United play-off bid on track

Hastings United celebrate scoring during last weekend's 4-0 win away to Peacehaven & Telscombe. Picture courtesy Joe Knight
Hastings United celebrate scoring during last weekend's 4-0 win away to Peacehaven & Telscombe. Picture courtesy Joe Knight
  • Hastings United play-off bid on track
  • United have picked up 43 points in first half of season
  • Whyteleafe finished fifth last season with 81 points
  • U’s have won last two games without conceding
  • Dorking Wanderers visit The Pilot Field this afternoon

Hastings United manager Garry Wilson believes the football club should make the play-offs if it keeps going at its present rate.

The U’s have finally reached the midway point in their Ryman Football League Division One South campaign and have picked up 43 points from 23 games so far.

Last season Whyteleafe finished in the final play-off spot of fifth with 81 points so United will be confident of making the end-of-season promotion shoot-out if they can match what they’ve done so far over the coming three-and-a-half months.

Wilson said: “If we can produce what we’ve done in the first half of the season again in the second half I think we would be unlucky not to make the play-offs. Probably our cup form was better than our league form in the first half of the season, but we’re still in a very strong position.”

United are down in 14th place at present - six points outside the play-offs - but have played between four and seven matches fewer than every other club in the division.

The U’s have won their last two games without conceding a goal, results which have pleased Wilson after the disappointment of losing 4-1 at Whyteleafe in their final match before Christmas.

If we can produce what we’ve done in the first half of the season again in the second half I think we would be unlucky not to make the play-offs.

Garry Wilson

They began 2016 with a routine 4-0 success away to struggling Peacehaven & Telscombe last weekend.

“We did what we had to do,” continued Wilson. “Conditions were pretty poor, but we scored some good quality goals and it was a win. It was nice to get that one out the way.”

United will be keen to continue the momentum in back-to-back home fixtures over the coming week. They are due to take on sixth-placed Dorking Wanderers today (Saturday, kick-off 3pm) and 20th-placed East Grinstead Town on Tuesday (kick-off 7.45pm).

“Dorking have got some good players and it will be a tough game,” added Wilson. “East Grinstead have got quite a lot of loanees from Gillingham at the moment and have really improved. But if we’ve got any aspirations of moving into a play-off spot, they’re games we need to try and win.”

Sam Cruttwell didn’t train on Tuesday due to illness, but Wilson hopes the young midfielder will be okay by today. The manager added that he has an eye on one or two potential new recruits, but nothing is concrete at this stage.

TODAY’S FOOTBALL FIXTURES

(Kick-off 3pm unless stated)

Ryman League, Division 1 South: Hastings Utd v Dorking Wanderers.

Macron Store Southern Combination League, Division 1: Little Common P Midhurst & Easebourne P; Sidlesham v Bexhill Utd.

Division 2 (2): Westfield v Alfold.

Reserve Section (East): Saltdean Utd v Westfield.

Sussex Bluefin Junior Cup, 4th round (1.30): Crowhurst P Upper Beeding II P; Hailsham Athletico P Horsham Olympic P; Midway (1948) v Hooe Sports; Montpelier Villa AFC II v Peche Hill Select II; Predators II v Burwash; Ticehurst P Sidley Utd P; Wadhurst Utd v East Dean.

Macron East Sussex League (2), Premier Division: Battle Baptists P Rock-a-Nore P; Hawkhurst Utd P St Leonards Social P; Hollington Utd P Robertsbridge Utd P; Ore Athletic P Peche Hill Select P; Sedlescombe Rangers v Mountfield Utd.

Division 1: AFC Hastings P Eastbourne Rangers P; The JC Tackleway P Old Hastonians P.

Division 2: Catsfield P Hastings Rangers P; Herstmonceux P Eastbourne Athletic P; Northiam 75 P Bexhill AAC P; Peasmarsh Utd P Little Common III P.

Division 3: Bexhill Utd II v Herstmonceux II; Orington P Westfield III P; Pebsham Sibex P Mayfield P; St Leonards Social II P Sedlescombe Rangers II P.

Division 4: Bexhill AAC II P Hawkhurst Utd II P; Bexhill Rovers P Victoria Baptists P; Conquest Utd P The JC Tackleway II P; Grasshoppers Old Boys P Wittersham II P; Punnetts Town P Battle Baptists II P.

Division 5: Hampden Park Utd P Parkfield P; Icklesham Casuals II P Sedlescombe Rangers III P; Magham Down P Sandhurst P; Robertsbridge Utd II P St Leonards P.

Hastings & District FA Junior Cup, 2nd round (1.30): West Hill Utd v Icklesham Casuals.

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1 Make this website your homepage

2 Like our Facebook page at facebook.com/pages/Sport-Sussex

3 Follow us on Twitter @SportSussex

4 Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!