A big week for Hastings United begins on Tuesday February 4 with an evening trip to third-placed Whitehawk.
It is the first of four away games this month and other than playing themselves at home (!) this is the hardest possible start given Whitehawk’s home form.
Form and status
League leaders United put back-to-back draws behind them with a return to winning ways at the weekend.
Their 3-2 victory over VCD Athletic, courtesy of Ben Pope’s late winner, ensured they remain six points clear of Ashford United.
In their last six games the ‘U’s have won four and drawn two, putting them second in the overall form guide.
United have won four, drawn six and lost just the once in their eleven away games.
Ideally, come end of February, we’ll see an upward trend in the won column.
Whitehawk are seven points behind United, having played the same number of games, and on Saturday won away to Phoenix Sports with two goals in the final five minutes.
In their last six games Whitehawk have won three, drawn two and lost once, putting them fifth in the form guide.
The Hawks have a solid record at their TerraPura Ground with only one defeat in twelve games – by coincidence the defeat was a 1-2 reverse to Phoenix Sports.
Coupled with eight wins and two draws they’ve gleaned twenty-four points at home, and throughout the division, only United’s home form is better.Recent meetings
The sides have already met three times this season.
Both had played five games when they lined up for the corresponding fixture back in September.
They were level on eleven points with the Hawks in second and the ‘U’s in third place.
A goal in either half by Ben Pope and Jack Dixon gave United a 2-0 victory.
In November the teams met again at the Pilot Field after being drawn together in the FA Trophy second qualifying round.
A 2-2 draw meant they had to reconvene the following Tuesday night where two second-half goals from Davide Rodari turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 win for United.
This is a big week for United because their following game is hosting second-placed Ashford United on Saturday.
A good result on the road here will be the perfect entrée but Whitehawk are chasing both Ashford and the ‘U’s, in addition to maintaining a play-off position, so it is not going to be easy.
Indeed, with both sides having everything to play for there is nothing to suggest this will be anything but a close physical encounter.
The game kicks off at 7:45pm, TerraPura Ground, East Brighton Park, The Avenue, Brighton BN2 5TS
Admission is £10 for adults, £5 for OAP’s/Students/Under 17’s £5, Under 10’s free (when accompanied by a paying adult), and dogs free (must be kept on a lead)!