The Rooks head down to the Kent coast on Saturday, weather permitting, to take on play-off contenders Hythe Town at Reachfields. The Rooks came through Tuesday night’s game at Molesey without any major scares despite the early substitutions and Darren will once again have a strong squad to choose from with only long-term absentee Alex Malins the only player definitely ruled out. Whilst Lloyd Cotton and Jamie Brotherton didn’t travel on Wednesday night they will make the journey down the M20. The Rooks away record is the best in the league with 43 points from 20 games so far which includes thirteen wins and four draws. They will need to repeat the form that has seen them win five out of their last six away games at Hythe who have a very strong home record, having won thirteen of their own at home and only losing on three occasions. Their last defeat at Reachfields was back in December when Phoenix Sports beat them 3-2. Since then they have recorded five wins in six games, including their last home game against Cray Wanderers who they beat 2-1.
When did we last meet
Ronnie Conlon’s effort in the 25th minute back in September was enough to give the Rooks all three points. Interestingly, only one of the side that started that game has left the Rooks since.
Hythe Town won the encounters on aggregate last season, thanks to their 4-0
win at Reachfields in December. Despite
some heavy fog and a mounting injury crisis, the Rooks took to the field but
soon found themselves a goal down (to Ryan Johnson) and a player down (Jack
Dixon red card).. Alfie May thought Christmas had come early as he plundered a
hatrick in a twenty minute spell either side of the break. In a tense affair at The Pan in March, with both sides
harbouring play-off hopes it was an Alex Malins first half header that settled
an uninspiring game.
Reachfields is certainly one of the most unique grounds in the Ryman
League. Set next to the army firing
ranges (which can make for a quite scary afternoon if you are afraid of loud
noises) and close to the seafront, it retains a rural feel despite being a
short walk from the town centre. The most
striking factor is the two-story main stand, which doubles as the club offices
at ground level whilst upstairs is a very well appointed bar with balconies for
fans to watch the game on (subject to an additional £2 fee). On two sides of the ground there is covered terracing,
whilst the far end is open to the elements.
There is a handy tea bar where you can still watch the game from that
serves some decent grub.
How to get to Reachfields
Reachfields Stadium is easily accessible from the M20 motorway. Leave the
motorway at junction 11, then at the roundabout take the 3rd exit onto the
B2068, signposted Hastings and Hythe. At the next roundabout take the 2nd exit
onto Ashford Road, A20. Continue forward onto Ashford Road, A20. Entering
Newingreen, at the T-junction turn left onto Hythe Road, A261, and signposted
Hythe. Continue forward down London Road, A261. Entering Hythe, continue
forward at the traffic lights onto Scanlons Bridge Road, A2008. Turn right at the next set of lights onto
Dymchurch Road, A259. Either take the 1st left down Fort Road and turn right at
the end of Fort Road for the car-park, or after a few hundred yards turn left
onto the Reachfields estate. Follow the road round and the stadium will be on
your right. There is plenty of free parking at the ground and in the
surrounding streets. Another long trip
for the Rooks with a journey time of around one hour 45 minutes to complete the
Don’t be fooled into thinking Hythe has a railway station –
it doesn’t…unless you could the Dymchurch to Hythe steam railway that
terminates a five-minute walk from Reachfields.
The nearest mainline train station is Sandling. There are regular trains
to Sandling from London Bridge and London Charing Cross, as well as Ashford
International. From the station the ground is approximately half an hour on
foot and would include a steep climb on the homeward journey. If you are determined to walk it then head
out of the station and take a left onto Sandling Road and follow this down into
Hythe. When you pass Brockhill Park
College you need to take the fourth right into Bartholomew Lane. Follow that down and round the left-hand dog
leg. Take the right into Barrack Hill
which runs down into the one-way system.
Carry straight over the bridge, passing the Light Railway station on
your right. At end of road turn right
onto Dymchurch Road then next left into Fort Road. Entrance to the ground is at the end on the
right-hand side. The journey would
require changes at Hastings and Ashford International to complete and take
2hours 30 minutes but as you are avoiding going into London an Off-peak return
ticket would cost £20.70.
Admission this season is £9 for adults, £6 for concessions (senior
citizens, students and Under18s), and accompanied under 18s are charged £2. Note – there is an additional £2 charge to
watch the game, space permitting, from the balcony.
Fancy a beer?
Hythe has some decent drinking options.
The favourite for those looking for guest ales will be the Three Mariners
in Windmill Street, a five-minute walk away from Reachfields. Close by is The Hope in Stade Street which is
highly recommended. In the High Street, The
Globe Inn and Kings Head are both Shepherd Neame pubs whilst the White Hart in
between them dates back to the 14th century and often has some good
beers on tap.
Kick off on Saturday is 3pm.