|Saturday 14 August 2004||Go Travel Kent League Premier Division||Richard Giles reports from Reachfields|
|Hythe Town||3||Pollard 30,
|Sevenoaks Town||1||Constable 9|
Hythe get off to a winning start
Hythe Town triumphed with three clinical strikes to earn three vital opening day
points at Reachfields on Saturday.
Hythe switched to a 4-4-2 formation with Michael Yianni and Jason Brazier taking up positions on the flanks, to enable both players who are more than capable of playing as centre forwards, to get into more advance positions.
Although Hythe went through a shaky opening 20 minute period, the longer the game wore on the more their experience in killing off games at Reachfields showed.
Andy Constable, previously a key striker for Whitstable Town, but now playing for his home town club, was allowed three clear chance in the opening quarter of the game.
And this was more than enough for him to open his account for the season on 19 minutes volleying home into an empty net after Nick Day had already saved one on one on the edge of the box and Richard Bryce's follow up shot had deflected off Scott Thomas back to Constable.
Hythe had gone close just moments earlier with Pollard glancing a header across the
Sevenoaks goal and just wide from a Dan Fisk ball from the left.
As Hythe finally got a hold of Constable, the Sevenoaks threat eased and Hythe got back on level terms on 30 minutes with Pollard again latching onto a Fisk cross to score his trademark back post bullet header.
Six minutes later, Hythe were back in control of the game as the classic Pollard/Godden
combination clicked into action for the first time this season with a perfectly knocked on Pollard header allowing Godden to run clear from the Oaks' back-line and bundle the ball past keeper Darren Smart and into the net.
Hythe ended the half in better form than they started it with Brazier going close with a low shot after Yianni had supplied the cross.
Hythe were still in the dressing room when on 46 minutes Ian Balmer produced a fine close range save from Day, but Hythe were quicker to get into their strides in the second 45'.
On the hour mark Sevenoaks left-back Liam Spillane was booked for a clinical pull-back on Yianni as Hythe looked dangerous on the break 3 on 2.
On 62 minutes Yianni found Widnall drifting into the box unmarked with the midfielder producing the save of the game from Smart with a fierce volley on the bounce just inside the box.
On 64 minutes Darren Skys was introduced to pep up the Oaks' midfield and
Yianni and Brazier switched flanks to good effect.
Farrel Cox was booked as things got a little feisty. Bryce produced another good save from the impressive Day with an angled shot on 74 minutes.
However, Hythe made the result certain a minute later when Brazier latched onto a cross-field ball from Yianni to lose his marker and shoot under the advancing Smart.
Hythe had a good claim for a penalty as Kevin Clifford appeared to have his legs
taken from beneath him.
Stuart Daffin replaced Roy Godden for the last ten minutes with the versatile Yianni moving up-front.
Dan Fisk kept the two-goal cushion intact with a goal-line clearance in the closing moments and Hythe were home and dry.
Hythe Town: Day, Clifford, Thomas, Widnall, D Porter, Cox (captain), D Fisk,
Yianni, Godden, Pollard, Brazier. Subs used - Daffin, Subs not used - Walmsley, Pearce, Miller, Mills