It's The Big One!
This Saturday, Scott Porter's Hythe Town and Nicky Southall's Whitstable Town come face to face in an all Ryman South FA Trophy 2nd Qualifying Round clash.
The winners of the fixture at Reachfields will collect £3,250 in prize money, and could come up against a Conference South club in a potentially money-spinning 3rd Qualifying Round tie.
Talking to www.kentishfootball.co.uk Scott said - “It’s always going to be tough, any Kent derby is tough. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the league or cup. The cup gives it a little bit more incentive and a little bit more spice."
“We’re expecting a tough game. They’re always tough games against Whitstable and all the Kent sides so there’s a big incentive at the end of it. There’s money at stake, next round of The Trophy, so it’s a big game for both clubs.”
When asked how the Kent derby will be won on Saturday, Scott replied - “Whoever wants it more really, and to be fair it could be a mistake, it could be a bit of quality, but there will be a lot riding on it. There will be a lot of passion flying around, especially from our camp."
“At the end of the day a bit of quality could finish the game or a mistake. That’s the value of the game really. It’s going to be tough. Both teams will go gung-ho to go and win the game, we certainly will.”
When asked what The FA Carlsberg Trophy means to our club, Scott said - “It’s massive to be fair because there’s money at stake. We’ll treat it with the utmost respect especially with the incentive to go in the next round when the big clubs come in. The Conference South clubs come in at the next round so you could go and get a Dover."
“We look to win the game and hopefully get another home tie. It’s difficult against Whitstable so hopefully we can put in a professional performance and continue our good form and keep going the way we've been going.”
Talking about our league campaign to date, Scott commented - “It’s been a bit up and down to be fair. We’re getting a bit of consistency now, we’re eight unbeaten in all league and cups."
“We’ve chopped and changed, a few have left. I’m happy with what we’ve got at the minute, the players’ have got a lot of confidence in the side."
“We have to keep working hard and doing the right things and if we keep doing that then it shouldn’t be a problem.”
“That’s why I’m not worried about our league position with the amount of games that we’ve got,” he added.
“We’ve got so many games coming up. You only need two or three wins and you’re back up there."
“I’m happy with playing 46 league games. I like games Saturday and Tuesday because it keeps everyone on their toes, so it’s good for the league and I’ve got no problem with that at all.”
Of course our former striker Craig Thompson, now of Whitstable Town, is relishing the prospect of returning to his old stomping ground at Reachfields on Saturday.
The day will bring back happy memories for the twenty-eight year-old, who moved to the Belmont early in October.
Talking to www.kentonline.co.uk, he said - “I was at Hythe for four seasons and I had a good time there. We had a lot of success, winning the Kent League, the Kent Senior Cup and getting to the FA Cup first round and it was a difficult decision to leave."
“But I wasn’t getting the sort of playing time I wanted in the last year or so and decided it was time for a change.”
And Thommo is already feeling happier about his football after making five appearances for the Oystermen so far, saying - “It’s nice to be playing ninety minutes every week rather than just ten minutes here and twenty minutes there like I was at Hythe at the end, it also means I am getting fitter.”
He finished - “I would love to go down there and get a win on Saturday but we know how hard Hythe will make it for us and I will settle for a draw and a replay!”
Talking of replays, in the event of one being required, both clubs have decided to move from their usual midweek night of Tuesday, which of course will be Guy Fawkes' night. So if a replay is needed it will be at 'The Belmont' on Wednesday 6th November, kick-off 7.45pm.
The clubhouse at Reachfields will be open for a 'Happy Hour' at 12.30pm for the next two Saturday games, with Whitstable Town and Corinthian-Casuals.
Early arrivals can pay their ground admission in the Bar and enjoy 'Happy Hour' bar prices from 12.30 until 2pm!