Hastings United vs Cray Valley PM – Isthmian League - Preview

On Saturday 19th September, Hastings United welcome Cray Valley Paper Mills to the TGS Pilot Field for the opening league game of the new season.

Important information: Attendance is by season ticket or pre-purchased ticket only.

Last week (and a bit of pre-season for the visitors)

United began the season in style recording a 1-0 FA Cup win over a very good Herne Bay side. Jack Dixon’s superb strike with less than 10 minutes to go finally broke the visitor’s resistance. The Bay played for fifty minutes with only ten men after their goalkeeper was dismissed shortly before half-time.

As we have seen before, despite the clock ticking down the ‘U’s held their nerve and composure, continued to retain possession and eventually, through the endeavours of Benn Ward and Sam Adams, created the best chance of the game which Dixon capitalised upon.

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Cray Valley meanwhile thumped VCD Athletic 6-0 in their FA Cup Preliminary tie with three goals in each half. For the stat-lovers, their 6-0 matched the biggest wins of the round and, indeed, it is now their record win in the competition.

There was little indication of this impending score line given the Millers pre-season was a draw- fest. Of their nine friendlies they won two, lost one (our friends at Folkestone Invicta beat them 2-1) and drew six. Scoring 13 goals and conceding 11.

Recent previous meetings

We go back to 17th August 2019 for when the teams last met, the first league game of last season. The match, played at the Artic Stadium, ended in a hard-fought goalless draw with the Millers hitting the post and United’s Dixon having a header saved, being the closest either side came to breaking the deadlock.

Bottom line

Other than pre-season and last week’s FA Cup ties there’s no home and away form guide to refer to. Instead we can look back again to last season where, of course, United were top and the Pilot Field was almost impenetrable with the ‘U’s suffering just one home defeat to go alongside thirteen victories and a draw. Cray Valley were themselves in 3rd with some reasonable away form, having won 6, drawn 3 and lost 3 of twelve games on the road.

This is the reverse of the opening fixture last season and we can expect another close game between two formidable sides.

Match information

Saturday 19th September, 3pm kick off at the TGS Pilot Field (Elphinstone Road, TN34 2AX).

Admission is by season ticket or pre-purchased ticket only.

£12 for adults, £8 for concessions (OAP/Students) and £1 for Under-16’s (with parental supervision).

You can follow live game updates via Twitter: @hastingsufc

Bob Quinn

Twitter: @BobJQuinn