Stage set for biggest game of season

Tom Gilbert delivers a cross during Hastings United's most recent game at home to Burgess Hill Town. Picture by Terry S. Blackman

Tom Gilbert delivers a cross during Hastings United's most recent game at home to Burgess Hill Town. Picture by Terry S. Blackman

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Hastings United manager John Maggs has described today’s (Saturday’s) game as the biggest of the season.

It will be third versus first at The Pilot Field as United host Peacehaven & Telscombe in Ryman Football League Division One South.

He said: “It’s certainly building up to our biggest game of the season. We’ve turned into the new year and it looks like three or four sides are looking good for a play-off position at least.

“With Peacehaven and ourselves, the result on Saturday is crucial to both clubs. If there’s a side who can stop Peacehaven, it’s us and we’re looking to win. If it’s a draw, nothing changes - it’s still wide open. A defeat would hurt us.”

United have picked up 29 points from a possible 33 on home soil, while Peacehaven - who possess easily the best goal difference in the division having scored far more than anyone else - have won their last seven games in all competitions.

“They’re flying,” continued Maggs. “They don’t just win 1-0; they seem to steamroll sides of late. They win comfortably. From our point of view it’s all in our hands; we’re not relying on other teams. We’ve got to play Peacehaven twice and if we can get two results from it, then we will be in pole position.”

Kick-off at The Pilot Field is 3pm and if you can’t make it to the game, you can get frequent updates by following @SimonNewstead on Twitter.

TODAY’S FOOTBALL FIXTURES

(Kick-off 3pm unless stated)

Ryman League, Division 1 South: Hastings Utd v Peacehaven & Telscombe.

Sussex County League, Division 1: Rye Utd v St Francis Rangers.

Division 2: Midhurst & Easebourne v Bexhill Utd 2; Steyning Town v Little Common (pitch inspection 9am); Westfield v Rustington (pitch inspection 8.30am) 2.

Reserve Section (East): Bexhill Utd v Newhaven; Little Common v Hailsham Town; Southwick v Westfield.

Sussex Intermediate Challenge Cup quarter-final (1.30): Hollington Utd v Cowfold.

Sussex Bluefin Junior Cup, 4th round (1.30): AFC Hastings P Stedham Utd P; The View P Hollington Utd II P.

ADA East Sussex League (2), Premier Division: Iden P Peche Hill Select P; Ninfield Utd v Rock-a-Nore; Ore Athletic P Ticehurst P.

Division 1: Langney Wanderers II v Battle Baptists; Orington P Icklesham Casuals P; Sandhurst v Bexhill AAC; Sedlescombe Rangers v Mountfield Utd.

Division 2: Eastbourne Rangers P Catsfield P; Herstmonceux P JC Tackleway P; Little Chelsea P Hawkhurst Utd P; Wadhurst Utd v Crowhurst; Wittersham v Ninfield Utd II.

Division 3: Bexhill Utd III v Punnetts Town (at Punnetts); Eastbourne Athletic P Conquest Utd P; Northiam 75 v Old Hastonians; Pebsham Sibex v Herstmonceux II; Rock-a-Nore II P Visick P.

Division 4: Bexhill AAC II P Westfield III P; Bexhill-On-Sea P Burwash P; FC Bexhill P Peasmarsh Utd P; Peche Hill Select II P Iden II P; St Leonards Social II v Mayfield.

Division 5: Bexhill Rovers v Victoria Baptists (switched to Old Town Rec); Grasshoppers Old Boys P Herstmonceux III P; Hailsham Athletico P Sedlescombe Rangers II P; Magham Down P Wittersham II P; Ticehurst II P Little Common III P.

Division 6: Battle Baptists III P Sandhurst II P; Catsfield II v Parkfield; Hawkhurst Utd II P Hampden Park Utd P; Robertsbridge Utd II P JC Tackleway II P; Sedlescombe Rangers III P FC Westridge P.