Whitehawk 1 Hythe Town 0
Isthmian League South-East Play-Off Final
Friday 28th April 2023
Hythe were defeated in the play-off final against Whitehawk on Tuesday evening. Steve Watt made just one enforced change from the semi-final win over Ramsgate, as the injured Marvin Hamilton was replaced by Jarred Trespaderne.
The game began in a similar fashion to the match against Ramsgate - the hosts dominated possession, while Hythe took their time to adapt to the pitch but doing their best on counterattacks. On 10 minutes, the Hawks had their first chance of the match, as a dangerous free kick into the Hythe penalty box was laid off into the path of Rob O'Toole, who lifted the ball straight into the stands. A few minutes later, a ball played into the path of Charlie Lambert resulted in the player blazing his shot just wide of the post, which was enough to put Hythe fans' hearts in their mouths.
After this, the Cannons began to get into the game more and have some chances, and they were the first team to have a shot on target, as a Frannie Collin free kick was drove into the hands of the goalkeeper. On 34 minutes, it was the Hawks who came close to scoring again, as Charlie Lambert was set free on a quick counterattack, hitting a shot at goal which was parried away by Steve Phillips, before the ball rebounded to Alfie Rogers who blasted his effort inches wide of the post.
Unfortunately, the Cannons eventually succumbed to the pressure from the hosts, who won a free kick on the edge of the box which was taken by Rogers. Initially, it was deflected against the wall, before the rebound was blasted home by Charlie Harris to give Whitehawk the lead going into half-time.
The second half began with Hythe as the better side, as they dominated the chances, much to the delight of the travelling Hythe fans, who were trying their hardest to chant louder than the 1,000+ Whitehawk supporters. On 54 minutes, Ethan Smith laid the ball off to Johan Caney-Bryan on the right-hand by-line, whose cross landed in the hands of the goalkeeper. Five minutes later, it was the Hawks on the attack, as Joel Daly made a run towards goal, before hoofing his shot over the bar. On 68 minutes, Steve Phillips showed once again how amazing he has been for the club, using his fingertips to push Joel Daly's header from a corner over the crossbar. Two minutes later, Hythe had arguably their best chance of the match so far, when there was a goalmouth scramble which led to Johan Caney-Bryan having a shot deflected away towards Jason Fregene, however goalkeeper Luke Glover was first to the ball.
On 78 minutes, the Cannons were still yet to give up. Shad Ngandu made a magnificent run past a number of Whitehawk defenders, making his way to the centre of the field but blazing his shot over the crossbar. On 83 minutes, the Cannons won a corner, which was taken by Frannie Collin and met by Liam Smith, who knocked the ball into the side netting. With just two minutes remaining, substitute Sam Itauma darted down the right and made his way into the box, feeding the ball towards Johan Caney-Bryan, who was unable to get there ahead of Luke Glover. Finally, in the dying moments of the game, the hosts had a good opportunity to seal the victory in the sixth minute of injury time, as Joel Daly put Kris Oti in a one-on-one position with Steve Phillips, who tipped the ball away from goal.
The full-time whistle blew, signalling the end of Hythe's play-off journey. The home fans stormed onto the pitch to celebrate before the players were presented with their winner's medals and the play-off trophy. The large number of travelling Hythe fans went away with mixed emotions - despite the disappointment of falling at the final hurdle, it had been a remarkable second half of the season and a valiant attempt at gaining promotion. The season may be over, but the players fought hard until the very end, and will surely come back stronger next season.
Team: Steve Phillips, Liam Smith, Marcus Goldsmith (Nathan Elder 88 mins), Jack Steventon, Jason Fregene, Lex Allan, Ethan Smith (Sam Itauma 80 mins), Jarred Trespaderne (Jeff Duah-Kessie 68 mins), Johan Caney-Bryan, Frannie Collin, Shad Ngandu. Subs Not Used: Morgan Williamson, Josh Stirman.
Scorer: Whitehawk – Charlie Harris 43 mins.
Ramsgate 1 Hythe Town 1
(Hythe won 4-3 on penalties)
Isthmian League South-East Play-Off Semi Final
Tuesday 25th April 2023
Hythe conquered Ramsgate to secure a place in Friday's play-off finals on Tuesday night. Manager Steve Watt named an unchanged starting line-up from the 4-0 win over Haywards Heath Town on Saturday.
The match started very evenly - Ramsgate dominated the possession, while Hythe were very effective on the counterattack. The first chance of the match came from Hythe, when a free-kick from Frannie Collin was met by a succession of headers before Marvin Hamilton volleyed it over the bar. Moments later, it was the hosts on the counterattack when a Jake McIntyre cross from the left was met by a glancing header from Tijan Jadama, which sailed over the crossbar.
It was the Rams on the attack again on 28 minutes, when a ball into the box was narrowly hoofed away by Marcus Goldsmith for a corner, which was headed high and wide by the diving Rowan Liburd. On 36 minutes, Steve Phillips came to the rescue when Jack Paxman made a run forward and hit a scorching shot towards goal, which Phillips tipped over the bar with his fingertips. On 41 minutes, it looked like Ramsgate had taken the lead from Rowan Liburd's shot after making a run through the Hythe defensive line, but the shot bounced off the side of the post and away.
The second half began in Hythe's favour, and within three minutes they were on the attack, as a Frannie Collin free kick was glanced wide by Jason Fregene. There was a moment of controversy when Ramsgate defender Jerald Aboagye and kitman Mick Putman had an altercation which resulted in Putman on the floor clutching his leg, however the referee took no action, and moments later the Rams were on the attack, as Gil Carvalho darted forward and hit his shot narrowly wide of the post.
On 65 minutes, Hythe once again showed how lethal they are from set pieces. A throw in from Marvin Hamilton was met by a succession of headers in the box, before Jason Fregene attempted an acrobatic overhead kick, which sailed over the crossbar. A few minutes later, Hythe were inches away from scoring, as a Liam Smith free-kick from the edge of the box was met by Johan Caney-Bryan, whose shot looked as though it would go in, but it was cleared off the line by the Ramsgate defence. The second half continued quietly, but Hythe managed to take control of the chances. On 88 minutes, Hythe had a big chance to win the game from a free-kick. Frannie Collin stepped up, and his shot narrowly hit the outside of the post. There was one final shot in normal time, as the hosts came forward on the break with Rowan Liburd, who hit his shot whilst surrounded by Hythe players, before it was narrowly deflected away by Steve Phillips.
The referee blew the final whistle, meaning the match went to extra time. Unfortunately for the Cannons, the extra 30 minutes began in Ramsgate's favour, as Rowan Liburd made a run forward down the right and crossed the ball in from the byline into the path of substitute Theo Osinfolarin, who tapped the ball in, much to the delight of the home supporters. However, the Cannons didn't back down, and whilst on the attack, a Hythe player was brought down inside the penalty area by goalkeeper Patrick Lee. Frannie Collin took the resultant penalty, which he slammed home to the keeper's left to level the scores.
The hosts still believed they could win the match, however, and an Ashley Miller free-kick from the edge of the box just after Hythe'e goal almost sent them back into the lead, but Steve Phillips managed to tip the ball over to keep Hythe in the game. It could easily have been 2-1 on 105 minutes, when goal scorer Theo Osinfolarin hit a shot which looked like it was heading in, before it bounced off the crossbar.
The final 15 minutes were tricky for Hythe. With five minutes to go, Liam Smith was the hero, diving to head away a shot which was heading towards goal, before Ramsgate won a late corner, which was headed over the bar by ex-Cannon Ben Fitchett.
The final whistle blew, signalling there would be a penalty shoot-out. The hosts were the first to take, with Jake McIntyre sending his shot down the middle, before Shad Ngandu scored for Hythe. The following penalty, taken by former Hythe man Ashley Miller, was saved by Steve Phillips to his left, before Liam Smith smashed home his spot-kick to give the visitors the advantage. Jack Paxman, Johan Caney-Bryan, Blaise Riley-Snow and Jeff Duah-Kessie all slammed their penalties home, before Theo Osinfolarin stepped up, sending his shot to Steve Phillips' left, which he punched away to end the match and send Hythe fans wild.
Following the victory, manager Steve Watt said that 'it was a tough tight game, not a great deal of chances within the game, in terms of either keeper making any real teing saves. I think we had the best chances of the game where Johan's shot was cleared off the line and Frannie's shot hit the post, but it just epitomises our season. We were being tough, resilient and getting over the line'.
With regards to the play-off final, Steve said 'we won't change [the way we play], we are what we are, we'll do what we do, and then we'll see what happens at the end of it, and hopefully at the end of the day that's enough. It's a tough ask to go down there and win, but we'll go down there and try and do it, and these boys have found a way all season, they're an incredible bunch, I can't speak highly enough of them, and we'll prepare for a tough game on Friday night'.
The win means that Hythe will be in the play-off final on Friday night, as they travel to fellow finalists Whitehawk in the promotion decider. Kick-off will be at 7:45pm.
Team: Steve Phillips, Liam Smith, Marcus Goldsmith, Jack Steventon (Jeff Duah-Kessie 80 mins), Jason Fregene, Lex Allan, Ethan Smith, Marvin Hamilton (Jarred Trespaderne 71 mins), Johan Caney-Bryan, Frannie Collin, Shad Ngandu. Subs Unused: Josh Stirman, Sam Itauma, Morgan Williamson.
Scorers: Ramsgate - Theo Osinfolarin 94 mins. Hythe Town – Frannie Collin 100 mins (pen).
Hythe Town won 4-3 on penalties.
Match report by Tom Ellerby
Hythe Town 4 Haywards Heath 0
Isthmian League South-East
Saturday 22nd April 2023
Hythe Town reached the play-offs on Saturday afternoon, as they hammered Haywards Heath Town 4-0. Steve Watt made just one change from the 2-1 win over VCD Athletic, as Marcus Goldsmith returned to the side to replace the injured Duane Acheampong.
It was the Cannons who had the first chance of the afternoon, as a Frannie Collin free-kick into a crowded penalty area was headed just wide by Liam Smith. On 11 minutes, Marcus Goldsmith was set free on the left hand-side, darting into the box and hitting his shot just over the bar. The visitors had their first opportunity on 16 minutes, when Alex Laing hit a free-kick towards goal, which goalkeeper Steve Phillips managed to get down to grab.
In the 21st minute, Hythe had a similar chance from a Frannie Collin free-kick, which was once again swung into the path of Liam Smith, whose diving header was blocked by Billy Collings in the Haywards Heath goal. Finally, on 27 minutes, the Cannons took the lead, as a corner from Collin fell loose in the box, before Johan Caney-Bryan tapped the ball in to put Hythe 1-0 up and, as it stood, put them into the play-off places.
It was almost 2-0 before half-time, when another corner from Collin was met by a bullet header from Jason Fregene which went just over the crossbar. At this stage, Sheppey United had taken the lead against Cray Valley PM, meaning that Hythe dropped back outside of the play-offs on goal difference at the break.
Hythe immediately picked up where they left off in the opening minute of the second half, with an Ethan Smith shot from close range being clawed away by Billy Collings to his left. However, it was soon 2-0, when a melee in the box following a Collin corner was poked over the line by Jack Steventon. It was soon three, as Shad Ngandu found Liam Smith, who made a clever overlapping run to receive the ball and lift the shot home for an excellent goal.
An hour into the match, the scores had stayed the same in other matches, meaning that Hythe needed to score at least six goals to reach the play-offs if the scores elsewhere stayed the same. On 66 minutes, Ethan Smith drove a shot just past the post, before George Brown was sent off for using abusive language towards the officials. With 13 minutes to go, substitute Jeff Duah-Kessie had an excellent opportunity to put Hythe 4-0 up, as he darted forward to receive the ball, making his way into a one-on-one position with the goalkeeper, but hit a poor shot straight at him. Moments later, a penalty was awarded to the Cannons, when Shad Ngandu was brought down inside the box. Frannie Collin stepped up, but his shot rattled off the post.
81 minutes into the game, scores had changed elsewhere – Cray Valley PM had equalised against Sheppey United, and this meant that Hythe were back into the play-off spots as it stood. The visitors almost scored one, as a ball into the area was headed on by Cameron Dobell, which was clawed away by goalkeeper Steve Phillips. It wasn’t long before Hythe were awarded their second penalty of the match, as Jeff Duah-Kessie was brought down in the box by Billy Collings, who was booked. Frannie Collin stepped up once again, and this time he made no mistake, slamming the ball home to give Hythe a 4-0 lead. There was one final attempt for Hythe to finish their season in style, as Johan Caney-Bryan’s blocked shot caused a melee in the box, with both him and Frannie Collin having shots at goal. However, the ball was eventually cleared.
Unfortunately, the score lines elsewhere changed once again, as Cray Valley PM took the lead against Sheppey United. This meant that, had the score stayed the same, Hythe would not have made it into the play-offs. However, in the dying moments of the match, Sheppey United grabbed an extremely late equaliser, and as the full-time whistle blew, the Hythe players gathered around to wait for the other match to finish. When everybody saw that it had finished 2-2, the fans and players all went wild – Hythe had defied all the odds, winning 14 of their final 19 matches to somehow make their way into the Isthmian League South East Division play-offs.
Following the match and the post-season awards, Steve Watt said that the key to our outstanding second half of the season was ‘the players getting used to playing one-another. I believed in this group, and that never changed. I had an opportunity to leave, and chose to stay here with these players because of my belief in this squad. They were all picked in pre-season for a reason. We had to adjust the way we played midway through the season because we played a lot more football than what we have done recently. Back then, we didn’t get the results we deserved, and you have to adapt and see things that aren’t working and change things, which we did.’
‘Bringing Steve [Phillips] in has been massive for us, he was my first phone-call in the summer, but it wasn’t the right time for him. Marvin Hamilton has been a massive signing for us because of that experience and calmness in the middle of the park, as well as his long throw-ins. I was sent a screenshot by Frannie Collin of the table on Boxing Day, and we were in 16th, but 7 points off 9th – all we had to do was find a level of consistency and try and put some wins together, which we were able to do, and that put us in the position we’re in.’
When asked about today’s performance, Steve said ‘it could’ve and should’ve been eight or nine to be honest. Today was a celebration of the season, every single player today was an 8/9 out of 10, even down to Steve, who only had one save to make, which was outstanding. No disrespect to Hayward’s Heath (and I wish them all the best in the relegation play-offs) but it looked like a team a level or two above – we were dominant and assured, the only disappointment is it should’ve been a lot more. At one point, we needed those goals, but Sheppey did us a favour, and I’d like to congratulate them and Cray on the season’s they’ve had, two fantastic clubs with great people, but commiserations on them missing out on the play-offs. They played their part in what I think has been a special season, even if we hadn’t got there in the end – at one point we weren’t there!’
On the topic of Tuesday night’s match against Ramsgate, Steve said ‘we’ve got nothing to lose. We’ve lost both matches against them this season, but if there’s a side you do not want to play in a one-off game, I believe it’s us, because of how difficult we are to beat. That doesn’t mean we’ll be difficult to beat on Tuesday, but I’d just like the club, the players and the fans to enjoy today, because days like this don’t come around often in football. Mick [Putman] compared it to the Aguero title winning moment!’
‘After what happened last year and what this club’s been up against, they deserve a day like this, and I’m happy we’ve been able to give it to them. I’m happy for my staff, because of what they’ve sacrificed this season for us to get here, and I’m happy for the group of players – I don’t think there’s a group of players who deserve it more than this group. We’ve not been in the play-offs all season, but we’re there when it matters!’
The Cannons are back in action on Tuesday night, as they travel to league runners-up Ramsgate in their play-off semi-final. Kick-off will be at 7:45pm.
Team: Steve Phillips, Liam Smith, Marcus Goldsmith (Jeff Duah-Kessie 75 mins), Jack Steventon, Jason Fregene, Lex Allan, Ethan Smith, Marvin Hamilton, Johan Caney-Bryan, Frannie Collin (Josh Stirman 90 mins), Shad Ngandu. Subs Unused: Morgan Williamson, Sam Itauma.
Scorers: Hythe Town - Johan Caney-Bryan 27 mins, Jack Steventon 49 mins, Liam Smith 58 mins, Frannie Collin (84 mins pen).
Report by Tom Ellerby
VCD Athletic 1 Hythe Town 2
Pitching In Isthmian League South-East
Saturday 15th April 2023
The Cannons had a double from central-defender Jason Fregene to thank as they came from behind to enhance their play-off chances winning 2-1 at VCD Athletic on Saturday afternoon. It was their fifth win on the spin.
Manager Steve Watt made two changes to the starting line up from the team that beat Faversham Town on Monday bringing Marvin Hamilton back to replace Sam Itauma and Shad Ngandu coming in for the unavailable Marcus Goldsmith.
The game started with VCD on the attack as they settled quickly and had their first opportunity on seven minutes as Andrew Allassani worked his way in but his final shot looped over the bar and then within 120 seconds they punished Hythe’s slow start as Allassani was in the action again breaking through and slotting the ball past Hythe keeper Steve Phillips and into the back of the net to give the hosts the lead.
The Cannons had to wait until the 14th minute to create their first opening as Liam Smith had an effort from the edge of the area deflected over the bar for a corner and then soon after a Frannie Collin free kick found the head of Jack Steventon who headed back to Liam Smith whose attempt went into the arms of home keeper Jordan Gilmore.
Hythe were now taking control of the game but still had some counter attacks to deal with as Sam Williams broke through but Phillips was quickly off his line to clear the ball. However, chances were now coming for the visitors as firstly a freekick from right on the edge of the area saw Collin send his effort just over the bar and then on the stroke of half time as the ball came out to Fregene he thumped it into the net ensuring the Cannons went into half time all square.
The second half continued with Hythe on the front foot and they were unlucky not to take the lead on 53 minutes as Duane Acheampong got on the end of a loose ball and slammed it against the upright and then Liam Smith put in a cross that was met by the head of Johan Caney-Bryan but Gilmore easily saved. However, the Cannons were not to be denied as on 61 minutes a pin point Collin corner was headed home by Fregene for his second goal of the game and ninth of the season to the delight of the travelling Hythe supporters.
The pressure was now all on the home defence as a Marvin Hamilton trademark long throw was headed on by Lex Allan onto Steventon whose header went just wide. VCD were still creating some chances and were very unlucky on 72 minutes as a shot from Karl Dent was magnificently saved by Phillips to his left. There were only a couple more chances as firstly Steventon turned and shot just wide and then at the other end an overhead kick from VCD substitute Muranio Banjoko went wide.
The Cannons eventually came away with all three points that takes them up into the play off places as they go up to fifth in the table. Things are very tight with both Cray Valley PM and Beckenham Town just behind with a game in hand so much will be on next Saturday when Hythe entertain Haywards Heath Town and then it will depend how the other results go elsewhere. Maybe it will be play-offs despite where we were just ten weeks ago…
Kick off next Saturday is 3pm at Reachfields….
Team: Steven Phillips, Liam Smith, Shad Ngandu (Jeff Duah-Kessie 83 mins), Jack Steventon, Jason Fregene, Lex Allan, Ethan Smith, Marvin Hamilton, Johan Caney-Bryan (Sam Itauma 76 mins), Frannie Collin, Duane Acheampong (Josh Stirman 88 mins). Subs Unused: Morgan Williamson, Nathan Elder.
Scorers: VCD Athletic - Andrew Allassani 9 mins. Hythe Town – Jason Fregene 45 & 61 mins
Hythe Town 1 Faversham Town 0
Pitching In Isthmian League South-East
Monday 10th April 2023
Hythe took their fifth win in six games on Monday afternoon as they scraped a 1-0 win over Faversham Town. Manager Steve Watt made two changes from the rampant 4-1 victory away at Burgess Hill Town on Saturday, as Johan Caney-Bryan and Sam Itauma replaced Marvin Hamilton and Shad Ngandu.
The game began in Hythe’s favour, with Ethan Smith making several useful runs towards goal. However, it was the visitors who had the first chance of the match, and it came on 13 minutes, as Shola Ayoola received the ball in the penalty area, hitting a succession of shots which were blocked by the Hythe defender. However, on 20 minutes, the Cannons struck first, as a long throw-in from Jack Steventon from the left-hand side of the pitch was headed on by Liam Smith into the path of top scorer Johan Caney-Bryan, who tapped the ball into an open goal for his first goal since the 11th February and his fifteenth of the season.
It was almost 2-0 on 23 minutes, as Ethan Smith was brought down just outside the D courtesy of a crunching tackle from Kieron McCann, who was booked. In-form Frannie Collin stepped up to take the free-kick, which was narrowly palmed away by goalkeeper Bailey Vose. Despite Faversham regularly having the ball inside Hythe’s half, the Cannons looked deadly on the counterattack, and this was demonstrated on 33 minutes, when Sam Itauma made an impressive run from his own-half towards goal, laying the ball off to Caney-Bryan, who drove a shot into the chest of the goalkeeper. With seven minutes of the half remaining, the visitors came close to levelling the scores, as Matt Parsons drove the ball in from the left-hand by-line into the path of Ronald Sithole, who missed the shot from close range.
