Hopkinson fancies Hastings’ chances

Hollington United V Sedlescombe Rangers at Gibbons Field, Wishing Tree Road.'01.10.11.'Picture by: TONY COOMBES PHOTOGRAPHY
Hollington United V Sedlescombe Rangers at Gibbons Field, Wishing Tree Road.'01.10.11.'Picture by: TONY COOMBES PHOTOGRAPHY

Hastings United manager Jason Hopkinson believes his team can spring a surprise against high-flying Hendon.

Twelve places separate the teams in the Ryman Premier with the North London outfit currently in fourth position after losing just once in nine matches.

“They’re a good footballing side,” said Hopkinson. “But it will be a game of football and I fancy it. I do fancy it because they’ll allow us to play.”

The Hendon attack is likely to be spearheaded at The Pilot Field today (Saturday) by Grenadian international Elliott Charles, a player the striker-chasing U’s were interested in.

Hastings go into the game on the back of a 2-0 defeat at third-placed Billericay Town - a result which ended a four-match unbeaten run in the league.

Once again they struggled to create chances and have now scored only twice in their last five fixtures. One player who did find the back of the net in midweek - but at the wrong end - was skipper Sean Ray.

The defender has also been fined after playing for Hollington United in the East Sussex Football League last Saturday when Hastings did not have a game. Ray hit a hat-trick against Sedlescombe Rangers.

“I’m a little disappointed in Razor because he played for a local side Saturday which I found out about.” Hopkinson commented. “We’ve had words and he’s been fined.”

Midfielder Matt Hall has left the club to join East Thurrock United, while Hastings have added to their squad by signing wide players Ryan Thomson, Finnish national Jarkko Antonen and Gabriel Osei.

Former Brighton & Hove Albion youngster Thomson made his debut against Billericay while Antonen was an unused substitute. Ben Billings returns but Jack Walder is out for two-three weeks after undergoing an operation on his eye.

TODAY’S SENIOR FOOTBALL FIXTURES (ALL 3PM)

Ryman League, Premier Division: Hastings Utd v Hendon.

Sussex County League, Division 1: Rye Utd v Pagham; Sidley Utd v Horsham YMCA.

Division 2: Bexhill Utd v Oakwood; East Preston v Westfield; Steyning Town v Little Common.