I'll continue to be committed to Hythe Town, says boss Steven Watt, who now prepares to face Whitehawk at fortress Reachfields Stadium in The FA Trophy Last 64

Monday 20th November 2023

HYTHE TOWN manager Steven Watt has ruled himself out of the running for the managerial vacancy at neighbouring Folkestone Invicta.

Folkestone Invicta chairman Josh Healey parted company with long-serving stalwarts Micheal Everett and Roland Edge last Thursday.

Player-coach Andy Drury took temporary charge of Invicta’s 3-1 defeat at Dulwich Hamlet on Saturday, which leaves the Cheriton Road outfit in 12th place in the Isthmian League Premier Division table with 19 points (five wins, four draws and seven defeats).

Folkestone Invicta are six points adrift of the play-off zone and eight clear of the relegation zone.

Watt, meanwhile, guided Hythe Town to The FA Trophy Third Round for the very first time after his side beat National League South side Tonbridge Angels 3-1 on penalties after a goal-less draw at Reachfields Stadium.

The Cannons have been rewarded with a last 64 home tie against Isthmian League Premier Division side Whitehawk on Saturday 9 December.

When asked about the Folkestone Invicta link, Aberdeen-born Watt 38, replied: “Well, it’s the first I’ve heard about it.  I just do my job here, that’s all I concentrate on doing.  It’s the club I’m at and I’m committed to this club and these players to give them more.

“I had an opportunity to leave last year and chose not to because I’m committed to the club and I’ll continue to do that but I’ve certainly had no phone calls and it's the first I’ve heard of my name being in the hat.”

Watt guided the club to a fifth-placed finish – with limited resources - last season and lost the Isthmian League South East Division play-off final by a single goal away to Whitehawk.

Watt revealed this is his best run in The FA Trophy of his career.

“I think as a club it’s something that I said when I came here, I wanted to get firsts for the club.

“Last season was obviously the furthest they’ve ever got, the play-off final, in Step Four. 

“Obviously I would have liked to emulate years ago (losing to then League Two sides Hereford United in the first round back in 2010) in The FA Cup but that weren’t to be, so we focused on The FA Trophy to try to go as far as we possibly can.  The revenue for the club is important.”

Hythe Town have banked £15,144 in prize money from their FA Cup and FA Trophy exploits this season, with a further £4,500 (for the winners) or £1,250 (for the losers) up for grabs against the Brighton outfit in the last 64.

“I’ve not really had a history in The FA Trophy.  My history has always been in The FA Cup, obviously making my Chelsea debut, the run we had at Maidstone.  I’ve never really hard a run in the Trophy,” said Watt.

“It’s really pleasing. If this was the Third Round of The FA Cup, it’s real significant because let’s not take anything away from the Trophy because I see it as our FA Cup, if that makes sense? Because you’ve got a realistic way.  Look at Hornchurch a few years back, so that is our FA Cup, if you like.”

Welling United, meanwhile, welcome Taunton Town to Park View Road to contest their delayed Second Round tie tomorrow night and the winners will be at home to Brackley Town in the next round.

National League side Bromley - Wembley winners and runners-up in the past five years - face National League South side Slough Town at Hayes Lane.

Maidstone United will be travelling to National League side Barnet, while 2008 winners Ebbsfleet United (apologies for the blue font in the match report) welcome lower-league opposition in the shape of Bishop’s Stortford to Stonebridge Road.