Dom: Now let’s keep it going
Hastings United manager Dom Di Paola has stressed the need to ‘keep it going’ following last weekend’s remarkable victory.
The U’s won 5-1 away to Ryman Football League Division One South leaders Faversham Town despite having gone into the game some 18 places and 22 points adrift of their opponents.
Di Paola said: “The boys celebrated winning Saturday more than I’ve celebrated winning trophies in the past. Fair play to them for enjoying it, but they’ve got to do it again. We want to walk off where that’s just a standard, normal working day
if you like; that’s the stage we’ve got to get to.
“I don’t want to be celebrating wins like that; I want to be celebrating winning titles, but you’ve got to start somewhere I suppose. It’s given everyone a bit of a boost, but let’s get a bit excited after winning three or four on the spin.”
After five successive away games, United will play their first home fixture in five weeks against Walton & Hersham today (Saturday). Walton trail 15th-placed United on goal difference.
“I’m looking forward to it,” continued Di Paola. “I really enjoyed the first game (against Guernsey) with the atmosphere, and hopefully the boys can play well and the supporters can get behind us a bit.
“Last weekend we knew we were going to be up for it playing top of the table, but this is a bread and butter game. Where we’ve always done well in the past we’ve managed to instil into the side that every game is important and that’s what Burgess Hill are doing.”
Ade Olorunda is away and Kevin Keehan is suspended, while Sean Ray is unlikely to be fit and fellow centre-half Marc Pullan is also struggling. Ronnie Dolan has joined Folkestone Invicta and scored within a minute of coming on for his debut in midweek.
“I’m a bit disappointed with Ronnie Dolan leaving,” added Di Paola. “We said for the first month we’re going to rotate things and have a look at everyone. I think he’s had his head turned before we came in. Tim (Olorunda) has taken it really well - he’s had a couple of games on the bench, come in Saturday and he was brilliant. Kenny Pogue the same.”
Di Paola added that Mitchell Hand is also likely to step away, but isn’t actively pursuing any replacements because ‘we’ve got roughly the numbers we need’.
TODAY’S FOOTBALL FIXTURES
(Kick-off 3pm unless stated)
Ryman League, Division 1 South: Hastings Utd v Walton & Hersham.
Macron Store Sussex County League, Division 2: Mile Oak v Little Common; Storrington v Bexhill Utd.
Reserve Section (East): Bexhill Utd v AFC Uckfield Town; Little Common v Seaford Town; Westfield v Lingfield 2.
Macron East Sussex League (2), Premier Division: Hollington Utd v Robertsbridge Utd; Iden v Ore Athletic; Ninfield Utd v Sedlescombe Rangers; Rock-a-Nore v Battle Baptists; St Leonards Social v Peche Hill Select.
Division 1: Hawkhurst Utd v Mountfield Utd.
Division 2: Catsfield v Old Hastonians; Herstmonceux v Northiam 75.
Division 3: Hooe Sports v Herstmonceux II; Sovereign Saints v Visick.
Division 4: St Leonards Social II v Bexhill Utd III.
Division 5: AFC St Leonards v Magham Down; Grasshoppers Old Boys v Parkfield; Ticehurst II v Victoria Baptists; Wittersham II v Hailsham Athletico.
Division 6: FC Westridge v Sandhurst II; Sedlescombe Rangers III v Icklesham Casuals II.
Hastings & District FA Junior Cup, 2nd round (1.30): AFC Hastings v Wittersham; Battle Baptists II v Ticehurst; Hastings Rangers v Bexhill-On-Sea; Icklesham Casuals v Wadhurst Utd; Pebsham Sibex v Ninfield Utd II; Peche Hill Select II v Sidley Utd; Sandhurst v JC Tackleway; Sedlescombe Rangers II v Bexhill AAC.
Hastings & District FA Lower Divisions Cup, 2nd round (1.30): Bexhill AAC II v West Hill Utd; Bexhill Rovers v Little Common III; Burwash v Hawkhurst Utd II; Peasmarsh Utd v Conquest Utd; JC Tackleway II v Battle Baptists III; Westfield III v Mayfield.