's centre-backs by Nick Barnes.
On the half-hour mark the home side took a surprise lead as Sperring made history with a smart finish as Hythe conceded their first goal of the 2012/13 season. Hythe were largely frustrated for the remainder of the first-half and it was felt that a second-half backlash was inevitable. As expected Scott Porter's side came out with a much improved performance, they should have scored an almost instant equaliser when Hobbs' cross to the back-post was headed just wide by Nick Reeves. The introduction of Taser Hassan continued the improvement for the visitors, with improved delivery from the wide areas and Hobbs also continuing to probe and combine with Thompson.
Nine minutes into the half and Hythe were deservedly level as Reeves impressively stepped out of defence to combine with Thompson into the Sutton box before playing substitute Brendon Cass in on goal, who made no mistake with an angled finish. The hour mark arrived as Hobbs saw his free-kick from twenty-yards tipped over the bar. With twenty-minutes remaining Hythe had their winner, inevitably it was Hobbs who broke down the right before sending in the perfect cross for Cass to smash home a lovely volley for his second of the afternoon. The home side battled right through to the final whistle giving a few scares on the counter-attack in the closing stages, but on a sticky and hot afternoon the visitors held firm.
Scorers - Hythe Town - Cass - 54, 70 mins - Sutton Athletic - Sperring - 31 mins
Hythe Town - Ruddy (Elliott - 71), Parkinson (Smith - 58), Walker (A Porter - 74), Kingwell, Reeves, Winfield (Cass - 53), Cook (c) (Stevenson - 76), Barnes, Thompson (Blackman - 84), Hobbs, Dolan (Hassan - 48) - Unused Sub - Savage
Attendance - 150
Hythe Impress As Run Goes On
Hythe Town - 7 - Lydd Town - 0
Pre-Season Friendly - 02/08/12
Hythe Town continued their run of clean sheets and comfortable wins, as they defeated a well organised Lydd Town side with an impressive 7-0 win against spirited opponents from the Kent Invicta League. The goals came from Dave Cook, Jake Hobbs and Brendon Cass, with braces from Nick Barnes and Craig Thompson. Cook almost opened the scoring a few minutes prior to the first goal when he headed just wide from a good cross from Hobbs. Three minutes later the Hythe skipper made no mistake blasting home after good work from Taser Hassan to find his man lurking inside the Lydd penalty area.
The visitors had mainly done a good job of frustrating their hosts, but they were unable to deal with Cass running clear on goal, the Hythe forward pulled down from behind, Hobbs curling home the resulting free-kick from just outside the box into the bottom-right corner. Four minutes into the second-half and it was game over as a great diagonal ball from Craig Cloke released Hobbs down the right, the winger's dangerous cross was headed back across goal by Cass, Barnes making no mistake at close-range at the back-post.
Scott Porter instantly made four substitutions but the goals continued to flow, Barnes heading home his second from a Hassan corner, past ex-Hythe keeper and second-half substitute Paul Egan. Two minutes later and following some nice combination play between Cass and Thompson, Cass forced Egan into a good save but could do nothing about Thompson firing home the rebound. With fifteen minutes remaining Cass got in on the act heading home Thompson's cross to the near-post, before Thompson fired home impressively from the edge of the box with five minutes to go. Egan also made an outstanding save onto the crossbar to deny Cass a brace in the closing stages.
Scorers - Hythe Town - Cook - 28 mins - Hobbs - 37 mins - Barnes - 49 mins, 55 mins - Thompson - 57 mins, 85 mins - Cass - 74 mins
Hythe Town - Elliott, Reeves (Savage - 55), Walker (Smith - 49), Kingwell (Parkinson - 49), Cloke (A Porter - 49), Winfield (Stevenson - 58), Cook (c) (Thompson - 49), Barnes, Cass, Hobbs, Hassan
Attendance - 140
Hythe Continue Bright Start
Ashford United - 0 - Hythe Town - 4
Pre-Season Friendly - 31/07/12
Hythe Town enjoyed a 4-0 win over a resilient Ashford United at Homelands on Tuesday night. Scott Porter's side have maintained their 100% record in pre-season, scoring ten goals without reply in their first three pre-season encounters. Goals and assists from Jake Hobbs and Taser Hassan was further evidence that Porter has found the right combination in the wide areas of the pitch, the other goals came from Craig Thompson along with skipper Dave Cook's third goal of pre-season. The visitors made the perfect start when Thompson was rightfully allowed to make a rare block tackle on a goalkeeper, Tom Carr barely had his fingertips on the ball when Thompson forced it into the net and the goal was correctly given.
