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FA Trophy row breaks out as Ramsgate accuse of Hythe Town of refusing to reschedule First-Round tie | Cannons chairman rejects claim in response to social media post

Hythe Town have rejected Ramsgate’s claim they refused to reschedule their FA Trophy match.

The First-Round tie was postponed on Saturday after Reachfields failed a 10.30am pitch inspection.

Hythe Town manager Steve Watt. Picture: Randolph File
Hythe Town manager Steve Watt. Picture: Randolph File

It was moved to tonight under FA guidelines, much to the frustration of Ramsgate, who are preparing to face Woking in the FA Cup First Round this weekend.

Rams say they were given permission by the FA to move the tie but needed Hythe’s agreement.

Hythe, however, said they hadn’t heard anything from the FA since an email on Saturday confirming the rules after they sought clarity given Ramsgate’s FA Cup situation.

By the time they were approached by Rams on Monday, the wheels were in motion for the tie, with the Cannons having to confirm the postponement of their scheduled Isthmian South East game with Littlehampton.

Ramsgate hit out at their Kent rivals in a post on social media site X, formerly Twitter, accusing them of holding out to play a weakened team.

The post, accompanied by a picture of a flooded pitch - not Reachfields - also hinted Hythe had wanted the original game called off.

“Hythe Town have refused to move the FA Trophy game from tomorrow to Tuesday, November 7 despite FA agreement due to the FA Cup,” Ramsgate wrote on Monday afternoon.

“As Hythe are aware, this means call-ups for at least 11 of our under-23s.

“Let’s see how much Saturday’s postponed surface has improved after 48 hours of rain.”

Hythe responded in a statement from chairman Gary Johnson, released on Monday evening.

He said: “In response to this post, and in fairness to all connected with HTFC, please be aware that: HTFC have not refused to move this fixture.

“The FA set this fixture, and in accordance with the FA rules the fixture is to be played within five days of any postponed fixture.

“The FA communicated this to us on Saturday (as they would have Ramsgate) following the postponement.

“We are still awaiting the FA competitions department to call and discuss this; we have emailed on three occasions and called them today without response.”

Hythe manager Steve Watt was disappointed with the nature of Ramsgate’s social media post.

He has sympathy with their situation but says his club have done nothing wrong.

“I feel for them,” said Watt. “I don’t want to play their under-23s, I want to beat their first team - that’s what I want.

“We followed what we were told by the FA on Saturday and we waited until the last minute on Monday morning to see if that changed.

“It hadn’t, so we had to let Littlehampton know the league game was off and get things in place for the Trophy.

“I don’t think there was any need for the tweet - I just think it’s classless.

“I completely understand their frustration with the outcome but, at the end of the day, we’ve done what we’ve been told.

“I keep reading stuff accusing us of doing this because we only want to play a weakened team and we’re scared of playing them. Why? They’re in the same league as us.”

The winners of tonight’s replay will host National South Tonbridge in round two.

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