U’s set for historic clash

Action from the FA Cup tie between Hastings United and Guernsey at The Pilot Field in September. Picture by Terry S. Blackman

Action from the FA Cup tie between Hastings United and Guernsey at The Pilot Field in September. Picture by Terry S. Blackman

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Hastings United are gearing up for an historic game away to Guernsey tonight (Wednesday).

Although the U’s have played off the English mainland before against Newport IoW, this could well be the first time that the football club has ever travelled to a match by air.

United are due to fly out to the channel islands from Gatwick Airport at around 4pm and after an overnight stay tonight, will make the return flight at around 9am tomorrow.

“We’re looking forward to the Guernsey game,” said United manager John Maggs. “They’re going to be up for it and it will be a very difficult game. I’m very pleased with the response of the players; everyone seems to have juggled their shifts at work.”

It’s a big game for both sides at the business end of Ryman Football League Division One South. United went top of the table after beating neighbours Eastbourne Town 3-0 at the weekend, but were knocked off the summit after Leatherhead won away to Walton Casuals last night.

Although Guernsey are eight points behind United in sixth place, they were 3-2 winners in an entertaining FA Cup tie between the clubs at The Pilot Field back in September.

A big blow for the Green Lions, though, is the news that Ross Allen, who scored a hat-trick in that game and possesses a phenomenal goalscoring record, is unavailable for tonight’s clash.

United are also without a striker as Kenny Pogue can’t make the trip, but they will be hoping that Sam Adams is fit enough to return having missed the Eastbourne Town game after waking up with a sore kneck. Rodrigo Branco also won’t travel having been released by the club.

Kick-off is 7.45pm and a four-figure crowd is expected.