Cards must avoid Cup slip-up
12:59pm, Thu 24th Sep 2009
Hythe Town v Woking
FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round
26 September 2009
Itâ€™s many a year since the Cards have had to join the FA Cup at this stage but weâ€™ve been presented with a nice trip to Hythe â€“ anyone for a nostalgic pre-match spin on the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway? â€“ so we canâ€™t complain. Of course there would be huge embarrassment if we were to lose this tie but Graham Baker wonâ€™t take Hythe lightly: they are clearly a decent side and have the confidence that comes from a successful start to the season. Letâ€™s take as many fans as possible to Hythe and impress the locals not only with the level of our support but also its good nature. Hythe seems a very friendly club, so letâ€™s show how away fans ought to behave.
In recent seasons this competition has brought little joy and much sorrow to Cards fans. The nadir was probably reached two years ago when we lost 1-0 at home to Staines Town. Seasoned Woking supporters will say that it all began when John McGovern appeared to be happy to see his team succumb meekly at home to a struggling Southend United in 1997. Weâ€™ve had little to shout about since: even when we managed to get to the first round and draw a League club (e.g. Kidderminster Harriers, Notts County, Tranmere) weâ€™ve never really looked like causing an upset and we threw away a chance to go to Sunderland when we lost to Northwich Victoria. We embarrassed ourselves at Carlisle United.
Graham Baker is well aware that a decent Cup run is very important this season, given the Clubâ€™s finances. Falling at this hurdle would be a major blow.
The upside of being drawn away is that we seem to be playing much better on our travels than at Kingfield, where Saturdayâ€™s defeat against Newport County simply highlighted again our problems in putting the ball in the net, especially at home, where weâ€™ve managed four goals in six games, compared with nine in five away.
I hope to speak to Graham tomorrow morning to get an update on the injury and suspension situation, in particular on the injury suffered by Tony Sinclair last Saturday and what Graham plans to do in the light of Ross Wornerâ€™s suspension for this Cup game.
Hythe Town was formed in 1910 and gained senior status in 1975, joining the Kent League. They had a high profile in the late 80s/early 90s when a property developer took over and pumped some money in, with the club joining the Southern League. The club went into liquidation in 1992 but was re-formed, regaining its Kent League status three years later. The club has been doing very nicely in recent years, knocking out Dover in the FA Cup two years ago before a crowd of over 1,100 â€“ a salutary warning! â€“ and regularly challenging for the Kent League Premier Division title.
The Reds achieved their best-ever placing last season, finishing runners-up in the Kent League after leading the pack for much of the campaign. This season they have started well, their disappointing 2-1 home defeat at the hands of rivals Faversham Town on Saturday being their first reverse of the campaign.
Striker Kieran Byrne has had a very impressive start to the season, netting 9 times already, including a hat-trick against Fisher in August. Byrneâ€™s fellow strike partner, Pat Kingwell, has scored one fewer, himself claiming a hat-trick in the FA Cup Preliminary Round against Eastbourne Town. Cook has netted four goals.
The Redsâ€™ progress so far in the FA Cup has been:
Whitehawk 1 Hythe Town 2
Hythe Town 4 Eastbourne Town 0
Hythe Town 2 Faversham Town 1
Click on 'more news' at the bottom of the news items on the right to bring up the earlier news item giving full details of coach, car and train travel and parking.
Admission prices: Â£8 adults, Â£4 concessions; programmes Â£1; seating (benches) are free but once the game starts the larger west section is only reached via the open end of the ground and the toilets are at the opposite end (as well as in the bar.) The balcony areas have been reserved for sponsors, officials and â€“ in the interests of safety â€“ the one unbooked area has been set aside for home fans. The ground opens at 12 noon.
Segregation: The game is not segregated. Smoking is permitted in the ground but not in the upstairs areas.
Pubs/shops etc: The Club Bar will open at 12noon. Hot food will be available but service is likely to be slow immediately before and during the game. Hythe officials have expressed the hope that fans will have a drink together before and after the game in the best traditions of non-League football. There are also plenty of pubs around the High Street, which is seven minutesâ€™ walk from the ground along the canal bank or you can park at Waitrose, which is a large free public park between the canal and High Street (but time limit applies).
If Saturdayâ€™s tie is drawn the replay will be at 7.45pm at Kingfield on Tuesday 29 September.
Come on, you Cards!