Hastings United vs Ashford United League Preview

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Hastings United vs Ashford United – League Preview

On Saturday 8th January at 3pm it’s the game we’ve been waiting for. The clash of the United’s and
the top-of-the-table battle between first and second.

League leaders Hastings United take on second-placed Ashford United, the only team to have beaten
United in the league this season.

Form and status

Hastings United have lived under the pressure of being league-leaders since they reached the
summit on 3rd December following a 3 – 1 away win at Whitstable Town. On Tuesday night they
came away from a tough game against third-placed Whitehawk with a precious point. Twice they
recovered from losing a goal to equalise through Ben Pope, who has gone on a scoring spree with
eight goals since the new year.

United’s form at the Pilot Field was dented when Herne Bay held them to a scoreless draw at the
end of January but otherwise their home form is excellent having won eleven times and drawn just
that once.

Ashford are top of the form guide having won five and lost once in their last six games. They’ve
scored twenty and conceded just four goals in this run. Though, and without diminishing their
achievement, it is notable four of those games were against teams in the lower echelons of the
table, whilst their defeat was away to play-off chasing Cray Valley PM. Indeed, they lost at home to
Cray Valley as well.

On Tuesday night they continued their impressive away form with a 1 – 0 victory at Sittingbourne.
All told whilst on the road they have won eight times, drawn once and lost three times.

Recent meetings

Saturday 14th December, unbeaten United were top with Ashford in fourth. United had won their
previous two games, Ashford had just lost two on the trot. But a sharp opening twenty-five minutes
by the hosts saw them score the only goal of the game midway through the first half and United
tasted league defeat for the one and only time this season.

Bottom line

United have been top since the start of December and Ashford have been hanging onto United’s
coat-tails since 1st January. The gap between the two briefly reached six points but, as it is today, it
has mostly been just four points. And with Ashford recently thumping both Burgess Hill Town (7 – 0)
and East Grinstead Town (5 – 0), United’s goal difference advantage has been virtually wiped out.

The second big game of the week for United. The outcome will have a significant bearing on the
remainder of the season. A win for United will put them seven points clear, a win for Ashford will
reduce the gap to just one point; and of course a draw will leave everything as-is. All with thirteen
games remaining.

This is one match not to be missed.

Match information

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)

Bob Quinn
Twitter: @BobJQuinn