Hythe Town 1-0 Tilbury - I think we will only get stronger, says Hythe Town boss Clive Cook

Saturday 15th July 2017
Hythe Town 1 – 0 Tilbury
Location Reachfields Stadium, off Fort Road, Hythe, Kent CT21 6JS
Kickoff 15/07/2017 15:00

Pre-Season Friendly
Saturday 15 July 2017
Stephen McCartney reports from Reachfields Stadium

HYTHE TOWN manager Clive Cook says his side will only get stronger in time of the new season in 28 days time.

The Cannons suffered a 4-1 defeat away to their Bostik Premier neighbours Folkestone Invicta six days ago but returned to Reachfields Stadium to defeat Bostik North side Tilbury.

Former Ramsgate attacker Tom Loynes, 24, scored the only goal of the game with a lovely dink after only 15 minutes.

“It’s pre-season, you get a lot out of it,” said Cook, who used 20 players during the game.

“First half, I thought we done very well. The shape was really good, we changed the shape second half to give minutes for everyone involved but I was very pleased with the first half although it was only 1-0 but it could have been probably a lot more, we were in control.

“Second half, we allowed them back into it a little bit, lots of changes, lots of minutes. We lost our shape a little bit and that happens in pre-season.”

Cook was delighted with the fitness from his players.

“You could see the difference from last Sunday, two more sessions in the week and today, it was a big improvement.  You could see the extra sessions the new coach is putting on and we looked more organised today. We made a lot of opportunities, good opportunities, so I’m pleased.”

That coach, Mike Ward, has arrived from Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division side Bearsted and he barked out instructions and encouragement from first minute to last.

“I’ve known Mike, he played for me when I was at Ashford reserves. He used to go to school with my son.  I’ve known him for a long, long time. He’s brought more professionalism to us. He’s got us more organised, he’s very, very good. He crosses the t’s and dots the i’s, doesn’t miss a trick. He’s very, very busy in what he does.”

Tilbury manager Gary Henty explained in a text message this morning why he failed to provide a list of his players for the game.

“We have a lot of lads that are on trial today and haven’t signed forms so I wouldn’t like our line-up published, sorry,” he said.

“I must say I follow you on Twitter and your coverage for Kent football should be applauded.”

Kieron Campbell was a threat down the right wing and he ghosted in at the far post to meet Mitchell Chapman’s floated cross only to roll his shot past the far post.

Tilbury went close with two set-pieces at 0-0, a free header at the near post which sailed past the far post from eight-yards, before a near post flicked shot following a long ball, which flashed just past the foot of the near post.

“They had a few set-pieces, long balls in and that but I thought we dealt with it very well,” said Cook.

“Will Godmon didn’t really have much to do first half. I thought we controlled the game really, just other than set-pieces.”

Campbell rode a challenge down the right before cutting inside and setting up Sam Adams, but his first time shot looped harmlessly wide.

Hythe Town made an early breakthrough when Campbell produced a sublime crossfield pass from the right to pick out Loynes at the far post, who took a touch before dinking his right-footed shot over the advancing keeper to find the far corner of the net.

Cook said: “Good move.  We started off in our box to Kieron.  I thought Kieron had a great first half, I thought he was probably the best player on the pitch. A great ball in and Tom finished it off well.

“Tom’s coming back from a bad injury, he’s starting to show just pieces of form. It will take a bit more time but he’s just showing a bit there today so we’re just giving him a little bit more minutes, just like everyone else.”

Loynes then turned provider by sweeping a pass inside to central midfielder Chris Saunders, who hit a right-footed drive from 25-yards, which bounced into the hands of the Dockers keeper.

Tilbury’s number nine then sent an overhead kick over the crossbar from 10-yards after their right-back whipped in a cross when he was allowed to get into the final third by Ben Wilson.

Mitchell Chapman’s diagonal pass found Campbell, who brought the ball down under control with quality, before cutting inside and playing the ball inside to Adams, but the midfielder kneed the ball wide.

“Proper pre-season finish that one,” admitted Cook.

“Listen Kieron will bring a massive asset to this year. He came in three quarters of the way through last season, didn’t get to know everyone. He’s come back in and he’s started his pre-season probably four weeks before we did. He’s come back with the bit between his teeth and I think he’ll be a big asset for us this year.”

Central defender Dave Cook charged down a shot from outside the penalty area, which was comfortably gathered by former Faversham Town goalkeeper Will Godmon.

The Cannons made five changes at the break, with central defender skipper Ryan Johnson and midfielder Adams completing the 90 minutes, while Tilbury gave their second mystery line-up a 45 minute run-out.

Cook said: “I was very pleased with the first half. If that had been a league game, I’d be over the moon being honest because I know it was only 1-0 but I thought they really, really didn’t threaten us and we were in control.

“We made the changes because that’s what we agreed to do for the first two or three games and then we’ll settle down. It’s all about getting the squad sorted out, getting the right things sorted out, getting the right personnel involved and we’re getting there.”

The Dockers squandered an excellent chance to draw level in the 54th minute after referee Jamie Eacott pointed to the spot after Wilson’s foul in the box following a three man break.

Tilbury’s number 20 stepped up and his right-footed penalty was superbly saved by substitute keeper Joe Mant, diving to his right to push the ball around the post.

“Great save, first penalty save he’s done in a year I think, but yes, good save, great save,” said Cook.