Hythe were the first to test their opponents in the second-half when, on 48 minutes, Ethan Smith sent a powerful shot towards goal which was narrowly tipped over by Bailey Vose. A quiet 30 minutes followed this, with neither side having any significant opportunities, but the visitors looking more likely to score. Steve Watt tried to combat this, bringing Josh Stirman and Marvin Hamilton onto the field, but the Cannons were unable to create any notable chances until the 74th minute, when Liam Smith made an exceptional run from his own half towards the by-line, beating two men on his way and squaring the ball into the box. However, nobody was there to receive it.
In the final ten minutes, the visitors put Hythe under serious pressure. On 82 minutes, substitute Ebang Gurung drilled a shot narrowly over the bar to put Hythe fans’ hearts in their mouths. With just three minutes to go, Ronald Sithole broke through into the box and fired a shot goalwards, which was narrowly blocked by goalkeeper Steve Phillips.
The full-time whistle blew after three minutes of stoppage time, which meant that Faversham’s relegation was confirmed. Meanwhile, the Cannons managed to climb to within just one point of the play-offs, with the current holder of the final play-off place, Cray Valley, a game behind after their match today was postponed. Following the match, manager Steve Watt said ‘it’s not the best we’ve played. I thought we were quite flat from start to finish if I’m being honest, but we got the job done and that’s all that matters. It was probably an example of our season as a whole, where we dig in, everyone giving it everything they’ve got on the pitch. At times today I didn’t think we had enough to win it, but I didn’t feel like they [Faversham] caused us too many problems, with Steve only having to make one save right at the end.’
‘It was a hard day at the office after Saturday, which took more out of us than what we anticipated. It’s the twentieth game that they’ve played since the turn of the year. That’s a lot of football, so full credit to the boys. They did what they had to do, got the goal and then just defended from front to back to make sure we came away with the three points we needed.’
With the season drawing to a close, Hythe travel to VCD Athletic on Saturday at 3pm, before returning to Reachfields for their final game of the season at home to Haywards Heath Town.
Team: Steve Phillips, Liam Smith, Marcus Goldsmith, Jack Steventon. Jason Fregene, Lex Allan, Ethan Smith, Duane Acheampong (Josh Stirman 58 mins), Johan Caney-Bryan (Jeff Duah-Kessie 80 mins), Frannie Collin, Sam Itauma (Marvin Hamilton 58 mins). Subs Unused: Morgan Williamson, Shad Ngandu.
Scorer: Hythe Town – Johan Caney-Bryan 20 mins.
Match report by Tom Ellerby
Burgess Hill Town 1 Hythe Town 4
Pitching In Isthmian League South-East
Saturday 8th April 2023
In an explosive first half, the Cannons put the game out of Burgess Hill Town’s reach as they deservedly went into the half time break with a three-goal lead and despite a second period onslaught from the hosts were able to hold onto a 4-1 win on Saturday afternoon.
Manager Steve Watt made only one change as Shad Ngandu made a start replacing Johan Caney-Bryan who was rested for the game.
Hythe had their first opportunity on three minutes as Marvin Hamilton sent in one of his signature long throws that eventually found Duane Acheampong whose shot was deflected over the bar and then at the other end Josiah Bridgeman sent in a shot from the left that was also deflected this time into the side netting.
Hythe were ahead on 19 minutes as they were awarded a free kick 20 yards out. Frannie Collin’s first attempt went just over but the referee saw some encroachment into the ten yards and ordered the kick to be retaken. This time Collin drilled his kick into the bottom left-hand corner of the net.
Within three minutes the Cannons went further ahead as they were awarded a penalty as Marvin Hamilton was brought down in the penalty area. Up stepped Collin who placed his kick in the bottom left corner to make it 2-0. The hosts had an opportunity to pull a goal back as Reggie Ward headed across goal finding Dan Perry who sent the ball wide.
However, it was still Hythe in the ascendency as the ball came out to Collin who scooped his effort high over the bar. At the other end an overhead kick from Perry found Kieran Rowe who headed over. As the game went into first half injury time Hythe took a three-goal lead. A deep Ngandu cross found Ethan Smith who headed in at the far post.
Whatever was said by Burgess Hill Town manager Lewis Taylor at half time, the Hillians came out with new purpose in the second half and with ten minutes gone their pressure paid off as Lewis Finney forced a save from Hythe keeper Steve Phillips, but the ball rebounded out to Dan Perry who finished off to make it 3-1. This led to some shaky moments for the Cannons as both Finney and Bridgeman fired wide.
The Cannons were able to release that pressure on 64 minutes as against the run of play they got their fourth as Collin was in the action again as he sent in a corner that was met with the head of Jason Fregene who headed home for his seventh goal of the season. However, the hosts continued to look for ways to get back into the game as Zack Lawrence sent in a cross that found Perry who went round Phillips, but Jack Steventon miraculously cleared the ball off the line.
Finney had another shot that went wide, and Martyn Box blasted over but they couldn’t find the net and Hythe ended the game with a three-goal lead that took them up to seventh place and only two points outside the play-off zone.
The Cannons now face basement club Faversham Town on Monday afternoon as they look to continue their play-off push. Kick off at Reachfields is 3pm.
Team: Steve Phillips, Liam Smith, Marcus Goldsmith, Jack Steventon, Jason Fregene, Lex Allan, Ethan Smith (Sam Itauma 79 mins), Marvin Hamilton, Duane Acheampong (Charlie Webster 85 mins), Frannie Collin, Shad Ngandu (Jeff Duah-Kessie 55 mins). Subs Unused: Josh Stirman, Johan Caney-Bryan.
Scorers: Burgess Hill Town – Dan Perry 56 mins. Hythe Town – Frannie Collin 19 & 24 (pen) mins, Ethan Smith 45 mins, Jason Fregene 67 mins.
Hythe Town 4 East Grinstead Town 0
Pitching In Isthmian League South-East
Saturday 1st April 2023
Hythe recorded an emphatic victory over East Grinstead Town on Saturday as they put four past them at Reachfields.
Steve Watt made just one change from the 1-0 win away at Sevenoaks, as Johan Caney-Bryan returned to the side, in place of Josh Stirman. Making his long-awaited return to the side was Charlie Webster, who had spent over a year out injured but was on the bench for the match.
The game began with a chance for the visitors, as Matt Astle fired a shot over the top right corner of the bar. However, the Cannons struck first on 19 minutes, as a long free-kick from Frannie Collin was spilled by East Grinstead goalkeeper Matte Pierson, with Jack Steventon there to bundle the ball home for his first goal since the opening match of the season. A few minutes later, it was almost two, as a corner from Collin was met by a powerful header from Lex Allan, before the ball was tipped over the bar by Pierson.
Hythe managed to double their lead before the break, and the creator was once again Frannie Collin, who sent a free kick into the box which was headed down and into the net by Jason Fregene for his sixth goal of the campaign.
Despite the scoreline, the visitors weren't out of the game just yet. They managed to have the first chance of the second half, as a counter-attack gave Lewis Unwin the chance to make a run down the right, crossing the ball into Ben Aubrey who sliced his shot wide.
However, the game was put to bed on 67 minutes, as the ball came out to Frannie Collin, who casually hit a shot from outside the box which sailed in to give him a well-deserved goal.
It didn't take long for Hythe to score their fourth, when Duane Acheampong made a run down the right-hand side, crossing the ball into a very empty penalty area which reached Ethan Smith, who swept the ball home to put the cherry on top of the cake.
The Cannons had a late opportunity to score a fifth. Substitute Sam Ituama was brought down inside the penalty area, resulting in a spot-kick for Hythe. Ngandu himself stepped up to take it, however the shot was a weak one which went into the body of the goalkeeper, who scrambled to collect the ball away before a Hythe player reached it.
The full-time whistle blew to mark Hythe's biggest win of the season. Following the match, Steve Watt was more than happy with the outcome, and told us ‘We outfought them, broke their will and we scored at key moments in the game. The main message from myself today was 'Let's just play a bit more territory football because of the conditions. Get the ball in their half, ask questions' and I thought we did that very well. I wasn't too pleased at how we started the second half, but the Frannie Collin goal knocked all the stuffing out of them.'
Speaking about Collin's performance today, and how he has recently been playing in a deeper central midfield role, Watt said 'no matter where you put him on the pitch, he gives you quality. If we were a bit lower down [in the table] I don't think you'd find Frannie playing deeper, but when we are in a position which we are now, it's key in the middle area of the park to have experience and calm heads, and that's what Fran gives you along with Marvin [Hamilton] who I think has been outstanding. It gives the rest of the boys a sense of calmness, and that unlocks Ethan [Smith] to go and do what he does. I can't speak highly enough of Frannie and the job he does for us. Obviously, he's getting on, but for me he's priceless for our team.'
Speaking about the remaining four games of the season, Watt told us that 'next weekend’s big. Playing on Saturday and Monday and coming out of there with six points you'd probably be going in to the last two games of the season in even the play-offs, points behind now. There's big games being played up at that end of the season, but we with us being four can only concentrate on ourselves, and that's all we've done all season.'
As mentioned, the Cannons will be back in action on Saturday when they travel to Burgess Hill Town, before returning to Reachfields on Easter Monday to host Faversham Town. Both opponents are in the relegation battle and will be fighting as hard as possible for some points, so neither of the matches will be straightforward.
Team: Steve Phillips, Liam Smith (Sam Itauma 71 mins), Marcus Goldsmith, Jack Steventon, Jason Fregene, Lex Allan, Ethan Smith (Shad Ngandu 84 mins), Marvin Hamilton, Johan Caney-Bryan (Jeff Duah-Kessie 71mins), Frannie Collin, Duane Acheampong. Subs Unused: Josh Stirman, Charlie Webster.
Scorers: Hythe Town - Jack Steventon 19 mins, Jason Fregene 45 mins, Frannie Collin 67 mins, Ethan Smith 75 mins.
Report by Tom Ellerby
Sevenoaks Town 0 Hythe Town 1
Pitching In Isthmian League South-East
Saturday 25th March 2023
What a contrast to last week’s defeat at Ashford United as The Cannons snatched a late goal to take all three points in a 1-0 win at Sevenoaks Town on a windy Saturday afternoon.
Hythe Manager, Steve Watt made two changes to the starting line up with Duane Acheampong coming in for Johan Caney-Bryan and Josh Stirman making a start in place of Shad Ngandu.
The first half was very low key with both sides not really threatening the goal during the 45 minutes. However, the first opportunity did come for Sevenoaks on three minutes as Joshua Ogunseye scuffed a shot that rolled into the arms of Hythe keeper Steve Phillips. Phillips was on hand to save again as a corner from Fumnaya Shomotun found the head of Ogunseye.
Hythe had to wait until the 18th minute when they created their first chance which went a begging as Marvin Hamilton mishit his attempt wide of the target. There was one more goal threat in the half from the hosts as Solomon Baugh scooped the ball over the bar.
Hythe were quickly out of the blocks in the second period as a dangerous Frannie Collin cross was headed wide by Liam Smith. Emmanuel Mensah quickly had two efforts as firstly he worked his way through but shot straight at Phillips and then breaking in from the right his final effort went just wide.
The ever-dangerous Shomotun, whipped a ball in which was met by the head of substitute Freddie Parker that hit the post and rebounded onto the back of Phillips and away for a corner. At the other end the Cannons should have scored as substitute Ngandu put in a cross from the right that was met by Acheampong who put the ball over the bar from close range.
The game was now opening up as Mensah attempted to lob Phillips who clawed the ball away and then a shot from Shomotun was well blocked by Jack Steventon. The hosts were now pressing for the opening goal as Parker had another effort that was pushed wide by the ever reliable Phillips.
However, the visitors were also creating some opportunities and with their first effort on target after 86 minutes they broke the deadlock as Ngandu,who was causing problems on the right for the home defence, pulled the ball back to Collin who sent an exquisite curling shot from outside the penalty into the top left had corner of the net to the delight of the travelling Hythe contingent.
Despite an onslaught from Sevenoaks towards the end of the game, the Hythe defence, led brilliantly by Jason Fregene and Lex Allan, held out to take home three hard-earned points.
Hythe now sit in eighth position four points outside the play-off zone, so all hope has not gone of promotion. They now await their next game when they entertain East Grinstead Town at Reachfields next Saturday (1st April 2023) with game kicking off at 3pm.
Team: Steve Phillips, Liam Smith, Marcus Goldsmith, Jack Steventon, Jason Fregene, Lex Allan, Ethan Smith, Marvin Hamilton, Duane Acheampong (Johan Caney-Bryan 72 mins), Frannie Collin, Josh Stirman (Shad Ngandu 62 mins). Subs Unused: Morgan Williamson, Micky Phillips, Jeff Duah-Kessie.
Scorer: Hythe Town – Frannie Collin 86 mins
Ashford United 1 Hythe Town 0
Pitching In Isthmian League South-East
Saturday 18th March 2023
The Cannons can count themselves extremely unlucky to come away from Ashford United with nothing in this derby fixture as they went down 1-0 at Homelands on Saturday afternoon.
There were two changes in manager Steve Watt’s starting line up with Shad Ngandu in place of Duane Acheampong and Marcus Goldsmith replacing Sam Itauma.
It was Ashford who created their first opportunity in the first 60 seconds as a corner from the right from Henry Muggeridge found Charlie Dickens who headed over. Hythe didn’t have to wait long as Liam Smith took a snap shot that was saved by Ashford keeper Jacob Russell. Marvin Hamilton then had an effort from 25 yards that didn’t test Russell as he scooped the ball up.
There was a long period as both sides looked for openings but didn’t produce any meaningful chances ending when Frannie Collin sent a shot from the left with his right foot just over the bar. The Cannons were just edging the game at this stage as Ethan Smith broke in from the left with the ball going past the mouth of the goal and wide.
At the other end the hosts had a free kick twenty yards out that Danny Parish sent just over the target. However, on the stroke of half time the visitors came nearest to breaking the deadlock as Collin sent a dipping free kick in that rattled the cross bar.
The second period started with Hythe creating the first chance of the half as Shad Ngandu neatly fed Ethan Smith whose final effort when straight into the arms on Russell. Ashford had their best chance to date as former Cannon Gary Lockyer turned and had an attempt pushed over by Hythe keeper Steve Phillips and then from the resultant corner from Muggeridge the ball was headed wide by Dickens.
On 76 minutes came the deciding moment of the game as Muggeridge crossed into Lockyer who forced the ball home to make in 1-0 to Ashford. Hythe were given a glimmer of hope towards the ended as Ben Gorman received a deserved second yellow card and was on his way early to the changing room. The Cannons did press but couldn’t find a way through as the hosts wasted as much time as possible and Hythe had to leave Homelands empty handed.
The Cannons had battled hard throughout the game as the now look forward to next Saturday (25th March 2023) when they travel to Sevenoaks Town with the game kicking off at 3pm.
Team: Steve Phillips, Liam Smith, Marcus Goldsmith, Jack Steventon, Jason Fregene, Lex Allan, Ethan Smith (Jarred Trespaderne 80 mins), Marvin Hamilton, Johan Caney-Bryan (Duane Acheampong 73 mins), Frannie Collin, Shad Ngandu (Jeff Duah-Kessie 80 mins). Subs Unused: Sam Itauma, Josh Stirman.
Scorer: Ashford United – Gary Lockyer 76 mins.
Hythe Town 1 Chichester City 0
Pitching In Isthmian League South-East
Saturday 11th March 2023
Hythe Town came away with a deserved 1-0 in a battling performance at home to fellow play-off hopefuls Chichester City on Saturday.
Steve Watt made two changes from the side beaten at East Grinstead Town in midweek with Frannie coming back to replace Shad Ngandu and Duane Acheampong making his first start for the Cannons replacing the unavailable Jarred Trespaderne.
The first half was a battle with both sides creating opportunities but failing to find the breakthrough, Frannie Collin had an early opportunity after only two minutes, but he scuffed a free kick from 20 yards wide of the target. Shortly afterwards Chichester had their first effort as Callum Overton forced Liam Smith off the ball and played his way in but his final attempt was deflected wide. At the other end Sam Ituama sent in a dangerous cross finding Collin, who on the turn, could not get the space to get a shot away. As we got to the halfway point in the first half Chichester’s Emmett Dunn turned and shot which Hythe keeper Steve Phillips was able to claw away from the Hythe goal.
The game at this stage had limited opportunities as both sides cancelled each other out although there were a couple of chances for the hosts as the match moved towards the half time break. Firstly Acheampong got on the end of a ball from Johan Caney-Bryan but fired across the face of goal and then a Collin corner was headed over by Jason Fregene.
The second half started with Chichester on the attack as Ethan Prichard turned and shot straight at Phillips but it was then the Cannons who had a bright spell which started with a cross from Collin that was spilt by away keeper Kieran Magee but none of the Hythe front men could quite get to the ball to convert. However on 54 minutes the deadlock was broken as Collin sent in a corner from the left which the Chichester couldn’t clear and Fregene was on hand to hook the loose ball home and give Hythe the lead.
Hythe nearly went further ahead as Fregene unleashed an effort from a tight angle on the left but the attempt was blocked. As the time ticked away the task for the visitors was made harder as Chichester defender Rob Hutchings was shown a red card after an incident in the near corner. Before the final whistle there was a chance at each end as two minutes into injury time Jack Steventon headed over from a Collin corner and then four minutes into injury time the visitors were awarded a free kick 20 yards out however Prichard put the ball high over the bar and the game ended with all three points going to the hosts.
The result leaves Hythe four points outside the play-off positions in ninth place with their next game coming as they travel the short distance to Ashford United next Saturday (18th March 2023).
Team: Steve Phillips, Liam Smith, Sam Itauma, Jack Steventon, Jason Fregene, Lex Allan, Ethan Smith (Josh Stirman 90 mins), Marvin Hamilton, Johan Caney-Bryan (Jeff Duah-Kessie 81 mins), Frannie Collin, Duane Acheampong (Shad Ngandu 66 mins). Sub Unused: Charles Noyelle.
Scorer: Hythe Town – Jason Fregene 54 mins.
East Grinstead Town 3 Hythe Town 2
Pitching In Isthmian League South-East
Tuesday 7th March 2023
The Cannons went down 3-2 to put a dent in their play off hopes at East Grinstead Town on a very chilly Tuesday evening.
Manager, Steve Watt made two changes as Jarred Trespaderne replaced Frannie Collin and Marvin Hamilton returned in place of Marcus Goldsmith.
The early exchanges were even with Hythe having the first chance as on 14 minutes a Shad Ngandu free-kick was headed down by Lex Allan but the East Grinstead keeper, Mattie Pierson got to the ball quickly to save. However, the hosts were ahead with their first meaningful attack on 20 minutes as the ball was played in from the left hitting a number of players before running loose to Matthew Daniel who fired the ball home. Daniel, who was a constant thorn in the Cannons side, then shot straight at Hythe keeper Steve Phillips.
Ngandu did create an opportunity as he turned in and unleashed an effort that flew just over the bar and then mid-way through the half Jack Steventon had three attempts as the ball bounced around the home penalty area but they were all blocked. The rest of the half lacked any real chances.
The second period saw the first attempt come from East Grinstead as Andrew Briggs sent in a curling effort from distance that went over the bar. Hythe were unlucky not to be level on 51 minutes as Ethan Smith, wide out on the left, sent in a shot from a tight angle that rattled the inside of the far upright. Ngandu perhaps should have done better as he broke through one on one with Pierson but he laid the ball off instead of going for goal and the chance was gone.
At the other end Daniel was through again but Phillips was off his line to block. Things got worse for Hythe as Jason Fregene was judged to have brought down Harrison Parker in the penalty area and up stepped Glenn Wilson who blasted home the spot kick to increase the East Grinstead lead. The Cannons, however, gave themselves hope as they reduced the arrears on 76 minutes as Trespaderne played in a free kick that eventually bounced out to substitute Duane Acheampong who slammed the ball into the net.
However, right on the stroke of full time it appeared that East Grinstead had sealed the points. There were claims by the Hythe team of an infringement just inside the Wasps half but the referee waved away the appeals as the hosts broke away and Max Walsh fired home to make it 3-1. However, the Cannons were not yet finished and got a goal back a minute into injury time as Hamilton played the ball out to Liam Smith who finished neatly to make it 2-3 but it was too little too late as East Grinstead held on for all three points.
Hythe now return to Reachfields on Saturday as they entertain Chichester City with a 3pm kick off.
Team: Steve Phillips, Liam Smith, Sam Ituama (Jeff Duah-Kessie 45 mins), Jack Steventon, Jason Fregene, Lex Allan, Ethan Smith, Marvin Hamilton, Johan Caney-Bryan, Shad Ngandu (Duane Acheampong 66 mins), Jarred Trespaderne. Subs Unused: Josh Stirman, Charles Noyelle, Marcus Goldsmith.
