Hastings United face a real “six-pointer” in their fight against relegation when they travel along the south coast to take on Folkestone Invicta on Saturday.
The U’s are just outside the drop zone in the Ryman Premier on goal difference from Aveley who make up the bottom four along with Folkestone, Croydon Athletic and Maidstone United.
The outcome of the Folkestone match is not going to seal the fate of either side but it will go some way to deciding who finishes in the relegation places come April 30.
“There’s still a long way to go so it’s not a must-win game,” said Hastings manager Jason Hopkinson. “It’s going to be tense but if we win it doesn’t mean we are going to stay up, and if we lose it doesn’t mean we are going to go down.”
Hastings go into the fixture buoyed by an accomplished 1-0 win over high-flying Billericay Town and Hopkinson wants to build on that result by going on an unbeaten run.
George Porter will once again lead the line after extending his loan from Leyton Orient to the end of season, but Lewis Perkins has returned to Charlton Athletic.
Tim Olorunda (twisted ankle) is rated doubtful for the weekend, but the squad will be boosted by the return of Kenny Pogue, from a month’s loan at Bexhill United, Ross Sutton and, possibly, Ben Davisson.
SATURDAY’S SENIOR FOOTBALL FIXTURES (3PM UNLESS STATED)
Ryman League, Premier Division: Folkestone Invicta v Hastings Utd.
Sussex County League, Division 1: Pagham v Rye Utd; Sidley Utd v Shoreham.
Division 2: Littlehampton Town v Little Common; Rustington v Bexhill Utd 2; Westfield v Mile Oak.