Hythe have plenty in reserve (EXCLUSIVE)

Wednesday 08th March 2006
Former Ashford Town reserve team manager, Mike Robbins has settled in well at Kentish Observer League outfit Hythe Town in the month he’s been at Reachfields Stadium, writes Stephen McCartney.

Hythe, under achieving in 12th place in the Kentish Observer League table, have collected just 19 points this season but have ten league games to play to try and catch Tunbridge Wells, who have seven more points than them.

Robbins, meanwhile, was disappointed that there League Cup semi-final first leg at home to Maidstone United was postponed last night so all attention turns to their league game at second placed Beckenham Town on Saturday.

The management team of Paul Fisk, Scott Porter (assistant) and Robbins have been fully supported by the board despite their lowly position.

“I have now been at Hythe Town for a month and have settled in nicely,” revealed Robbins.

”They are a great bunch of lads who deserve a higher league position than the one they occupy at present.

“Major surgery is not required as there are some very good players here to work with and having met the board, including chairman Paul Markland, they all back our footballing ambitions.”

Hythe have added former Maidstone United and Ramsgate player Steve Sallis to their squad and Chris Petts has signed from Robbins' former club, Ashford Town.

But former Tunbridge Wells, Thamesmead Town and Cray Wanderers and Sevenoaks Town defender/midfielder, John Myall was released this week.

Following their 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Herne Bay
at the end of last month, Hythe bounced back with a single goal victory over Lordswood last week.

Reflecting on those games, Ashford based Robbins, said: “We were comprehensively beaten by Herne Bay
, missing a hatful of chances and conceding three goals with three mistakes.

”However, we had a very hard week of training before the Lordswood game, in which we were far better than the previous week and fully deserved all three points.

”Although the result was only 1-0, we also missed a penalty as well as other chances.  But the boys worked hard and deserved their clean sheet.”

Robbins, though, was disappointed not to come across Alan Walker and his Stones’ side, after their Kent League Cup semi-final first leg was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch at Reachfields.

”We were very disappointed that the weather got the better of us last night, as this would have been a great test ahead of the league game at Beckenham on Saturday.

”Alan (Walker
) mentored myself as a coach, so this would have been a teacher v student type of scenario.”

The game has now been rearranged for Tuesday, 14th March, with the second leg being played at Sittingbourne’s Bourne Park on Wednesday, 29th March for a place in the final against either VCD Athletic (who have also reached the final of the Kent Senior Trophy) or Herne Bay

Meanwhile, Robbins’ former assistant at Homelands, Martin Larkin has returned from his holiday and will now take charge of Hythe’s second string.

”He is young, enthusiastic and full of ideas,” said Robbins.  “We all believe he will bring some quality to the reserves that will in turn push our squad.

”Although at this time of the season it is difficult to recruit new players, we are confident of signing some new players for the club as a whole.

”I believe there is a wealth of talent out there at reserve and British Energy Kent County League level, and we will be keeping an eye out in that area.

”To that end, there are some big clubs here in Kent
and the gap from reserve to first team in some of these is quite large.

”As we sit in between, I believe that we could both utilise and help to develop some of these players and give them a chance to prove themselves at first team level in front of a small crowd.

”We train together as a club on the pitch and any reserve players get a chance to impress the first team management.

”This season still has plenty of points to prove for, and of course silverware in the Kent League Cup.

”Paul Fisk has set a target of five more league wins, which if achieved would lift us up the table.”