Fisk: We're going to give it a good go (EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW)

Tuesday 28th March 2006

Hythe Town are going to give it their best shot as they try to claw back their 2-1 first leg deficit and try to reach the Kentish Observer League Cup final tomorrow night, writes Stephen McCartney.

The winners of this tie tackle VCD Athletic in the showpiece final at Folkestone Invicta’s Buzzlines Stadium in Cheriton Road on Saturday, 29th April, but Hythe Town boss Paul Fisk wants his side book their place in the final.

“Well we’re going there to have a good go really, try to win the game and try to get to a cup final,” Fisk said.

“I think your always fearful of Maidstone because of the squad they’ve got and the size of the club.

“They’re a very good side, but on the other hand, we’re in the semi-final of the cup, we’re going to challenge them and think we can win the game. There’s no point turning up if we don’t think we can win.”

After finishing last season in sixth place in the table, Fisk’s side have disappointed many this term, and are currently sitting in 12th, six points behind Tunbridge Wells - the side that finished seventh last season.

Hythe reached the fourth round proper of the FA Vase this season, losing 3-1 at home to Winchester City, and it’s this run that has affected their league form.

They lost all four league games following their third round win over Chalfont St Peter ahead of their clash against the Wessex League giants and after they were knocked out Hythe have collected just 12 points from their last nine league outings (winning three).

“I think it would be fair to say we’re more a cup side,” admitted Fisk. “But the FA Vase and the cup games has affected our league form, especially the Vase, where we had those games to look forward to.”

Looking ahead to their second leg tie at Bourne Park against the double chasing Stones, Fisk will be geeing up his players before the game.

“I think what we’ll be saying is we haven’t got anything to lose, not to be nervous and get out there and give it your best go - we don’t want to have any regrets afterwards.

“I don’t think they should look back saying we should have done this or that. We want to win the game, I want the players not having any regrets afterwards and give it all they can and not look back.

“The players know what they’ve got to do and they’ll give it as much as they can.”

Hythe have six more league games remaining, but Fisk admitted he felt his side should have played better in the second half of their 1-0 defeat at Harrow Meadow against VCD Athletic on Saturday.

“I suppose looking at Saturday against VCD I was a bit disappointed how we played in the second half,” he said.

“Disappointed to lose that game so we want to win as many games as we can in the run-in, which has been our aim over the last few games.

“We’ve lost by the odd goal against a lot of the to sides but we’re looking to win as many as we can.”

Midfielder Dean Widnall (ankle) is struggling to be fit for the second leg, but Steve Sallis is fit to rejoin the squad, having recovered from a hamstring injury.

Defender Darren Walmsley, meanwhile, and midfielder Ian Hayes, the skipper, are back in contention after missing the defeat against Martin Ford’s side.

There was, however, good and bad news for Maidstone United yesterday.

Beckenham Town reclaimed top spot of the Kentish Observer League table thanks to a 2-1 win at Erith Town.

The Dockers stunned their visitors thanks to veteran striker Sean Cooney’s third goal of the season after 28 minutes, but substitute Jamie Cheeseman and a controversial late penalty from Junior Kadi meant the Eden Park Avenue outfit went top on a superior goal difference, with the Stones in second place.

However, finishing second may be enough for the Stones to secure promotion into the Ryman League after Bourne Park - the ground of Southern League club Sittingbourne - passed its grading.

A statement issued on 
said: “Following a visit from the FA's Ground Grading Team, it was decided that Bourne Park has passed scrutiny with regard to meeting the required criteria for playing football at Step 4 of the national pyramid.

“What this means now, is that the grading team will forward a recommendation to the Ground Grading Technical Committee at the FA stating that Bourne Park meets the requirements for Step 4 football.

“The Technical Committee sit on 7th April and will rubber stamp the club's application for consideration for promotion on that date.

“All that is required now is for Lloyd Hume and Alan Walker to ensure that Maidstone United finish in a top 2 position in this season's Kent League to ensure promotion to Step 4 for season 2006/2007. To achieve 2nd place The Stones need to gain 8 points from their last 5 league fixtures.”

Speaking after their 1-1 draw with Beckenham Town on Saturday, Hume admitted he is expecting a tough game against Hythe.

He said: “Advantage Maidstone but Hythe are a good side. We know how tough it’s going to be on Wednesday night but as desperate we are to win this league, we desperately want to win a cup final for the fans as well.

“I think they deserve it so Wednesday night will be as serious as any game we’ve played this season and we’ll be all out to win it.”

A crowd of 573 watched the Stones’ draw with Maidstone, which smashed their league record attendance, which was previously 434 and also propelled the Stones into the top 200 best supported clubs in England and Wales non-league football, placed at 196th position.

“The chairman is desperate to go up and so are the players and us the management team,” added Hume.

“Me, Alan (Walker) and Chris (Hiscock) have always worked at a higher level and we’re desperate to get back to a higher level.”



Maidstone United:
36 Takaloo, 23 Rowland, 10 Strouts, 9 Hegley, 8 Sperring, 8 Royston, 7 Huggins (6 for Tonbridge Angels), 7 Austin (now Chatham Town), 4 Celaire, 3 Paul, 2 Tydeman, 1 Barton

Hythe Town:
24 Sinden, 17 Godden, 11 Abel, 4 Hayes, 4 Fisk, 4 Guilver, 3 Brazier, 3 L Winfield, 3 Widnall, 2 Porter


Maidstone United:
Sat 1 April: a Greenwich Borough
Sat 8 April: H Sporting Bengal
Wed 12 April: H Deal Town
Mon 17 April: H VCD Athletic
Sat 22 April: a Sevenoaks Town

Hythe Town:
Sat 1 April: a Erith & Belvedere
Tue 4 April: H Whitstable Town
Sat 8 April: a Greenwich Borough
Sat 15 April: H Sporting Bengal
Mon 17 April: H Beckenham Town
Sat 22 April: a Thamesmead Town

Maidstone United (2) v Hythe Town (1)
Kentish Observer League Cup Semi-Final Second Leg
Wednesday 29th March 2006
Kick Off 7:45pm
at Bourne Park, Central Park, Eurolink, Sittingbourne