Five minutes later Thompson went close again when his lobbed effort came off the crossbar following a corner from Hassan. Nick Barnes should have gone closer when the lively Thompson lined up the midfielder for a driven effort just over the crossbar. The rest of the half was played out largely in the Ashford half, however in Aaron Firth, Stuart Zanone and ex-Hythe man Mo Takaloo, the home side possess a forward line of at least Kent League standard, meaning the Hythe defence were still wary of the counter-attack threat of those three players. Hythe started the second-half as if they meant business and were soon reaping the reward of their increased efforts.
Cook headed just over from a curling free-kick, before Hobbs produced the best piece of skill of the evening to take him clear down the right, before sending in the perfect cross for Hassan to head home at the back-post, a lovely goal. Three minutes later Hythe put the game to bed as Cook smashed home from the edge of the box following more good work from Hassan. Hobbs completed an impressive evening with a fantastic opportunistic half-volley from thirty-yards, that substitute keeper Joe Mant could only help into his own net at full stretch. Ex-Hythe man Liam Whiting and the always lively Tom Scorer pulled the strings in the closing stages as the home side went close to a consolation goal, but the Hythe defence held firm for a third successive clean-sheet.
Scorers - Hythe Town - Thompson - 5 mins - Hassan - 59 mins - Cook - 62 mins - Hobbs - 73 mins
Hythe Town - Ruddy, Reeves (Smith - 67), Parkinson (Walker - 59), Kingwell, Cloke (A Porter - 80), Winfield (Stevenson - 59), Cook (c) (Blackman - 80), Barnes, Thompson (Cass- 45), Hobbs, Hassan (Savage - 64)
Attendance - 132
Two Out Of Two
Hythe Town - 5 - Hastings United - 0
Pre-Season Friendly - 24/07/12
Hythe Town made it two pre-season wins out of two with an excellent 5-0 victory over Hastings United. A first-half brace from Dave Cook sandwiched Taser Hassan's first strike of the season, before a second-half double from Jimmy Dryden livened up proceedings after the usual spate of substitutions. Scott Porter will be delighted with two clean sheets so far and now looks forward to our visit to Ashford of the Kent Invicta League this Tuesday. Hythe made the perfect start opening the scoring in the sixth minute for the second time in four days! A lovely diagonal ball from Craig Cloke found Jake Hobbs on the right, who accelerated to the byline before crossing perfectly to the back-post for returning skipper Dave Cook to head home at close-range.
Brett Patten forced Dean Ruddy into a good low save following the opening Hastings corner, whilst back at the other end Hobbs curled a low free-kick just wide from twenty yards. Taser Hassan, another player returning to the starting line-up, did well down the left before cutting back for Brendon Cass to fire just wide, Cass another missing from Saturday's victory over Eastbourne Borough. Midway through the first-half Hythe doubled their lead when a good counter-attack involving Hassan and Cass led to Hassan firing in a fierce drive from twenty-yards that Joe Winchester wasn't able to stop in the visitors' goal.
Ten minutes before half-time and Hythe were cruising, as more good work down Hythe's left from John Walker led to Hassan crossing into Cook's feet inside the box, the Hythe captain making it a double with a smart low finish. A minute after the restart Scott McDonald surprised Ruddy in the Hythe goal with a shot from twenty-five yards, back across goal and off the underside of the Hythe crossbar. Shortly after half-time Scott Porter looked to freshen things up with a succession of substitutions that was simply an exhibit of the strength in depth the Hythe manager has at his disposal this season.
