Hastings United vs East Grinstead Town – Isthmian League
On Saturday 4th December Hastings United’s visitors will be East Grinstead Town. After FA Cup and FA Trophy cup ties left United with league games in hand, they have eventually caught up following a series of Tuesday night matches. This now allows the players to have a bit of breather rather than playing Saturday then Tuesday which they’ve done almost every week since mid-October.
United’s six-game form – LWWWLW
Defeat last Saturday to Haywards Heath Town means United have lost to each of the current top four teams and drawn with the other (Herne Bay). Even so the ‘U’s are in sixth place and just two points outside the play-off places. Tuesday night’s 2 – 0 win over Chichester City brought two encouraging statistics, a first clean-sheet in the league since we beat Hythe Town 3 – 0 in October, and also the first time in five league games we’ve scored first. Andrew Sesay, who made a promising debut against Haywards Heath, showed the home crowd his pace and skill on his home debut and must have been close to winning man of the match. This award was won by Tom Chalmers but equally could have been Louis Rogers or Lloyd Dawes as well as Sesay. Having multiple players up for man of the match is also a favourable point to note.
The ‘U’s remain in sixth place on 28 points having played 15 games after nine wins, a draw and five defeats.
Who are East Grinstead Town and what’s their six-game form? LDLLLL
East Grinstead Town, aka ‘The Wasps’, hail from the town of the same name in West Sussex. They are currently just one place above bottom spot in nineteenth place on 10 points after 15 games. This is made up of two wins, four draws and nine defeats. Last Saturday they hosted Sittingbourne and lost 2 – 4 having been 0 – 3 down at half-time. Surprisingly one of their two league victories this season was a 5 – 3 home win over Cray Valley though they are yet to win an away game.
The Wasps cup exploits have yielded little relief from their league form. A home 1 – 2 loss in the FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round was followed by a home penalty defeat in the FA Trophy Second Qualifying Round (after a 2 – 2 draw) and then another home defeat (2 – 5) in the Sussex Senior Cup.
Any recent previous meetings?
In the 2019/20 season the teams met three times. In the league the points were shared in a 0 – 0 draw at East Court, this was followed by that remarkable 12 – 3 United win in the Velocity Trophy. Davide Rodari plundered eight goals that night. Finally on New Year’s Day the ‘U’s won 5 – 1 in the return league fixture.
A home banker you would think? East Grinstead have lost six out of seven away league games with a 1 – 1 draw against Faversham the only game to break that sequence. They’ve scored three goals and conceded fourteen in those seven games. United meanwhile haven’t failed to score at home. Still there’s no guarantee and if the Wasps can put five past Cray Valley then the ‘U’s will have to be on their game to claim the three points.
Saturday 4th December, 3pm kick off at the Continental Pilot Field (Elphinstone Road, TN34 2AX).
Can’t attend? You can follow live game updates via Twitter: @hastingsufc