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Hythe Town boss Clive Cook praises his son Dave for 'very rare' loyalty

By Alex Hoad

Clive Cook says it would be a fairytale if record-breaking Hythe stalwart Dave Cook could score the winner in the derby clash with Ashford on Saturday.

Cook Jr made his 355th appearance for the Cannons as they picked up their first away points of the season with a 2-1 win at VCD Athletic on Tuesday night.

The milestone saw him overtake John Walker’s previous club record and dad Clive revealed there will be a presentation made to mark the achievement at Reachfields on Saturday.

Dave Cook scored a late goal in Hythe's 3-1 win over Chatham Picture Gary Browne

Hythe Town captain Dave Cook Picture: Gary Browne

The 33-year-old captained Hythe to the Kent League title in 2011 and lifted the Kent Senior Cup a year later while he won the Ryman League Golden Boot in 2013 after scoring 27 goals from midfield. In total, he has netted 130 goals for the club in three stints.

Boss Cook said: “It is very rare to see loyalty like that in football these days. It is a huge achievement for anyone to play 100-plus games for one club so for him to reach 355 is incredible and shows his loyalty.

“He is a big player for us in our system and wouldn’t it just be a fairytale if he were to pop up with the winner on Saturday.”

Cook switched to Ashford in February 2014 but returned for a third spell at Reachfields in September 2015. He previously had a spell at Hastings. Clive Cook added: “I don’t mind how we win, so long as we do.

“We have been creating an unbelievable amount of chances and although we have scored four against Ramsgate and five against Guernsey, at some point someone is going to get a real beating. We need to be more ruthless and clinical.”

Town wasted a host of chances in a 1-0 defeat at promotion-chasers Lewes on Saturday – their fourth straight away loss in the league – but bounced back to win at VCD courtesy of a double from youngster Sid Sollis.

Dean Grant was twice denied by former Hythe No.1 Joe Mant after headers from Charlie Webster crosses while Mant also held a free-kick from Ben Wilson.

After the break, VCD’s Steve Carvell fired wide before Sollis broke the deadlock on 53 minutes with a shot which went in via a combination of Mant and the post.

The crucial second followed just three minutes later as Grant played Sollis through to slot
past Mant.

Will Godmon denied Carvell an immediate reply but the VCD player did make amends on 66 minutes with a fine finish from the edge of the box.

Town withstood late pressure with Mitchell Dickenson solid at the back while Hythe were unlucky not to extend their lead late on as a Grant cross was deflected on to his own bar by Mant.

The Cannons head to Faversham on Tuesday (7.45pm) in the League Cup.

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