On Tuesday 19th November, Hastings United welcome the Brighton & Hove Albion U23 Development Squad for their second-round tie in this season’s Sussex Senior Challenge Cup competition. Both teams received a ‘Bye’ in the first round.
In addition to the league, United are still involved on three cup fronts. They top their Velocity Sports group with two games to play and have an enticing FA Trophy 3rd qualifying round tie against Weymouth to come at the weekend.
After eleven league games, United lie second in the table with 25 points. They trail leaders Cray Valley by two points, although Cray have played one game more. United remain unbeaten in the league, winning seven and drawing four. After last weekend’s 3 – 1 win against Phoenix Sports, United’s home form in the league is now six wins out of six games. The only home game they’ve not won this season was their 3 – 3 draw with Worthing in the FA Cup 1st qualifying round.
Brighton U23 play in the Premier League 2 Division One along with other U23 teams such as Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal. After ten games, Brighton lie in fifth position on 15 points, having won five and lost five.
In their most recent games Brighton beat Southampton 4 – 1 in the league before losing to Leyton Orient on penalties in an EFL Trophy group game. Despite this loss, Brighton still topped their group having already beaten Wimbledon and Southend.
Sussex Senior Challenge Cup
The Sussex Senior Challenge Cup is the longest running cup competition in the county having first been played for in the 1882/83 season, shortly after the founding of the Sussex County FA. Beginning in September, the competition is a knockout tournament consisting of three rounds, then quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final, usually in May.
In the 1999/00 season United played Brighton in the final, losing 3 – 4 on penalties after a 1 – 1 draw. After reaching the semi-final in 2001/2, United didn’t then proceed beyond Round 3 for several years. Not until 2012/13 did United reach the semi-final again, losing 1 – 2 to Bognor Regis Town. Since then Round 3 has once more been the furthest United have progressed. Last season they lost 0 – 4 to tonight’s opponents.
Having won the trophy 14 times, the most recent in 2017 and again in 2018, Brighton’s pedigree in this competition is only surpassed by Worthing (who have 21 wins between 1893 and 1999). Last season Brighton lost in the semi-finals to eventual winners Bognor Regis Town.
Come on down and show your support. It promises to be an intriguing match.
The game kicks off at 7.45pm, the Pilot Field (Elphinstone Road, TN34 2AX)
Admission is £8 for adults, £5 for concessions and under 16s free.