Scorers: East Grinstead Town – Matthew Daniel 20 mins, Glenn Wilson 69 mins (pen), Max Walsh 90 mins. Hythe Town – Duane Acheampong 76 mins, Liam Smith 90 mins.
Beckenham Town 0 Hythe Town 0
Pitching In Isthmian League South-East
Saturday 4th March 2023
Like most Isthmian new boys before them Beckenham are showing signs of taking a while to settle to the many new demands being made of them off the pitch, but they have seemingly had very few problems with their actual football and have only suffered two home league defeats as they challenge convincingly for a play-off position in this their initial step 4 season. The Cannons came at them with the confidence of an impressive set of recent results though and the end result (aided by some glaring misses from both teams) was a fairly predictable stalemate.
Hythe's key man Marvin Hamilton had to pull out in the morning when his wife went into labour, later producing a baby boy, but numbers had already been strengthened by the addition of new strikers Duane Acheampong and Jeff Duah-Kessie the former Phoenix Sports striker more recently acquired from today's opponents, plus ex-Gillingham youth player Charles Noyelle recently returned from a spell in USA college football. Both the former came on as subs and whilst clearly not match-fit did enough to suggest that they will be more than a handful for many teams to cope with.
For Hythe, Jack Steventon was immense whilst young Ethan Smith clearly regards putting in 100% effort to be an absolute minimum requirement--but in truth nobody in Hythe colours went missing on a day when they needed to be showing an excellent team spirit that is being successfully demanded from the management team.
An early chance for Frannie Collin now adapting to a deeper role was headed just over but the main talking point came on 18 minutes when Johan Caney-Bryan was clearly clipped in the area with management from both teams expecting a penalty to be awarded. Shortly afterwards a Frannie Collin through ball found Caney Bryan clear but Blue was out swiftly to cover.
On 25 minutes an expected Steventon long throw was dropped short for a lively Sam Itauma to run into the glaring free space and centre for Liam Smith to head to the far post where veteran home keeper Nick Blue had to be at full stretch to save his side. Beckenham threatened with some enterprising forward play which often led to shots being fired high and wide or squared passes being well met by this always mean Hythe defence.
The second period saw much of the same and Ethan Smith was just wide following a good Fregene attacking run whilst at the other end Liam Smith was perhaps fortunate to be able to head straight into Steve Phillips arms after a goalmouth scramble. Becks player Nathan Paul was put through on goal but was pulled up.
when Liam Smith was clearly pushed off-balance. Another Sam Itauma run ended when his cross was beaten out by Blue while at the other end Steve Phillips just managed to gather a yard or so from the upright after the home side threatened.
The referee and his senior assistant had everyone puzzled when a home substitute was cautioned for what appeared to be not warming up correctly but although both officials seemed to struggle at times this was not a heated match with both sides respecting the opposition.
Hythe went close when Blue flicked away a Collin corner only for Liam Smith to blast a first-time shot just wide of the far post.
Duane Acheampong who had come on for the injured Marcus Goldsmith on the hour, thus necessitating a defensive reshuffle, accepted a flick on from Duah-Kessie to go close with what would have been a spectacular overhead kick but that was as good as it was going to get.
As with most no score draws each side thought they should have won the game, but the opinion of most Hythe folk was that to do just that you first need to score and then defend your lead, and results show that the Hythe defence is loath to permit that to happen,
For a more detailed report and reactions please head over to the Kentish Football website - but certainly do try to get to Reachfields on Saturday (11th March 2023) when Chichester City are the visitors. Before that though the league fixtures take us to East Grinstead on Tuesday 7th March 2023 with a slightly earlier 7.30pm kick off.
Team: Steve Phillips, Liam Smith, Marcus Goldsmith (Duane Acheampong 60 mins), Jack Steventon, Jason Fregene, Lex Allan, Shad Ngandu (Josh Stirman 90 mins), Ethan Smith, Johan Caney-Bryan (Jeff Kessie 77 mins), Frannie Collin, Sam Itauma. Subs not Used: Charles Novelle, Toby Bancroft.
Hythe Town 1 Three Bridges 1
Pitching In Isthmian League
Saturday 25th February 2023
Hythe were unlucky as they were held by Three Bridges on Saturday afternoon at Reachfields. Following the 1-0 win over Burgess Hill on Tuesday evening, Steve Watt made two changes, as Sam Itauma and Frannie Collin replaced the unavailable Jarred Trespaderne and Jason Fregene, who went off injured on Tuesday but was still named as a substitute.
The game started in Hythe's favour, as they had the opening chance on 10 minutes, when a Marvin Hamilton throw-in was headed towards goal by a Hythe player, and the ball was palmed away by the keeper for a corner. Just two minutes later, the Cannons had another chance from a set-piece, when a corner was sent into the box, resulting in a melee which ended with Lex Allan ballooning the ball over the bar.
On 28 minutes, the visitors managed to obtain their first chance of the game as Kieron Pamment surged into the box, hitting a shot whilst he was off balance which came off the upper right corner of the crossbar. A few minutes later, fan favourite Shad Ngandu had his first major opportunity of the match, as he rifled a shot towards goal which stung the palms of Three Bridges goalkeeper Leo Anderson. Moments after, Marcus Goldsmith sent in a dangerous cross from the left wing, which was headed on by Johan Caney-Bryan before it was palmed away by the keeper.
The first half saw Hythe dominate possession, but the Cannons were unable to break the deadlock. However, Three Bridges were by no means out of the game at this stage, and on 39 minutes, a ball in from Kieron Pamment came to Curtis Gayler, with Steve Phillips getting down to make the save. Within seconds, Hythe were on the break, resulting in Shad Ngandu hitting a firm shot towards the top corner which was tipped away by Leo Anderson.
It took the Cannons just six minutes to score in the second half, when a corner from Frannie Collin was swung onto the head of Liam Smith, who nodded the ball into the net to give Hythe a deserved lead. It was almost 2-0 on 54 minutes, as Ethan Smith hit a looping shot towards goal, which was spilled by the goalkeeper right in front of Johan Caney-Bryan, but a defender was on hand to hammer the ball away before the Hythe number 9 could get a shot away.
The match was rather even for a while, with both sides struggling to have any cutting-edge chances. Eventually, Shad Ngandu gave Hythe an opportunity on 75 minutes, threading the ball into the path of Ethan Smith, who was brought down in the penalty area. However, the referee ordered the players to continue, much to the disappointment of the home fans.
The game started to go the way of the visitors in the latter stages, and they won a free-kick in a dangerous position with eight minutes to go, but it was blasted over the bar by Curtis Gayler. Unfortunately for Hythe, the win was not to be, as the equaliser came on 88 minutes, when Cameron Lawson's ball into a crowded penalty area met the head of Jason Fregene, with the ball hitting Steve Phillips in the face and trickling over the line.
The full-time whistle blew to mark Hythe's first game without a win since the very start of February, and their first points dropped at home in 2023. This result leaves them in seventh, just two points outside of the play-offs with a game in hand.
Following the match, manager Steve Watt told us 'I feel for the players, I thought we deserved all three points - it came down to us not getting the rub of the green today. Regarding the goal, it's unfortunate, but I thought the boys were fantastic, I thought we were dominant in the first half, and in the second half Steve [Phillips] didn't have a save to make. They felt no pressure in the second half. As I said to the players, there's a lot of teams that have a lot more pressure around them than we have, so it's a point gained in our respect.'
When asked about the discipline of both teams, Watt said 'I thought the game was played well between both teams, but I think the ref didn't give us half the things we should've got. I think it's a foul on Lex for their goal which he doesn't give, but I'm not blaming him for us not winning today. We always look at ourselves first, and we should've taken more chances today which would've made it a lot more comfortable.'
The Cannons will return to action on March 4th when they travel to Beckenham Town, with the game kicking off at 3pm.
Team: Steve Phillips, Sam Itauma, Marcus Goldsmith (Jason Fregene 70 mins), Jack Steventon, Liam Smith, Lex Allan, Ethan Smith (Toby Bancroft 79 mins), Marvin Hamilton, Johan Caney-Bryan, Frannie Collin, Shad Ngandu. Subs Unused: Josh Stirman, Morgan Williamson, Micky Phillips.
Scorers: Hythe Town – Liam Smith 51 mins. Three Bridges – Steve Phillips 88 mins (OG).
Match report by Tom Ellerby
Hythe Town 1 Burgess Hill Town 0
Pitching In Isthmian League South-East
Tuesday 21st February 2023
It took just four minutes to break the deadlock, when there was a melee in the Burgess Hill penalty area, with the ball falling to Lex Allan, whose looping cross was headed away, before landing at the feet of Liam Smith, who sent a volley into the net to give Hythe an early lead. At this stage, Hythe were totally on top – they dominated possession and kept the ball in the Burgess Hill half. On nine minutes, goal scorer Liam Smith set the ball to recent star Shad Ngandu, who sent a looping shot just over the crossbar. It should’ve been 2-0 moments later, when Ngandu himself laid the ball off to Ethan Smith, who hit a good shot narrowly wide of the post.
As the half progressed, the visitors managed to get a foothold in the game, bringing the ball into the Hythe half more often and coming close to testing the defence. However, the solid partnership of Lex Allan and Jason Fregene at centre-half prevented any danger. With ten minutes remaining in the first half, Shad Ngandu beat his man down the right wing, threading the ball into Johan Caney-Bryan, whose shot was pushed past the post by Burgess Hill’s former Leeds United goalkeeper Will Huffer. The resultant corner was then headed just over the bar by Jason Fregene.
The second half was more of a quiet affair, particularly for Hythe, who seemed to have lost their motivation from earlier in the game. They struggled to string a succession of passes together, hardly getting close to the Hillians’ penalty area and giving away possession far too often, despite the introduction of Frannie Collin, Josh Stirman and Sam Itauma to the game. The visitors were on top, but struggled to test Steve Phillips in the Hythe goal, although full-back Martyn Box and winger Kai Brown made a number of good runs down the left-hand side.
Although the half was without chances, enough was seen by the Hythe fans to make them nervous, especially when Jason Fregene came off injured in the closing minutes, and there was massive relief when the full-time whistle blew. The win gives Hythe a record of seven wins in their last eight games, as they currently sit 7th in the table, just outside the play-offs based solely on goal difference. The Cannons will hope to make it into the top five on Saturday when they host 15th place Three Bridges at Reachfields at 3pm.
Team: Steve Phillips, Liam Smith, Marcus Goldsmith, Jack Steventon, Jason Fregene (Sam Itauma 80 mins), Lex Allan, Ethan Smith, Marvin Hamilton, Johan Caney-Bryan, Shad Ngandu (Frannie Collin 61 mins, Jarred Tresparderne (Josh Stirman 79 mins). Subs Unused: James Jeffrey, Toby Bancroft.
Scorer: Hythe Town - Liam Smith 4 mins
Littlehampton Town 1 Hythe Town 4
Pitching In Isthmian League South-East
Saturday 18th February 2023
The Cannons had “a golden three minutes” when they turned the game around to eventually run out comfortable 4-1 winners at Littlehampton Town on Saturday afternoon.
Hythe manager Steve Watt made two changes from the side who won at home to Sittingbourne on Tuesday evening bringing back Frannie Collin and Toby Bancroft into the starting eleven to replace Marcus Goldsmith, who was on the bench, and Jarred Trespaderne who was unavailable.
What happened in the first half gave no clue to what would occur in the second period as Littlehampton started the game on the front foot as they created their first opportunity on eleven minutes as Josh Short surged forward eventually playing the ball off to Devon Fender. The striker was left one on one with Hythe keeper Steve Phillips who was quick off his line to block and soon after Phillips saved well from a long range shot by George Gaskin.
Hythe had to wait until the 14th minute for their first effort as Johan Caney-Bryan’s shot sailed into the arms of home keeper Alex Harris. However, it was the hosts who continued to have the upper hand as Phillips saved from a shot by Short with Fender unleashing an attempt from the rebound that rattled the cross bar. Littlehampton were unlucky not to take the lead on 21 minutes as Gaskin attempted to lob the ball over Phillips who was off his line with his attempt going just over the cross bar.
As it seemed the Cannons had seen off the worst of the pressure, they found themselves one down on 32 minutes as a cross from Lucas Pattenden found Dion Jarvis who hammered home from close range to give the hosts a deserved lead. The pressure continued as a corner from Dave Herbert was met with the head of Marshall Ball but the effort went over. The half ended with an attack from Hythe as a Collin corner was headed wide by Jason Fregene.
Whatever Steve Watt said at half time seemed to motivate the Cannons as they drove forward with Marvin Hamilton driving a shot wide of the target. On 59 minutes Hythe were level as Marcus Goldsmith crossed from the left finding Ethan Smith who sneaked in at the near post to glance his header past Harris and into the net. Within a minute the Cannons were ahead as a cross by Collin was headed firmly home by Marvin Hamilton to make it 2-1.
Within another two minutes Shad Ngandu produced a moment of magic as he curled an effort from 30 yards over Harris and under the cross bar into the net making it three goals in three minutes to turn the game around. The hosts did have a chance to get back in the game as Pattenden sent in a shot that missed the target.
The Cannons put further salt in the home wounds on 84 minutes as they were awarded a free kick 20 yards out. From the resultant kick Collin floated the ball over the wall onto the crossbar with the ball then coming off defender Marshall Ball and back into the net for an own goal to increase the visitors lead.
Gaskin shot wide for Littlehampton before Collin had another free kick which he this time drove into the midriff of Harris. With three minutes left on the clock a cross from Pattenden found substitute Charlie Pitcher whose header was saved well by Phillips and then the final effort for Hythe saw a break by James Jeffrey but he was denied by Harris who came off his line to block.
It was a result that barely seemed possible at half time and makes it six wins out of the last seven. It also was the first time they had scored four goals in a league game this season. Hythe now top the league form table for the last six games and also find themselves two points from the promotion play-off positions in eighth place.
They now can look forward to a home fixture on Tuesday night when they entertain Burgess Hill Town with kick off at Reachfields at 7:45pm.
Team: Steve Phillips, Liam Smith (Sam Itauma 71 mins), Jack Steventon, Jason Fregene, Lex Allan, Ethan Smith, Marvin Hamilton, Johan Caney-Bryan (James Jeffrey 79 mins), Shad Ngandu, Frannie Collin, Toby Bancroft (Marcus Goldsmith 45 mins). Subs Unused: Morgan Williamson, Josh Stirman.
Scorers: Littlehampton Town – Dion Jarvis 32 mins. Hythe Town – Ethan Smith 59 mins, Marvin Hamilton 60 mins, Shad Ngandu 62 mins, Marshall Ball 84 mins (OG).
Hythe Town 1 Sittingbourne 0
Pitching In Isthmian League South-East
Tuesday 14th February 2023
Hythe picked up their fifth win in their last six games on a chilly Tuesday evening at Reachfields. The visitors, Sittingbourne, were in 18th, and given Hythe's recent run of form, they went into the game as favourites. Manager Steve Watt made a trio of changes, as Jarred Trespaderne, Shad Ngandu and Sam Itauma replaced Frannie Collin, Toby Bancroft and Marvin Hamilton, who all dropped to the bench.
It was the Brickies who were on the front foot after five minutes, as Youssouf Bamba broke free on the left-hand side, sending a shot towards goal which Steve Phillips went to the floor to collect. The Cannons had their first major chance twelve minutes into the match, when a melee in the penalty area resulted in Liam Smith winning possession, but he scuffed his shot high and wide of the goal. Bamba kept himself busy for the visitors, as he made another run down the left, blasting the shot wide in similar fashion to Liam Smith.
Moments after, Marcus Goldsmith had possession on the left, drilling a shot towards the Sittingbourne goal, which was parried away by stopper Harley Earle, as the ball fell to Johan Caney-Bryan, who was unable to pull off the shot, which was scrambled away by the keeper.
On the half-hour mark, Jack Steventon sent in a long throw-in from the right for Hythe, with Liam Smith heading the ball on to Shad Ngandu, who nodded the ball into the hands of the goalkeeper. The ball went down the opposite end of the pitch, before Sergio Uyi put in a dangerous tackle on a Hythe defender, resulting in a red card.
Just 17 minutes into the second half, things got worse for Sittingbourne, as Youssouf Bamba was deemed to be time-wasting by referee Kane Dempster, who showed him his second yellow card of the game. Two yellows make a strawberry, so despite Bamba's protests, he was given his marching orders.
The Cannons failed to capitalise on their two-man advantage after changing their game for the second half, opting to work the ball sideways and forward rather than immediately sending it forward. However, this proved to be ineffective, and with Sittingbourne still holding firm at the back, chances were at a premium. By this point, Steve Watt had made two changes, bringing Josh Stirman and Toby Bancroft onto the pitch. The latter had a chance on 72 minutes, as a Hythe corner was headed into his path, but his shot lacked placement and sailed over the bar.
It was panic stations with ten minutes to go, as Hythe fans were desperate for their team to use their numbers to their advantage. However, it was the Brickies who came close, as Chaynie Burgin made a run down the left-hand side, drilling his shot into the side netting. The referee pulled out his red card yet again in added time after Sittingbourne manager Ryan Maxwell's poor attitude on the touchline became too much for him to allow. It looked like it was over for Hythe at this point, but there was one last glimmer of hope when a free kick was awarded just outside the Brickies' penalty area. Substitute Frannie Collin stepped up to take, sending in the ball towards the keeper, who parried it away, straight into the path of Toby Bancroft, who slotted the ball past him. The Hythe players and staff celebrated wildly with one another, whilst the visitors were understandably frustrated.
The full-time whistle blew, leaving Hythe in ninth place in the table, ten points clear of relegation and just three points away from the play-offs. The Cannons can consider themself lucky - after dominating against Chatham on Saturday, this performance certainly wasn't eye-catching, but three valuable points were won. Steve Watt's side will look to make it four wins in a row on Saturday, as they travel to 11th place Littlehampton Town at 3pm.
Team: Steve Phillips, Liam Smith, Marcus Goldsmith (Toby Bancroft 65 mins), Jack Steventon, Jason Fregene, Lex Allan (Frannie Collin 80 mins), Ethan Smith, Jarred Trespaderne (Josh Stirman 45 mins), Johan Caney-Bryan, Shad Ngandu, Sam Itauma. Subs Unused: Marvin Hamilton, Morgan Williamson.
Scorer: Hythe Town – Toby Bancroft 90 mins.
Hythe Town 1 Chatham Town 0
Pitching In Isthmian South-East
Saturday 11th February 2023
Hythe pulled off a surprising victory over title challengers Chatham Town on Saturday afternoon. Following the last-minute win against Corinthian, Steve Watt made three changes to his side, as Lex Allan, Marcus Goldsmith and Ethan Smith all returned to the side, replacing Shad Ngandu and Sam Itauma, who both dropped to the bench, and Jarred Trespaderne, who was not involved in the game.
It took just nine minutes for the Cannons to take the lead in the match, as a long throw in from Marvin Hamilton was met by Frannie Collin, who was playing in a deeper role in the centre of midfield for the match. He headed it onto Johan Caney-Bryan, whose header went past the Chatham keeper to give Hythe the early advantage.
Unfortunately for the Cannons, the creator of their opening goal, Marvin Hamilton, had to be substituted through injury shortly after the deadlock was broken, and was replaced by Sam Itauma. Chances were few and far between in the first half, with the only other notable opportunity coming on 34 minutes, as Ethan Smith made a run down the right-hand side of the pitch, hitting a powerful shot which careered off the crossbar, but rebounding away from the goal to give the visitors a lifeline.
The second half continued in the same way as the first half finished - the Cannons were just about the better side, but both teams were struggling to have any significant chances. The first major attempt of the half went to Chatham, as a corner on the hour mark was headed on by Reece Butler, forcing the save from Steve Phillips. Just nine minutes later, Phillips was called into action again, as Billy Bennett hit a shot from the edge of the penalty area, with the Cannons stopper having to react quickly to parry the ball away, before it was eventually cleared to safety.
Billy Bennett managed to make a good impact, and was handed yet another chance to score when, with just eleven minutes remaining, he launched an effort from the D which rattled off the crossbar and, just like Ethan Smith's earlier effort for Hythe, did not find its way in, as the ball rose up into the air and was eventually collected by Steve Phillips.
As the game went into its closing stages, Hythe managed to regain their control of the match. They nearly doubled their lead with just four minutes remaining, as a corner from substitute Shad Ngandu found Liam Smith who, from a tight angle, nodded the ball just wide of the goal. However, the visitors were punished further, not by a goal, but by a sending off, as Ashley Sains was shown the red card by referee Jake Woodman following a challenge on goal scorer Johan Caney-Bryan, to put the visitors out of their misery.
The full-time whistle blew to the delight of the home fans, as Steve Watt's men managed to secure their fourth victory in the last five games. The result puts Hythe in eleventh, just five points away from the promotion play-offs and nine points clear of the relegation play-offs. The Cannons will hope to continue their good run of form on Tuesday, as they return to Reachfields yet again to take on 18th place Sittingbourne at 7:45pm.
