Isthmian League

Preview: Corinthian (H)

It’s often said that it’s a relief to have seen the last of January. Cold, soggy, miserable. Well, it was not the ‘one’ for Whitehawk’s illustrious football side either: three draws, two defeats, two goals scored. It leaves the Hawks looking precariously over their shoulder a touch, wafting away those that lurk below. No matter, for a new month brings a new image, a fresh landscape where the sun shines longer and warmer. Translate that onto the pitch and, well, ding ding ding, we have a winner. 

Feel it in the air? There’s a freshness to it, as if a sleeping dragon has awoken from its prolonged slumber. Breathe the fire into them – they’re certainly capable of greatness, just look at the reverse fixture. But all of that, and indeed more, is to come later on. First on the list is a shallow memory, one that should be forgotten but also probably shouldn’t. Yep, it’s everyone’s favourite time of the week: dissecting last Saturday’s performance. 

Last time out

And here we are: a torrid month of temperature and results moved to mid-Sussex with a short venture up to Burgess Hill. A side in unequivocally exquisite form, the expectancy for a cagey, scrappy, fluid-deficient game rose as the weekend approached. The hosts would leave their *sighs* More Than Tyres Stadium with maximum points despite rarely causing Nathan Stroomberg-Clarke a huge wealth of grief. Undone by a corner, the Hawks’ marking admittedly scarce, Martyn Box’s vicious header crashed into the netting. 

That was that. Whitehawk huffing, puffing, unavailing. A new face in Daniel Thompson led the line as Henry Muggeridge and Henry Blackmore joined a growing list of absentees through illness. The intent was there, yet it simply could not match the early precedent enforced by the Hillians.

They climbed closer to the play-offs, the Hawks slipping to 16th. Never fear, there’s plenty more football remaining (wahoo!). As the season slides beyond its climax the time has come for the Isthmian League newcomers to visit the Enclosed Ground. Who’s that you ask? Look no further than …

The opposition 

Corinthian! Hailing from the land of trees, oast houses and Billings, Saturday’s opponents have found life rather straightforward since their inception back in August. Sitting pretty in 11th, as many wins as they have losses (nine, by the way), it combines with seven draws. Palindrome FC, it should keep them comfortably secure for the season proceeding as this cosy Kent club tick off a ‘new’ arena.

A serene 3-0 victory over VCD Athletic in their previous affair, they have tasted defeat just once since December 18. More triumphs on the road, too, justifies a potency that few expected at the season’s commencement. Goals evenly shared across the team, it’s the combination of the Jack’s that lead the way as Bath and Mahoney both have five to their name. 

Previous meeting

Ah, finally. A certain Andy Schofield will likely be able to dig out a prehistoric fixture from the bowels of the club (oh, what a coincidence! but, for the mind’s less eidetic, we only have to journey back as far as late October.

Oooh yes, when the winds were starting to blow a chillier breeze and the leaves were starting to fall, it was Whitehawk’s finest hour (and a half): four goals, none conceded; a demolition at Gay Dawn Farm. A Javaun Splatt brace combined with Charlie Lambert’s opener and James Fraser’s header to seal a good day at the office. Now, how do we get home?

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