A preview of United’s August bank holiday double-header

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Ramsgate vs Hastings United – Isthmian League – Saturday 28th August
Hastings United vs Whitehawk – Isthmian League – Monday 30th August

Following United’s FA Cup win last Saturday attention returns to the Isthmian League with an August bank holiday double-header. Ramsgate away on Saturday and Whitehawk at home on Monday.

My advice for Saturday is do not listen to the Village People or those pesky Pet Shop Boys, do not ‘Go West’ but instead ‘Go East’, as that’s where United will be heading. Around 70 miles east, to Kent and a match up with Ramsgate FC.

Then on Monday get yourselves up to the Pilot Field for one of the most anticipated games of the season. United vs Whitehawk is always a feisty affair, and on this occasion there’s the added spice of ex-Hawk Dave Martin now being in the ‘U’s squad.

Latest ‘U’s News

A 1 – 1 draw with Herne Bay in the opening league game of the season was followed by an impressive 3 – 0 away win against Beckenham Town in the FA Cup Preliminary Round. We may have been undercooked against Herne Bay but on Saturday United were warmed up like a steak on a summer BBQ. Louis Rogers and the back four were solid, the midfield pinged the ball around, Dave Martin offered constant width and Ben Pope led the line superbly. As well as being in the hat for the next round, it was another 90 minutes in the tank.

Who are you?

Ramsgate FC are imaginatively nicknamed The Rams and play their home games at the Community Stadium. They opened their league season with a 2 – 2 draw away to Three Bridges and came away from Holland & Blair with a 2 – 1 win in the FA Cup Preliminary Round, despite conceding a goal in the first minute. Amongst their ranks is a name United fans may recognise. Right-back Jerald Aboagye joined the ‘U’s from Ashford United midway through the 2019-20 season. Before the season was curtailed, he made just five appearances and never really had the opportunity to settle.

Whitehawk FC, yes you guessed correctly, known as The Hawks, hail from a suburb of Brighton & Hove and there is a great rivalry amongst the two sets of players and supporters. There is also a mutual respect, albeit when these two teams meet, they always go hammer and tongs at each other. The Hawks opened their league campaign with a 1 – 1 draw away to Cray Valley PM, and they had a walkover in the FA Cup Preliminary Round following the withdrawal of Whyteleafe. They are at home to Sittingbourne on Saturday.

Any recent previous meetings?

United have won the last five meetings against Ramsgate, two away games and three at home. The latest was in the 2019-20 season, a 3 – 0 home win with goals from Daniel Ajakaiye and a Ben Pope double.

United are also unbeaten in their last five meetings against Whitehawk. In the 2019-20 season they met four times, and all were exciting close games. A 2 – 0 league win in mid-September 2019 (Ben Pope and Jack Dixon) was followed by two FA Trophy games in November. The Saturday game ended 2 – 2 at the Pilot Field and Tuesday’s replay saw United win 2 – 1 by overturning a half-time deficit courtesy of a Davide Rodari brace. The reverse league fixture in February also ended 2 – 2, Ben Pope again on the scoresheet with both goals. Finally the teams met once more in October 2020 where United came out on top (2 – 1) of a typically hard-fought encounter. Second-half goals from Kenny Pogue and Ben Pope put the ‘U’s two goals clear before the Hawks pulled a goal back close to the end.

Bottom line

A perfect weekend awaits. Three days, two games, a bank holiday, and sunny intervals forecast across the south east.

Match information

Saturday 28th August, 3pm kick off at the Community stadium, Price’s Avenue, Ramsgate, Kent CT11 0AN. Gates open at 12:15pm. Adults £10, Concessions £5, Under 18’s Free.

Monday 30th August, 3pm kick off at the Pilot Field, Elphinstone Road, TN34 2AX. Adults £10, Concessions £8 if you pre-purchase online or Adults £12, Concessions £8 on the day. Under 16’s Free.

Can’t attend? You can follow live game updates via Twitter: @hastingsufc

Bob Quinn
Twitter: @BobJQuinn