Big night in play-off quest

Jordan Woodley on the ball during Hastings United's 2-1 win away to Three Bridges on Saturday
Jordan Woodley on the ball during Hastings United's 2-1 win away to Three Bridges on Saturday

Another key night lies in prospect in Hastings United’s quest for a play-off place.

The U’s will continue their pursuit of a top five finish in Ryman Football League Division One South with a trip to Sittingbourne tonight (Tuesday). Kick-off is 7.45pm.

United currently occupy fifth place, and are level on points with third-placed Folkestone Invicta and fourth-placed Guernsey having played a match less than the latter. They are also three points above sixth-placed Merstham with a game in hand.

Merstham and Folkestone are in action tonight as well with trips to Hythe Town and Walton & Hersham respectively, while Guernsey are without a midweek fixture. United will have just five games left after tonight.

Speaking after the weekend win at Three Bridges, U’s manager Terry White was hopeful that striker Frankie Sawyer would return from injury and that Tom Vickers would be fit despite being helped off in the closing stages, but thought the match would come too soon for Tim Olorunda.

Although Sittingbourne are two-thirds of the way down the table, the Brickies have won two and drawn one of their last three outings including a 1-0 victory at home to in-form Merstham this time last week. November’s reverse fixture at The Pilot Field ended in a 1-1 draw.

Elsewhere tonight, Westfield will be out to end a run of three successive Sussex County Football League Division Two losses when they travel to fourth-placed Haywards Heath Town. That match will also kick-off at 7.45pm.

Westfield will have happy memories of their last visit to Hanbury Park because they prevailed 6-5 on penalties in a Parafix Sussex Senior Challenge Cup first round tie there in October after a 5-5 draw. Westfield lost 3-1 in the reverse league fixture, though, 11 days later.