Our season is not over, insists Hythe boss Fisk (EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW)

Thursday 30th March 2006

Hythe Town manager Paul Fisk insists his team have still got plenty to play for - despite going out of the Kentish Observer League Cup last night, writes Stephen McCartney.

Having lost their first leg tie 2-1 to Maidstone United at Reachfields Stadium earlier in the month, they tried to reduce their deficit last night, with Dean Widnall going the closest when his rising shot from the edge of the penalty area was tipped onto the crossbar by Stones goalkeeper Pat Mullin within the opening three minutes.

But when Mario Celaire rose to head home Aaron Lacy’s throw towards the near post - scoring his fifth goal of the season - that gave Maidstone a 3-1 aggregate lead.

Damien Abel, though, brought Hythe level on the night, when, after leaving Ryan Royston in his wake, drove a right-footed 16-yard drive across Mullin and into the far corner to score his 12th goal of the season.

Maidstone though sealed their passage into the final, where they’ll meet VCD Athletic on 29th April at Folkestone Invicta’s Buzzlines Stadium, with 20 minutes left when Mo Takaloo was left unmarked, following Sam Tydeman’s quickly taken low free kick, and the former Ramsgate striker stroked home his 37th goal of the season from six yards.

“Well, I think our lads gave everything so I haven’t got any complaints about our players,” said Fisk after the game.

“They gave everything, at 1-1 we were back in it but obviously disappointed but can’t fault their effort. A little bit of luck is what we need and we didn’t get any.”

Fisk takes his side to in-form Erith & Belvedere on Saturday, and games against Whitstable Town (home), Greenwich Borough (away), Sporting Bengal (home), Beckenham Town (home) and a trip to Thamesmead Town follow.

But Fisk insists there’s plenty to play for as the season enters its final month.

He said: “We’ve just said to the lads that there’s not nothing left to play for.

“I mean we’re going to Erith & Belvedere and we’re trying to win that. They’re on a good run, it’s a nice ground, another good tam but I don’t want the lads to get down - I want them to try and win a few games.”

So if Hythe’s players can think they can put their feet up for the rest of the season, Fisk reminded them: “I don’t think there’s not anything to play for, I think there’s plenty.

“Any game you win is going to feel nice and we’re going to enjoy it so we still want to win games and still want to put in big effort really until the end of the season.”

Fisk admitted there’s a “big” difference between his team and victors Maidstone United - who announced in their match day programme that their chairman Paul Bowden-Brown has paid the £90,000 MOD Lease Premium and possesses the keys to their new stadium site at James Whatman Way in the County Town.

“I’ve got no complaints about the players - they were superb tonight, but you do need a bit of luck.

“The difference between the two clubs at the moment is big. The players we’ve got we have to use all season and  I think they’ve done well.

“I’m pleased with them tonight, disappointed for them that they didn’t win but pleased with the effort they made.”

Erith & Belvedere, meanwhile, are only three points behind joint-leaders Beckenham Town and Maidstone United, and had they not played two games more could have been considered as title favourites too.

After playing Hythe on Saturday, the Deres end the campaign with home games against Herne Bay (15th April) and Beckenham Town on the last day of the season (22nd April).

But if Beckenham or Maidstone slip up, could the Deres quietly sneak into top spot?

Erith & Belvedere v Hythe Town
Kentish Observer League
Saturday 1st April 2006
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Park View Road, Welling