Maggs: Promotion is a must

Bailo Camara challenges for the ball during Hastings United's game at home to Guernsey last weekend. Picture by Terry S. Blackman
Bailo Camara challenges for the ball during Hastings United's game at home to Guernsey last weekend. Picture by Terry S. Blackman

Hastings United manager John Maggs admits he will have failed if he doesn’t lead the football club to promotion.

United are targeting an instant return to the Ryman Football League Premier Division following relegation last season and they’ve made a pretty decent start. The U’s currently sit fourth in Division One South with 16 points from seven matches and trail leaders Walton Casuals by five points with two games in hand.

Speaking after last weekend’s FA Cup first round qualifying defeat at home to Guernsey, Maggs said: “I’ve been brought here to basically get us out of this league and if I don’t get them out of the league this year, whether it’s by being champions or in the play-offs, I will have failed and the consequences are it’s a must job for me. I’ve got to get them out of this league.

“I’m not a manager to come and throw tea cups up the wall or stuff like that, but I’ve told them (the players) straight...we can’t afford to be punished in games the way we were today.

“If we don’t learn and learn quickly, I will make the changes - I’ve got to. I’ve got to get it right and get us back where we should be and that’s at the top end of this league.”

TODAY’S FOOTBALL FIXTURES

(Kick-off 3pm unless stated)

Ryman League, Division 1 South: Merstham v Hastings Utd.

Sussex RUR Charity Cup, 1st round: Rye Utd v AFC Uckfield.

Sussex County League, Division 2 Challenge Cup, 2nd round: Bexhill Utd v Seaford Town; Steyning Town v Westfield; Wick & Barnham Utd v Little Common.

Reserve Section (East): Haywards Heath Town v Little Common; Westfield v Southwick.

ADA East Sussex League, Premier Division: Ninfield Utd v Hollington Utd; Ore Athletic v St Leonards Social; Peche Hill Select v Robertsbridge Utd; Rock-a-Nore v Iden; Ticehurst v Hooe Sports.

Division 1: Battle Baptists v Sandhurst; Mountfield Utd v Crowborough Athletic III; Orington v Bexhill AAC; Sedlescombe Rangers v Langney Wanderers II.

Division 2: Eastbourne Rangers v Wittersham; Windsor v Ninfield Utd II.

Division 3: AFC Hastings v Punnetts Town; Conquest Utd v Bexhill Utd III; Visick v Herstmonceux II.

Division 4: Bexhill AAC II v FC Bexhill; Peasmarsh Utd v St Leonards Social II; Westfield III v Mayfield.

Division 5: Grasshoppers Old Boys v Bexhill Rovers; Victoria Baptists v Sedlescombe Rangers II; Wittersham II v Battle Baptists II.

Division 6: Catsfield II v Sandhurst II; FC Westridge v Hampden Park Utd; Parkfield v Sedlescombe Rangers III.

Wisdens Sports Challenge Cup, 1st round (2.30): Eastbourne Albert v JC Tackleway; Hawkhurst Utd v Crowhurst; Herstmonceux v Little Chelsea; Hollington Utd II v Catsfield; Wadhurst Utd v Icklesham Casuals.

ADA Challenge Cup, 1st round (2.30): Iden II v Peche Hill Select II; Northiam 75 v Burwash; Old Hastonians v Rock-a-Nore II; Pebsham Sibex v Sovereign Saints; West Hill Utd v St Helens.

Eastbourne Coach Finishers Challenge Cup, 1st round (2.30): Herstmonceux III v JC Tackleway II; Icklesham Casuals II v Battle Baptists III; Magham Down v Hailsham Athletico; Orington II v Hawkhurst Utd II; Robertsbridge Utd II v Little Common III (at Little Common).