Bring it on! United are off to Three Bridges

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Three Bridges vs Hastings United – Isthmian League

On Saturday 20th November United will be looking to get their league campaign back on track following successive 2 – 1 league defeats. A midweek win was just what the doctor ordered but this now needs backing up.

United’s six-game form – WLWLLW

Tuesday night’s 1 – 0 Sussex Senior Cup second round victory at Burgess Hill Town ensured the ‘U’s avoided a third consecutive loss following league defeats to Corinthian and Cray Valley. A United side comprising only five starting players from the Cray game delivered a dynamic first-half and a gritty second to earn Gary Elphick his first win as manager, as well as a place in the next round. Jack Bates and Knory Scott both delivered stand-out performances, not to mention Louis Rogers’ outstanding save in the final moments.

While a place in the Sussex Senior Cup third round is nothing to be turned down, United’s goal remains promotion. The ‘U’s sit in eighth place on 19 points having played 11 games after six wins, a draw and four defeats. United also have two games in hand on most of the teams occupying the places above them.

Who are Three Bridges and what’s their six-game form? DLDDDW

Three Bridges are to be found in Crawley, West Sussex and are imaginatively nicknamed ‘The Bridges’. They are currently in fifteenth place on 14 points after 13 games. This includes two wins, three defeats and a surprising eight draws. In the 2019/20 curtailed season Three Bridges were in a lowly nineteenth place on 18 points, just one position but eight points clear of the dreaded relegation spot.

The Bridges have not been over-burdened by cup ties having fallen at the first hurdle in three out of four competitions. They departed the FA Cup in the preliminary round and the FA Trophy in the second qualifying round, then earlier this month they exited the Velocity Trophy (which United have not entered this season) with defeat on penalties after a 0 – 0 draw against Sittingbourne. So, after leaving three competitions without troubling the ‘hat’ they finally grabbed a cup win on Tuesday evening in the Sussex Senior Cup with a 5 – 3 win at Billingshurst.

Any recent previous meetings?

Yes, and United have won the last three. In the 2019/20 season the ‘U’s travelled to Jubilee Field and took all three points with a 2 – 1 victory. A couple of weeks later the teams met again in a Velocity Trophy group game at the Pilot Field and won 5 – 2 which included a Davide Rodari hattrick. Last season saw another home game and another win, this time 3 – 0 and a couple of goals for Ben Pope.

Bottom line

There’s no way of second-guessing Saturday’s team sheet but clearly some of the players had the night off on Tuesday and therefore should be well rested. No time like the present to get our league campaign on an upward trajectory.

Match information

Saturday 20th November, 3pm kick off at Jubilee Field, Jubilee Walk, Three Bridges Road, Three Bridges, Crawley RH10 1LQ.

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

Bob Quinn
Twitter: @BobJQuinn