Hastings United’s footballers are eager to continue their recent love affair with the FA Cup.
The U’s will travel to Herne Bay in second round qualifying today (Saturday) seeking a 12th victory in the world famous competition over the past four seasons.
It’s away from home and I think it will be tough. I think it will be a good entertaining game.Garry Wilson
United manager Garry Wilson said: “It’s away from home and I think it will be tough. I think it will be a good entertaining game.
“It’s a big wide open pitch up there and they’ve got some good players. We need to put in a performance like we did against Dorking (United won 2-1 away to Dorking Wanderers last weekend).”
The U’s have seen off Cray Valley Paper Mills and Thatcham Town in the previous two rounds to set up what looks a hard-to-predict meeting with Herne Bay.
The north Kent opposition lies sixth in Ryman Football League Division One South with 18 points from 10 games. United are six places and three points worse off, but have won all of their last four games against Herne Bay without conceding a goal.
Herne Bay had two players sent-off in the previous round and United one, but Wilson believes effort will be more important than discipline tomorrow.
United have won five and lost five of their first 10 league matches, and Wilson is crying out for some consistency.
“We need to strive towards consistency in results, performances and individual play,” he continued. “I want to select a consistent team, but until we start to see a consistent performance, it’s really difficult.
“We’re showing some good signs and showing some poor signs. We’re probably nearly there, but we’ve still got work to do. At the moment we’re winning two games, but we’re failing to take that on to three or four.”
United’s squad looks very strong on paper, but it’s not quite clicking for them at present. The arrival of Billy Medlock late last week gives them an embarrassment of riches up-front with Jack Harris, Zac Attwood, Bright Temba and Tyrell Richardson-Brown also in tow.
“I think Billy’s still got to get match fit, but he’s got some different attributes that he can offer,” added Wilson, who said there may well be further changes to the squad. “He’s got a low centre of gravity, his movement’s good and he’s got an eye for goal.”
Jack Walder starts a three-match ban and Attwood is battling to shake off an Achilles problem which caused him to miss the 3-1 defeat at home to Worthing on Tuesday.
Of that game, Wilson said: “When you’re on top, the ball’s got to go in the back of the net. We had two or three reasonable chances in the first 25 minutes and one of them has got to go in - that changes the whole game.”
* The club is running a coach to the game, leaving the Pilot Field at 11.30am.
The cost is £12 for adults, with a £2 discount available to members of the supporters’ club, and £5 for all under-18s. Contact Dave Russell on 07970 332270 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book a place.
TODAY’S FOOTBALL FIXTURES
(Kick-off 3pm unless stated)
Emirates FA Cup, 2nd round qualifying: Herne Bay v Hastings Utd.
Macron Store Southern Combination League,
Division 1: Bexhill Utd v Haywards Heath Town; Midhurst & Easebourne v Little Common.
Division 2: Roffey v Westfield.
Reserve Section (East): Westfield v Storrington.
Macron East Sussex League, Premier Division: Hawkhurst Utd v Peche Hill Select; Hollington Utd v St Leonards Social; Robertsbridge Utd v Mountfield Utd.
Division 1: Old Hastonians v Wadhurst Utd; Sovereign Saints v Ticehurst; The JC Tackleway v Hollington Utd II.
Division 2: Little Common III v Eastbourne Athletic; Peche Hill Select II v Northiam 75.
Division 3: Herstmonceux II v Bexhill Utd II; Pebsham Sibex v Orington; Sedlescombe Rangers II v Westfield III; St Leonards Social II v Hooe Sports.
Division 4: Bexhill AAC II v Wittersham II; Grasshoppers Old Boys v Bexhill Rovers; Victoria Baptists v Hawkhurst Utd II.
Division 5: Battle Baptists III v St Leonards; FC Westridge v Hampden Park Utd; Magham Down v Robertsbridge Utd II; Sedlescombe Rangers III v Sandhurst.
Birchwood Group Challenge Cup, 1st round (2.30): AFC Hastings v Sidley Utd; Battle Baptists v Sedlescombe Rangers; Ore Athletic v Crowhurst.
Wisdens Sports Challenge Cup, 1st round (2.30): Burwash v Mayfield; Hastings Rangers v Peasmarsh Utd; Icklesham Casuals v Bexhill AAC; West Hill Utd v Herstmonceux.
Eastbourne Coach Finishers Challenge Cup, 1st round (2.30): Conquest Utd v The JC Tackleway II; Hailsham Athletico v Battle Baptists II; Parkfield v Icklesham Casuals II.
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