U’s gunning for Police

Jamie Crellin on the ball for Hastings United in their last outing at home to Leiston. Picture by Terry S. Blackman
Jamie Crellin on the ball for Hastings United in their last outing at home to Leiston. Picture by Terry S. Blackman

Hastings United will return to action after a weather-enforced 10-day break with a home game against Metropolitan Police tonight (Tuesday).

Tonight’s clash is the first of 13 important league games United face in just over a month as they bid to preserve their Ryman Football League Premier Division status.

The U’s currently occupy the second and final relegation place. They are three points behind third-bottom Thurrock having played the same number of matches and five behind fourth-bottom Wingate & Finchley with six games in hand.

Eighth-placed Met Police will still have designs on the play-off places and arguably no side has played better against United in the league this season. The U’s were soundly beaten 4-0 in November’s reverse fixture.

United player-manager Sean Ray will make his first appearance for the club in several weeks having completed a four-match ban, although he did get a useful 90 minutes under his belt for Sidley United last Thursday night.

The postponements at home to Harrow Borough last Tuesday and away to East Thurrock United on Saturday should mean that Tom Vickers is ready to go again having been forced off at half time with an ankle knock in the 1-0 defeat at home to Leiston on March 16. Kick-off at The Pilot Field is 7.45pm.

Elsewhere, it’s set to be a busy night of Sussex County Football League action with Rye United, Sidley, Little Common and Westfield all in action.

Rye, who still have 15 games remaining despite being one of the few clubs in the league to play on Saturday, make the long journey to Pagham in Division One. Seventh-placed Rye are three positions and five points behind their opponents with two games in hand.

Sidley have the proverbial ‘must-win game’ in their quest to pull away from relegation danger as they host bottom club Worthing United. The Blues are currently four points above the bottom three, while Worthing seem doomed to the drop having won just once all season. Kick-off at Gullivers is 7.45pm.

Little Common and Westfield will face each other in a Division Two derby at the Recreation Ground which kicks-off at 7.30pm. Just one position separates the sides in the table, although sixth-placed Common are five points better off with a game in hand.

Common have lost four of their last five matches in all competitions, whereas Westfield have won their last three, including a 3-0 success against Common in a Hastings & District FA Senior Cup semi-final. Common were 1-0 winners in August’s reverse fixture.