And so here we are, it all comes down to this. A climax unlike any other, it’s been a wonderful campaign regardless of tonight’s result. But confidence is high in the camp, and manager Shaun Saunders has been talking to the media before the evening’s events.
Shaun, tonight is the night. A big game with confidence flowing, what have the days since Beckenham Town been like for you?
“Yeah, absolutely! I’ve been asking people to WhatsApp me a motivational message to put in the players’ group, I’ve got quite a few from supporters who I don’t know that I’ve just forwarded it into the group, and they’re loving it!”
Is there something that could define tonight’s game, something that will give your side the best shot at victory?
“Well, yeah! The fact that we’ve got, bar Shooey [Harry Shooman] and Biff [Joe Shelley] – who’s been out for four months – everybody available. Charlie Harris is available. Luke Robinson is available; so we’ve got a real strong squad to pick from. I think that’s key for us, definitely! I should toss and turn all night tonight wondering who to play, who not to play! But that’s certainly the position you want to be in a game like this.”
“I think out supporters, either end, and I’ve said it every week for so long… they’re our twelfth man here, and they’ve been brilliant all season. And I said to the players, they’ve backed us through thick and thin so it’s now time for us to give every fibre of our being tomorrow to try and get the right result to please everybody. We’re strong, and we’re really looking forward to it. Buzzing to be here!”
Form has been good in recent weeks, yet Hythe Town have won their previous seven. What sort of game are you expecting?
“Even the one we lost away – lost 1-0 to a free-kick, one ball direct into our box that we didn’t deal with well enough. I remember in that game we had enough chances to win that game on the day. We’re expecting a tough one, we know that. We’ve done our homework, done a lot of research and we’re well-prepared. If we play to our full potential then I’m confident we can get the result.”