United set for pitch battle

Hastings United winger Taser Hassan takes on an opponent during last weekend's 1-1 draw at home to Worthing. Picture courtesy Joe Knight
Hastings United winger Taser Hassan takes on an opponent during last weekend's 1-1 draw at home to Worthing. Picture courtesy Joe Knight

Terry White believes Hastings United will be at a disadvantage in an important FA Cup clash due to the pitch.

The U’s are away to Whyteleafe in a first round qualifying tie which will be played on their opponents’ artificial 3G surface today (Saturday).

United manager White said: “It’s got to be an advantage for them. They play on it every home game, probably train on it twice a week so players will get used to it.

“It’s going to be a new experience for us in terms of going up there and preparing on it, but it is what it is, they’re allowed now so we’ve got to go there and make the most of it.”

Regardless of the surface, the all-Ryman Football League Division One South encounter is sure to be a tough task for United, particularly with Tim Olorunda set to serve a one-match ban for his sending-off in the previous round, Jordan Johnson sitting out the last match of a three-game suspension and Kenny Pogue cup-tied.

Whyteleafe have made a decent start to the season with five wins and two draws from their first eight league games putting them fifth in the table. United are 10 places and eight points worse off.

“I’m not looking at the league table at the moment,” continued White, who planned to watch Whyteleafe in their 5-0 victory at home to East Grinstead Town on Tuesday night. “But it’s going to be a really, really tough game. We’ll go up there, apply ourselves properly, prepare properly and hopefully get a result.”

TODAY’S FOOTBALL FIXTURES

(Kick-off 3pm unless stated)

FA Cup, 1st round qualifying: Whyteleafe v Hastings Utd.

Macron Store Sussex County League, Division 2: Little Common v Storrington 2; Rustington v Bexhill Utd; Westfield v Seaford Town.

Reserve Section Challenge Cup, 1st round: Little Common v Clymping 4.15.

Reserve Section (East): Langney Wanderers v Westfield 4.30.

Sussex County FA Intermediate Cup, 1st round: St Leonards Social v Hailsham Town II; Worthing Leisure v Bexhill Utd II.

East Sussex League, Premier Division: Hollington Utd v Ore Athletic; Iden v Rock-a-Nore; Peche Hill Select v Robertsbridge Utd; Sedlescombe Rangers v Battle Baptists.

Division 1: Bexhill AAC v Little Chelsea; Hawkhurst Utd v Icklesham Casuals; Mountfield Utd v Ticehurst; Sidley Utd v Hollington Utd II; Wadhurst Utd v Sandhurst.

Division 2: Eastbourne Rangers v Catsfield; Northiam 75 v Pebsham Sibex; Punnetts Town v Crowhurst; Rock-a-Nore II v Old Hastonians; Wittersham v JC Tackleway.

Division 3: AFC Hastings v Eastbourne Athletic; Hastings Rangers v Ninfield Utd II; Herstmonceux II v Hooe Sports; Sovereign Saints v Peche Hill Select II.

Division 4: Bexhill Utd III v Bexhill AAC II; Burwash v Bexhill Rovers; Peasmarsh Utd v Conquest Utd; Westfield III v West Hill Utd.

Division 5: AFC St Leonards v Sedlescombe Rangers II; Battle Baptists II v Mayfield; Grasshoppers Old Boys v Hailsham Athletico; Magham Down v JC Tackleway II; Parkfield v Victoria Baptists; Ticehurst II v Wittersham II.

Division 6: FC Westridge v Battle Baptists III; Hampden Park Utd v Punnetts Town II; Icklesham Casuals II v Sedlescombe Rangers III; Orington v Sandhurst II; Robertsbridge Utd II v Hawkhurst Utd II.