FA Trophy Qualifying Round
Hythe 2 v 1 Aveley
Report by Scott Hateley courtesy of www.pitchero.com/aveley
A BRACE from Hythe captain Dave Cook dumped Millers out of the FA Trophy.
After Junior Appiah had put the Millers ahead early on, two goals from Cook – one from the penalty spot and another from a corner – was enough to send the Ryman South side through at Aveley’s expense.
But the Millers would have come away from Reachfields wondering how they didn’t at least force a replay having controlled almost the entire second half in search of an equaliser.
It wasn’t to be however as Aaron Gayle had a goal disallowed and another effort cleared off the line, Hythe goalkeeper Dan Eason pulled off a couple of smart saves at his near post and Jason Twum hit the woodwork as the hosts held on.
Despite arguably being the better side over the course of the 90 minutes it was yet another defeat for Justin Gardner’s men, who have now only won one of their last seven in all competitions.
The Millers couldn’t have asked for a better start either, as within six minutes they were ahead through Junior Appiah.
Appiah’s goal oozed quality after he picked the ball up about 25 yards from goal from Anton Stephenson before turning and curling a delightful effort from just inside the area, past the despairing Eason.
Having taken such an early lead it was important for the Millers to hold onto their advantage and control the tempo of the tie. But before they could settle back into the match they found themselves level again as Hythe scored from the penalty spot after Rhys Lawson tumbled under challenge from Sam Holloway.
The winner came just before half time when succession of corners led to the ball being delivered into the near post where it was attacked by Cook and Ryan Cooper. The Hythe captain rose highest to glance his header towards goal and in to put the home side in front.
With £2,500 at stake for the winner plus a home tie in the next round, the emphasis was on Aveley to come out of the blocks in the second half to force an equaliser.
They did that and dominated much of the game buut were unable to force the goal that would have brought the tie back to Mill Field.
After the game, Millers’ head-coach Glenn Robson said “We were better in stages today.
“Second half we worked on them a bit more but just couldn’t find a way through to get the equaliser or even go on a win the game.
“Although we dominated for large periods we just didn’t have that cutting edge today.”