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HYTHE HEROES: Staines couldn't cope with us! PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 23 October 2010
HYTHE TOWN became the first Kent League side to reach the First Round of The FA Cup for 53 YEARS, following a deserved 2-0 win over Staines Town at Reachfields Stadium today, writes Stephen McCartney.


Staines Town, with a playing budget of £6,000 per week, were made to look ordinary by a battling Hythe side that played with passion, which the Blue Square Bet South side couldn’t cope with.

Goals from Gary Mickelborough and skipper Dave Cook ensured Hythe will go into tomorrow’s draw as ball number 64 - as their sixth win in the FA Cup ensures the club will be playing in the First Round for the very first time in their proud history.

Pity all those armchair fans that claim the Champions League is the be-all-and-end-all - the FA Cup is the only competition in the world that can make days like this come true.

This was a giant-killing, especially as Staines have recent FA Cup pedigree of their own - but Steve Cordery’s side lacked fight and passion, something that was clearly oozing out from the men in red and white as all fourteen players played their part in their club’s best day ever.

Last season The Swans defeated Shrewsbury Town 1-0 away from home in the First Round, before holding Millwall to a
1-1 draw at Wheatsheaf Park, before going down 4-0 at The New Den in the replay.

And three years ago The Swans defeated League Two outfit Stockport County at home in a penalty shoot out - live in front of the SKY Sports cameras - before going down 5-0 at Peterborough United in the Second Round.

Hythe’s HEROIC players can now start dreaming about making the national headlines of their own in the next two weeks - and hopefully in front of the LIVE television cameras.

“I think today caps the season so far,” Lee Shearer told www.kentishfootball.co.uk.

“It was one hell of a performance throughout the whole side, staff, everybody, but to be honest we absolutely mullered them today!

Shearer, who turned 34 today, added: “We never thought we’d never get this far when we first started out (in the Extra Preliminary Round at home to Bookham on 14 August) but it just goes to show a little bit of belief, a great management team behind us, a bit of hard work, look what happens.  

“That’s what the FA Cup is about!”

When asked about his preference for the First Round, the likeable defender replied, “I don’t care!  I just want a League club.  I want our club, Hythe Town, to get a bit of money out of it.  I want a nice League club and I want it to be live on TV.”

Shearer was shocked to hear that Hythe have ended 53 YEARS of hurt for Kent League sides.

He said: “Really is that right! Oh, that’s fantastic!  It’s just a brilliant day.  It’s a fantastic club, a really good club, really well run from top to bottom.  

“It’s a fantastic day for the club and for the Kent League.”

Hythe are a club that want to get out of the Kent League, and today’s crowd of 808 just shows the potential.

“Our fans were absolutely fantastic,” added Shearer.  “I just think that’s amazing for Hythe Town Football Club.  That’s a lot of people through the gates and that’s the support we could have once we start kicking on and moving forward.”

Skipper Cook, meanwhile, who scored the only goal of the game that dumped out disrespectful Ryman Premier League club Concord Rangers in the last round, and scored his eighth goal of the season today with a thumping 77th minute header to seal the 2-0 win, admitted Staines were awful.

“It all worked out well,” Cook told www.kentishfootball.co.uk.  “We all worked hard.  We knew we had to go out there and dig right in.”

He added: “I’m still in shock, bubbling, I’m buzzing, absolutely buzzing!

“It’s good for the club, that’s what it’s all about.  To be honest I thought they was going to be better.  I thought it was a tougher game against Concord than it was against Staines, but we made it hard for them and got in their face and pressurised them.

Mickelborough had a fine game too, scoring the opener, and crossing for Cook to wrap up the win.

“I think it was a team performance today, we all done well, no individuals out there today,” the striker told www.kentishfootball.co.uk.

“We all work as a team and that’s how we got where we are.

“We knew what our game plan was, came out, pressurised them, they were three league’s above us.  Nine times out of ten they would beat us, but it’s the FA Cup and that’s what it’s all about.  Hard work gets you anywhere.”

When asked who they want to play against in the First Round, Cook replied, “I’d like Southampton.  Nice ground, we’ll have it away as well.”

Mickelborough added: “Any of the big boys! Bring them on!”

Hythe Town have now won their last seven games - have won six in the FA Cup - and whoever faces them at Reachfields Stadium will not have an enjoyable afternoon.

Hythe’s FA Cup run has pocketed £29,250 in prize money, not including gate receipts and the bonuses they could pick up through television coverage in two weeks time.

Chairman Paul Markland, who has promised not to shave until their dream run is over, told www.kentishfootball.co.uk  that the club may be in line for even more of a financial boost.

He said: “I gather there’s another little bonus that you get at the end of the season, depending on how many replay’s there are.  You get a percentage of the money a little further on so it might be delivering a little bit more than we think.

“But forget the money, it’s just nice to have the win!”

Reflecting on the day, Mr Markland added: “Phenomenal.  It will only come round once in a lifetime - or maybe it will come round next season, you never know.

“The place is really buzzing and so am I - it hasn’t really sunk in though!

“The players were superb.  I thought we matched Staines man-for-man, probably a bit more than that!  We were superb.”

When asked his preference for their next FA Cup opponents, the chairman replied, “I quite like someone here, even if they’re a big club.  It would be nice to bring them here, but it depends how big they are.”

The chairman has urged the television companies to cover Hythe Town in the first round.

But we’re all involved in football for days like this.

“We’re in football for the wins and the pleasure,” added the chairman.

“The media interest will certainly be good for Hythe Town and I think people look back to the Hythe Town from the late 80’s.  In a few years time they’ll be thinking back to the Hythe Town of 2010.”

Twenty years ago Yeading (with Cordery in their side) knocked Hythe out of the FA Vase at the semi-final stage, en-route to winning the silverware.

Staines are now managed by Cordery, and it has taken Hythe 20 years, 6 months, 3 weeks and 2 days to bury that ghost.

“I think he knows his way here and when he was here (as a player) Yeading pipped Hythe to the post, so it’s definitely pay-back time,” added the chairman.

Jubilant club official Richard Giles summed up the mood, “Well, where do we start? The first Kent League team in 53 years to reach the First Round Proper, a seventh consecutive win, a sixth consecutive FA Cup win, a fourth consecutive clean sheet," he posted on the club's website.

“The first time Hythe Town have ever reached the first round of the FA Cup.   However, there is only one important number - ball number 64.

“Tonight you are the pride of non-league football, enjoy every moment and from all the supporters - thank you! What a day!”

Kent League chairman Denise Richmond, who was at the game, said: "What a great result for Hythe Town today comfortably beating Staines Town in front of a crowd of over 800.

“The Conference South side were always second best to Hythe Town who fully deserved their victory. 

“It is over 50 years since a Kent League side reached the first round proper when Margate did it in the late 50's.

“I'm sure we all join Hythe in looking forward to the draw on Sunday at 12.30pm for the first round proper of the FA Cup and may they get their wish of a League side in the next round." 


For everybody at Hythe Town Football Club - we salute you!  Everyone involved in Kent football is very, very proud of you all!

Visit Hythe Town’s website: www.hythetownfc.co.uk
Last Updated ( Saturday, 23 October 2010 )
 
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