Tony Rickson Previews Sittingbourne v Hastings Utd

Written by Tony Rickson on 30th December 2016

Sittingbourne face a hectic Bank Holiday weekend with a Woodstock double against two of Ryman South’s highest profile clubs.

It kicks off at lunchtime on New Year’s Eve with a home match against Hastings United starting at 1pm and that’s followed on Monday with the visit of high-flying Greenwich Borough at a more conventional 3pm.

Sittingbourne have battled doggedly in the first half of the season to secure a place in the top half of the league, and these two matches will provide stern tests of their credentials to stay there.

Hastings visit Sittingbourne below them in the table but they have games in hand and are aiming to finish higher than the seventh place they achieved last season.

The teams drew 1-1 back in September at Hastings and Sittingbourne drew lots of compliments for their performance that night.

They took an early lead through Connor Wilkins but Hastings’ top scorer, the experienced Franny Collin, equalised before half time, the second half ending with honours even.

Sittingbourne go into Saturday’s match on the back of another away 1-1 draw, at Faversham on Boxing Day.

They showed plenty of battling spirit to equalise through Anthony O’Connor’s third goal since joining the club last month, Faversham having gone ahead early in the second half.

Sittingbourne were below full strength on the day, and will again be without defenders Sam Welch and Danny Rumbol for the Hastings match because of suspension, and Steven Ita must again be an injury doubt.

But they were well served at Faversham by new signing Tom Carr, the ex-Rochester defender impressing alongside captain Jono Richardson in central defence, and they hope to have midfielders Conrad Lee and Josh Wisson available again.

While Sittingbourne were drawing down the road at Faversham on Boxing Day, Hastings were turning on the style in front of a crowd of 700.

They beat Lewes 3-0 and having previously beaten Faversham (1-0) and Tooting and Mitcham (4-0) they’re on a good run at the moment.

And while they have kept a clean sheet in those last three games, they’re among the league’s top scorers and boast the best goal difference in the division.

But their away record is indifferent and they’ve only won three out of

11 games on the road this season.

Remember, it’s a 1pm kick-off – time to go home afterwards and prepare for an evening out and the second celebration of the day?


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