East meets West (Sussex) on Saturday when Hastings United travel along the coast for an Isthmian South East encounter with Chichester City.
Form and status
United suffered only their second league defeat of the season when Ashford United rolled into town last weekend and ruined the Pilot Field’s unbeaten standing.
United’s first league defeat was at the hands of Ashford too, prior to which United had gone unbeaten for fifteen games.
At the time the challenge laid down was to forge another run and that’s exactly what United did, going another eight games unbeaten.
Decent away draws at Sevenoaks and Whitehawk and a home draw to in-form Herne Bay have allowed Ashford to whittle down United’s advantage.
Even so, United remain top of the league with everything to play for.
Judging by the ever-increasing attendances (1,189 last Saturday), animated supporters and the noise of thunderous drum-banging, everyone is backing the ‘U’s.
There’s a twelfth man at every game, home or away.
Due to their cup exploits Chichester City are playing catch-up on their league games.
They’ve played eleven games since the start of December and have won five, drawn three and lost three.
Their thirty-six points place them seventh in the table though they have three/four games in hand on the teams above them.
Narrowing this down to their last six games City have won four, drawn once and lost once. This puts them fourth in the form guide.
Last weekend they followed up a 4-3 win away to Three Bridges with a trip over to Guernsey and flew back with another three points after an impressive 3-0 victory.
The teams have met twice already this season.
Early in September United visited City for a Velocity Trophy group game which ended with a 2-0 ‘U’s victory courtesy of a goal in each half by Kenny Pogue and then Tom Chalmers.
The home league fixture took place at the beginning of December when the Pilot Field witnessed a superb first-half display worthy of a standing ovation.
A Davide Rodari brace along with goals from Sam Adams and Daniel Ajakaiye put United 4-0 up at half-time with the game eventually ending 5-1.
There is absolutely no time like the present for United to start another unbeaten run of games.
Though Chichester need the points too, in order to clamber into a play-off position, so nothing can be taken for granted.
The game kicks off at 3pm, Oaklands Park, Oaklands Way, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 6AR
Admission is £8 for adults, £4 for concessions, £1 for students / 16-18 year-olds with under-16’s free.