Ray: Tooting clash is must-win

Joe Barham goes up for a header for Hastings United in the 3-1 defeat away to Wingate & Finchley
Joe Barham goes up for a header for Hastings United in the 3-1 defeat away to Wingate & Finchley
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Hastings United are preparing for what player-manager Sean Ray has described as a “must-win” game.

The U’s will host struggling Tooting & Mitcham United in the Ryman Premier League Premier Division tonight (Tuesday) still smarting from the 3-1 loss at Wingate & Finchley on Saturday.

Speaking after the Wingate game, Ray said of the Tooting clash: “It’s must-win. They (the players) have put themselves in that position by performing like that today.”

United are one place and six points above the four relegation spots. Victory tonight would give them a nine-point cushion over the drop zone and take them above Harrow Borough, who are currently sixth-from-bottom.

Tooting are 11 points worse off than the U’s having struggled for form of late and they really must win tonight if they are to stand any chance of avoiding the drop.

United have already chalked up a pair of 2-1 victories over the Terrors this season, winning the reverse fixture at Imperial Fields and a Ryman League Cup tie at The Pilot Field in November.

Elsewhere tonight, the second teams of Sidley United and Rye United will meet at Gullivers in Sussex County League Reserve Section (Premier). Both matches will kick-off at 7.45pm.