U’s gunning for cup final spot

Freddie Warren on the ball for Hastings United against Whitehawk on Easter Monday. Picture by Terry S. Blackman
Freddie Warren on the ball for Hastings United against Whitehawk on Easter Monday. Picture by Terry S. Blackman

Hastings United are gunning for a place in the Sussex Senior Cup final, which could be played at the home of Brighton & Hove Albion FC.

The U’s will take on fellow Ryman Football League Premier Division side Bognor Regis Town in the first semi-final at Lancing FC tonight (Wednesday). Kick-off is 7.30pm.

United player-manager Sean Ray said: “It might be nice to take away the stress of the league. The pressure’s off and we can out maybe a little bit more relaxed.”

Ray’s charges are second-bottom of the league, while Bognor are nine places and 17 points better off having played three more games. Both clubs played twice over the Easter weekend, beating Lewes and losing to Whitehawk. November’s league meeting at The Pilot Field ended in a draw.

United’s recent signings are all eligible for the game. Sam Adams and Matt Cruttwell are cup-tied having played for other teams earlier in the competition, but Cruttwell is injured anyway so Daniel East will continue in goal.

The other semi-final - between Brighton & Hove Albion’s development squad and Sussex County League high-flyers East Preston - will take place tomorrow night.

The final has taken place at the American Express Community Stadium, home of Brighton, for the past two years and the Sussex County FA, which runs the competition, naturally wants that to happen again, although it could depend on whether Albion are involved in the Championship play-offs.

The reserves of United, meanwhile, lost 3-1 away to Chalfont St Peter in Suburban League Premier B last night, while Rye United’s second string drew 0-0 at Lancing in Sussex County League Reserve Section (Premier).