Hythe Town clash ‘no foregone conclusion’ says Hastings United boss

Hastings United Football Club manager Chris Agutter
Hastings United Football Club manager Chris Agutter

Hastings United manager Chris Agutter doesn’t believe their FA Trophy victory over Hythe Town will have ‘any bearing’ on this Saturday’s game as the two sides meet face to face again.

Hastings United manager Chris Agutter doesn’t believe their FA Trophy victory over Hythe Town will have ‘any bearing’ on this Saturday’s game as the two sides meet face to face again.

The two face off in the Isthmian South East on this occasion with both in contrasting league form.

The U’s are still unbeaten in the league, nine games into their campaign while Hythe have played one game more yet sit in 15th place with just ten points.

Their previous meeting, in the FA Trophy preliminary round three weeks ago, ended in a 2-1 victory for Agutter’s side, who have since progressed further in the competition, following last week’s 4-0 thrashing of AFC Dunstable.

With Hastings’ sizzling hot form, they’re the side to beat on paper, however Agutter warns that it may not be plain sailing.

He said: “I’m always confident, especially at home, but I don’t think the previous result in the Trophy will have any bearing on this game to be honest.

“Hythe will obviously be wanting to make amends and we certainly won’t be living off that result thinking it’s a foregone conclusion.

“Any side with the likes of Alex Flisher, Frannie Collin, Ollie Rowe and Jamie Coyle in their ranks is going to provide us a stiff test.

“We’re in a really good place but we’ll be very respectful and conscious that they are a good side.

“Their league position is probably false and we’ll plan accordingly but we know it won’t be straightforward.

“But, then again, likewise, we’re at home. We have won every game at home this year and we intend to keep that record going.”

The U’s boss also revealed that midfielder Adam Lovatt will be in line for selection on Saturday after making a return to training this week.

Agutter also praised those who had stepped up in his place while he’s been sidelined.

Speaking after last Saturday’s emphatic FA Trophy victory, he added: “I’ve got to give credit to Ryan Worrall, Sam Adams and Jack Dixon who came in. I thought they were excellent.

“Adam, in my opinion, has been our best player this season. He has been monumental for us so the fact that we won in the manner we did and no one questioned where Adam Lovatt was, is probably a reflection of the way we’re playing.”

After a number of impressive performances, academy player Tom Chalmers has been assigned a first team squad number for the remainder of the 2019/20 season.

Chalmers, who’s notched three goals in three senior starts already this season, will wear the number 13 shirt. Speaking on Hastings United’s website, CEO Billy Wood said: “Congratulations Tom, one of our own!”