Team: Steve Phillips, Liam Smith, Marcus Goldsmith (Shad Ngandu 80 mins), Jack Steventon, Jason Fregene, Lex Allan, Ethan Smith, Marvin Hamilton (Sam Itauma 12 mins), Johan Caney-Bryan, Frannie Collin, Toby Bancroft (Josh Stirman 63 mins). Subs Unused: James Jeffrey, Morgan Williamson.
Scorer: Hythe Town - Johan Caney-Bryan 9 mins.
Hythe Town 2 Corinthan 1
Pitching In Isthmian League South Wast
Tuesday 7th February 2023
It took a matter of seconds for the Cannons to have a chance, as Jarred Trespaderne played a ball in from the left-hand side of the pitch to the returning Frannie Collin, who turned and shot just wide into the advertising hoardings. However, it was the visitors who broke the deadlock, as Ahmed Salim Futa’s ball into the box was intercepted by Sam Itauma, whose attempt to clear the ball fell to former-Cannon Sam Bewick, who slipped the ball past Steve Phillips to give Corinthian the lead. On 27 minutes, Oscar Housego received the ball on the right, and managed to hit a powerful shot which went past the post. Towards the end of the half, with just five minutes remaining, Ahmed Salim Futa almost doubled their lead, hitting a long-range shot which dipped just over the bar.
On 58 minutes, Bewick had an excellent chance to make it 2-0, as he made a run from the halfway line into a one-on-one position with Steve Phillips, skipping past the Hythe stopper and unleashing a shot from a tight angle, which went off the post. The rebound did find its way to Oliver Box, but Phillips went down to grab hold of the ball. Despite Corinthian’s dominance, the Cannons managed to find an equaliser just after the hour mark, as a long ball into the box found Johan Caney-Bryan, who caught the keeper unawares and bundled the shot home in a crowded penalty area to level the scores.
The change in scoreline seemed to motivate Steve Watt’s men. However, their fighting spirit translated into an actual fight, as Jack Beerling put in a controversial challenge on Toby Bancroft as he made his way towards goal, which Bancroft reacted to by giving Beerling a shove, and a shoving war commenced between the two sides. Both players were booked for their actions. On 83 minutes, the game was almost lost, as a ball into Hythe’s penalty box found the head of Oliver Box, but Steve Phillips was the hero, leaping to his right to make a crucial stop.
As the game went into its closing stages, it was all Hythe. A free-kick from Frannie Collin on 85 minutes took a deflection off the wall, finding subtitute James Jeffrey, who made his way to the byline and squared the ball into Liam Smith, who lifted his shot over the crossbar. When it seemed the game was over and done with, in added time, the Cannons managed to steal the three points. A long throw-in from Marvin Hamilton found Jason Fregene, who hit an acrobatic shot past the Corinthian keeper to seal the three points.
In the remaining couple of minutes of injury time, there were two more brawls. The first occurred when Jarred Trespaderne was floored by an opposition player, bringing the physio onto the pitch and the rest of the players around him. Then, as soon as the full-time whistle blew, a Corinthian player went straight to Trespaderne to finish the fight, but this was stopped very quickly.
This was certainly a game of two halves, but if Hythe can replicate their second-half performance, they will certainly be taking a few more points this season. The Cannons return to action on Saturday, as they welcome 2nd place Chatham Town to Reachfields at 3pm, in a game that promises to be a big test for Steve Watt’s Cannons.
Team: Steve Phillips, Liam Smith, Sam Itauma (Ethan Smith 45 mins), Marvin Hamilton, Jason Fregene, Jack Steventon, Toby Bancroft (James Jeffrey 79 mins), Jarred Trespaderne, Johan Caney-Bryan, Frannie Collin, Shad Ngandu (Josh Stirman 87 mins). Sub Unused: Lex Allan, Micky Phillips.
Scorers: Hythe Town - Johan Caney-Bryan 62 mins, Jason Fregene 90 mins. Corinthian - Sam Bewick 16 mins
Lancing 2 Hythe Town 0
Pitching In Isthmian League
Saturday 4th February 2023
The Cannons were brought down with a bump on Saturday afternoon as they were beaten 2-0 at Lancing.
Hythe went into the game on the back of two excellent wins but did make a couple of changes as goalkeeper Steve Phillips came back into the team after being unavailable last Tuesday. Also starting was Jack Steventon who replaced Jarred Trespaderne, and Ethan Smith was in for Toby Bancroft.
The early stages of the game were fairly even with Hythe creating their first opening on ten minutes as Marcus Goldsmith got himself into a shooting position and sent his effort straight at Lancing keeper Alieu Secka. Lancing’s first attack came five minutes later as Reece Hallard shot to Phillips left but the keeper saved easily.
Sam Itauma, who was lively down the right, crossed in to find the head of Johan Caney-Bryan who nodded onto Ethan Smith whose attempt at the far post was forced away for a corner. At the other end, Phillips had to be at his best as shot came in from Marcel Powell after a number of attempts on goal. Hythe came closest to scoring on 31 minutes as a Shad Ngandu corner found Liam Smith dipping in at the near post but his header was pushed away by Secka and then from the resultant corner Ngandu, this time, sent in the kick that was headed down by Steventon but it bounced up and went over the bar.
Hythe were edging the game at this stage as Goldsmith came if from the left, but his driven attempt flew into the arms of Secka. Lancing were still creating chances as Hallard sent in a curling free kick which was saved well by Phillips. The final action of the half saw Liam Smith cross for Steventon to mishit his header wide and both sides had to settle to go in all square.
The second period started slowly but on 52 minutes the hosts snatched the lead as a freekick from the right sailed over onto the far post where Marcus Allen fired home. Hythe could have been level on 61 minutes as a Ngandu free-kick was headed wide by Lex Allan. The Cannons had a goal ruled out as Jason Fregene headed home from a free kick from substitute Frannie Collin but the referee ruled it out as he had seen an infringement in the penalty area.
Hythe could not find a way back into the game and the last two chances fell to Hallard who turned and shot but his effort was deflected wide. Then a minute into stoppage time he was not to be denied as the visitors failed to clear the ball and it fell to Hallard who fired home to seal the three points.
It was a disappointing afternoon for the Cannons, but they have chance to put things right as they entertain Corinthian on Tuesday evening. Game kicks off at Reachfields at 7:45pm.
Team: Steve Phillips, Liam Smith, Marcus Goldsmith, Jack Steventon (Frannie Collin 78 mins), Jason Fregene, Lex Allan, Ethan Smith (Toby Bancroft 70 mins), Marvin Hamilton, Johan Caney-Bryan, Shad Ngandu (James Jeffrey 78 mins), Sam Itauma. Subs not Used: Josh Stirman, Micky Phillips.
Scorers: Lancing - Marcus Allen 52 mins, Reece Hallard 90 mins.
Three Bridges 1 Hythe Town 3
Pitching In Isthmian League
Tuesday 31st January 2023
What an evening for the Cannons as they came away with a fully deserved a 3-1 win at Three Bridges on Tuesday evening.
Manager, Steve Watt had made four changes to the side that won at home to Whitehawk on Saturday with new signing, Lucas Hanley, who is on dual registration with K Sports, coming in to replace the unavailable Steve Phillips in goal. Toby Bancroft, Sam Itauma and Jarred Trespaderne came in to the starting eleven to replace Jack Steventon, Ethan Smith and James Jeffrey.
It was a bright start for Hythe as they had the first chance on eight minutes as Shad Ngandu had a shot palmed around the upright by Three Bridges’ keeper Leo Anderson. The hosts began to pick up their game as former Cannon Noel Leighton had a shot pushed away by Hythe keeper Hanley and then Curtis Gayler dragged a shot wide.
There were limited chances in the first half but in the 41st minute, Toby Bancroft drilled an effort from 25 yards that took a deflection wide. From the resultant corner Ngandu sent the ball into the penalty area. It finally came out to Jarred Trespaderne who blasted home to give the Cannons the lead. Ngandu, who had an outstanding match, had a free kick that he sent in with Itauma coming in but he headed over.
There was one chance for Gayler just before the break as he firstly had a shot blocked and following up his next attempt was collected easily by Hanley.
The early period of the second half saw Three Bridges up the gears as they looked for the equaliser. Joe Stone fired an effort into the arms of Hanley and then on 55 minutes they were rewarded as a corner was cleared and Joe Tennent pounced at the back post to send the ball into the back of the net.
However, Hythe took back control and were ahead on 59 minutes. Ngandu was again in the action as he charged in and crossed into Johan Caney-Bryan who headed in at the far post. Ngandu followed that up when he saw Anderson off his line and sent in a ball that rattled off the cross bar and down but did not cross the line.
The hosts, who put in some heavy challenges early in the game, were reduced to ten men on 72 minutes as they lost their discipline as goal scorer Tennent received a second yellow card and it could be argued that they were lucky not to lose a couple more players to red cards on the evening. Hythe, however kept themselves out of trouble and were rewarded on 81 minutes as Itauma had his ankles clipped as he broke into the penalty area. Up stepped Ngandu who skilfully clipped his penalty past the diving Anderson to make it 3-1.
Deep into injury time substitute Josh Stirman worked his way in from the right and blasted a shot across the mouth of the goal and away for a goal kick.
It was an evening where it would be difficult to find any Hythe player who did not play their part in what was a great team performance. The win takes them up to eleventh place in the table and will give encouragement to the team as they travel back to West Sussex on Saturday to play Lancing. Kick off is 3pm.
Team: Lucas Hanley, Liam Smith, Marcus Goldsmith, Marvin Hamilton (Jack Steventon 71 mins), Jason Fregene, Lex Allan, Toby Bancroft (Ethan Smith 75 mins), Jarred Trespaderne Johan Caney-Bryan, Shad Ngandu (Josh Stirman 90 mins), Sam Itauma. Subs Unused: James Jeffrey, Micky Phillips.
Scorers: Three Bridges - Joe Tennant 55 mins. Hythe Town - Jarred Tresparderne 41 mins, Johan Caney-Bryan 59 mins, Shad Ngandu 81 mins (pen).
Hythe Town 1 Whitehawk 0
Pitching In Isthmian League South-East
Saturday 28th January 2023
The Cannons were victorious in their first home game of 2023, as they won 1-0 over promotion challengers Whitehawk. Manager Steve Watt made just one change from the 2-0 loss to Cray Valley PM, handing James Jeffrey his first start for Hythe, replacing the unavailable Frannie Collin.
It was a rather quiet first half – minor opportunities were shared fairly evenly between the two sides. The biggest opportunity of the half went to Jeffrey, who received a ball on the right-hand side of the penalty area, taking a touch which came off a Whitehawk player, but regaining possession and squaring the ball back to the onrushing Shad Ngandu, whose shot was deflected away from goal.
Fortunately, the second period got off to a livelier start. Marcus Goldsmith’s ball from the by-line flew into the box, meeting the diving head of Ngandu, however the ball went straight to Whitehawk stopper Luke Glover, who initially spilled it but managed to regain the ball just in time. Immediately, the Hawks had their first major chance of the half, as Luke Robinson made his way to the by-line and attempted to square the ball to a teammate, but the opportunity was put past the post. It was just after the hour mark that Hythe took the lead, when Shad Ngandu’s cross was met with a header from Liam Smith, who sent the ball past the onrushing keeper and gave the Cannons a deserved lead.
The match wasn’t without jeopardy, especially in the later stages of the game as the visitors tried to score at least one goal to prevent them walking away without a point, but their efforts were futile. The most notable opportunity came on 79 minutes, as the ball went loose amongst a crowd of players in the box, and the Hythe defence had to scramble around to hoof the ball away. Immediately, the ball went to Johan Caney-Bryan, who set off and put himself in a one-on-one position with Luke Glover, but the shot lacked precision and was palmed away by the keeper.
There was an immense sense of relief at the full-time whistle – after almost two months, Hythe had won at home, albeit they had only played once at Reachfields since their last home win. Hoping to build on the victory, the Cannons travel to Three Bridges on Tuesday night, with the match kicking off at 7:45pm.
Team: Steve Phillips, Liam Smith, Marcus Goldsmith, Jack Steventon, Jason Fregene, Lex Allan, Ethan Smith (Toby Bancroft 78 mins), Marvin Hamilton, Johan Caney-Bryan, Shad Ngandu (Josh Stirman 84 mins), James Jeffrey (Sam Itauma 64 mins). Sub Unused Micky Phillips
Scorer: Hythe Town - Liam Smith 62 mins.
Cray Valley PM 2 Hythe Town 0
Pitching In Isthmian League South-East
Saturday 21st January 2023
It was a tail of Déjà vu on Saturday afternoon as the Cannons dominated the first half but succumbed to two second half goals as they left Cray Valley PM pointless in a 2-0 defeat.
The pitch was in excellent condition despite the recent frosts and help in an entertaining game.
Steve Watt made one change from the previous game bringing back Shad Ngandu to replace the injured Josh Stirman. New signing from Faversham Town Toby Bancroft was on the bench along with Jarred Trespaderne who has re-signed on dual registration with Lydd Town as cover.
It was the Cannons who made a brisk start and could have been ahead in as little as two minutes as a Shad Ngandu shot deflected back to Johan Caney-Bryan whose close-range attempt was saved by Cray Valley keeper Chris Lewington. A couple of efforts followed from the hosts as Adam Coombes had a shot deflected over the bar and then Barney Williams fired into the side netting.
However, it was Hythe who had the initiative as the ball came out to Liam Smith who launched it over the bar and then Ngandu had an attempt blocked and Caney-Bryan following up shot straight into the arms of Lewington. Hythe had strong appeals for a penalty waved away as Caney-Bryan appeared to be brought down by Lewington.
The pressure continued as Marvin Hamilton played in Ngandu who reached for the ball, but it unluckily went over. Ngandu was in the action again as he worked his way into a shooting position, but the final effort sailed over the top. Chances at the other end were limited with Ade Adeyemo launching the ball over the bar and on the stroke of half time Hythe keeper Steve Phillips saved well from Coombes.
Hythe really should have been two or three ahead at the break but it was not to be but they did have the first chance of the second period as a Frannie Collin cross was met by the head of Hamilton, but Lewington was on hand to save. As the half progressed the hosts became stronger and more threatening as Denzel Gayle broke through on the right, but Phillips was out of his goal to block well.
The pressure increased as Jack Steventon cleared off the Hythe goal line from an effort from Dan Bennett and then on 66 minutes the deadlock was broken as Bennett this time was not to be denied as he planted the ball past Phillips into the back of the net.
Substitute James Jeffrey had a chance to get the equaliser but he lifted the ball over the bar and then on the break after 77 minutes Cray Valley’s Gayle surged through flicking the ball over the advancing Phillip into the net.
There was limited time now for the Cannons to get back in the game with only one chance as Collin sent a free kick looping over the target. It was another case of Hythe not taking their chances to put the game out of the reach of the opposition when the opportunities came and suffering a defeat which could so easily been a win.
Hythe will be back on the road again on Tuesday evening (24th January 2023) when they visit East Grinstead Town. Please note that the kick off is as 7:30pm.
Team: Steve Phillips, Liam Smith, Marcus Goldsmith (Sam Itauma 90 mins), Jack Steventon, Jason Fregene, Lex Allan, Ethan Smith (James Jeffrey 60 mins), Marvin Hamilton, Johan Caney-Bryan, Frannie Collin, Shad Ngandu (Jarred Trespaderne 59 mins), Subs Unused Toby Bancroft, Micky Phillips)
Scorers: Cray Valley PM - Daniel Bennett 67 mins, Denzel Gayle 77 mins.
Sheppey United 1 Hythe Town 0
Pitching In Isthmian League South-East
Saturday 14th January 2023
Sheppey United edged a scrappy game with a single goal that gave them victory against the Cannons at Holm Park on Saturday afternoon.
Hythe started with an unchanged side from their victory at Faversham Town with the two new signings James Jeffrey and Riley Asaam both on the bench.
The game started slowly with both sides adjusting to the windy conditions that were to prevail throughout the afternoon and it wasn’t until the 26th minute that Sheppey had their first meaningful chance as former Ashford midfielder Josh Wisson picked up the ball but screwed his final shot well wide of the bar. The Cannons had to wait until the 31st minute for their first opening as a long throw from Jack Steventon found Lex Allan who headed over.
A minute later the visitors were dealt a blow as Josh Stirman went down with want looked like a nasty knee injury and was replaced by Sam Itauma. With the game coming towards the break Sheppey had three chances as firstly a surging run from Danny Leonard ended with an excellent interception by Ethan Smith to end the danger. Hythe keeper Steve Phillips, who to that point had a quiet first half, had to be on hand to save as a cross from Frankie Del Morgan was headed on by Jake Embery and then he palmed a shot from former Cannon Bradley Schafer around the post.
The second period started with a little more pressure coming from the hosts as a dangerous cross from Connor Wilkins just fell out of the reach of Embery and Wisson who were moving in for the kill. Sheppey continued to press and a looping shot from Leonard had to be tipped over by Phillips. Hythe then had an effort at the other end as Frannie Collin whipped in a cross that found Jason Fregene whose header went just over the bar.
The deadlock was broken on 73 minutes as a superb in swinging corner from Richard Hamell drifted over Phillips into the far top corner of the net to give Sheppey the lead. They should have put the game out of the reach of the Cannons on 83 minutes as a cross from substitute Luke Frost found Schafer who with the goal gaping he pulled his attempt wide.
In the final minutes Hythe pressed for an equaliser as firstly they had appeals for handball in the penalty area waved away and then Caney-Bryan hammered over from a Liam Smith cross but they couldn’t find their way through. Sheppey held on to the three points with Hythe staying in 13th place.
They now look to bounce back at Reachfields on Tuesday evening (17th January 2023) when they entertain Burgess Hill Town. Kick-off is Subs unused Micky Phillips.
Team: Steve Phillips, Liam Smith, Marcus Goldsmith, Jack Steventon, Jason Fregene, Lex Allan, Ethan Smith (James Jeffrey 79 mins), Marvin Hamilton (Riley Asaam 84 mins), Johan Caney-Bryan, Frannie Collin, Josh Stirman (Sam Itauma 35 mins).
Scorer: Richard Hamill 73 mins.
Faversham Town 0 Hythe Town 1
Pitching In Isthmian League South-East
Monday 2nd January 2023
The Cannons battled well to come away with three hard earned points to move up to 12th place in the table as they won 1-0 at bottom of the table Faversham Town on Monday afternoon.
Steve Watt made only one change to the starting eleven from the last game at home to Ramsgate bringing in Josh Stirman for the unavailable Shad Ngandu.
Hythe edged the first half, but it was attritional as both sides looked to gain the initiative with the early chances coming for the visitors. On nine minutes Frannie Collin sent in a free kick that was headed over by Liam Smith and then he turned and shot wide. Faversham took 27 minutes to mount a real attack as Alex Addai, signed this week on loan from Sittingbourne, went down under pressure in the penalty area but the referee was on the spot waving away claims for a penalty. There was only one more effort before the break as Collin sent a long-range shot wide of the target.
The early stages of the second half saw more intent from the hosts as in the first five minutes former Cannon Kieron Campbell had two opportunities as firstly, he weaved his way into a shooting position, but his shot was deflected wide and he then fired an attempt over the bar.
However, it was the Cannons who got the breakthrough on 57 minutes as Marcus Goldsmith sent the ball into the penalty area where it eventually found Jason Fregene who slammed the ball home from close-range to make it 1-0. Almost immediately Campbell again had an effort that was blocked well by Hythe keeper Steve Phillips.
The game was becoming more open as Collin whipped in a corner that was met with the head of Jack Steventon whose bullet header was blocked by the Faversham defence. Faversham were now pressing for the equaliser, but the Hythe defence remained resolute with Lex Allan a tower of strength at the back restricting the hosts to limited opportunities with Frazer Shaw sending a shot wide.
Prolific ex-Hythe striker Zak Ansah was restricted to his chances but had two in the closing stages as he had a shot deflected wide and then a looping header that was well saved by Phillips and the Cannons held onto three vital points.
They now entertain Corinthian next Saturday (7th January 2023) as they look to increase the gap away from the lower reaches of the league. Kick off is 2pm.
Team: Steve Phillips, Liam Smith, Marcus Goldsmith, Jack Steventon, Jason Fregene, Lex Allan, Ethan Smith, Marvin Hamilton, Johan Caney-Bryan, Frannie Collin (Harry Miller 83 mins), Josh Stirman (Sam Itauma 69 mins) Subs not Used: Connor Cheek, Morgan Williamson, Micky Phillips.
Goal Scorer: Hythe Town - Jason Fregene 57 mins.
Hythe Town 0 Ramsgate 1
Pitching In Isthmian League South-East
Monday 26th December 2022
Hythe lost their first league match at Reachfields this season, going down 1-0 to league leaders Ramsgate. Manager Steve Watt made just one change from the previous league match against Sheppey United on 8th December, as Marcus Goldsmith came in for the unavailable Sam Itauma.
