‘Fixture backlog not an excuse’

Trevor McCreadie is set to return to Hastings United's squad for the visit of Merstham tomorrow (Saturday) - weather permitting. Picture by Terry S. Blackman
Trevor McCreadie is set to return to Hastings United's squad for the visit of Merstham tomorrow (Saturday) - weather permitting. Picture by Terry S. Blackman

Hastings United manager Terry White says he won’t use another late season fixture backlog as an excuse.

United still have 20 Ryman Football League Division One South games to play and there are only 11 Saturdays remaining until the end of the campaign on April 26.

“We’ll just have to get on with it,” said White, acknowledging the likelihood of having to play more than one midweek match in the same week. Everyone’s in the same boat; it’s not as if we’ve had a major cup run similar to last year. I certainly won’t be using it as an excuse.”

Last weekend’s trip to Sittingbourne and Tuesday’s game at Folkestone Invicta were both called-off due to waterlogged pitches, meaning United have had eight matches postponed and one abandoned in the last two months.

“I’ve never known anything like it,” continued White. “It has been a nightmare. I’ve got to try to keep players fresh, but still work them so that when the games do get played, they’re ready.

“We’re moaning about games being called-off, but there’s people homeless because of it so you have to put it into perspective. We’ve just got to hope that there’s an end to it which doesn’t seem likely.

“The answer to me is to play more games when the pitches are good and players are fresher. Although I think the season comes along too quickly, I don’t think we play enough games early on.”

Trevor McCreadie trained on Tuesday and Saturday following injury, and should be in the squad which hosts Merstham tomorrow (Saturday) - weather permitting. Matt Darby is the only fitness doubt after dislocating three toes against Walton & Hersham on February 3.

See today’s Hastings Observer for the full article.