United set for Gills visit

Matt Maclean in possession during Hastings United's opening friendly against a Brighton & Hove Albion XI
Matt Maclean in possession during Hastings United's opening friendly against a Brighton & Hove Albion XI

Hastings United continue their pre-season preparations when they host a development XI of League One side Gillingham tomorrow (Saturday).

The Gills visit The Pilot Field for a 3pm kick-off and United player-manager Sean Ray is looking to build on strong performances against Thamesmead Town and Eastbourne Borough over the past week.

Sam Adams and Kenny Pogue got the goals as United beat Thamesmead 2-1 last weekend before a narrow 1-0 loss to Borough on Tuesday.

“The application of the players over the past week or so has been fantastic,” Ray said. “Against Gillingham, I want to see more of the same; professionalism, shape in the team, and effort.

“For me now the hard work really has started and it’s about putting everything together to be as ready as we possibly can be once the season starts.”

Despite the loss to Borough, Ray was pleased with what he saw. “I thought we were very confident on the ball,” Ray added. “And we created some good chances. Eastbourne are two leagues higher than us - a very strong, experienced side, so I’m pleased with how we applied ourselves.”

Ryan Burbridge took the place of Josh Pelling in goal, while new signing Kwesi Edeusi continued at left-back. Striker Jamie Crone was replaced after 10 minutes with a recurrence of a knee problem and is likely to be rested for 10 days.

In the side tomorrow will be Tom Gilbert, a centre-back from Eastbourne Borough. United will also be in action on Tuesday night when they travel to Eastbourne United AFC.