United boosted by rivals’ failings

Matt Hall goes up for a header during Hastings United's 1-1 draw away to Horsham last weekend
Matt Hall goes up for a header during Hastings United's 1-1 draw away to Horsham last weekend
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Hastings United’s fight against relegation from the Ryman Premier received a boost in midweek even though they weren’t actually playing.

Defeats for fellow strugglers Aveley (3-0 at home to Lowestoft Town), Folkestone Invicta (4-1 away to Tooting & Mitcham United) and Croydon Athletic (3-1 at home to Harrow Borough) mean the U’s remain five points clear of the bottom four, with games fast running out.

Hastings have six fixtures remaining starting with a trip to play-off candidates Canvey Island today (Saturday). “We are in the driving seat,” admitted manager Jason Hopkinson. “But I want as many points as possible because we have not got enough.”

The U’s were hoping to bolster their attacking options before the transfer deadline on Thursday. “I’m happy with what I’ve got for the run-in but I would just like another forward as cover to give me another attacking option,” said Hopkinson. “I don’t want to tip the balance because we’ve got a good togetherness but at the same time I’m concerned we need cover.”

He went on to reveal that Lee Carey - who recently rejoined the club for a third time - had committed himself to the run-in with Hastings after it was previously stated he was only going to act as cover as his priority was with East Grinstead Town.

Goalkeeper Scott Chalmers-Stevens has had his contract cancelled - by mutual consent - and looks to be on his way to Cray Wanderers.

TODAY’S SENIOR FOOTBALL FIXTURES (KICK-OFF 3PM UNLESS STATED)

Ryman League, Premier Division: Canvey Island v Hastings Utd.

Sussex County League, Division 1: Rye Utd v Selsey; Sidley Utd v Pagham 2.

Division 2: Bexhill Utd v Mile Oak; East Preston v Little Common; Lancing v Westfield.