The home side ended the game back on top courtesy of Jimmy Dryden. Firstly Dryden showed good strength to win possession before firing home an unstoppable long-range shot into the top corner. Twelve minutes later the same player headed home in similar style to Cook in the first-half, following some lovely work between Hassan and substitute Phil Stevenson who sent in a lovely cross for Hythe's final goal of the evening. Greg Smith and Nick Reeves were both unavailable for this fixture but will certainly be back to play a major part in pre-season.
Scorers - Hythe Town - Cook - 6 mins, 35 mins - Dryden - 63 mins, 75 mins - Hassan - 26 mins
Hythe Town - Ruddy (Elliott - 51), A Porter, Walker, Kingwell, Cloke (Parkinson - 57), Winfield (Thompson - 57), Cook (c) (Stevenson - 70), Barnes (Dolan - 51), Hobbs (Dryden - 60), Cass, Hassan - Unused Sub - Blackman
Attendance - 130
Town Make Impressive Start
Hythe Town - 1 - Eastbourne Borough - 0
Pre-Season Friendly - 21/07/12
Hythe Town began their season in perfect fashion with an excellent victory over Blue Square South side Eastbourne Borough. Scott Porter's side looked fit and hungry, and despite six members of this seasons squad being absent, they restricted their higher league opponents to minimal goalscoring opportunities, with Ronnie Dolan scoring the only goal of the afternoon. The home side took a minute or two to settle but were soon into their stride, Dolan's corner cleared only as far as Craig Thompson who fired a fierce volley into the side-netting from twenty-yards. Just a minute later the same two players were involved again as Reachfields enjoyed it's first goal of the new season.
Thompson and Dolan chased and harried the confident Eastbourne Borough backline as they played the ball along the edge of their own box. However the Hythe duo were too sharp, with Thompson chasing the man in possession into Dolan's trap who won the ball before taking one touch and comfortably stroking the ball home under visiting keeper Danny Potter. On the half-hour mark Thompson almost caught Potter out with a lob after a quick free-kick from Nick Reeves, but the remainder of the first-half was typical pre-season fare. The second-half introduction of Toby Avala seemed to prompt both the visitors and the game into life, with the forward close to equalising just after the restart. Skipper for the day Nick Barnes won possession typically high up the pitch to feed another chance for Thompson, who on this occasion curled his effort from distance just wide.
Avala turned provider as Ben Adams fired just wide of the post of Hythe's new goalkeeping signing, Tom Elliott. Jimmy Dryden's dangerous ball across the face of the goal was flicked on by Thompson, before another new signing for Hythe, Jake Hobbs forced Potter into a stunning reflex save at close-range. The lively Hobbs was involved in much of the home side's build-up play, with several chances coming from his move to the left-flank in the second-half. Hobbs low shot ran just wide after good work from Dolan, before Hobbs curled a free-kick just wide. Finally Hobbs turned provider dribbling into the penalty box before squaring to trialist Phil Stevenson who should have scored from close-range to give Hythe breathing space.
It was a thoroughly pleasing afternoon all round for the Hythe management team who achieved this result with Dave Cook, Pat Kingwell, Brendon Cass, Taser Hassan, Greg Smith and Ashley Porter all unavailable. Other highlights included the return of Lee Winfield looking as fit as ever, the impressive debuts of Craig Cloke and Jake Hobbs, and the form of Tom Parkinson who looks eager to impress after an injury-plagued season last year. A mention must finally go to our three Under 18's players, making their first team debut were Tom Moon, Liam Holmes, and Jake Brazier, well done lads!
Scorers - Hythe Town - Dolan 6 mins
Hythe Town - Ruddy (Elliott - 45), Parkinson, Walker, Cloke, Reeves, Dolan (Moon - 86), Winfield (Holmes - 90), Barnes (c), Thompson (Blackman - 75), Hobbs (Brazier - 90), Dryden (Stevenson - 54)
Attendance - 177