U’s urged to cut out mistakes

Hastings United appeal to the referee during their 3-3 draw at home to South Park on Monday night. Picture courtesy Joe Knight

Hastings United appeal to the referee during their 3-3 draw at home to South Park on Monday night. Picture courtesy Joe Knight

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Although pleased with how his Hastings United team is playing, Dom Di Paola has stressed the need to cut out defensive mistakes.

The U’s drew 2-2 at home to Walton Casuals on Saturday and 3-3 at home to South Park on Monday night after coming from behind in both games.

United manager Di Paola said: “I think we’ve played well in the last three games, but we can’t keep making stupid errors at the back; it’s costing us. Defensively we’re going to have to do a lot of work.

“We’ve changed the back four every game so far which doesn’t help. I think I’ve always based everything I’ve done in football on the defensive side of the game.

“We’re creating loads of chances, but we’re not punishing teams and if we don’t score early, the nerves seem to kick in. The nervousness in the side is incredible. We’re tentative and nervous all the time.”

The U’s sit 17th approaching the midway point of their Ryman Football League Division One South campaign having won three, drawn three and lost two of their eight league games since Di Paola took charge last month.

“We’re not out of danger, but we’re comfortable,” he continued. “It’s been really up and down. We just need two wins in a row and everything will change. We just need consistency.

“We had to get some numbers in, and now we’ve got (Tom) Vickers and (Jordan) Woodley back, that gives us two more numbers.

“I can’t really fault the lads; they’re good, honest players, take things well, got good attitudes - maybe we’re juggling the side around a little bit too much.”

Di Paola made five changes to the starting line-up for the South Park match, largely due to the close proximity between the two fixtures, and felt United were the fitter side, as well as creating far more chances.

After three successive home games, the U’s will head to Whitstable Town tomorrow (Saturday) hoping to reproduce the form they showed in their last away game - the 5-1 thrashing of leaders Faversham Town three weeks ago.

Sean Ray has now recovered from injury and Evan Archibald should return after missing the South Park clash through illness. The groin problem which forced Richard Rose to sit out the same match - and end his ever-present record this season - will be assessed.

The club is running a coach to Whitstable, leaving The Pilot Field at 11.45am. The cost is £12 for adults, with a £3 discount for supporters’ club members, and £5 for under-18s. To save a place, call David Russell on 07970 332270 or email davidrussell881@hotmail.co.uk

The Hastings United FC Supporters’ Club will be hosting a quiz night in the supporters’ clubhouse at The Pilot Field tonight from 7.30pm. The cost is £2.50 per head with a maximum of four players per team and there will also be a raffle to help boost club funds.