Hastings seek to strengthen hold on play-off spot

Danny Leonard on the charge against Cray Wanderers on Sunday. Picture courtesy Scott White
Danny Leonard on the charge against Cray Wanderers on Sunday. Picture courtesy Scott White

Hastings United’s footballers will seek to strengthen their hold on the final play-off spot with a positive result in their game in hand tonight (Wednesday).

United moved into Ryman Football League Division One South’s top five courtesy of a 4-1 win away to Cray Wanderers on Sunday, and they will be eager to put clear daylight between themselves and their pursuers with another victory at South Park tonight.

Callum Emptage in the thick of the action during Hastings United's weekend win. Picture courtesy Scott White

Callum Emptage in the thick of the action during Hastings United's weekend win. Picture courtesy Scott White

A win would put United four points ahead of sixth-placed Carshalton Athletic and with a vastly superior goal difference heading into the season’s final three matches.

South Park have played 14 games since the start of March, a fixture pile-up caused primarily by a tremendous FA Trophy run which culminated in a meeting with National League promotion hopefuls Tranmere Rovers.

The Reigate-based club actually knocked United out of the Trophy after a replay in November, although United were 4-1 winners in the reverse league fixture on the opening day of the season.

Despite their hectic recent schedule, 10th-placed South Park have won two of their last three matches, the latest of which was a 5-3 victory away to Walton Casuals on Saturday.

Kick-off tonight is 7.45pm.

Ryman Division One South top 10 (played 43 matches unless stated): 1 Tooting & Mitcham United 101pts (+66 goal difference), 2 Dorking Wanderers 96 (+55), 3 Greenwich Borough 88 (+44), 4 Corinthian-Casuals 84 (+32), 5 HASTINGS UNITED (42) 76 (+60), 6 Carshalton Athletic 75 (+35), 7 Lewes 74 (+14), 8 Hythe Town 72 (+17), 9 Faversham Town 70 (+31), 10 South Park (42) 67 (+13).

United’s academy team, meanwhile, has a top-of-the-table clash at home to Maidstone United Ambers this afternoon. Kick-off at The Pilot Field is 2pm.

Second-placed United are unbeaten in The National League U19 Alliance Division B and trail Maidstone by eight points having played two fewer matches.

See our comprehensive sports coverage in the Observer every Friday.

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