Hastings United vs Haywards Heath Town – Preview
United’s Isthmian League campaign continues on Saturday 18th January when the visitors to the Pilot Field are Haywards Heath Town.
Form and status
The new year has seen United win three from three and maintain their top-of-the-table position. They’ve scored nine and conceded just once in those three games.
Last Saturday, despite Craig Stone’s red card which saw them play out the final thirty minutes with ten men, United secured a comfortable 3 – 0 victory over Ramsgate. The game’s highlight being Ben Pope’s twenty-five yarder which he thumped into the top corner. A season’s high attendance of 703 witnessed one of the goals of the season.
The ‘U’s have remained on the league summit for a number of weeks now. They stand four points clear of Ashford United and with a game in hand.
Haywards Heath Town occupy 12th position in the league. But there is a whole gathering of teams (indeed there are ten) with between twenty-five and thirty points, and actually Heath have only played sixteen games whereas other teams have played up to five games more.
Having won six, drawn seven and lost only three times, 12th in the league looks like a false (low) position. Heath are also in relatively good form. A 2 -2 draw with Whitehawk was followed by a 3 – 1 win against Three Bridges and then an impressive 3 – 1 beating of Cray Valley.
The teams met twice in a matter of days back in October. First a league game was played on a handsome but heavy pitch which ended in a 1 – 1 draw, Ben Pope grabbing United’s equaliser in the 71st minute. The following Tuesday a 2nd minute goal by Tom Chalmers proved to be United’s winner in a Velocity Trophy group game.
United have won all nine of their home league games and will be looking to make it ten out of ten.
With two hard-fought encounters already this season there’s no reason to think Saturday will be any different. United had no mid-week game and Heath vs Faversham was postponed so both teams have had a free week and should be ready to go for another battle royale.
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)