Hastings United Football Club is aiming to win three FA Trophy ties in the same season for the first time in almost a quarter-of-a-century.
United will host South Park in second round qualifying today (Saturday, kick-off at The Pilot Field is 3pm) hoping to achieve a feat last done back in the 1992/93 season when the club was known as Hastings Town.
“It’s a competition I would like to do quite well in, but we have to make sure we defend better,” said United manager Darren Hare, whose team has conceded nine goals in its last three matches, although he has fielded experimental line-ups in two of them.
“We need to think about being much harder to beat and that’s going to be the philosophy going forward.
“They (the players) have been terrific, but we’re starting to look at a few little chinks in our armour. If we can plug them quickly, we’ll be up there. We should have more points on the board.”
United were 4-1 winners at home to South Park on the opening day of the Ryman Football League Division One South season, but the Reigate-based club is now two places above United in the table, albeit having played three more matches.
“They’ve had a good run and they’re up there; this is not going to be an easy game,” continued Hare. “Four-one flattered us a little bit on the opening day and it’s going to be a lot closer than that on Saturday.”
United are set to be without two full-backs through injury and Hare says he is looking to strengthen in that area, hopefully in time for the game.
Sam Cole is likely to be out for a fortnight after tweaking knee ligaments against Faversham Town on Tuesday night, while Stephen Butcher is out with the hamstring injury which forced him off at Carshalton Athletic last weekend.
Elsewhere today, Bexhill United are at home to Storrington and Little Common will entertain Ringmer in Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Division One (both 3pm), while Westfield will travel to Shoreham U21 and Old Hastonians will head to Roffey in round three of the Sussex Intermediate Challenge Cup.
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