Hastings United boss expects exciting Horsham clash

Hastings United captain Sam Adams tussles for possession during Saturday's 1-1 draw at home to Guernsey. Picture courtesy Scott White
Hastings United captain Sam Adams tussles for possession during Saturday's 1-1 draw at home to Guernsey. Picture courtesy Scott White

Hastings United manager Chris Agutter expects an exciting game when the football club takes on fellow high-flyers Horsham tonight (Tuesday).

Hastings will travel to Horsham, who play at Lancing FC, for a fourth versus third Bostik League South East Division fixture. Kick-off is 7.30pm.

Speaking after Saturday’s 1-1 draw at home to Guernsey, Agutter said: “It’s a really big game. They’re doing very well at the minute, they’ve got some very good players - (Kieran) Lavery, Chris Smith, (Rob) O’Toole - and have scored an awful lot of goals this year.

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“I expect quite an open game, quite an exciting game. It’s on 3G (pitch) as well which will suit us in terms of how we want to play. I expect an entertaining game to be honest.”

Saturday’s draw means Hastings have dropped behind new second place occupants Ashford United on goal difference.

They are four points ahead of Horsham, whose weekend match was postponed and have therefore played a game less.

Hastings were 2-0 winners in September’s reverse fixture against a Horsham side which made good progress in the Emirates FA Cup and Buildbase FA Trophy earlier this season.

“We look at the next five fixtures and try to get ideal points total, but what this game (against Guernsey) does and dropping two points, puts pressure on us to get more elsewhere.

“But we did the same against Ashford when Ashford were top of the form guide (Hastings won 2-0 away to Ashford on New Year’s Day). We went down there and comfortably beat them so Horsham is no different really.”

Ollie Black and Jack Dixon, who were both sent-off against Guernsey, will be available as their suspensions don’t start until Saturday. Lanre Azeez and Hassan Ibrahiym remain injury concerns.

Bostik League South East Division top half (played-points): 1 Cray Wanderers 23-58 (+33 goal difference), 2 Ashford United 23-45 (+27), 3 HASTINGS UNITED 23-45 (+22), 4 Horsham 22-41 (+14), 5 Whyteleafe 22-38 (+17), 6 Haywards Heath Town 22-36 (+9), 7 Hythe Town 23-36 (+6), 8 VCD Athletic 22-35 (+2), 9 Ramsgate 23-30 (+2), 10 Phoenix Sports 22-29 (0).