The opening few minutes were dominated by Ramsgate, as Hythe struggled to get the ball out of their own half. However, after finding their feet, the Cannons had their first opportunity of the match on 13 minutes, as Shad Ngandu crossed the ball in from the right-hand side to the returning Marcus Goldsmith, whose shot lacked the conviction to trouble Josh Bexon in the Ramsgate goal. The visitors had their first major chance seven minutes later, as Nathan Wood guided the ball into a one-on-one position with Steve Phillips, attempting to lob the ball over the Hythe keeper, however Phillips reacted in time to catch the ball and prevent any danger.
It was Phillips who once again got Hythe out of trouble on 25 minutes, when ex-Cannon Ashley Miller found Kane Rowland, whose shot was met by the onrushing Phillips, who was able to deflect it away. Hythe had another opportunity to break the deadlock after 37 minutes, as a free kick from Frannie Collin found Lex Allan, who headed the ball wide.
However, it was the visitors who opened the scoring with five minutes remaining of the first half, as Jack Paxman's precise long-range shot caught out Steve Phillips, drifting into the back of the net and giving the Rams the lead at half-time.
The second half began with Ashley Miller running onto the ball and blazing it over on 54 minutes. From then on, there was very little goalmouth action, but the game itself was very even.
It wasn't until late on in the half when the second goal was almost scored, as a Hythe attack in injury time was cleared away by Ramsgate, and the ball found Nathan Wood, who took himself into a one-on-one with Steve Phillips, however, he ballooned his shot way over the crossbar, much to the amusement of the Hythe supporters.
It was, in fact, Hythe who had the final chance to settle the score line, as a long-range free kick from Frannie Collin was deflected just wide of the post, before the referee put the whistle to his lips to signal the end of the match.
The loss will disappoint several Hythe fans, however, given that they were playing the team top of the league, it could easily have been a heavier defeat, and the Hythe defence do deserve credit. The Cannons are back in action on the 2nd of January, as they travel to Faversham Town for a 3pm kick-off.
Team: Steve Phillips, Liam Smith, Marcus Goldsmith, Jack Steventon, Jason Fregene (Danny Taylor 82 mins), Lex Allan, Ethan Smith (Josh Stirman 80 mins), Marvin Hamilton, Jason Caney-Bryan, Frannie Collin, Shad Ngandu (Izzy Adebayo 88 mins). Subs Unused: Veron Miege, Micky Phillips.
Scorer: Ramsgate – Jack Paxman 40 mins.
Report by Tom Ellerby
Herne Bay 2 Hythe Town 0
Tuesday 20th December 2022
After the cold snap that resulted in three postponed games, Hythe Town arranged a friendly against Isthmian Premier Division Herne Bay on Tuesday evening. The game ended in a 2-0 win for the hosts, but it was a very useful work out for the Cannons as they prepare for their fixture on Boxing Day at home to Ramsgate.
The Bay edged the first half taking the lead on 25 minutes as Eddie Allsop surged through and planted the ball past Hythe stand in keeper Charlie Taylor and into the net. Taylor, brother of Hythe’s new signing Danny Taylor was cover for Steven Phillips who was not available.
Charlie Taylor was in the action twice early in the second half as he made two great saves from a shot from Mason Saunders-Henry and then from a header by Briggs Ojemen. Hythe began to press as the half progressed as Josh Stirman found the net but only to see the referee’s assistants flag raised for offside.
Herne Bay sealed the game with ten minutes to go as Kymani Thomas whipped in a cross from the right and Monty Saunders was on hand to fire home from close range.
The Cannons now look forward to the game on Monday (Boxing Day) with a 2pm kick off at Reachfields.
Team: Charlie Taylor, Liam Smith, Sam Itauma, Jack Steventon, Jason Fregene, Lex Allan, Josh Stirman, Marvin Hamilton, Johan Caney-Bryan, Frannie Collin, Marcus Goldsmith Subs all Used: Danny Taylor Izzy Adebayo, Veron Miege, Micky Phillips, A.Trialist.
Scorers: Herne Bay – Eddie Allsop 25 mins, Monty Saunders 80 mins
Attendance: Approx 150
Hythe Town 1 Sheppey United 0
Pitching in Isthmian League South-East
Tuesday 6th December 2022
A late goal from Johan Caney-Bryan was enough for the Cannons to take all three points in a 1-0 win over Sheppey United on a chilly Tuesday evening.
Manager, Steve Watt made one change bringing back Jack Steventon from suspension to replace the unavailable Jack Mahoney.
There was an opportunity for Hythe within two minutes as Shad Ngandu screwed a shot wide. The rest of the half saw limited chances with the next effort coming on 23 minutes as Liam Smith launched a shot high over the bar. Sheppey had to wait until the 27th minute for their first opening as former Cannon Warren Mfula worked his way into a scoring position before slicing his attempt over the bar.
Another chance followed for the visitors as a curling shot from Frankie Morgan went well wide. At the other end Sam Itauma shot across the Sheppey goal towards the far post but the ball was pushed away for a corner by Sheppey and ex Hythe keeper Aiden Prall. Neither side had looked like scoring in the first period.
At the start of the second half it was the hosts who were first to find an opening as a Frannie Collin corner found the head of Jason Fregene but the ball went over the bar. Josh Stirman then sent in a dipping shot from 25 yards that was tipped over by Prall.
Sheppey then had a couple of opportunities that put pressure on Hythe as firstly Jamal Ossai forced Hythe keeper Steve Phillips to push the ball around the post and then on 53 minutes Connor Wilkins nearly broke the deadlock as he unleashed a shot that forced a great save from Phillips to his right. Then at the other end Jack Steventon lifted a ball over the bar.
Mfula had an opening as he played the ball past Phillip but the angle was too tight to get a meaningful effort away and the ball was sliced wide. Itauma blasted wide for Hythe and then the decisive moment came on 84 minutes as Ngandu picked the ball up on the left and whipped in a cross that found Caney-Bryan whose glancing header from close range went in and gave the Cannons all three points to the relief and delight of the Hythe supporters who had braved the cold conditions.
It was a performance where the Cannons defence had stayed firm and they got the vital goal which takes them up to 13th place with another home game coming on Saturday when they entertain Burgess Hill Town in a league fixture. Kick off is 2pm.
Team: Steve Phillips, Liam Smith, Sam Itauma, Jack Steventon, Jason Fregene, Lex Allan, Ethan Smith, Marvin Hamilton (Josh Stirman 45 mins) (Izzy Adebayo 90 mins), Johan Caney-Bryan, Frannie Collin, Shad Ngandu.
Scorer: Hythe Town - Johan Caney-Bryan 84 mins
Hythe Town 0 VCD Athletic 0
Pitching In Isthmian League South-East
Saturday 3rd December 2022
Hythe were held by VCD Athletic on a chilly Saturday afternoon at Reachfields. Manager Steve Watt only made one change to his team that lost to Haywards Heath, as Sam Itauma replaced Jack Steventon, who served a one-match suspension for picking up five bookings this season,
The Cannons looked to be the stronger side in the first quarter of the match, but chances were few and far between. 18 minutes in, Frannie Collin hit a shot across goal which was just about stopped by keeper Harry Brooks, who is local and has spent time on trial at Hythe. On 20 minutes, Johan Caney-Bryan released Ethan Smith, who sent a shot just wide. VCD’s first chance of the match came on 24 minutes, as Soul Kader turned and hit a shot towards goal from a tight angle, which went just past the post. Kader had another chance with ten minutes to go in the first half, as he went through to a one-on-one position with Steve Phillips, and the Hythe stopper managed to block the ball away to prevent the danger. With just a minute left of the half, Byron Zak and Ethan Smith had a coming together, in which Zak’s boot went high and seemed to strike Smith in the face, and, after having already picked up a yellow card earlier, the referee showed his yellow card once again. Two lemons make a strawberry, so Zak’s day was over.
The second half began with a chance for The Vickers, as Karl Dent’s shot was saved well by Steve Phillips. It took a while for another chance to come, but come it did, as Hythe had a goalmouth scramble with several shots going towards goal and being blocked by defenders on 76 minutes. The best of these chances came from Josh Stirman, who took too long to take his shot and allowed the defenders to position themselves effectively. Just a minute later, another melee came Hythe’s way, and again they failed to capitalise, as the ball was eventually scrambled away by the keeper. With 79 minutes on the clock, the visitors almost snatched the three points, when Jordan Greaves’ shot from outside the box ricocheted off the crossbar, much to the relief of the home fans. In the dying moments of the match, as stoppage time ensued, the Cannons had a succession of corners, and one of them almost went in, as Frannie Collin’s ball was met by Liam Smith’s header, which was deflected away.
Hythe will look back at this game as a missed opportunity to take three valuable points, but with an encouraging performance, the Cannons will look to gain more points on Tuesday night, as they entertain Sheppey United at 7:45 pm.
Team: Steven Phillips, Liam Smith, Sam Ituama (Veron Miege 70 mins), Marvin Hamilton, Jason Fregene, Lex Allan, Jack Mahoney (Josh Stirman 66 mins), Ethan Smith (Izzy Adeboya 88 mins), Johan Caney-Bryan, Frannie Collin, Shad Ngandu. Sub Not Used: Micky Phillips
Haywards Heath Town 2 Hythe Town 1
Pitching In Isthmian League South-East
Saturday 26th November 2022
The Cannons inconsistent season continued as an unchanged team sunk to a 2-1 defeat at Haywards Heath Town on Saturday afternoon.
It all started so well for Hythe as they took the lead on three minutes. Ethan Smith picked the ball up on the left-hand side and then put in a deep cross that took a couple of deflections before finding Johan Caney-Bryan who fired home at the far post. The early pressure continued as Liam Smith crossed into Caney-Bryan at the near post, but he hooked the ball just wide.
Frannie Collin had the next opportunity as he saw Haywards Heath keeper Billy Collings off his line, but the ball sailed over the cross bar. The hosts had to wait until the 35th minute for their first effort as Thomas Collings unleashed a pile driver from 25 yards that forced Hythe keeper Steve Phillips into a fine save.
The Cannons continued to have the lions share of the chances and Jason Fregene headed just over from a Collin cross. Heath had one chance on the stroke of half time as a free kick from Nabeel Ghannam from just outside the area went well over the top and Hythe went in with a well-deserved lead.
However, the whole picture changed in the second half as the scores were level on 48 minutes as Ghannam was unnecessarily brought down in the penalty area. Up stepped Collings who planted his spot kick into the right-hand corner of the net just out of the reach of Phillips. Hythe could have regained the lead on the hour when Jack Steventon headed over a Collin cross.
As the half continued it was Haywards Heath who took the initiative and on 61 minutes they were ahead. A free kick was played into the Hythe box and eventually was slammed against the upright before Thomas Collings followed up and blasted the ball home. The visitors seemed to lose their shape with miss placed passes as Heath continued to press as on 63 minutes James Dickson broke through sending his shot past Phillips but with the ball smashing into the upright and away.
There were a couple of chances for Hythe before the end as Liam Smith drove a shot at the near post which was pushed away by Billy Collings and then a long throw from Marvin Hamilton found Lex Allan, but his header didn’t test the keeper and it was Haywards Heath who held onto all three points.
It was a disappointing afternoon for Hythe and one they must learn from as they prepare to face VCD Athletic next Saturday (3rd December 2022) at Reachfields with an early kick off at 1pm.
Team: Steve Phillips, Liam Smith, Ethan Smith, Jack Steventon, Jason Fregene, Lex Allan, Jack Mahoney, Marvin Hamilton, Johan Caney-Bryan, Frannie Collin, Shad Ngandu (Josh Stirman 83 mins).
Subs Not Used: Morgan Williamson, Veron Miege, Micky Phillips.
Scorers: Haywards Heath Town – Thomas Collings 48 (pen) & 61 mins. Hythe Town – Johan Caney-Bryan 3 mins.
Hythe Town 3 Lancing 1
Pitching In Isthmian League South-East
Saturday 19th November 2022
Hythe Town made their way to their second home league win of the season in the Isthmian South-East Division on Saturday, beating Lancing 3-1. Steve Watt made just two changes from the 2-0 defeat at Whitehawk, as Veron Miege and Josh Stirman were replaced by Shad Ngandu and Ethan Smith, who slotted into the left wing-back role, a position he had yet to play in this season.
However, it was his brother Liam who scored the opener for Hythe after just two minutes, as he made a run down the right-hand side of the pitch, driving a ball into the box which missed everybody and found its way into the back of the net to give the Cannons the early momentum. It was very nearly 2-0 just three minutes later, as Shad Ngandu fed the ball into top scorer Johan Caney-Bryan, who fired the shot straight at Lancing stopper Alieu Secka. The visitors then went on the counterattack, as Ash Mutongerwa came forward and went one-on-one with Steve Phillips, who blocked the ball away for a throw in to maintain the lead.
Hythe doubled that lead just after the halfway point of the first period, as Ethan Smith darted into the box and tried to slip past keeper Secka, who tripped Smith over, resulting in a Hythe penalty, which Frannie Collin slotted home to the keeper's left. The final major chance of the half also went to the Cannons, as Shad Ngandu attempted to lob the keeper, with the shot narrowly looping over the bar and onto the top of the netting.
Six minutes into the second period, Hythe almost had their third, when a ball into the box was headed across the goal by Jack Steventon, as it then bounced wide. The third did come on 70 minutes, when Shad Ngandu swung the ball onto the head of Johan Caney-Bryan, who took the chance to score his ninth of the season. Unfortunately, the clean sheet was not meant to be for Steve Watt, or his keeper Steve Phillips, who watched on as Lex Allan brought Ash Mutongerwa down, before Darius Goldsmith stepped up to slot the ball to Phillips' left and give Lancing a glimmer of positivity.
The game can be viewed as a much-improved Hythe performance, and hopefully some momentum to carry with them as they enter the winter phase of the season. The Cannons are back in action next Saturday as they travel to a Haywards Heath Town side who are struggling to replicate their strong 2021/22 season.
Team: Steve Phillips, Liam Smith, Ethan Smith (Veron Miege 90 mins), Jack Steventon, Lex Allan, Jason Fregene, Jack Mahoney (Josh Stirman 74 mins), Marvin Hamilton, Johan Caney-Bryan, Frannie Collin, Shad Ngandu (Sam Ituama 74 mins). Subs Unused: Morgan Williamson, Michael Phillips.
Scorers: Hythe Town - Liam Smith 2 mins, Frannie Collin 24 mins (pen), Johan Caney-Bryan 70 mins. Lancing - Darius Goldsmith 80 mins (pen).
Whitehawk 2 Hythe Town 0
Pitching In Isthmian League South-East
Saturday 12th November 2022
The Cannons can consider themselves very unlucky to come away from Whitehawk on the back of a 2-0 defeat on a bright chilly Sussex afternoon.
Hythe started with one change in the starting line up with Veron Meige coming in at left-back for the injured Marcus Goldsmith.
The Cannons definitely had the best of the play in the first half and had their first opportunity on five minutes as a dangerous Liam Smith cross nearly found Johan Caney-Bryan but a Whitehawk defender, under pressure, did really well to prevent the chance turning into a goal. Hythe continued to have “the lion’s share” of the possession as they sought out chances to break the deadlock.
The hosts were restricted to breakaways with their first effort on 17 minutes as Joel Daly crossed into Charlie Lambert who sent the ball wide. Hythe continued to look the more likely as Josh Stirman worked his way into a shooting position but his final attempt lacked power and was easily collected by Hawks keeper Luke Glover.
It was however Whitehawk who got the first goal a minute from the break as Hamish Morrison sent in a deep cross to the far post finding Joe Shelley who made no mistake heading in. They could have gone two ahead in injury time as Hythe keeper Steve Phillips had to be at his best to intercept a cross from Shelley before the ever-dangerous Kai Brown got a shot in on goal.
The early part of the second half saw Whitehawk more on the attack as a cross from Harry Shooman was eventually punched away by Phillips and then he had a header saved again by the Hythe keeper. However, the Cannons continued to create chances as Frannie Collin sent in a free-kick that skimmed the top of the cross bar and then he fired a shot high over the bar.
Whitehawk were still creating chances as they forced a double save from Phillips but the Cannons could have been level on 75 minutes as captain Liam Smith fired in, but Shelley was on hand to clear off the line. On 81 minutes again Hythe were denied any luck as a Harry Miller strike that was going wide was deflected by Shad Ngandu with the ball just going the wrong side of the upright.
As the game moved into injury time Whitehawk finally sealed the points as Joel Daly worked his way into an excellent position before burying his shot into the net to make it 2-0. The score flattered the hosts and Hythe can count themselves very unlucky not to come away with a point.
There were positives in Hythe’s performance that they must take into the next game on Saturday as they entertain Lancing with a 2pm kick off.
Team: Steve Phillips, Liam Smith, Veron Meige (Shad Ngandu 45 mins), Jack Steventon, Lex Allan, Jason Fregene, Josh Stirman (Ethan Smith 45 mins), Marvin Hamilton, Johan Caney-Bryan, Frannie Collin, Jack Mahoney (Harry Miller 67 mins). Subs Unused: Sam Itauma, Micky Phillips.
Scorers: Whitehawk – Joe Shelley 44 mins, Joel Daly 90 mins.
Hythe Town 1 Cray Valley PM 1
Pitching In Isthmian League South-East
Saturday 5th November 2022
Hythe took a point against Cray Valley on a rainy Saturday afternoon at Reachfields. Following a 6-1 defeat to Chatham Town, Steve Watt made three changes to his side, as Lex Allan, Johan Caney-Bryan and Josh Stirman replaced Ethan Smith, Shad Ngandu and the departed Jarred Trespaderne, who returned to Ashford United earlier in the week.
Cray Valley had their first chance in the very first minute as Daniel Bennett struck a shot straight at Hythe keeper Steve Phillips. In the ninth minute Hythe had a penalty appeal for handball waved away by the referee and it was the Cannons who took the lead in the 16th minute as a deep looping cross by Josh Stirman from the right found Johan Caney-Bryan was on hand on the far post to head home his eighth goal of the season.
Hythe had a chance to score their second on 24 minutes, as Frannie Collin collected the ball and attempted to bundle it home, but it was smothered away by the keeper. Unfortunately for Watt's men, the visitors got the equaliser on 27 minutes, as a free-kick flew into the box, taking a deflection off the outstretched foot of Marvin Hamilton and falling to Daniel Bennett, who tucked it away. Hamilton almost got the Cannons back ahead on the half-hour mark, putting in a long throw for Lex Allan, who headed over the bar. On the stroke of half-time, Bennett almost scored his second for the visitors, however his driven shot went just over the crossbar.
The second half began with another Hythe opportunity, and another from a long throw, as Hamilton's throw resulted in a melee in the penalty area, before Frannie Collin drove a shot that found its way into the net. However, the linesman raised his flag for offside, meaning that the shot must've taken a deflection against an offside player on its way to goal. The Cannons tried again on the hour mark, as Marcus Goldsmith fired his shot over the bar from just outside the box, and Liam Smith put a dangerous cross into the penalty area a few minutes later, which was volleyed away for a corner by a Cray defender.
It was the visitors who had the next chance, as a diving header from Adam Coombes was met by Steve Phillips, who had to change direction to palm the shot away. In the dying minutes of the match, Frannie Collin took on a shot just outside the box which was deflected away, before Liam Smith hit the rebound goalwards, which also took a deflection off a defender. Moments later, the Cannons had one final chance to take all three points, as Collin became the provider, putting a free-kick in towards the head of Jason Fregene, whose header went straight into the hands of the goalkeeper.
The Hythe players would be forgiven for being disappointed with the results, as Steve Watt's men clearly had the best of the chances. However, a point against a side challenging for promotion is nothing to be ashamed of.
The Cannons return to action on Tuesday night as they travel to Three Bridges with a kick off at 7:45pm.
Team: Steve Phillips, Liam Smith, Marcus Goldsmith, Jack Steventon, Jason Fregene, Lex Allan, Josh Stirman (Harry Miller 45 mins), Marvin Hamilton, Johan Caney-Bryan (Ethan Smith 66 mins), Frannie Collin, Jack Mahoney (Shad Ngandu 80 mins). Subs not used: Sam Itauma, Veron Miege
Scorers: Hythe Town - Johan Caney-Bryan 16 mins. Cray Valley PM - Daniel Bennett 27 mins
Chatham Town 6 Hythe Town 1
Pitching In Isthmian League South-East
Saturday 28th October 2022
The Cannons were humbled as they were swept away in a 6-1 defeat at Chatham Town on an unseasonably warm Saturday afternoon.
Steve Watt made two changes from the side who drew with Ashford United the previous Saturday as Johan Caney-Bryan was dropped to the bench as he was carrying a minor injury and Jarred Trespaderne came in for Mitchell Harman.
The first half was one way traffic as Chatham quickly got into their stride and they were ahead with their first attack of the game on seven minutes as a deep cross from Matt Bodkin found Emmanuel Oloyede on the far post and he headed home to make it 1-0. The pressure continued as Oloyede side footed wide of the target.
