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Littlehampton Town 4-4 Hythe Town
Littlehampton Town 4-4 Hythe Town

The Cannons were denied all three points as Littlehampton Town snatched a last gasp equaliser in a thrilling 4-4 draw down on the Sussex Coast.

Steve Watt had to make a number of enforced changes due to an ever-growing list of injuries as goalkeeper Steve Phillips, Sam Flisher, Bradley Schafer and Kai Garande were all out to be replaced by Jack West-Astuti, Marvin Hamilton and new signing from Lydd, Troy Howard. Kian Garlinge also made his first start.

The game start with a goal after only two minutes as a Frannie Collin free-kick was whipped into the penalty area to find the head of Johan Caney-Bryan who made no mistake in putting Hythe into a one goal lead. Within six minutes the hosts were level as Jordan Layton fired home from 18 yards.

On ten minutes Littlehampton were ahead as Dave Herbert picked up the ball and slammed it into the back of the Hythe net. However, the fast and furious start to the game continued as the Littlehampton lead only lasted six minutes as a cross from the impressive debutant Howard found Caney-Bryan who slid in to put the ball into the net to make it 2-2.

The game continued to produced chance after chance at both ends with the hosts going close as the ever-dangerous Nodirbek Bobomurodov cut in and rifled an effort from the edge of the area against the underside of the crossbar. Littlehampton may consider themselves unlucky on half an hour as the referee waved away their appeals for a penalty and salt was rubbed in the wounds when another controversial decision at the other end saw Caney-Bryan sandwiched between two defenders and this time the referee pointed to the spot to the delight of the travelling Cannons. Up stepped the ever-reliable Collin who slotted his penalty into the left-hand corner of the net to make it 3-2.  

The second half started again with chances at both ends but it was Littlehampton who brought the scores level on 57 minutes as Bobomurodov finally got his reward as he unleashed an attempt from the right-hand side that flew into the far corner. The game continued to provide entertainment as the Cannons went ahead again on 69 minutes as another cross from Howard on the right found Jake Embery who blasted the ball into the roof of the net from close range.

Hythe had a couple of opportunities to put the game out of the reach of Littlehampton as Howard broke through the home defence but sent his final effort over the bar and then Embery had an effort blocked with the rebound coming out to Josh Wisson whose shot rattled the crossbar. However, it was Littlehampton who had the last laugh deep into injury time as the ball came in from the right and was hooked in by Dion Jarvis to bring the scores level at 4-4.

Both sides had to settle for a point in what had been a pulsating game full of entertainment, but I think the Hythe players will see this as two points dropped rather than one gained.

Hythe are in action in Sussex again on Tuesday night when they visit Three Bridges in a league fixture when they will welcome back captain Liam Smith and Kane Phillip from suspension. Kick off will be 7:45pm.

Team: Jack West-Astuti, Troy Howard (Jarred Trespaderne 82 mins), Kian Garlinge, Jack Steventon, Lex Allan, Marvin Hamilton, Aaron Barnes (Luke Russell 56 mins), Josh Wisson, Johan Caney-Bryan, Frannie Collin, Jake Embery (Josh Stirman 89 mins). Subs Unused: Harry Rowland, Oscar Webb.

Scorers: Littlehampton Town – Jordan Layton 8 mins, Dave Herbert 10 mins, Nodirbek Bobomurodov 58 mins, Dion Jarvis 90 mins. Hythe Town – Johan Caney-Bryan 2 & 16 mins, Frannie Collin 35 mins (pen), Jake Embery 79 mins,

Yellow Cards: Kian Garlinge 79 mins, Johan Caney-Bryan 90 mins.

Attendance: 203.