Every side, off the back of a loss, wants to get back out on the park to put things right as quickly as possible. And so fortunately for the Blues, Saturday’s trip to the south coast to do Battle in Hastings is exactly that - a chance to get back to winning ways in the league following a run of games across four cup competitions.
Hastings United find themselves in eighth place in the league after the early running, having finished in eighth last season. It was their first season back in the Isthmian Premier League after dominating the South East division for a number of years, being scuppered only by Covid and the subsequent lack of promotion and relegation.
They have new owners this year, following the purchase of the club by Dean White, who is attempting to shepherd them through some turbulent time off the pitch, with their future playing location in some doubt. There has also been the recent news from the club that current topscorer Femi Akinwande has left the club this week, along with Quade Taylor.
Head To Head
Our last visit to Pilot Field finished 1-1 thanks to a late equaliser from Young Player of the Season Camron Gbadebo as we looked to move away from the drop zone towards the end of the year. It was the only point we could muster against the Us last season, after they beat us 4-0 at the Maurice Rebak Stadium in October 2022, in what turned out to be Marc Weatherstone’s last game in charge.
The Blues will be looking for a reversal of fortunes this season, and with both sides enduring a tough run at the minute, the importance of a win on Saturday will be fully understood by both sides.
Last Time Out
Hastings, like Wingate, have been struggling recently. Excluding their Sussex Cup victory, they haven’t won since 9th September, where they beat winless Haringey Borough 2-1 thanks to two very very late goals, having trailed for the majority of the game. Their most recent defeat was against league favourites Hornchurch, but the run also features defeats against the likes of Kingstonian, Potters Bar, and Lewes.
The Blues, for their part, have not had much more success, coming into this game with a very similar record - winless since September except for a County Cup victory against Brentford B. Tuesday’s defeat to Potters Bar, although undeserved from a performance standpoint, knocked us out of the Velocity Trophy. Our most recent league game was in Pitsea against Hashtag United, another game which we dominated, but were unable to turn dominance into points.
Players To Watch
Given the recent departure of Akinwande, Hastings manager Paul Barnes will be looking for others in the squad to step up. They have recently signed Ibrahim Bangoura from AFC Wimbledon, and attention will be turning to the likes of Davide Rodari, and Tayo Oyebola to pick up much of the slack.
For the Blues, scoring goals has been the issue for the last few weeks, and so all eyes will be on the front three to see if they are able to rekindle the devastating form from the first few weeks of the year.
For those not able to make it to Hastings, you can follow live updates from the club’s Twitter/X account.
It will no doubt be a hotly contested 90 minutes in the south coast air, as both sides look to turn their fortunes around.