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|Richard Giles reports from Eden Park Avenue|
|Beckenham Town||1||Kuieu 14|
|Hythe Town||1||Brazier 80|
Beckenham so close to winning
Hythe Town showed a lot of bottle to grab an ultimately lucky point at Beckenham on Saturday.
The stage was set for Hythe to continue their winning start to the season against a struggling Beckenham side looking for only their second win in over 20 games.
With a brand new playing surface installed for the home side, the stage was set for Hythe to play the ball on the deck, as they returned to a wing-back formation with dribbler Mike Yianni moving into central midfield.
But things turned out slightly different, as a plucky Beckenham side exploited Hythe down the flanks on numerous occasion showing great pace to commit Hythe defenders into challenges they didn't really want to make.
Paul Fisk has every right to point to the fact that he was missing the menace of players such as Mark Pollard and Gavin Ransley, and the experience of Nick Day and the suspended Dean Widnall.
Hythe will look to bounce back to winning ways at Reachfield on Saturday against an improved Sporting Bengal side, and looking at the bigger picture Hythe would always of taken ten out of twelve points in their first four league games of the season.
They started the game well on top as Roy Godden missed a chance to shoot as early as the first minute, after he had rounded Becks' keeper Gary Hopper who had over committed in search of the ball.
And there were good signs from the midfield as Yianni broke from the half-way line with a splendid run shrugging off several challenges before dragging his shot just wide from just inside the area.
Yianni was involved again on seventeen minutes as he broke up play and released Gooden and strike partner Jason Brazier clear on goal. In the end Godden was caught in two minds as to if he should shoot or cross and the chance was gone.
A minute later a similar passage of play occurred but on this occasion Godden didn't mess about with a fierce shot well held from Hopper.
Beckenham would grab their goal against the run of play as Hythe found themselves over committed on the left-hand side, Aliy Kuieu slotting home under Holdway after latching onto a raking pass from Darren Hall.
Hythe looked to bounce straight back, with Brazier having a shot deflected wide, but Hythe would waste the dead ball situation that followed.
Goalscorer Kuieu shot wildly over as Hythe failed to clear their lines as Beckenham missed a chance to take a commanding lead.
But the onslaught would continue up to half-time when Hall failed to convert two close range chances, and stand-in keeper Holdway saved brilliantly at close range from ex-Ashford player and constant threat Daniel Beszant.
Holdway really came into his own on the stroke of half-time as he saved his side again with an angled save, as Beszant entered the Hythe box again.
Hythe didn't find any amazing rhythm after the half-time break, but what they did show was tremendous fight and bottle as they battled to hold on to their unbeaten record in a game they knew may be beyond them on the day.
Godden picked up a booking early on, as Hythe stepped up their physical game. Mike Yianni outstripped two men down the right-hand flank before finding Roy Godden at close range who's goal bound shot was deflected to safety.
Brazier stepped up his game in the second period as well with Beckenham having to resort to a couple of body checks to stop him entering the area.
But Beckenham rallied, and continue to threaten on the counter attack before Hythe finally made the breakthrough. Cox played a nice lofted pass into Godden's pass who checked to see if he was on-side, with the go-ahead form the linesman he charged on to the bemusement of the Beckenham players before squaring to Jason Brazier to pass the ball into the next with Hopper committed.
If the goal had an element of luck about it, Hythe were still worth a goal as Beckenham only had themselves to blame for missed chances in the closing stages. After Cox had fired a deflected corner just wide, Beszant would produce two fine saves from Holdway as Beckenham laid siege to the Hythe goal.
The first a low save at the feet of the attacker, and the second a brilliant reflex save at close range, tipping over a shot that popped out from a goalmouth scramble.
'Good sides avoid defeat when not at their best' was the phrase that Hythe followers drank to after the game!
Hythe Town: Holdway, Clifford, Thomas, Cox, Holmes, King, Fisk, Hayes, Yianni, Godden, Brazier. Subs: Walmsley, Mills, Luchford