Ray calls for United response

Hastings United V Lewes, Pilot Field, Hastings.'26.12.11.'Picture by: TONY COOMBES PHOTOGRAPHY
Hastings United V Lewes, Pilot Field, Hastings.'26.12.11.'Picture by: TONY COOMBES PHOTOGRAPHY

Hastings United player-manager Sean Ray is looking for a response from his team after being completely outplayed at home to Lewes on Boxing Day.

The visitors won 1-0 but should really have been out of sight by half time after totally dominating the first 45 minutes of the Ryman Football League Premier Division fixture.

Hastings also had leading scorer Zac Attwood sent-off for two yellow cards and moments after going down to 10 men, they conceded the only goal in the 86th minute.

The U’s are back at The Pilot Field today (Saturday) for the visit of East Thurrock United. Supporters are reminded that kick-off has been brought forward to 1.30pm.

Ray said: “We’ll have to put it right for East Thurrock because that becomes massive now. I expect three points at home against East Thurrock and I expect at least a point away at Margate (who Hastings visit on Monday).”

They have enjoyed a fantastic December which has seen them collect seven points from their last three games (and not concede a goal in the process) to sit 19th in the Ryman Premier standings.

The Rocks, whose squad includes former Hastings midfielder Matt Hall, also stunned Blue Square Bet South high-flyers Welling United in the FA Trophy.

Hastings won 2-0 when the teams met in the opening midweek of the season, but judging by recent results, East Thurrock will be a different proposition this time.

Former Pilot Field favourite Jimmy Elford will be in the dugout today as Ray completes a two-match ban, but Danny Ellis is available again.

TODAY’S FOOTBALL FIXTURES

Ryman League, Premier Division: Hastings Utd v East Thurrock Utd 1.30.

Sussex County League, Division 1: Hassocks v Rye Utd 3; Redhill v Sidley Utd 3.

Division 2: Little Common v Oakwood 1.30; Westfield v Eastbourne Utd AFC 1.30.