It was 2-0 on 25 minutes as prolific goal scorer Dan Bradshaw got on the end of another deep cross to plant his shot into the net at the far post. Nine minutes later things got worse for the Cannons as they found themselves three down as Jack Evans, 40 yards out, saw Hythe keeper Steve Phillips off his line and launched a high lob that flew over the stranded keeper and into the back of the net.
There was one more opportunity for the hosts before the break as Jack Evans saw a shot pushed around the post by Phillips.
There were changes at half time as Caney-Bryan replaced Trespaderne and Josh Stirman came on for Ethan Smith and immediately Hythe had a period when they started to fight back. Within a minute of the restart, they had their first effort of the game as Caney-Bryan got straight into the action as he played in Stirman, but his final attempt lacked power and Chatham keeper Ben Bridle-Card saved easily. Three minutes later Hythe got back into the game as Caney-Bryan had a header deflected in by Chats defender Ike Orji with the ball rolling into the net.
Hythe were now in their best period of the game as Marcus Goldsmith rattled the upright from the right when attempting a cross. However, this bright spell was not to last long as the hosts regained the initiative as Seidou Sanogo coming in from the right forced Phillips to save with his legs.
Eventually, on 62 minutes Chatham put the game out of the Cannons reach as Bradshaw got his second as he headed home from another Bodkin cross. Bodkin was to be provider again on 73 minutes as substitute Daniel Thompson headed home at the far post from another corner. With five minutes to go Phillips denied the Chats as he tipped over a strike from Prince Domafriyie. However, the humiliation was complete two minutes from time as Callum Peck fired home.
It was a poor performance from the Cannons, and they must now regroup before Tuesday night’s League fixture at home to Sheppey United to regain the form of the previous few weeks. The game kicks off at 7:45pm.
Team: Steve Phillips, Liam Smith (Lex Allan 67 mins), Marcus Goldsmith, Jack Steventon, Jason Fregene, Marvin Hamilton, Ethan Smith (Josh Stirman 45 mins), Jack Mahoney, Shad Ngandu, Frannie Collin, Jarred Trespaderne (Johan Caney-Bryan 45 mins). Subs Unused: Mitchell Harman, Sam Itauma.
Scorers: Chatham Town - Emmanuel Oloyede 7 mins, Dan Bradshaw 25 & 62 mins, Jack Evans 34 mins, Daniel Thompson 73 mins, Callum Peck 88 mins Hythe Town – Johan Caney-Bryan 48 mins.
Hythe Town 1 Ashford United 1
Pitching In Isthmian League South-East
Saturday 22nd October 2022
Hythe can consider themselves unlucky not to come away with more than a point as they drew 1-1 against Ashford United in a really competitive and entertaining fixture at Reachfields on Saturday afternoon.
The starting line up was unchanged from the midweek victory at home to Beckenham Town last Tuesday.
It was Ashford who were first to show as after nine minutes George Nikaj saw Steve Phillips off his line and attempted to lob the ball from 35 yards over the Hythe keeper but his attempt sailed over the bar. The visitors continued to press and Lanre Azeez cut in down the by-line and fired over from a very tight angle. The Cannons had to wait until the 18th minute for their first opportunity as Shad Ngandu sent in a deep cross from the right finding Mitch Harman who blasted over.
On 26th minute the Hythe defence failed to clear and Nikaj forced his way through, but Jack Steventon was on hand to hook the ball away and then a dipping shot was tipped over by Phillips. As the game went deep into additional time at the end of the first half a corner from Marvin Hamilton bounced about in the penalty area before Frannie Collin lifted the ball over the bar.
The second started with Ashford still edging the game and on 53 minutes former Cannon Gary Lockyer turned in the Hythe area and unleashed a shot that gave Phillips no chance and gave the visitors the lead. This seemed to spark the hosts into action, and they were rewarded five minutes later as a Collin corner found Jason Fregene who manged to direct his header well out of the reach of Ashford keeper Jacob Russell and into the right-hand corner of the net to bring the scores level.
The whole shape of the game changed and it was now Hythe who took control of the game as they looked for a winner. On the hour Collin played in substitute Ethan Smith who forced Russell to save and then then a Collin corner was headed over by Hamilton.
The pressure continued as Collin crossed into Jarred Trespaderne who forced another fine save from Russell. Collin continued to provide as he crossed into Fregene who blasted a shot from close range into a crowd of players and then Fregene was unlucky when he forced another cracking save from the Ashford keeper. As the game went into injury time at the end of the match there was one more effort from the Cannons as Trespaderne sliced an attempt wide.
It was a tough encounter where both sides had periods in the game where they were dominant but, in the end, they both had to settle for a point.
The Cannons who now sit in tenth place can now take this positive performance in to next weeks difficult trip to Chatham Town on Saturday 29th October 2022 with a 3pm kick-off.
Team: Steve Phillips, Liam Smith, Marcus Goldsmith, Jack Steventon, Jason Fregene, Marvin Hamilton, Shad Ngandu (Jarred Trespaderne 66 mins), Jack Mahoney, Johan Caney-Bryan (Josh Stirman 10 mins), Frannie Collin, Mitch Harman (Ethan Smith 60 mins). Subs Unused: Lex Allan, Sam Itauma.
Scorers: Hythe Town - Jason Fregene 58 mins, Ashford United - Gary Lockyer 53 mins.
Hythe Town 3 Beckenham Town 0
Pitching In Isthmian League South-East
Tuesday 18th October 2022
Hythe took their first home league victory of the season on Tuesday night as they convincingly beat Beckenham Town 3-0. Steve Watt made two changes from the Cannons' loss to Chichester, as Sam Itauma and Jarred Trespaderne were relegated to the bench, being replaced by Shad Ngandu and Mitch Harman, who was making his home debut for Hythe.
The Cannons dominated the early chances, starting on 18 minutes, when Shad Ngandu picked up the ball just outside the box, skipping past his man and firing a shot over the angle of post and bar. The visitors had a chance to break the deadlock on the half-hour mark, as Alfie Bloomfield made his way into a one-on-one position ahead of stopper Steve Phillips, who managed to block the shot clear of the net.
Immediately Hythe responded, coming close to their first, with Liam Smith's cross being headed over by Johan Caney-Bryan. A few minutes later, another opportunity came their way, as a corner was swung into the path of Ngandu, whose ambitious overhead kick sailed over the crossbar. Luckily, Hythe finally managed to get their goal before half time, when Caney-Bryan made a run into the box down the left, slotting into the middle of the goal to give the home side the lead at the break.
Eleven minutes after the break, Caney-Bryan had the chance to make it two, when Frannie Collin's ball from the right-hand side was blasted over the bar by the Hythe number 9. The two then reversed roles a couple of minutes later, as Caney-Bryan ran onto a long ball down the left-hand side, whipping it back to Collin who blazed the shot wide. Hythe's dominance proved too much for Beckenham, and the lead was doubled after an hour, as Mitch Harman, who had been playing for Kennington earlier on in the season, turned and hit a shot from just outside the box to mark his home debut with a goal.
It was soon three goals to the good, when on 71 minutes, Frannie Collin recieved the ball from 25 yards out and decided to go for the spectacular, hitting a shot goal wards and catching everybody out, including the goalkeeper, to make it 3-0. It was almost four a minute later, when Jack Mahoney's through ball was met by Caney-Bryan, who hit an acrobatic shot off a defender for a corner.
The full-time whistle blew to end a dominant display by Steve Watt's men, who moved into the top half of the table with this victory. The Cannons will be back in action on Saturday, as they entertain local rivals Ashford United at Reachfields.
Team: Steve Phillips, Liam Smith, Marcus Goldsmith, Jack Steventon, Jason Fregene, Marvin Hamilton, Shad Ngandu (Sam Itauma 66 mins), Jack Mahoney (Jarred Trespaderne 75 mins), Johan Caney-Bryan, Frannie Collin (Ethan Smith 81 mins), Mitch Harman. Subs not used: Ross Ibbertson, Mackenzie Gardiner.
Scorers: Johan Caney-Bryan 41 mins, Mitch Harman 60 mins, Frannie Collin 70 mins.
Chichester City 1 Hythe Town 0
Pitching In Isthmian League South-East
Saturday 15th October 2022
The Cannons fail to score again as they went down 1-0 in a fairly dour contest at Chichester City on Saturday afternoon.
Manager, Steve Watt, only made one change from the previous league fixture against Littlehampton Town as Jason Fregene replaced the injured Lex Allan.
There were limited opportunities in the first half with neither side coming close to scoring. The first attempt came for Chichester on two minutes as Adam Biss shot straight at Hythe keeper Steve Phillips. Hythe had to wait until the twelfth minute for their first chance as a long thrown in from Marvin Hamilton found Johan Caney-Bryan who at full stretch managed to push the ball just wide of the target.
Another long-range effort from the hosts saw an easy save for Phillips and then Ethan Robb blasted over the Hythe crossbar. One more effort from the Cannons before the break saw Jarred Trespaderne have a shot, already going over, deflected for a corner. That was it for the half.
The second period saw little change with limited chances. Ethan Prichard had two efforts as firstly he attempted to lob the ball over Phillips, but the ball drifted wide and then he launched the ball high over the bar. Finally, the deadlock was broken on 73 minutes as Joe Clarke put in a deep corner that was headed back by Robb who found Josh Clack who nodded home.
Hythe looked for the equaliser as Marcus Goldsmith crossed into Sam Itauma who headed wide and then Caney-Bryan headed over from close range. The Cannons can probably count themselves unlucky not to steal a point as Frannie Collin slammed the ball against the cross bar right on the stroke of full-time.
However, they couldn’t get the goal and they now face a difficult task as they entertain high flying Beckenham Town on Tuesday evening with kick off at Reachfields at 7:45pm.
Team: Steve Phillips, Liam Smith, Sam Itauma, Jack Steventon (Ethan Smith 84 mins), Jason Fregene, Marvin Hamilton, Jack Mahoney (Shad Ngandu 69 mins), Jarred Trespaderne, Johan Caney-Bryan, Frannie Collin, Marcus Goldsmith. Subs Unused: Ross Ibbertson, Connor Cheek, Micky Phillips.
Scorer: Chichester City - Josh Clack 73 mins.
Corinthian 2 Hythe Town 0
Kent Senior Cup 1st Round
Tuesday 11th October 2022
The Cannons put up a less than convincing performance as they limped to a 2-0 defeat at Corinthian on Tuesday evening to go out of the Kent Senior Cup.
Hythe made some changes bringing in Mackenzie Gardiner and Jimmy Witt for their Cannons debuts and reshuffling the rest.
It was Hythe who actually started the brighter as on eleven minutes Witt played the ball into Jack Steventon whose header was collected by Corinthian keeper Daniel Colmer. The hosts had their first opportunity on 16 minutes as a cross from Oliver Box found Oscar Housego whose effort forced Hythe keeper Steve Phillips to save well.
Corinthian were to take the lead on thirty minutes as Marcus Goldsmith barged into a Corinthian striker and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot. Up stepped Housego who planted his penalty just out of the reach of the diving Phillips and into the corner of the net to make it 1-0. Twice in quick succession Phillips had to be at his best to save shots from Daniel Correia Lopes and Festos Kamara as Corinthian looked to increase their lead.
Hythe did have a chance three minutes before the break as Shad Ngandu hooked an effort just wide of the target, but it was the hosts who went in with a deserved one goal lead.
The second half started slowly with the first effort on goal coming on 58 minutes as Jarred Trespaderne rifled a shot that was parried away by Colmer. On the hour Housego, who was a constant pain in the side for the visitors, sent a free kick just wide.
On 64 minutes the result was sealed as Brandon Davey played in Housego who slammed the ball home to put the game out of the reach of the Cannons. There was little fight from the visitors and little sign they were going to get back in the game and in fact it was Corinthian who looked more likely as substitute Daniel Pepple had an attempt smothered by Phillips and then Housego fired wide. There was one late effort from Hythe as Ross Ibbertson had a shot deflected wide for a corner but this was too little and too late.
Hythe will need to regroup before their trip to Chichester City on Saturday afternoon. Kick off is 3pm.
Team: Steve Phillips, Marcus Goldsmith, Jimmy Witt, Jack Steventon, Lex Allan (Sam Itauma 62 mins), Liam Smith, Ross Ibbertson, Jason Fregene, Johan Caney-Bryan, Shad Ngandu, Mackenzie Gardiner (Jarred Trespaderne 55 mins). Subs Unused: Frannie Collin, Jack Mahoney, Marvin Hamilton.
Scorers: Corinthian – Oliver Housego 30 (pen) & 64 mins
Hythe Town 0 Littlehampton Town 0
Pitching In Isthmian League South-East
Saturday 8th September 2022
Hythe drew 0-0 with Littlehampton in their first game at Reachfields in over a month. Steve Watt made a number of changes from our friendly defeat to Tonbridge Angels, as Marvin Hamilton and Jack Mahoney made their home debuts along with Steve Phillips, replacing Josh Stirman and fellow new signing Jimmy Witt, who started on the bench.
Hythe dominated the few chances that were had in the first half, their first coming on 8 minutes when Jack Mahoney's cross was headed over the bar by Frannie Collin. Ten minutes later, a Hythe corner was tapped goalward by Jack Steventon, only for the ball to bounce off the face of the goalkeeper before it was cleared to safety. Another chance came for the Cannons from a corner just before the half-hour mark, when Jarred Trespaderne received the ball inside the box with his back to goal, turning and firing the ball over the bar.
The second half again began with missed opportunities for the Cannons, starting with a melee in the penalty area after 49 minutes, with the ball eventually slamming into the body of Littlehampton keeper James Binfield. Following this, a succession of corners went Hythe's way, the best of which being swung in by Mahoney and tipped away by Binfield. It was then the visitors who took control of the game, as George Gaskin made a run into the box and unleashed a shot at goal, with Steve Phillips blocking to keep the scores level.
On 68 minutes, the best chance of the game went Littlehampton's way, as Joe Benn tried to place a shot between Phillips and his near post, firing the ball off the inside of the woodwork to somehow keep the game at 0-0. Soon after, George Gaskin played a ball into Josh Short, who was one-on-one with Phillips who managed to palm the ball away to make a good first impression at Reachfields. He was once again the hero with twelve to go, saving a shot from Gaskin. For the final ten minutes, Steve Watt opted to bring on player-coach Nathan Elder to try and break the deadlock, and in the third minute of added time, Shad Ngandu's ball into the box was headed over the bar by the towering Elder.
Hythe will return to action on Tuesday night as they travel to Corinthian in the first round of the Kent Senior Cup.
Team: Steve Phillips, Liam Smith, Sam Itauma (Ross Ibbertson 60 mins), Jack Steventon, Marvin Hamilton, Lex Allan, Jack Mahoney (Shad Ngandu 70 mins), Jarred Tresparderne (Nathan Elder 80 mins), Johan Caney-Bryan, Frannie Collin, Marcus Goldsmith. Subs Unused: Jason Fregene, Jimmy Witt.
Tonbridge Angels 3 Hythe Town 2
Saturday 1st October 2022
With both clubs without a competitive fixture, it was agreed that they would take part in a friendly game to maintain match fitness and it was the hosts who ran out 3-2 winners on a warm afternoon.
Hythe included new signing Jimmy Witt in the line up which was impacted by a number of injuries within the squad.
The early stages of the game were even with chances coming at either end. On 15 minutes Tonbridge Angels had their first opportunity as Jeremy Santos curled a free kick against the upright. Hythe were to have an effort on 21 minutes from Johan Caney-Bryan that was well saved by Angels’ keeper Kevin Manuel. It wasn’t until the 41st minutes that the deadlock was broken as Santos side-footed the ball past Steve Phillips in the Hythe goal to give the hosts the lead.
The Cannons were unlucky just before the break as Frannie Collin slammed the ball onto the post from a tight angle.
The second half saw the National League South side turn the screw as they increased their lead on 53 minutes as Fynn Rutherford curled a shot that deflected off the inside of the post and into the net. Things got worse for the visitors on 68 minutes as Luke Holness placed an effort just out of the reach of Phillips to make it 3-0.
However, to their credit the Cannons did not “lie down and die” as on 72 minutes they pulled a goal back as Jack Steventon fed the ball to Caney-Bryan who flicked the ball past Manuel to narrow the lead. On 79 minutes Hythe coach Micky Phillips, who was filling in as a substitute, rolled back the years and unleashed a shot that sailed into the top corner of the net to further reduce the deficit.
The equaliser was not to come, and Phillips produced a couple of great saves near the end to deny the Angels. An amusing moment came in the last minute as kitman Mick Putman came on to replace Sam Itauma to make his first and probably last appearance for Hythe.
All in all, it was an entertaining afternoon in a game played in an excellent spirit. The Cannons now prepare for their next fixture on Saturday as they play their first home league game in over a month as they entertain Littlehampton Town. Kick off is 3pm.
Team: Steve Phillips, Liam Smith, Jimmy Watt, Jack Steventon, Lex Allan, Marcus Goldsmith, Josh Stirman, Jarred Trespaderne, Johan Caney-Bryan, Frannie Collin, Sam Itauma. Subs all used: Ross Ibbertson, George Sibley, Micky Phillips, Mick Putman.
Scorers: Tonbridge Angels - Jeremy Santos 41 mins, Fynn Rutherford 53 mins, Luke Holness 68 mins. Hythe Town - Johan Caney-Bryan 72 mins, Micky Phillips 79 mins.
Ramsgate 2 Hythe Town 0
Velocity Trophy 1st Round
Wednesday 28th September 2022
A much-changed Cannons team were knocked out of the Velocity Trophy 2-0 at Ramsgate on a chilly Wednesday evening.
Hythe started with three players playing their debut’s. Dan Smith was in goal with Mitch Harman up front. Sri Lankan International Marvin Hamilton was also playing his first game for the Cannons since signing for the club.
Ramsgate, who sit at the top of the Isthmian League South-East, took immediate charge of the first half and created their first opportunity on twelve minutes as Jack Paxman played in TJ Jadama whose effort was pushed away by Hythe keeper Dan Smith. Two minutes later Ramsgate took a well-deserved lead as the ball found its way into the Hythe penalty area a Jadama looped the ball over the head of Dan Smith and into the Hythe net.
The visitors soon had their first opportunity as Sam Itauma miscued a shot wide of the target. However, the Rams continued to press as two long range efforts from Paxman and Callum Peck were both saved easily by Dan Smith and then a glancing header from Jadama just went the wrong side of the upright. Hythe were still creating the odd chance as Ross Ibbertson crossed into Josh Stirman but his header went straight into the arms of Ramsgate keeper Josh Bexon.
Three minutes from the break and the hosts went further ahead as former Cannon Ashley Miller broke in from the right and finished easily to give the Rams a two-goal cushion at half-time.
The second half started slowly with the Rams having a couple of opportunities as Jadama had a strike well save by Dan Smith and then a header just wide of the target. A treble substitution for the Cannons on 62 minutes seemed to refresh the visitors and Jarred Trespaderne rolled a free kick to Shad Ngandu who drove the ball into the arms of Bexon. Ngandu had another effort that ended with the same result.
There were a couple of chances for the Rams to seal the game as Miller placed an attempt just wide and then Jadama broke through but also went wide. A couple of saves from Dan Smith following efforts from Kane Rowland and Theo Osinfolarin kept Hythe’s hopes alive and them Itauma was to clear off the line from Miller.
The Cannons could not find away back into the game, and it is Ramsgate who deserved their passage into the Second Round. Hythe have to wait until Saturday week (8th October 2022) for their next competitive game when they entertain Littlehampton Town. However, they do travel to Tonbridge Angels on Saturday 1st October 2022 for a friendly fixture.
Team: Dan Smith, Liam Smith (Jack Steventon 45 mins), Ross Ibbertson (Ollie Gray 62 mins), Jarred Trespaderne, Marvin Hamilton (Conner Cheek 74 mins), Lex Allan, Josh Stirman (Mackenzie Gardiner 62 mins), Ethan Smith (Marcus Goldsmith 62 mins), Mitch Harman, Shad Ngandu, Sam Ituama.
Scorers: Ramsgate - TJ Jadama 14 mins, Ashley Miller 42 mins.
Sittingbourne 2 Hythe Town 3
Pitching In Isthmian League South-East
Tuesday 20th September 2022
In stark contrast to the previous week's rather meek FA Trophy exit at Merstham, Hythe tore into this local derby with a ferocity that in-form Sittingbourne found difficult to match. New keeper Steven Phillips took over from the now-departed Aaron Lee-Wharton and despite being at fault for the home side's first goal he was swift to link up with his new team-mates offering vocal and tactical help throughout the 90 minutes.
Sam Itauma and Marcus Goldsmith were given licence to move forward effectively leaving a back three of the returning Lex Allan, Ollie Gray and captain Liam Smith to do much of the defending. In reality though all eleven starters were on their game with Josh Stirman and the evergreen Frannie Collin complementing danger man Johan Caney-Bryan on his return to his old club. Newly signed Jack Mahoney had a storming match in midfield alongside Jack Steventon whose long throw-ins and midfield presence are always a real threat.
