Preview: Hastings United

Having being forced to settle for a point against Faversham Town at the weekend, the Hawks will be hoping to extend their unbeaten run to four matches in all competitions as they head east this evening to take on table-toppers Hastings United at a sold-out Pilot Field.

The Hawks currently occupy 16th position in the Isthmian League – South East Division, having won just one of their opening five matches. After a slow start, back-to-back wins in league and cup was followed up with a hard-fought point against Faversham, as the Hawks look to continue their good run of form.

Jude Macdonald named an unchanged side for Saturday’s game with the Lilywhites and, barring any knocks, could stick with the same starting XI for tonight’s trip to Hastings. Although Dave Martin will be knocking on the door as he returns to full fitness.

As for tonight’s hosts, they have made the best possible start to their league campaign. The ‘U’s’ have been victorious in all of their previous five matches in league and cup, and have kept three consecutive clean sheets. The U’s’ only defeat of the season came away at Ebbsfleet United in the FA Cup, as they were beaten 4-1 on penalties after a goalless 90 minutes.

Most recently, the Sussex side travelled to Sevenoaks on Saturday, where they recorded a 1-0 win courtesy of a Ryan Worrall strike. Sam Adams and Kenny Pogue have both found the net on four occasions in all competitions already this season, so an undoubtedly stiff test awaits the Hawks’ backline tonight.

Hastings are a familiar sight for the Hawks, as they met on four occasions last season. Goals from Fintan Walsh and Lucas Rodrigues gave Whitehawk a well-earned point in a 2-2 draw in the most recent fixture back in February, despite the U’s having already defeated the Hawks by a 2-0 scoreline earlier on in the season. Having also exited the FA Trophy last season in a replay against of tonight’s opponents, Jude Macdonald will be looking for revenge as his side look to make it four games unbeaten.

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