Larkfield & New Hythe v Lydd Town – Wednesday 5th April 2023 – The Taray Community Stadium

I came, with my youngest son, to Larkfield & New Hythe FC, to watch the 2nd versus 3rd tie in the Southern Counties East Football League (SCEFL) Division 1. The Taray Community Stadium, home of Larkfield & New Hythe is a simple and welcoming ground, always guaranteed to provide a good atmosphere and a perfect location for a Spring midweek evening fixture. Not surprisingly the brief two day respite from rain had ceased as kick off approached, so I initially took shelter in the main stand.

View from the Main Stand at the Taray Community Stadium, across to the clubhouse.
Matchday Programme with the original date for this fixture.

This tie has enhanced significance, as Larkfield & New Hythe’s Manager, Kris Browning, stepped down this week, following the disappointing defeat to Staplehurst Monarchs last week, having previously led the Larks into the SCEFL, and into the play off final last season, where they were beaten by Sutton Athletic. Danny Lye and Mick Phillips have been appointed to replace Browning, Lye won the SCEFL Premier title and Kent Senior Trophy, with Ashford United, where Phillips has played under him. The experience will prove crucial for under pressure Larkfield who have dropped out of a title race with local rivals Snodland Town, over the past four weeks, and who now look to be needing to steal themselves for another play off experience, despite sitting in second place.

The Larks warm up, prior to kick off.

A proven goal scorer has been the Larks’ Achilles heel this season, once Luke Burdon left in January to join tonight’s opponents, Lydd Town. Stuart West is currently the home side’s top scorer, with just six goals, so in the run in and throughout the play offs, someone will need to take the mantle, when it comes to scoring.

Lydd Town warm up, prior to kick off.
SCEFL Division 1 table at kick off
– Courtesy of

Lydd Town have outperformed all expectations this season, rising upto third in the league, driven by the goals of ex-Lark Luke Burdon (9) and Ryan Philpott (6). Manager Mickey Doyle will be delighted that his side are in the mix for the play offs and would have relished the chance to score psychological points, over a potential play off opponent, in tonight’s fixture.

Match Teams
Handshakes at kick off.

Larkfield & New Hythe started the match positively and were rewarded in the fifteenth minute when Matt Day broke free and hit a ball over the keeper, to put the home side 1-0 ahead.


The remainder of the half saw the home side continuing to pressure the Lydd Town defence, while the away side through Luke Burdon, looked to have their main threat on the break, using the long ball. However, at the break, the sides went in with just the one goal separating them.

Larkfield & New Hythe in yellow and black shirts and black shorts. Lydd Town in green shirts with red trim and red shorts.

The second half saw Larkfield & New Hythe start as they had ended the first half, with wave after wave of pressure. That there were no further goals, was due to some good last gasp defending by the Lydd Town back four.

As the game entered the last fifteen minutes, Lydd were reduced to ten men, when Jarrod Treppaderne was sent off, having said something to the referee. This seemed to trigger an onset of anxiety in the home team, at a time when they had looked in control. Aaron Lee-Wharton made a double save to keep Larkfield & New Hythe ahead.

Late double save

With just seconds on the clock, Lydd Town got the reward they probably deserved for hanging onto the fixture, when they could have crumpled. A long hall played into the box was scrambled home by Ryan Smith to silence the 165 in the crowd and to tie the game at 1-1.


The referee blew for full time at the end of what had been a high intensity and combative performance by both sides. Should these teams meet in the upcoming play offs, then this will be a special fixture!

Full time whistle.

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