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Hythe Town manager Steve Watt says last season’s play-off final is irrelevant as they prepare to meet Whitehawk again in the FA Trophy | Top scorer Johan Caney-Bryan misses out through suspension

Last season’s play-off final couldn't be further from Steve Watt’s mind as Hythe prepare to meet Whitehawk in the FA Trophy.

The sides lock horns in a third-round tie at Reachfields on Saturday (3pm) for a place in the last 32.

Hythe, red, got the better of Broadbridge Heath last weekend to move into the Isthmian South East top six Picture: Randolph File
Hythe, red, got the better of Broadbridge Heath last weekend to move into the Isthmian South East top six Picture: Randolph File

It will be their first meeting since the Isthmian South East play-off final at the end of April, which the Hawks won 1-0.

“The past is the past - you can’t change it,” said Cannons boss Watt.

“We’re quite similar but they’ve got a few new players, so it’ll be a different team and a different test.

“I said on the night Whitehawk were the better team and deserved to go up.

“What we need to do is try and make sure we’re the better team this time.

“Nothing that happened that night will impact what’s going to happen on Saturday.

“It’s a new test and new challenges for both teams and it’s a case of trying to work out those challenges and tests so the tie goes in your favour.

“I’m just glad it’s at home. That improves our chances and gives us more confidence.

“It’s going to be a tough game for both sides.

“Whoever wins will have earned the right.

“We beat a higher-league team than Whitehawk in the last round (knocking out National League South Tonbridge on penalties) but that doesn’t make this any easier.

“It will be just as tough, if not tougher, for different reasons.

“We’ll approach the game differently to what we did against Tonbridge.

“They’re the favourites, of course they are, but we’ll do everything we can to try and win the game.

“Hopefully we get the rub of the green and get through to the last 32, which would be an unbelievable achievement.”

Hythe, who had never been beyond the first round before this season, are missing 10-goal striker Johan Caney-Bryan.

He serves a one-match ban after picking up two bookings in the Cannons’ 1-0 win at Sittingbourne on Tuesday last week.

“I’m disappointed we haven’t got Johan,” said Watt.

“He’s a big loss but we’ll have to adjust.

“We’ve dealt really well with players not being available.

“We had no Marcus Goldsmith or Lex Allan in the last round and now we’re without Johan.

“We’ll do the best we can and hopefully get a result

“It’s frustrating because he didn’t deserve to be sent off.

“He’s made three fouls in an hour and picked up two yellow cards, when other players have made four or five and not been booked.

“It would be easier to accept if he’d made an outrageous tackle and deserved to be sent off but it was unjust.”

Caney-Bryan scored both goals as Hythe moved up to sixth with a 2-1 home win over Broadbridge Heath on Saturday.

He pounced in the first minute of the second half after a long throw was recycled and moved on to double figures for the season from a Frannie Collin corner.

Watt said: “The pitch was quite heavy, which made the game a battle.

“It was about asking as many questions as you can.

“I reiterated at half-time the game would be won by set-pieces or mistakes, so we had to make sure we were alert to second balls.

“We’ve scored straight away off the second phase from a long throw and then a good goal from a corner.”

Last night’s (Tuesday) Kent Senior Cup tie at home to Sittingbourne was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

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