Feast of football lies in prospect

Alassane N'Diaye on the ball for Hastings United against Lewes on Saturday. Picture by Terry S. Blackman
Alassane N'Diaye on the ball for Hastings United against Lewes on Saturday. Picture by Terry S. Blackman

A cracking Easter Monday of football lies in prospect with some fascinating matches this morning and this afternoon.

Top of the bill is Hastings United’s visit from Ryman League Premier Division leaders Whitehawk. The U’s will be eager to build on Saturday’s badly needed win at fellow strugglers Lewes against a Hawks side which heads the table by 10 points.

United twice came from behind to pick up a very creditable 2-2 draw in Boxing Day’s reverse fixture and won 4-3 at home to their Brighton-based opponents in the Ryman League Cup earlier this year.

Daniel East could well feature between the posts having returned to United on loan until the end of the season as a result of injuries to goalkeepers Matt Armstrong-Ford and Matt Cruttwell.

Alassane N’Diaye, who scored United’s second goal against Lewes, Freddie Warren, Aaron Rhule and Gareth Williams could make their home debuts after signing at the end of last week. N’Diaye, Warren and Rhule all started against Lewes. Kick-off at The Pilot Field is 3pm.

Elsewhere, local rivals Sidley United and Rye United will go head-to-head at Gullivers in Sussex County Football League Division One. The teams are yet to face each other this season with the return match scheduled for Thursday April 11.

Both sides are in pretty good form. Seventh-placed Rye are unbeaten in six under joint managers Marc Gall and Anthony Storey, while Sidley have won their last three to put clear daylight between themselves and the three relegation places. Kick-off at Gullivers is 11am.

Another derby will take place just down the road at the Recreation Ground as Little Common host Bexhill United. Fourth-placed Common are just three points outside the three promotion places in Sussex Division Two with a game in hand on third-placed Eastbourne United AFC.

Bexhill, on the other hand, will be hoping the memories of their victory in Boxing Day’s reverse fixture can help them rediscover some form. The Pirates have won just once since then and have slipped into the bottom half of the table after Saturday’s 3-2 loss at home to Westfield. Kick-off is also 11am.

Common will be hoping that Westfield can do them a favour as they entertain Eastbourne United AFC. Seventh-placed Westfield have won four of their last five and were narrowly beaten 3-2 in the reverse fixture earlier this year. Kick-off at The Parish Field is 11am.

For updates on Sidley versus Rye and Hastings against Whitehawk, follow @SimonNewstead on Twitter.