On Saturday United play host to Ramsgate. After Tuesday night’s Velocity Trophy defeat they will welcome back the Isthmian League with open arms.
Not least because after weeks of mainly away games (five of seven), United now have a period of mostly home games (five of the next seven).
With a visiting team yet to take an away point any side will be warmly greeted into the fortress, also known as the Pilot Field. Played eight league games, won eight league games tells its own story.
Form and status
United followed up their comprehensive 5-1 victory over East Grinstead Town on New Year’s Day, with a completely different performance away to Whyteleafe. Against tough opponents on a difficult 3G pitch, they had to dig deep before coming away with three more points after Craig Stone’s first-half header gave the ‘U’s a 1-0 win.
With second-placed Ashford United also winning last Saturday, the Whyteleafe victory ensured Hastings remain top of the table, four points clear and still with a game in hand.
Ramsgate lie second from bottom of the league on eleven points and appointed a new manager on 30th December after a 7-0 drubbing away to Sittingbourne. They subsequently lost 1-0 at home to VCD Athletic, and whilst this was another defeat by all reports Ramsgate produced a much-improved performance.
Ramsgate have only won twice in the league all season and are yet to win an away game in eight attempts, having drawn three and lost five.
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The teams are yet to meet this season. Looking back, United won home and away in each of the previous two seasons.
A 100 per cent home record with a set of home fixtures to come brings a vision of the points already being in the bag. Not so. Let’s fall back on the old ‘one game at a time’ adage and focus on Saturday afternoon.
Similar to East Grinstead, who had also recently appointed a new manager, Ramsgate may not relish a trip to the league leaders. But for sure, it is a test they’ll be up for in terms of commitment and desire.
The game kicks off at 3pm, the Pilot Field (Elphinstone Road, TN34 2AX)
Admission is £10 for adults, £6 for concessions with Under-16’s free (as normal)