Hastings United vs East Grinstead Town – Preview
On New Year’s Day you can head to the Pilot Field for a top versus bottom Isthmian league clash. After the disappointment of two weather related postponements, Hastings United will be hoping it is third time lucky when they welcome visitors East Grinstead Town.
Form and status
United’s excellent unbeaten fifteen game start to the season was ended mid-December with a narrow 1 – 0 defeat away to Ashford. Despite this loss, the ‘U’s top the table on thirty-five points as we head into the second-half of the season. And whilst the unbeaten record has gone, United still have their 100% home league record to maintain, having played and won seven games, scoring eighteen goals and conceding just three.
It’s been a while since the last home game on 7th December. The highest attendance of the season, 602, witnessed a 5 – 1 thrashing of Chichester City and gave the team a half-time standing ovation for their first half performance.
Following the Herne Bay postponement, United kept themselves ticking over with a 4 – 0 friendly win over Eastbourne’s Langney Wanderers.
By contrast, East Grinstead are having a rather torrid season and lie bottom of the table with just five points. They are yet to win a league game, after drawing five and losing nine. Indeed, their only victory this season was a 5 – 0 beating of Chichester City in the Velocity Sports Trophy.
At the start of November, East Grinstead brought in a number of new recruits which saw a slight upturn in their performances. However, two draws were followed by a 12 – 3 hammering by United in the Velocity and a 3 – 1 defeat away to Cray Valley. Their first-team manager has since been replaced and Wednesday will be the first official game in charge for new manager, Leigh Dynan.
East Grinstead have also suffered a number of postponements and have not played a competitive game since 7th December. They recently played out a 2 – 2 friendly draw with their neighbours Lingfield FC.
The teams have already met in the league this season playing out a scoreless draw. This result offered no indication for when East Grinstead visited the Pilot Field at the end of November for the Velocity group game. This ended with United’s record winning score and striker Davide Rodari plundering a record equalling eight goals in a game.
United will begin the new year aiming for more of the same please, and an immediate return to winning ways. The Wasps meanwhile will be looking forward to the new decade eager for a change in fortune.
The game kicks off at 3pm, the Pilot Field (Elphinstone Road, TN34 2AX)
Admission is £10 for adults, £6 for concessions with Under-16’s free (as normal)