Four games to save themselves

Danny Ellis on the ball during the drawn reverse fixture between Hastings United and Canvey Island at The Pilot Field in November. Picture by Terry S. Blackman
Danny Ellis on the ball during the drawn reverse fixture between Hastings United and Canvey Island at The Pilot Field in November. Picture by Terry S. Blackman

Hasings United have four games in eight days to save their Ryman Football League Premier Division status.

The U’S have slumped to the foot of the table following three successive defeats over the past week, including a damaging 4-1 loss at home to fellow strugglers Carshalton Athletic on Thursday night.

United are two points behind Carshalton, who occupy the final safe spot of third-from-bottom, with two games in hand. In fact, they are just three points behind 17th-placed Thurrock in a very congested bottom end of the table.

Their next three matches are all away to teams in the top 10, however, starting with a trip to sixth-placed Canvey Island today (Saturday). Sean Ray’s side will then head to 10th-placed Bury Town on Tuesday and seventh-placed East Thurrock United on Thursday before wrapping things up at home to Kingstonian next Saturday.

You can get updates on today’s trip to Canvey by following @SimonNewstead on Twitter. Of the teams just above them, second-bottom Lewes go to Harrow Borough, Carshalton host third-placed Wealdstone, fourth-bottom Cray Wanderers entertain Hampton & Richmond Borough and fifth-bottom Wingate & Finchley are at East Thurrock.

Elsewhere today, Rye United will seek to extend their unbeaten run to 13 Sussex County Football League Division One matches as they take on relegation threatened Chichester City. Andy Atkin and hopefully Ryan Alexander will return for Rye’s final game of the season at The Salts.

Buoyed by six wins in their last eight outings, Sidley United are optimistic of getting a result away to high-riding East Preston in the same division. The Blues are set to welcome back in-form striker Gregg Berry from the side which won 2-1 at home to Shoreham on Thursday night.

Little Common face a key game in their bid to secure the last of the three promotion places in Sussex Division Two. Fourth-placed Common, who are three points behind third-placed Eastbourne United AFC with a game in hand and a better goal difference, are away to fifth-placed Broadbridge Heath.

In the same division, Westfield will seek to make it six wins in eight outings when Southwick visit The Parish Field and Bexhill United will be eager to avenge their 2-1 loss at home to Steyning Town last weekend when they travel to the same opponents.

The games involving Rye and Sidley kick-off at 2pm with all the others starting at 3pm. Battle Baptists are away to Christchurch Bromley in the semi-finals of the National Christian Trophy with the final likely to be played at a Football League ground.