FA Trophy – AFC Dunstable vs Hastings United – Preview
On Saturday 26th October, Hastings United travel to Bedfordshire for their FA Trophy first qualifying round tie against AFC Dunstable.
After a 1 – 1 away draw last Saturday and 1 – 0 home win on Tuesday, both against Haywards Heath Town, United get to play someone else this weekend. And they will be looking to progress to the second qualifying round for the first time since 2016.
United lie second (on goal difference) in the Isthmian South East Division where they remain unbeaten after nine games. They have won five and drawn four to reach 19 points.
In this competition’s preliminary round United won 2 – 1 at Hythe Town, courtesy of Ben Pope’s second-half double.
United’s form in their last six games: DWWWDW.
Like United, AFC Dunstable are a Step 4 club. They are resident in the Southern Central Division and lie third in the table after ten games. They have won six, drawn one and lost three, scoring a healthy 29 goals along the way (joint top-scorers in their league) although they have also conceded 15.
In the preliminary round Dunstable won 4 – 2 at Hanwell Town of the Isthmian South Central Division. It was their first FA Trophy victory since their promotion to Step 4 in 2016.
Dunstable’s form in their last six games: WLWLWD.
The FA Trophy is a competition open to Step 1 to 4 clubs, from which 296 teams have entered this year’s competition. Having won their preliminary round, this is now the first of potentially three qualifying rounds, after which comes the first round proper. The reward for reaching the final is a visit to the national stadium for ‘Non-League Finals Day’ next May.
There is no recent (if any) history between the two sides and statistics offer only rudimentary clues of what’s to come. League position and form suggests two evenly-matched teams. United’s travelling support will undoubtably be banging the club’s bass drum and making themselves heard.
The game kicks off at 3pm. Creasy Park Stadium: Creasy Park Drive, Dunstable, Bedfordshire LU6 1BB.
Admission is £10 for adults, £5 for concessions and under 16s free.