Hastings United manager Agutter predicting difficult Hythe Town test

Hastings United manager Chris Agutter admitted Hythe Town’s upturn in form ‘doesn’t surprise him at all’ ahead of his side’s Isthmian South East clash with the Cannons this weekend.

Friday, 28th February 2020, 12:17 pm
Action from Hastings United's FA Trophy win over Hythe Town in October. Picture by Scott White

The Kent side were as low as 18th in September, but have risen steadily ever since manager Steve Watt came in five months ago, and currently sit in ninth.

Watt’s side were on a seven-game unbeaten streak until they faced Chichester City last Saturday, when they suffered a 2-1 defeat at Oaklands Park.

Agutter admits their form hasn’t come as a surprise to him. He said: “For me, it was expected because, under the previous set-up, they were massively underachieving, and, for what they’ve got quality-wise and player-wise, they’ve probably underachieved this season.

“So, the fact they’ve now strung a decent run of form together doesn’t surprise me at all, and is probably where they should be rather than where they are positioned in the league.

“Their form is expected so it should be really tough.”

Hastings have already faced them twice this season, winning on both occasions.

Ben Pope grabbed a brace to knock them out of the FA Trophy back in October, while the U’s recorded a 2-0 victory in the reverse league fixture at home in November.

Agutter added: “Hythe is never an easy game and they’ve always been one of those sides that have posed many problems but we’ve played them twice this year, home and away, already and we’ve won both times.”

United returned to winning ways last week with a comfortable 4-0 victory over Sittingbourne, but, despite the convincing scoreline, Agutter believes his side could have been even more clinical.

He continued: “It could have been six or seven to be honest. We weren’t as clinical as maybe we have been on other days.

“When we played Chichester we had five chances and scored five goals whereas against Sittingbourne, we created a lot of big chances and, if we were a bit more ruthless, the scoreline would have been a lot more handsome.

“If we can replicate that, we’ll have too much for Hythe.”