Isthmian League

Preview: Hythe Town (A)

Right, take two. 

A dryer evening beckons on the base of the county of Kent with the prospect of postponement thankfully slim. On that recent January afternoon the pitch was a soggy picture, called off mere minutes before the commencement. But the context as we play-out the rearranged fixture remains: two sides near the bottom, struggling for wins, desperate for three points to lift them away from the threat that lies below.

So, another lengthy venture east to the Kingdom of Hythe awaits for a side buoyed by Saturday’s opening half, deflated by two simple corners into the box. A point richer as the congestions at the bottom of the table thickens, with this evening’s opponents level on points with The Hawks having played the same number of games. Ooooh yes, this one matters. 

Last time out

Cold and blustery, that’s the setting, but how was the football between Whitehawk and Corinthian you ask? Hampered by the conditions, as the breeze whipped up off the coast and carried the ball towards the Sea End, it allowed the ball to be played on the grass for much of the first forty-five minutes. Two composed, slick Whitehawk moves provided Alex Malins and Alex Laing with a goal each, the latter’s first goal for the east Brighton outfit. Javaun Splatt electric as the right-hand prong of the attack, it was he that would carve out his side’s second as the half approached.

Before and after this, though, Ross Standen’s red figures were undone by a corner kick from each side. Jack Mahoney rose high to nod in at the near post, before Jack Bath would head home untouched and unmarked as an entertaining half drew closer to the break. Two goals for the Alex’s, two goals for the Jack’s, that was to be the story as a drearier second half ensued where only an inspired Nathan Stroomberg-Clarke prevented Corinthian from attaining maximum points.

The opposition 

Ah, we can finally tick off every opponent! It’s been a long time coming but Hythe finally face the Hawks at the revered Reachfields on what promising to be another chilly February night. Whilst Whitehawk have struggled for momentum and consistency — without a win since December 3, it’s been a similar story for The Cannons who have just one win in the league since the final days of November. That was just ten days ago, as a Riley Alford brace proved the catalyst in a 2-1 home win over Faversham Town.

Equal points and equal goals scored, the similarities between these two clubs continue with Jordan Sarfo’s six leading the line for Hythe, although he is without a goal since the first Monday of January. Defeated 3-0 by league leaders Hastings United in their most recent fixture, it’s the tale of two out of form outfits.

Previous meetings

A little over two years ago Jude Macdonald’s Whitehawk both hosted and defeated Hythe 3-0 in the last meeting between these two sides. Connor Tighe’s strike minutes into the contest set the tone, as Ahmed Abdulla and Rhyle Ovenden added goals in the following half to make this one an assured victory.

The return fixture earlier in the campaign was an oddly entertaining exhibit as a nine-man Whitehawk overcame their opponents by a 1-0 scoreline. Duane Ofori-Acheampong scored the only goal before being controversially dismissed, and James Broadbent followed suit by having a slightly premature shower as he saw that not-so-good flash of red in the dying minutes. 

The good omens are snugly in place…





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