Early exchanges were lively with both sets of forwards regularly being caught off-side in their eagerness to throw caution to the wind, and with several ex-Bourne players in the Hythe side there was an edge to much of the tackling in a match that was just held together by impressive Essex Referee Reece Pinchback. Town took just 12 minutes to open their account when Josh Stirman neatly tucked away Sam Itauma's cross from the right wing.
Rather than falling back, Hythe maintained the pressure and a series of corners and long throw-ins threatened the home defences until on 24 minutes Stirman this time provided the assist for Caney-Bryan to rise and plant a header wide of Sittingbourne keeper Matt Cafer. As the tackles continued to fly in both Steventon and Caney-Bryan found their way into the referee's notebook and Josh Stirman was a little fortunate to escape similar punishment.
The in-form home side were far from beaten though and they re-grouped and were always a threat--none more so then when Phillips failed to collect a low 20-yard free kick and Ben Gorham raced in to reduce the arrears.
As the Bourne continued to attack Ollie Gray found himself exposed on the left flank and his last-ditch tackle on Donvieve Jones was as fair as it was uncompromising and the Cannons retained the advantage, almost increasing that lead when a Frannie Collin free kick caused an almighty scramble in the home goalmouth that ended with a free kick to the home side.
The second half was hardly underway when Sittingbourne played their own long throw-in card and Jones was there to nod home his side's equaliser. Undaunted Hythe swept forward again with Stirman and Caney-Bryan bursting through into the home penalty are and the latter forcing the ball home to restore his side's lead.
The frenetic pace continued, and Sittingbourne went inches wide when Bagusan Graham's header went just wide of Phillips but also inches wide of the upright.
The battle-scarred Gray was replaced by Jason Fregene and Ethan Smith came on for the hard-working Stirman, with former Bourne man Harry Miller later replacing Steventon. This time though there was not to be any retreating to the edge of the penalty area and whilst Sittingboune maintained their threat, they also had to be wary of the away side's scoring ambitions.
All in all, a well-deserved three points against one of the division's better sides and with Saturday games constantly threatened by other side's cup exploits Town must seek to retain that form next week when they travel to meet Ramsgate in the Velocity Trophy on WEDNESDAY 28th September 2022. Kick-off is 7.30pm.
Team: Steven Phillips, Liam Smith, Sam Ituma, Jack Steventon (Harry Miller 86 mins), Lex Allan, Ollie Gray (Jason Fregene 75 mins), Josh Stirman (Ethan Smith 75 mins), Jack Mahoney, Johan Caney-Bryan, Frannie Collin, Marcus Goldsmith.
Scorers: Sittingbourne - Ben Gorham 31 mins, Donvieve Jones 49 mins. Hythe Town - Josh Stirman 12 mins, Johan Caney-Bryan 24 & 53 mins. Subs Unused: Jarred Trespaderne, Shad Ngandu
Merstham 3 Hythe Town 0
The Isuzu FA Trophy 1st Qualifying Round
Monday 12th September 2022
Hythe Town were dumped out of the FA Trophy 1st Qualifying Round on Monday evening after putting up a below par performance.
The Cannons who started with new signing Jack Mahoney in the line-up but without the unavailable Lex Allan were first to show as in the second minute Jack Steventon sent in a long throw into the Merstham penalty area to find Liam Smith whose header landed on top of the net. But it was Merstham who began to take control and had a chance on three minutes as Aziz Sankoh, rifled a shot into the arms of Hythe keeper Aaron Lee-Wharton.
The Cannons did have a chance on the break as Shad Ngandu played in Frannie Collin who sent his effort just the wrong side of the post. However, it was Merstham who took a deserved lead on 15 minutes as Charlie Greenwood fed the ball to Lorenzo Lewis on the left and he threaded the ball at the near post past Lee-Wharton and into the corner of the net.
Merstham were now on top, and the second goal arrived in the 26th minute. Lewis played a pass to Greenwood who was brought down by Jason Fregene on the edge of the box. Lewis took the kick and planted a bullet into the net. Hythe should have got a goal back when Steventon got above the Merstham defence but headed wide from close range.
Hythe, who replaced Sam Itauma at half time with Ollie Gray, were better in the second half and Frannie Collin was denied by a block from Jordan Wilson on 50 minutes. The improvement didn’t produce many chances and Merstham looked comfortable. There were still opportunities for the hosts to put the game out of the reach of the Cannons as Alpha Diallo had a couple of shots saved by Lee-Wharton and another that just missed the target.
On 87 minutes Bryan Zepo was bundled over in the Hythe penalty area by Jack Steventon. He got up to take the resultant penalty but drove his attempt wide. However, the hosts were not to be denied a third as in injury time Malakai Hyman blasted home from close range to rub salt in the Hythe wounds.
The Cannons now have to wait until next Tuesday (20th September 2022) when they have a difficult trip to Sittingbourne in the League. Kick off is 7:45pm.
Team: Aaron Lee-Wharton, Marcus Goldsmith, Sam Itauma (Ollie Gray 45 mins), Jack Steventon, Liam Smith, Jason Fregene (Josh Stirman 58 mins), Shad Ngandu, Jack Mahoney, Johan Caney-Bryan, Frannie Collin, Jarred Trespaderne (Ross Ibbertson 81 mins). Subs not used: Mackenzie Gardiner, Ethan Smith, Dan Smith.
Scorers: Merstham - Lorenzo Lewis 15 & 29 mins, Malakai Hyman 90 mins.
Hythe Town 0 Hayes & Yeading United 2
Emirates FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round
Saturday 3rd September 2022
Hythe lost for the first time at Reachfields this season on Saturday afternoon as they entertained Hayes and Yeading United in the FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round. Steve Watt made just one change from the defeat to Ramsgate on Monday, as Frannie Collin replaced Shad Ngandu in attack.
The game began with a chance for the visitors, when a shot from Paul Hodges was parried away by Aaron Lee-Wharton, before the follow-up shot was deemed to be offside. It was an even first quarter of the match between the two sides, but the better build up play came from Hayes and Yeading, who almost capitalised before half-time, as Mo Bettamer moved the ball towards the box and began to line up a shot, but Liam Smith was there to put a strong foot in to prevent any danger.
At the break, Watt brought Josh Stirman on for Jarred Trespaderne, and the substitute seemed to make a difference for Hythe going forward. He managed to thread a ball in to Frannie Collin with just nine minutes gone, however the veteran blasted the ball wide. Another chance went the visitors' way on the hour mark, when Moses Emmanuel was sent through on goal on the left-hand side with plenty of space to run into, firing a shot goalwards inside the box which was smothered away by Lee-Wharton. Just a minute later, substitute Ayo Faniyan was set free, this time on the right, but Jason Fregene put in a bold but successful block. On 67 minutes, Hythe very nearly took the lead on two occasions as Jack Steventon played a corner to Liam Smith, whose cross found Fregene, however the ball was headed away before he could get his own head on it. The resultant corner was taken by Frannie Collin, which Steventon got his head onto and the goalkeeper had to be alert to, catching the ball right on his line. Just a minute later, the visitors once again had an opportunity as Moses Emmanuel's shot was palmed away excellently by Lee-Wharton to his left.
Unfortunately for the Cannons, the deadlock was broken on 73 minutes, when a melee in the Hythe box ended up with Emmanuel bundling the ball in. Hythe players appealed for offside, but the linesman's flag stayed down and the goal was awarded to Hayes and Yeading. There was an awful moment for everyone concerned with about 15 minutes to go, when Ayo Faniyan went down inside the Hythe half and hardly moved when he was on the ground. The injury was clearly very serious, and the stoppage lasted for some time, before he was eventually stretchered off to a huge applause of support by the Reachfields supporters. The injury seemed to encourage the visitors to seal the game, and they did on 87 minutes, as Paul Field wrong-footed Ethan Smith and went to his inside, slotting home to secure a place in the next round of the FA Cup.
The Cannons are back in action next Saturday afternoon as they travel to Merstham in the 1st Round of the FA Trophy.
Team: Aaron Lee-Wharton, Marcus Goldsmith, Sam Itauma (Shad Ngandu 84 mins), Jack Steventon, Lex Allan, Liam Smith, Ethan Smith, Jarred Trespaderne (Josh Stirman 45 mins), Johan Caney-Bryan, Frannie Collin, Jason Fregene.
Subs Not Used: Harry Miller, George Sibley, Ollie Gray, Dan Smith.
Scorers: Hayes & Yeading United - Moses Emmanuel 73 mins, Paul Field 87 mins
Ramsgate 2 Hythe Town 1
Pitching In Isthmian League South-East
Monday 29th August 2022
The Cannons were left to rue a number of missed chances in the first 45 minutes as they fell to a second-half fight back from Ramsgate as they went down 2-1 at Southwood on Monday afternoon.
Manager Steve Watt made three changes as the suspended pair of Liam Smith and Jack Steventon returned to starting line up replacing Harry Miller and the injured Ollie Gray. Ethan Smith also started in place of Frannie Collin.
Hythe were first to show as on four minutes Ethan Smith broke through but was blocked by Ramsgate keeper Josh Bexon. Ramsgate had their first effort on twelve minutes as Lucas Atkins had a shot cleared away by Hythe keeper Aaron Lee-Wharton and then he saved from Joshua Ajayi. The Cannons should have been ahead after a quarter of an hour as Ethan Smith played the ball onto Shad Ngandu who could have done better but side footed wide.
Whilst Hythe were dominating possession there were some opportunities at the other end as a cross by ex-Cannon Jerald Aboagye found another former Hythe player Ashley Miller who fired wide and then Leon Redwood drilled a shot just wide from the right. However, Hythe were creating the better chances as Ngandu got a shot on target, but Bexon did well to block.
Finally, Hythe took a deserved lead on half an hour as Sam Itauma crossed and Johan Caney-Bryan was on the near post to bundle the ball over the line. Immediately after the restart the Cannons stole the ball and Caney-Bryan surged forward dangerously but the Ramsgate defence did well to block.
At the other end Aboagye crossed into Miller whose attempt looped onto the top of the cross bar. The Cannons had another golden opportunity as captain Liam Smith crossed into his brother Ethan, but he mistimed his header wide. On 36 minutes the visitors thought they had got their second as Lex Allan headed home only to find the Referees Assistant flagging for offside.
Whatever Ramsgate Manager Steve Lovell said at half time to his team changed the whole complexion of the game as firstly a cross from Tijan Jadama found Lucas Atkins, but Lee-Wharton was on hand to save and then a dipping free kick from Theo Osinfolarin forced a great save from the Hythe keeper. Eventually, the Rams turned their pressure into an equaliser on 66 minutes as another ex-Cannon Ben Fitchett had an attempt saved by Lee-Wharton, but Aboagye followed up to slam home.
The hosts continued on the front foot and deservedly went ahead on 72 minutes Ajayi played the ball into the path of Miller who made no mistake. Hythe searched for the equaliser with a Steventon throw finding Frannie Collin who blasted over and there was no way through the resolute Rams defence. In fact, Miller hit the bar on 82 minutes which could have made it worse for Hythe.
It was a disappointing half for everyone involved at Hythe after looking so dominant in the first period. Hythe move down to eleventh place as they now prepare for their FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round fixture on Saturday at home to Hayes & Yeading United.
Team: Aaron Lee-Wharton, Marcus Goldsmith, Sam Itauma, Jack Steventon, Lex Allan, Liam Smith, Ethan Smith (Josh Stiman 75 mins), Jarred Trespaderne (Harry Miller 62 mins), Johan Caney-Bryan, Shad Ngandu (Frannie Collin 59 mins), Jason Fregene. Subs Not Used: Morgan Williamson, Ollie Gray.
Scorers: Ramsgate - Jerald Aboagye 67 mins, Ashley Miller 72 mins. Hythe Town - Johan Caney-Bryan 30mins.
Hythe Town 0 Sevenoaks Town 0
Pitching In Isthmian League South East
Saturday 27th August 2022
Hythe were held against Sevenoaks Town on Saturday afternoon in a well-balanced Isthmian League affair. With both Jack Steventon and Liam Smith having been suspended for this match, Steve Watt made three changes to his side, as Frannie Collin, Shad Ngandu and Marcus Goldsmith came into the team, as Josh Stirman was moved back to the bench.
The game began with a chance for the visitors just three minutes in, when Yahaya Bamba was set free on the left hand side, making his way into a one-on-one position with Aaron Lee-Wharton, who managed to make the save before it was cleared by Jason Fregene. The first half was filled with a few chances, mainly going to Hythe, but most of them lacking conviction, until Bradley Wilson put a ball into the Hythe box which troubled Lex Allan, who headed the ball backwards towards Lee-Wharton, who fell onto the ball under pressure and almost collided with his own post in order to get rid of the danger. Just before the break, Hythe had a penalty appeal when Ollie Gray went down as he made a run in the penalty area, however the referee waved away the shouts, much to the annoyance of Steve Watt on the touchline.
Just seconds into the second period, the Cannons had their chance to take the lead, when Jason Fregene fed the ball to Shad Ngandu, who rifled a shot that went the wrong side of the upright. Another nervy moment for Hythe was had on the hour mark when Bradley Wilson chipped the ball to Ryan Gondoh, who tried to bring the ball forward before Jason Fregene, who had commanded the backline very well in the absence of Smith and Steventon, smashed the ball away. There was one late chance for the Oaks to steal the win, when Yahaya Bamba made the run into the box to put himself one-on-one with Lee-Wharton, taking on the shot and forcing the Hythe stopper to save the ball with his feet.
The full-time whistle blew to mark a continuation to Hythe's unbeaten start to the season. The Cannons are back in action on Monday afternoon as they travel to Ramsgate, with the match kicking off at 3pm.
Team: Aaron Lee-Wharton, Marcus Goldsmith, Sam Itauma, Harry Miller (Ethan Smith 71 mins), Ollie Gray (Morgan Williamson 89 mins), Lex Allan, Chad Ngandu (Josh Stirman 68 mins), Jarred Trespaderne, Johan Carney-Bryan, Frannie Collin, Jason Fregene. Subs not Used: George Sibley, Frankie Smith
Hythe Town 5 Raynes Park Vale 4
Emirates FA Cup Preliminary Round Replay
Tuesday 23rd August 2022
Hythe progressed to the 1st Qualifying Round of the FA Cup on Tuesday night, overcoming Raynes Park Vale at the second time of asking in a thrilling replay. Following the three red cards on Saturday, the match was bound to be a tasty encounter, and Steve Watt prepared for the game by making two changes, as Harry Miller and Josh Stirman replaced Shad Ngandu and Jarred Trespaderne.
The first goal of the match went to Vale, just as it had done on Saturday, and it came from the penalty spot after Liam Smith brought down an opposition player, and Jordan Gallagher dispatched the spot-kick to give the visitors an early lead. However, it wasn't long before Hythe drew level, and the goal came from Johan Caney-Bryan, who headed in his first of the season after Josh Stirman sent the ball into him. Vale almost retook the lead on 26 minutes, when goal scorer Gallagher worked his way past the Hythe defence and hit a shot at goal, which was tipped wide by Aaron Lee-Wharton.
Luckily for Hythe, they managed to take the lead with seven minutes to go in the first half, as Josh Stirman was once again the creator, this time swinging in a corner which Lex Allan rose above everybody to head in, scoring his second goal in as many games. Hythe almost made it three goals on 40 minutes, as Caney-Bryan headed the ball towards goal from a long ball forward, however the header lacked enough power, and the attempt didn't cross the goal line. Almost immediately, the visitors went forward and forced a spectacular double save out of Lee-Wharton, blocking the ball from Aaron Watson's shot from a one-on-one position, before regaining himself to stretch his hand out and tip away Daniel Moody's rebound effort to maintain Hythe's lead going into half-time.
Vale brought themselves back on level terms with just 13 minutes to go in the second half, as Watson played a long through ball to Jordan Gallagher, who slotted into the bottom corner. It wasn't long, however, before the visitors finally retook their lead, as Bradley Sweeney put in a cross for Callum Hope, who simply placed the ball past Lee-Wharton to make it 3-2 on the night.
However, the game wasn't over yet, and Hythe kept their heads up and continued to search for another goal to save their FA Cup campaign, and they found it with just a minute to go, as substitute Frannie Collin drove a free kick low towards goal, which was bundled in by Jason Fregene to send the game to extra time. There was more to come in normal time though, as Hythe coach Micky Phillips had an altercation with some of the members of the Vale dugout, which resulted in him being shown a red card by referee Kane Dempster.
Hythe came out for extra time looking like the stronger side, and after just two minutes they took the lead once again, when Jarred Trespaderne's shot came off the post and landed perfectly for Frannie Collin, who buried the ball home on the rebound to make it 4-3. It was almost five on 100 minutes, when Collin had another chance from a free kick which took a slight deflection off the wall and was tipped over the bar by Vale keeper Billy Bishop.
Despite this, Hythe did manage to get their fifth just a minute later, when Collin's corner was stabbed into the net by Caney-Bryan. The game was far from over, however, as the visitors scored their fourth just before the first period of extra time came to an end. The goal came from Nathan Lewis, who hammered a shot past a startled Lee-Wharton from 30 yards out to give Vale a fighting chance.
At around 10:25pm, the referee finally blew the whistle for full-time, signalling victory for Hythe in the Preliminary Round of the FA Cup, in a game and replay which saw thirteen goals, four red cards and countless questionable refereeing decisions in 210 minutes of football. Hythe will be relieved to have gone through to the next round, where they will take on Hayes and Yeading United at Reachfields on 3rd September. Hythe's next match will be this coming Saturday against Sevenoaks Town in the league, kick-off will be at 3pm.
Team: Aaron Lee-Wharton, Liam Smith, Sam Itauma, Jack Steventon, Ollie Gray, Lex Allan, Ethan Smith (Shad Ngandu 71 mins), Harry Miller (Jarred Trespaderne 63 mins), Johan Caney-Bryan, Josh Stirman (Frannie Collin 82 mins), Jason Fregene (Marcus Goldsmith 105 mins). Subs not used: George Sibley, Frankie Smith
Scorers: Hythe Town - Johan Caney Bryan 19 & 101 mins, Lex Allan 38 mins, Jason Fregene 89 mins, Frannie Collin 92 mins. Raynes Park Vale - Jordan Gallagher 6 (pen) & 77 mins, Callum Hope 85 mins, Nathan Lewis 105 mins
Raynes Park Vale 2 Hythe Town 2
Emirates FA Cup Preliminary Round
Saturday 20th August 2022
Hythe managed a 2-2 draw on Saturday afternoon as they travelled to Raynes Park Vale in the FA Cup Preliminary Round. The hosts, who are based in South London, play in the Combined Counties Premier League (the division below Hythe), and have a stadium with a capacity of 1500, which contains one small stand on the south side of the pitch which seats about 140 people. To attempt to overcome this side, Steve Watt only made one change, which was enforced, as Ross Ibbertson was ruled out with an injury. Jason Fregene took his place in the side at left back.
The game started brightly for Vale, who dominated the chances, and hardly allowed Hythe into their own half. Their first chance came on five minutes when Ethan Archer went for a looping shot which sailed over the crossbar. At the midway point of the half, Hythe hearts were in their mouths as Aaron Watson hit a strong shot at goal, which was superbly saved by Aaron Lee-Wharton, who leaped to tip the ball past his left-hand post. However, just minutes later, Vale won a corner after Archie Havard-Goddard's shot was blocked on the line, which was swung into Callum Hope, who rose above everybody to head the ball home.
Luckily for the Cannons, their response was almost immediate, as just two minutes later, Shad Ngandu played the ball into the area from the left wing, which missed everybody aside from Samuel Itauma, who beat the keeper to his right to level the scores. On 45 minutes, Jack Steventon began threatening Vale with his long throws, the first of which found Johan Caney-Bryan, who got the shot away, forcing the keeper to dive to his right and send the ball away from goal. However, just moments later, Steventon sent in another throw, which found Lex Allan, who slotted home to give Hythe the lead before half-time. A deserved lead, given Hythe had dominated the half since the hosts scored their opener.
Just eight minutes into the second half, Hythe conceded a penalty when a Vale player was brought down in the Hythe penalty area. Jordan Gallagher made no mistake from the spot, slotting the ball down the middle of the goal. Things got rather nervy for Hythe, as not long after, they went down to ten men, as Jack Steventon received a second booking from the referee, and as we know in football, two yellows make a strawberry, as Steventon left the pitch for Hythe. On 68 minutes, Vale had their first of several chances to take the lead, as Jordan Gallagher fed the ball into Charlie Penny, whose shot was parried away by Lee-Wharton. Their next closest chance came on 73 minutes when Ethan Archer's shot from a tight angle bounced off the corner of the post and crossbar. Callum McAllister also had the chance to take the victory with twelve minutes to go, as his shot took a deflection on its way towards goal, but was eventually tipped away by Lee-Wharton.
