Hythe boss Steve Watt has had to reflect on the quality of both sides of the pitch following their FA Cup exit at Dartford.
A 5-1 loss underscored the quality of the day’s finish at Princes Park as Southern National League leaders the Darts advanced at the expense of a team two levels below them.
“It’s a reflection of the quality of Dartford,” Watt said. “The game itself was closer, but we made five individual mistakes that led to five goals. When you play against a team like Dartford with the quality they have, if you make a mistake you will be punished. and that’s what happened.
“I’m more than happy with the way the boys played, we gave a good account of ourselves especially considering the struggles we had in our backline and the players we were missing. more than happy with the way we played and caused them a problem or two.
“We changed the form because we thought that with the quality they have we could frustrate them a bit. Frannie got off very early so we decided to go and went back to our original form, 4 -2-3-1, and I got the reward straight away with a fantastically worked goal. “
Hythe’s cause was not helped by the absence of defenseman Scott Doe, losing left-back Nathan Gordon to a hamstring injury during the warm-up, then the experienced duo of Frannie Collin and Tom Wynter did not complete 90 minutes due to injury.
They scared the Darts midway through the first half with a well-worked equalizer as Darren Oldaker prepared Alex Brown to score against his former club.
But it was too far a task for Watt’s team, especially with their exhausted team.
“The only frustrating thing was that we didn’t have everyone here so we could better realize ourselves defensively,” he added. “We cut them and had chances and chances, but the difference was in both boxes.
“It’s a reflection of our games this season, we are creating luck after chance and scratching 1-0 or 2-1 games when they should be out of sight. It was a free kick for us but I’m happy of the way we played.
“Nathan got away with it on Tuesday night (against Sittingbourne) and we took him off then with an eye on the FA Cup game. He looked good but towards the end of the warm-up he felt that ‘he was ready to go and that was a risk we couldn’t take. It’s not ideal when you’re looking at your four-way back with two of them not there. “
Hythe is visiting Southern League Central team Welwyn Garden City during the FA Trophy this weekend. Watt hopes his players can learn from the FA Cup experience.
“The lessons we need to learn are to take our chances when we get them,” he added.
“I thought we had enough chances to score more goals. In our area we can’t make stupid mistakes, especially at this level. You could do at our level, but the quality of the players that they have in Dartford punishing you.
“There are always lessons to be learned from wins and losses, probably more when you lose games. We will learn from that, I have a good mix of youth and experience and there is no one with the head down.
“They are just disappointed with the way the goals were scored rather than the way we played.”
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