Hythe go top after sterling display
HYTHE TOWN moved to the top of the Bulmers Cider Kent League Premier Division for the first time this season on Wednesday, with a superb 3-2 victory at Winch’s Field.
A first half Gavin Ransley effort was added to by Pat Kingwell and Dave Cook in the second half, as the visitors maintained their unbeaten start to their league campaign.
With Craig Southen and Joe Hitchings missing, Gary Mickelborough returned to the side in a midfield capacity. Tom Adlington and Buster Smissen also made the starting line-up, despite their continued struggles with injury, but Jason Brazier was again sidelined, forcing Dale Skelton into the unfamiliar role of full-back.
After an impressive opening from Hythe, captain Ransley handed them a 19th minute lead when he smashed home a Kingwell setup from a Ben Sly corner.
The centre half could have scored again, had it not been for the reflexes of Dan Eason in the Bay goal.
Kingwell whistled a long range effort wide and Skelton stung the hands of Eason as Hythe continued to dominate, but Bay were soon on level terms when Luke Harvey stabbed home after Skelton misjudged a header back to his goalkeeper Paul Hyde.
The visitors came straight back at their hosts, creating chances for Smissen and Skelton before the break, but it wasn’t until the hour mark that they managed to retake the lead.
(Harvey36, Brown pen 83)
Striker Kingwell latched on to a poor back-header before lobbing the on-rushing Eason.
The same player went close to grabbing a second from a Sam Marsh free kick and Mickelborough was denied following good approach work from Lee Winfield, before Cook made the points safe with an unstoppable volley from a Winfield corner.
There was still time for Ramsgate loanee Ben Brown to score Bay’s second goal from the penalty spot, after a needless Kingwell foul, which set up a tense finale.
But despite Bay producing a couple of dangerous crosses, Hythe kept them out to record their seventh league win of the season.
Team: Hyde, Adlington, Skelton, Marsh, Ransley, Mickelborough (Walker, 88), Cook, Sly, Smissen (Neilson, 69), Kingwell, Winfield. Subs not used: Shaw, Bond, Dunlop.
Hythe’s Pat Kingwell and Richie Radbourne (Erith/Belvedere) battle for the ball in the 1-1 draw at Reachfields Picture: Gary Browne pd1497968