Shortly after this, the game got messy. After the referee gave a decision Hythe's way, there was a big row between the players, as Vale's Jordan Gallagher went down holding his face. The referee decided to take action, booking Liam Smith for hitting Gallagher's face, and also booking Archie Harvard-Goddard, which was his second of the match, meaning Vale were also down to ten men. However, Hythe were once again a man down after Liam received his second booking for a shove on a home player. Luckily for the Cannons, this disadvantage didn't last for long, as the full-time whistle blew shortly afterwards.
The game will be reflected on as an even cup match filled with several controversial refereeing decisions towards both sides. The game will be replayed on Tuesday night at Reachfields, with the game due to kick off at 7:45pm.
Team: Aaron Lee-Wharton, Liam Smith, Sam Itauma, Jack Steventon, Lex Allan, Ollie Gray, Ethan Smith, Jarred Trespaderne, Johan Caney-Bryan (Josh Stirman 80 mins), Shad Ngandu (Harry Miller 62 mins), Jason Fregene (Frannie Collin 70 mins). Subs not Used: George Sibley, Frankie Smith, Marcus Goldsmith.
Scorers: Raynes Park Vale - Callum Hope 26 mins, Jordan Gallagher 53 mins (pen). Hythe Town – Sam Itauma 28 mins, Lex Allan 45 mins.
Report by Tom Ellerby
Corinthian 0 Hythe Town 2
Pitching In Isthmian South-East
Saturday 13th August 2022
It is hard not to use the cliché “a game of two halves” as Hythe dominated the first half to take a two-goal lead. They had, however, to weather an onslaught in the second half with the Cannons defence staying firm to take all three points in a 2-0 win away at Corinthian in sweltering conditions on Saturday afternoon.
Hythe made three changes from last week’s FA Cup game as Ross Ibbertson replaced the injured Marcus Goldsmith, Jarred Trespaderne replaced Morgan Williamson and Chad Ngandu came in for Frannie Collin.
Hythe were to get their first goal on nine minutes as they were awarded a free kick just outside the penalty area. Ngandu tapped the ball to Trespaderne who returned it and Ngandu then threaded his shot into the bottom corner of the net to make it 1-0.
Ngandu continued to threaten as Sam Itauwa crossed into him from the right but as he chased through, he was blocked. The hosts had to wait until the 17th minute for their first opportunity as Brandon Davey launched a shot high over the bar. However, Hythe continued to have control as Ross Ibbertson played in Ngandu whose attempt was forced away for a corner.
On 39 minutes the Cannons were awarded a penalty as Ethan Smith was fouled in the area. Up stepped Ngandu who cheekily side footed the ball into the corner sending Corinthian keeper Daniel Colmer the wrong way to double the Hythe lead. Ngandu had another couple of chances before the break but sent one wide and the other high over the bar.
The shape of the game changed after the break as right from the off it was the hosts who piled forward. On 47 minutes a defensive clearance looped onto the top on the cross bar and then a shot from Festos Kamara was well saved by Hythe keeper Aaron Lee-Wharton. Davey then broke into the Hythe penalty area but was superbly blocked by Trespaderne.
Corinthian continued to create chances but a number of efforts failed to find the target as firstly Daniel Lopes put in a deep cross that was fired over by Oladapo Olatunji and then he was to head wide from a long ball from Oscar Housego.
The Hythe defence continued to stay strong preventing a number of attacks and snuffing out the danger. The final chance of the game came with Hythe’s first real attack of the half with ten minutes to go as Frannie Collin mishit an attempt that went off for a throw-in.
Hythe were to hold on for all three valuable points that kicked off their league season. After the postponement of this week’s league fixture against Sheppey United, the Cannons travel to Raynes Park Vale next Saturday in the Preliminary Round of the FA Cup.
Team: Aaron Lee-Wharton, Liam Smith, Ross Ibbertson (Frannie Collin 53 mins), Jack Steventon, Lex Allan, Ollie Gray, Ethan Smith, Jarred Trespaderne (Jason Fregene 70 mins), Johan Caney-Bryan, Shad Ngandu (Josh Stirman 81 mins), Sam Itauma. Subs Not Used: Morgan Williamson, Harry Miller
Scorers: Hythe Town - Shad Ngandu 9 mins & 39 mins (pen).
AFC Varndeanians 0 Hythe Town 1
Emirates FA Cup Extra-Preliminary Round
Saturday 6th August 2022
Hythe were victorious in their first game of the season, edging past AFC Varndeanians in the the Extra Preliminary Round of the FA Cup. The hosts play their football at the Withdean Stadium, the former home of Brighton and Hove Albion. Since Brighton left the ground in 2011, the stadium has been turned into an athletics ground, with a running track surrounding the pitch and a single stand for the fans to sit in.
Steve Watt's starting XI contained four players who were with the club last season, those players being Liam Smith, Ollie Gray, Frannie Collin and Morgan Williamson. It was the Cannons who got off to the best start, when after just two minutes, Ethan Smith played a ball through to Johan Caney-Bryan, who attempted to weave past the Varndeanians defence, who won the ball back to avoid conceding. Smith played another ball in three minutes later, this time to Frannie Collin, who hit a looping shot wide of the goal.
Following a drinks break midway through the first half, Hythe's secret weapon was drawn, when Jack Steventon took a long throw into the penalty area. Unfortunately for Steventon, Ollie Gray headed the ball over the bar. Gray had another chance from a header after the ball was crossed into him by Sam Itauma, and again, the shot was headed past the post. Steve Watt had some choice words for the officials just before half-time and was booked by the referee.
The second half saw several more Jack Steventon long throws. The first of those came after 46 minutes, when Liam Smith missed a header. The next came five minutes later, as Lex Allan's backwards header was cleared just off the line. The third Steventon throw was on 53 minutes, which once again fell to Liam Smith, who headed wide. Fifteen minutes into the half, Hythe won a corner, which was swung into the box by Frannie Collin and headed towards goal by Ollie Gray, before it was cleared off the line.
With 17 minutes to go, a goal was very much needed, and Jarred Trespaderne clearly got that message, attempting to shoot from 30 yards out, as the ball sailed narrowly over the bar. Two minutes later, the Cannons again went close, this time through Shad Ngandu, who’s cross into the box was cleared for a corner by a Varndeanians defender before it could reach Ethan Smith. Finally, after 87 minutes, the goal came, as a melee in the box led to the ball falling to Jack Steventon, who bundled the shot home to send Hythe through to the next round.
A flurry of late opportunities for the hosts was fruitless, and the full-time whistle blew to mark the first win of the season for Hythe. The two clubs narrowly avoided a Tuesday night replay, much to the relief of everybody. The Cannons return to action next weekend as they travel to Corinthian next Saturday at 3pm.
Team: Aaron Lee-Wharton, Liam Smith, Marcus Goldsmith (Ross Ibbertson 30 mins), Morgan Williamson (Jarred Trespaderne 57 mins), Lex Allan, Ollie Gray, Ethan Smith, Jack Steventon, Johan Caney-Bryan (Shad Ngandu 68 mins), Frannie Collin, Sam Itauma. Subs not used: Jason Fregene, Josh Stirman, Harry Miller, Frankie Smith.
Scorer: Hythe Town - Jack Steventon 87 mins
Hythe Town 1 Bowers & Pitsea 2
Saturday 30th July 2022
Hythe were defeated in their final game of pre-season as they entertained Bowers and Pitsea. The team contained no trialists, as Steve Watt and his managerial team have now settled on their squad for the season. However, Watt wasn't at the match, and neither were his assistants Darren Blackburn and Micky Phillips, which meant that player-coach Frannie Collin took charge of the match.
The first opportunity of the match went Hythe's way, as Shad Ngandu was set free on the left-hand side of the pitch, forcing the opposition goalkeeper to block the ball away from a one-on-one position. Unfortunately, only a minute later a penalty was given to Bowers and Pitsea, which was given away by Liam Smith. Toby Ajala slotted home to give the visitors the advantage after ten minutes. Hythe's response came eleven minutes later when a hand in the face of Johan Caney-Bryan resulted in a penalty for the Cannons, which Shad Ngandu stepped up to take. The new signing rolled the ball into the net to level the scores on 21 minutes.
Frannie Collin made several substitutions for the Cannons in the second half, bringing four players onto the pitch. However, none of them were able to help Hythe score another, whereas the away side were able to take the lead on 52 minutes. Bola Dawodu headed in a cross, which initially was deemed as offside by the linesman, but following a discussion with the referee, the goal was given.
The full-time whistle marked the end of Hythe's pre-season, finishing with six wins and two defeats - a strong record to have going into the new season. The season will begin next Saturday at 3pm as Hythe travel to Brighton to face AFC Varndeanians. The club have arranged for a coach to take the players and supporters to the match, more details can be found by contacting the club.
Team: Aaron Lee-Wharton, Sam Itauma, Morgan Williamson, Harry Miller, Liam Smith, Ollie Gray, Josh Stirman, Jason Fregene, Johan Caney-Bryan, Shad Ngandu, Ross Ibbertson. Substitutes: Ethan Smith, Jack Steventon, Marcus Goldsmith, Frankie Smith
Scorers: Hythe Town – Shad Ngandu 21 mins (pen). Bowers & Pitsea – Toby Ajala 10 mins (pen), Bola Dawodu 52 mins
Hythe Town 0 Folkestone Invicta 3
Tuesday 26th July 2022
Hythe's pre-season winning streak came to an abrupt end against a rampant Folkestone Invicta side. The opposition lineup included former player-manager James Rogers, whilst Hythe's side contained a new signing in Franki Smith, who started on the bench.
It was the Cannons who had the first chance of the match, as Jarred Trespaderne flicked a ball to Johan Caney-Bryan, who tried to tip the ball past the Folkestone keeper, however the shot went narrowly past the post.
It wasn't long before Folkestone scored their opener on 20 minutes when Louis Yamfam played a cross to Kadell Daniel, whose shot hit the bar, before Ibrahim Olatude bundled the rebound in.
Invicta doubled their lead at the end of the half, when Frannie Collin attempted to play a pass to Jarred Trespaderne on the outside of the Hythe penalty area, however the pass was intercepted by Kadell Daniel, who simply placed the ball past the outstretched hand of Aaron Lee-Wharton.
Just eleven minutes into the second half, the visitors scored their third, as Kadell Daniel drifted from the right wing into the Hythe box and bent his shot in for his second of the game. After using all seven of their substitutes, Hythe had an opportunity to score a consolation on 82 minutes through Marcus Goldsmith, who hammered the ball just over the crossbar.
The full-time whistle marked Hythe's first defeat of pre-season. The Cannons will look to get back to winning ways in their final friendly at home to Bowers and Pitsea on Saturday at 3pm.
Team: Aaron Lee-Wharton, Liam Smith, Lex Allan, Ollie Gray, Jarred Trespaderne, Johan Caney-Bryan, Frannie Collin, Marcus Goldsmith, Ethan Smith, Sam Itauma, Jack Steventon. Subs: Josh Stirman, Franki Smith, Morgan Williamson, Shad Ngandu, Harry Miller, Jason Fregene, Ross Ibbertson.
Scorers: Folkestone Invicta – Ibrahim Olatude 20 mins, Kadell Daniel 43 & 56 mins.
Hythe Town 2 Tunbridge Wells 0
Saturday 23rd July 2022
Hythe continued their 100% pre-season record on Saturday as they won 2-0 in their first home match of the campaign. The opponents, Tunbridge Wells, came from the league below Hythe, but returning manager Steve Watt didn't underestimate the opposition, fielding a line-up that saw seven players make their first start at Reachfields for Hythe.
The first chance of the match went Hythe's way with nine minutes gone, as Ethan Smith played a pass through to Frannie Collin inside the penalty area, whose shot deflected off a defender and was tipped wide by the goalkeeper. It wasn't long until the Cannons had their first goal, as a lifted ball from Johan Caney-Bryan found new signing Jason Fregene, who headed home on 22 minutes.
Tunbridge Wells had an opportunity to level the scores five minutes into the second half with a penalty, which was given away by Jack Steventon. However, goalkeeper Aaron Lee-Wharton made a superb save to his right to maintain Hythe's lead. Later on in the half, another penalty was given, and this time to Hythe, as another new signing Shad Ngandu was brought down in the Wells' penalty area, which he himself converted.
The full-time whistle blew to signal a perfect return to Reachfields for manager Steve Watt. The Cannons will return to action at home to rivals Folkestone Invicta on Tuesday night. Kick-off is at 7:45PM.
Team: Aaron Lee-Wharton, Sam Itauma, Marcus Goldsmith, Morgan Williamson, Lex Allan, Ollie Gray, Ethan Smith, Jack Steventon, Johan Caney-Bryan, Frannie Collin, Jason Fregene. Subs used: Jarred Trespaderne, Shad Ngandu, Josh Stirman, Ross Ibbertson, Trialist B, Trialist C
Scorers: Hythe Town – Jason Fregene 22 mins, Shad Ngandu 70 mins (pen)
K Sports 1 Hythe Town 4
Wednesday 20th July 2022
There was more encouragement for Hythe Town in Pre-Season as they came away with a 4-1 win at Southern Counties East Premier League K Sports on Wednesday evening.
The Cannons were ahead on twelve minutes as Ethan Smith was brought down in the penalty area. Up stepped Frannie Collin who buried the ball in the left corner of the net. The hosts were nearly level on 17 minutes as a free kick was driven just wide off the post. K Sports’ midfielder Luke Girt rattled the upright before Ethan Smith was again brought down in the area but this time Josh Stirman had his penalty saved.
However, Hythe went further ahead on 32 minutes as Ethan Smith swivelled close in and fired home with the ball deflecting off Collin into the net. Nine minutes later the hosts pulled one back as the defence failed to clear and Richard Jimoh lobbed the ball over the trialist keeper and into the net.
The Cannons continued to control the game and were 3-1 up on 53 minutes as a cross from the right by Ross Ibbotson found Johan Caney-Bryan who, under pressure, headed home. The icing on the cake came on 73 minutes when the ball came out to one of the trialists and he rifled the ball home.
There two minutes left of normal time when the floodlights went out and sensibly the referee blew for time.
The Cannons return to Reachfields for the first time on Saturday (23rd July 2022) when they entertain Tunbridge Wells in another pre-season fixture. Kick off is 3pm.
Team: Trialist, Trialist, Ross Ibbotson, Jack Steventon, Lex Allan, Ollie Gray, Josh Stirman, Jarred Trespaderne, Ethan Smith, Frannie Collin, Marcus Goldsmith. Subs Used: Aaron Lee-Wharton, Four Trialists.
Scorers: K Sports - Richard Jimoh 41 minutes. Hythe Town - Frannie Collin 12 mins (pen), Ethan Smith 32 mins, Johan Caney-Bryan 53 mins, Trialist 73 mins.
Attendance: Approx. 60
Snodland Town 0 Hythe Town 3
Tuesday 12th July 2022
Hythe Town again maintained their 100% record as they came away from Snodland Town with a comfortable 3-0 win on a hot and sultry Tuesday evening.
Both sides started the game evenly with the ambitious Southern Counties League 1st Division side providing strong opposition. The Cannons did have a couple of opportunities as a trialist fired a shot that was well saved by the Snodland Town goalkeeper and then on 27 minutes Frannie Collin curled a free kick from 25 yards that clipped the crossbar. At the half-time break the score stood at 0-0.
Seven minutes into the second half saw Snodland rattle the Hythe crossbar but eventually it was the Cannons who made the breakthrough. Alex Flisher surged into the penalty area and placed his shot neatly in the back of the net to make it 1-0. On 78 minutes it could have been two as Marcus Goldsmith sent in a curling and dipping effort that went just over the top.
However, Hythe were not to be denied as with five minutes to go Flisher played in Ethan Smith who finished clinically for his third pre-season goal and then on the stroke of full time one of the trialists picked up the ball on the right hand side finally slamming his shot past the home keeper.
It was a good night for Hythe who now have to wait until next Wednesday (20th July 2022) when they travel to K Sports in another pre-season fixture with an 8:15pm kick off.
Team: Aaron Lee-Wharton, Trialist, Jarred Trespaderne, Ollie Gray, Jack Steventon, Sam Itauma, Liam Smith, Ross Ibbertson, Frannie Collin, Johan Caney-Bryan, Trialist: Morgan Williamson, Marcus Goldsmith, Alex Flisher, Ethan Smith, Four more trialists.
Scorers: Hythe Town - Alex Flisher 67 mins, Ethan Smith 85 mins, Trialist 90 mins.
Attendance: Approx 100.
Carshalton Athletic 1 Hythe Town 2
Saturday 9th July 2022
Hythe Town continued their 100% record in Pre-Season as they came from behind to win 2-1 at a sweltering Carshalton Athletic on Saturday afternoon.
The Cannons started, as in previous pre-season games, with a squad mainly of first team players but including a number of trialists.
The first 25 minutes saw both sides battle to gain control with few clear-cut chances but it was the hosts who took the lead on 28 minutes as Bobby Mills crossed from the right to find ex Herne Bay and Maidstone United striker Jake Embery who fired home.
However, Hythe struck back four minutes later as new signing Sam Itauma sent in a cross from the right which eventually found Ethan Smith who tapped home for his second goal in pre-season. Hythe were now dominating the game and were ahead on 38 minutes as Jack Steventon played a long ball that found Johan Caney-Bryan who smashed the ball past Carshalton keeper Liam Beech into the roof of the net.
With a number of changes at half time, the Isthmian Premier side put Hythe under pressure with the defence resolute as they struggled to find the equaliser. The visitors were also grateful for two fine saves from goalkeeper Aaron Lee-Wharton from two efforts from Tommy Bradford. However, The Cannons held on for the win.
Hythe follow up today’s game with another away friendly as they travel to Snodland Town on Tuesday evening. Kick-off is 7:45pm.
Team: Trialist A, Sam Itauma, Marcus Goldsmith, Morgan Williamson, Lex Allen, Liam Smith, Trialist B, Jack Steventon, Johan Caney-Bryan, Ethan Smith, Trialist C. Subs Used: Jarred Tresparderne, Aaron Lee-Wharton, Trialist D, Trialist E, Trialist F.
Scorers: Carshalton Athletic - Jake Embery 28 mins. Hythe Town - Ethan Smith 32 mins, Johan Caney-Bryan 38 mins
Hythe Town 3 Potters Bar Town 0
Tuesday 5th July 2022
At Wrotham School
The Cannons comfortably overcame Isthmian Premier Division League Potters Bar Town 3-0 on the 3G at Wrotham School on a warm Tuesday evening.
Again, Steve Watt chose a starting eleven including some Trialists.
The first clear cut opportunity came for Potters Bar on nine minutes when they should have taken the lead, but the ball was screwed wide. Hythe were, however, ahead on 14 minutes when Ethan Smith was fouled in the penalty area. Up stepped his brother Liam Smith who sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to make it 1-0.
Alex Flisher was unlucky on 32 minutes as a cheeky free kick to the near post was deflected wide for a corner. But Hythe were not to be denied a second as Ethan Smith was pushed in the back on 42 minutes and this time took the kick himself putting the ball just out of the reach of the diving keeper into the corner of the net.
There were a number of changes at half time with a rare chance coming from Potters Bar with an effort that flew just over the bar. However, the Cannons finished off the win after 70 mins when the goalkeeper mishit his clearance into the path of a Trialist who tapped the ball into an empty net.
The early signs in pre-season are encouraging for Hythe as the defence looked strong and opportunities being created at the other end.
Hythe Town now go onto their next away game at Carshalton Athletic on Saturday in another pre-season friendly. Kick off is 3pm.
Team: Trialist A, Marcus Goldsmith, Trialist B, Morgan Williamson, Lex Allen, Jack Steventon, Josh Stirman, Liam Smith, Alex Flisher, Ethan Smith, Ollie Gray. Subs Used: Samuel Itauma, Trialist C, D, & E.
Scorers: Hythe Town – Liam Smith 14 mins (pen), Ethan Smith 42 mins (pen), Trialist 70 mins.
Attendance: H/C 42
Kennington 0 Hythe Town 1
Saturday 2nd July 2022
The Cannons started their season in good form as the eased their way to a 1-0 win against Kennington on a warm Saturday afternoon at Homelands.
Manager, Steve Watt mixed up the team with all the signed players on show with only Jarred Trespaderne unable to start due to injury. He also included a number of triallists who were looking for possible places in the squad.
Hythe had the majority of the play in the first half, and it was a goal on sixteen minutes that sealed the game as captain Liam Smith unleashed a shot from the edge of the penalty area that flew into the top corner giving former Cannon keeper Joe Mant no chance to make it 1-0.
Hythe made a number of changes in the second half but still had the best chances as Josh Stirman forced a Kennington player to clear off the line and then with ten minutes left on the clock a Trialist rattled the crossbar with an impressive effort.
Throughout the game the reinforced Hythe defence prevented any scares.
This was an encouraging start with Hythe back in action with another friendly at Wrotham School on Tuesday evening (5th July 2022) as the take on Potters Bar Town. Kick off is 7:45pm.
Scorer: Hythe Town – Liam Smith 16 minutes.
Attendance: H/C 115