Isthmian League

Match Preview | Hastings United (A)

It’s the final Sussex derby of the season for the Hawks as Shaun Saunders’ side make the short trip along the coast to play-off chasing Hastings United.

And they travel in fine stead having not only won their two previous games, but keeping consecutive clean sheets in the process.

There is plenty of pressure on Saturday’s hosts to claim three points, but they’ll have to do it against a side playing with the shackles off, and the freedom cranked up. An intriguing matchup indeed, with a certain Jack Dixon in the heart of the opposition midfield.

The Opposition

There’s a chance – albeit an increasingly slim one – that this side will be playing play-off football. Sat in 7th four points adrift, they’ve played a game more than the current incumbent of that coveted spot in Horsham, but it only takes a week of positive results elsewhere to change the picture once again.

For much of this campaign they have been hovering in that ‘zone’ – moving in and out of a play-off place a frustrating number of times. Narrowly missing out of a place by three points last year, manager Chris Agutter will be doing everything in his power to avoid a repeat.

One to Watch | Davide Rodari

He’s Hastings United’s top scorer and, if it wasn’t for Marcus Wyllie, he’d be the top scorer in the division, too. It’s been a dream campaign for the 24 year-old Swiss who, having played for Hastings between 2017-21, returned to the club in the summer after being snapped up by Crawley Town.

A talented finisher, he signed a two-and-a-half-year contract for Crawley for an undisclosed fee, but would feature just the 13 times over a two-year spell, spending time out on loan at Worthing, Dorking and Dartford before returning to the East Sussex coast.

Recent Form – LWWWD

23/3 | Horsham (A) | Lost 2-1

29/3 | Haringey Borough (A) | Won 5-0

1/4 | Folkestone Invicta (H) | Won 2-1

6/3 | Bognor Regis Town (A) | Won 1-0

9/3 | Wingate & Finchley (A) | Drew 2-2

Previous Meetings

The clubs met on the second day of the season, with the Hawks reduced to ten then nine men with 11 minutes of the match remaining. In a defensive masterclass, the Whitehawk held on for a 0-0 draw, and even had chances to win it.

The last matchup in Hastings was back in late 2021 – the year Hastings stormed to the Isthmian South East title. The U’s claimed a 2-1 win on that night, with the reverse fixture also going the way of the champions.

Since 2012, the teams have locked horns 11 times in competitive fixtures; Whitehawk winning just two of those, with five in favour of Hastings. 

How to Follow

If you can’t make it to Hastings on Saturday, then you can follow the action via our X (Twitter) channel, which can be found here.


Tickets can be bought online via this link, or at the turnstiles for the following prices:

  • Adult: £12
  • Concessions: £8
  • Under 16s: FREE

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