FA Cup places up for grabs

Tom Vickers serves the second game of a three-match ban
Tom Vickers serves the second game of a three-match ban

Hastings United player-boss Sean Ray has said that all 10 outfield shirts are up for grabs ahead of the biggest game in the club’s history.

The U’s visit Harrogate Town in the second round of the FA Cup on Saturday week and every single member of the first team squad is desperate to play.

Supporters might feel confident of how the team will look in North Yorkshire, but Ray is keeping his options open with a tricky Ryman Premier trip to Lowestoft Town taking precedence today (Saturday).

“Saturday is going to be about players playing for their shirts,” he said. “They’ve got 10 places to play for because the only guaranteed starter will be (goalkeeper) Matt Armstrong-Ford, if he’s fit. That includes myself. If I’m not fully fit Saturday then someone else is going to step in and take my shirt.

“It’s not necessarily going to be the best 11 that will play in the FA Cup, it’s going to be the 11 that we feel can do the job. It’s going to be the 11 that we feel are 100 per cent fit and it’s going to be the 11 that deserve it.”

Leading scorer Bradley Goldberg is “95 per cent certain” to be involved against Lowestoft after being sidelined through injury but Ray is doubtful and Jono Richardson almost certainly out. Tom Vickers sits out the second of a three-game ban.

The FA Cup match is an all-ticket affair and tickets can be purchased from the club office weekdays from 9am to 12noon or from the top bar during Hastings’ Sussex Senior Cup tie at home to Pagham on Tuesday.

Admission costs at Harrogate’s Wetherby Road ground have been confirmed as £12 for adults, £7 for concessions, £5 for students and £3 for under-16s.