Cook goal main­tains un­beaten record

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Football -

Hythe Town 1, Erith/Belvedere 1

HYTHE TOWN main­tained their record as the only un­beaten side in the Bul­mer’s Cider Kent Premier League this sea­son with a hard-earned point at home to Erit­hand Belvedere on Satur­day. A splen­did sec­ond-half strike by mid­field dy­namo Dave Cook pulled it back to 1-1 hav­ing con­ceded a soft first-half goal to for­mer Hythe man Ai­den Purs­glove. Ei­ther side could have ended up tak­ing the win from this game and it took a cru­cial late save from Hythe keeper Paul Hyde to keep out a strike from for­mer Ash­ford Town man Joby Thoro­good to pre­serve the point. The draw keeps Hythe on track just be­hind leaders Holmes­dale who won 1-0 at VCD Ath­letic. Hythe were miss­ing sev­eral first choice play­ers with in­jury or avail­abil­ity but gave a late de­but to de­fender Aaron O’Leary. Will Dun­lop stepped into the side for the un­avail­able Sam Marsh at the heart of the de­fence but his un­cer­tain start ended on 21 min­utes with the goal that gave the north Kent side the lead. His col­li­sion with team-mate Gavin Rans­ley al­lowed Purs­glove to waltz through un­chal­lenged on goal to fin­ish well. Dun­lop limped off with an in­jury from the col­li­sion with John Walker join­ing the de­fence. But Hythe came back strongly and prob­a­bly should have been on terms by half time. Striker Gary Mick­el­bor­ough filled in at mid­field and his great run and shot was only de­nied by a smart save from Erith keeper Matt Bromby and the keeper won a rather for­tu­nate free kick af­ter a header by Buster Smis­sen found the net but was dis­al­lowed by the ref­eree. Bromby then made an ex­cel­lent save to keep out Smis­sen while at the other end Hyde did well to palm away a loop­ing header from Nick Smith, Hythe squan­dered an­other great dou­ble chance in the open­ing min­utes of the sec­ond half when Mick­el­bor­ough’s by­line cross saw Bromby again keep out Smis­sen’s close range strike and then Cook had his first post ef­fort well blocked. While the vis­i­tors were al­ways a threat the Hythe side looked the more likely to get on the mark, which they did on 73 min­utes when Cook’s su­perb first touch and swivel shot nes­tled in the net.

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