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Hythe Town manager Steve Watt keen for Sam Blackman’s loan spell from Dartford to be extended

Sam Blackman’s loan spell at Hythe Town ends after this weekend but boss Steve Watt is hoping the midfielder will be allowed to stay on at Reachfields.

Blackman joined the Cannons on a month-long deal in mid December with parent club Dartford keen for him to get some game time after breaking his leg pre-season.

Prior to Town’s 3-0 defeat at Whitehawk on Saturday Blackman had scored three in three and Watt says he would not hesitate to extend the 24-year-old’s loan spell providing Dartford are happy to do so.

Hythe loan player Sam BlackmanPicture: Alan Langley
Hythe loan player Sam BlackmanPicture: Alan Langley

He said: “First and foremost it’s down to Dartford, they may want him back and if they do there’s not much I can do, but Sam has been brilliant for us.

“My own opinion is that he would benefit from another month here, he needs games and I’m not just saying that because I’ve got him.

“Saturday was the first time he has played 90 minutes, previously he’s had 70, 75, 80 and this was in quick succession (after the 2-1 New Year’s Day win over Faversham).

“I wanted to do that to see how he came through but at the end of the day the only person who knows how he feels is Sam.”

Watt and Blackman have worked together before and the Town boss concedes that even if Dartford don’t insist on the player’s return there could be other clubs interested.

He added: “I’m sure Sam has drummed up a bit of interest from clubs, including some higher than us but what I will say is that he’s a level headed kid.

“I remember when I got him at Margate it was between us and Maidstone, and he chose us.”

Town’s defeat at Whitehawk ended a run of four games unbeaten.

Three of those came in December earning Watt the Isthmian South East manager-of-the-month award.

He admitted the better team won on Saturday but Town were not helped by the return of a familiar problem – injuries.

Alex Brown missed out with a broken toe suffered against Faversham, while Alex Flisher (cut hand) was only named on the bench.

They also lost Danny Walder who went into the game with an ankle problem and had to come off after 23 minutes.

Watt said: “Whitehawk were the better side and deserved to win but I didn’t feel it was a 3-0 game.

“Danny tried to play through his injury but you could see after five to 10 minutes he was struggling.

“Charlie Webster came on and gave us a bit more mobility but we did not really create enough.”

Among the positives for Watt was the appearance of Frannie Collin as a 69th minute sub and he admits he is excited by the prospect of he and Flisher playing regularly together.

Hythe, 14th, now have successive home games hosting winless bottom club East Grinstead on Saturday and Sittingbourne on January 18 and Watt knows it is a chance to find momentum again.

“We’ve also got Haywards Heath (away) after that, three if you like winnable games and that’s what we'll be trying to do."

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