Hythe Town vs Hastings United – Preview
On Saturday 12th October attention moves away from the league and turns instead to this year’s FA Trophy. Hastings United travel eastward to the Kent coast for a preliminary round meeting with Hythe Town.
The FA Trophy is a competition open to Step 1 to 4 clubs, from which 296 teams have entered this year’s competition. 28 ties have already been held in an extra-preliminary round and another 56 games are due to take place in this round. This is all before the first of potentially three qualifying rounds, after which comes the first round proper! It is definitely the long way around. The reward for reaching the final is a visit to the national stadium for ‘Non-League Finals Day’ next May.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. As the adage goes, we have to play one game at time.
Looking back over the past five years illustrates mixed fortunes for both sides in this competition. United’s best is reaching the second qualifying round twice, while Hythe’s most successful campaign saw them reach the first round proper in 2016/17.
Returning to the here and now. United have made an excellent start to the season. They’ve suffered just one reverse in 13 games, when conceding a last-minute goal away to Worthing FC in an FA Cup replay 3 – 2 defeat. That game aside and the truly positive aspect is they are unbeaten in, and top of, the Isthmian League and have also won both their Velocity Sports Trophy league cup group games.
In contrast, after a poor start to the season and having lost seven of their first nine games, Hythe replaced their manager and captured some new signings. This fashioned an immediate upturn as they won both of their next league games 2 – 0. And although they narrowly lost 2 – 1 on Tuesday night, away to Ashford United in the league cup, there are hints Hythe have turned a corner.
United will be looking to maintain momentum and their hosts will be seeking to consolidate their league form. It’s set up for an intriguing cup game and the perfect excuse for a grand day out!
The game kicks off at 3pm, Reachfields Stadium (Fort Road, Hythe, Kent CT21 6JS). Directions can be found on the Hastings United website (Club Info > Away Travel) or on the Hythe Town website (Club Information > How To Find Us).
Admission is £10 for adults, £7 for concessions (includes over 60s) and £2 for under 18s.