“Penalty? Not sure, I’ve got to be honest.  I’m no good saying was it or wasn’t it? He’s given it, you can’t change it.   To me justice was done. It was a good save, well, he done a great save.”

The Hythe Town manager has a big decision to make as to who will be in goal for their opening Bostik South Division game at home to Walton Casuals on 12 August.

Who is your number one goalkeeper? “Don’t know. Next,” replied Cook.

Are you going to keep them both? “Next.”

You haven’t decided? “Next.”

“Listen, I will answer the question. We’ve brought Will in to put big pressure on Joe because Manty is a good, young keeper. He done very well first year I was here. Last year I felt he needed more pressure. I felt he needed more competition. Will’s come in and he’s giving that competition. Listen, Will’s a very, very good keeper.

“It was our decision after the season that we needed to put more pressure on the squad in certain areas and we felt we’ve got an opportunity with Will, that’s it.”

The same Tilbury player had another chance saved by Mant, sweeping his shot straight at the Cannons keeper after a breakaway down the left and a lovely low cross into the middle.

Hythe substitute Ashley Miller went close with a left-footed shot that sailed just over the top of the left-hand post, before substitute striker Dean Grant (who had his left knee iced by physio Donna Walker after the game) rose to plant his header over the bar from eight-yards after a whipped in cross from right-back Jerald Aboagye.

When asked about Grant’s knock, the manager replied: “He’s not here next week, he’s away, which is good, so he’ll have a week to rest and get himself sorted and he’ll be ok.”

Hythe left-back Wilson floated in a cross and Grant rose to knock the ball down from inside the box and his strike partner Kenny Pogue dragged his first time shot past the far post from 14-yards.

Tilbury will be kicking themselves as they squandered another excellent chance to equalise in the 64th minute.

The Essex side broke down the left, put over a delicious cross which was beyond Mant and was met by a bullet free header at the far post from six-yards. Only the man wearing the number 19 shirt will know why he sent his header across goal and past the far post when he really should have buried it into the far corner!

“That’s what we’re about though, that’s what we’ve got to try to work on, that’s what we are working on, it’s all about concentrating,” said Cook.

“You could see the little free-kicks outside the box right at the end. This is what cost us last year massively and this is what we’re trying to work on because I feel that because it’s an area which we need to work on a lot to stop, in training and pre-season.

“I’ll be disappointed if that was my striker (missing that great chance), put it that way, but then we should’ve got one or two.”

Adams pinged a lovely deep diagonal over to substitute winger Ryan Palmer, who brought the ball under his spell, cut inside to power his angled drive towards the bottom corner, the keeper getting down low to his right to push around his post to deny the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division title winner at Ashford United.

“That’s why we’ve brought Palms in, he’s dangerous, he’s very dangerous,” said Cook.

“I think he’s still finding his feet but he’s been out of this level a while. He got comfortable in the level he was at. I brought him in because he will be a real, real dangerous, dangerous player for us once he finds his feet. I still think he’s still finding his feet with the way we play, the personnel he plays around and us getting the best out of him.”

Palmer swung in a corner from the left which was met by Pogue’s downward header at the far post, but the keeper made a pin-point block with his left thigh.

Tilbury wasted another chance at the far post, the man in the number 12 shirt, dragging his shot across goal and past the far post after Mant failed to collect a hanging cross from the left.

Some clever play from Miller inside the centre circle saw the former Folkestone Invicta man weave past his marker before slipping through a lovely pass along the deck to put Pogue through on goal.  Unfortunately, the former Hastings United striker failed to finish it off, blasting his shot straight at the Tilbury keeper when he only had him to beat in the final couple of minutes.

Cook revealed that he wants more goals from Pogue this season, having netted 16 for the club last season.

Cook said: “I’m looking for more from Ken being honest. He got us a lot of goals last year coming off the bench but I want more from him.

“Is there more? Who knows? We’ve got to work on that and it’s an area which we need. Once Alfie May left (for Doncaster Rovers) last year we missed his goals. We brought Dean Grant in, who done very well. Jay May was in and out because he was injured a lot so I’m looking for some big numbers from them, that’s why I brought Ashley Miller and Ryan Palmer in. Sam Adams, they’re all double figured strikers or ball players.

“He should put them away and I’m not being critical of him. That’s why we’re putting pressure on him. He needs to put them away. He gets into some very, very good positions and he gets put into some very good positions but he’s got to be more clinical.”

When asked about the positives and negatives from today’s game, Cook replied: “Listen, we played minutes and played very well.  With the personnel we’ve got I think we will only get stronger.  I think that it doesn’t help when you (make so many changes) but every manager will tell you that you lose your shape. 

“I don’t think there’s any negatives out of pre-season other than the changes you have to make to get the boys minutes and that’s where we are really.”

Hythe Town: Will Godmon (Joe Mant 46), Jerald Aboagye (Charlie Webster 78), Ben Wilson (Keane Gillett 72), Mitchell Chapman (Dean Grant 46), Ryan Johnson, Dave Cook (Callum Emptage 58), Chris Saunders (Matt Newman 46), Sam Adams, Jay May (Ashley Miller 46), Kieron Campbell (Kenny Pogue 60), Tom Loynes (Ryan Palmer 46).

Goal: Tom Loynes 15

Booked: Dave Cook 53

Attendance: 116
Referee: Mr Jamie Eacott (Walderslade)
Assistants: Mr Joe Dann-Pye (Maidstone) & Mr Myles Hewson (Sittingbourne)

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