Hastings United Isthmian lead grows - but they will take nothing for granted

Hastings United’s lead at the top of the Isthmian south east table is getting bigger – but Gary Elphick is telling his players: Take nothing for granted.

Gary Elphick looks happy at the end of his side's 4-0 win against Faversham / Picture: Scott White
Gary Elphick looks happy at the end of his side's 4-0 win against Faversham / Picture: Scott White

They breezed past their latest opponents Faversham with a 4-0 win last Saturday which, couple with Ashford only drawing at home to Lancing, put Elphick’s team four points clear.

It was touch and go as to whether the game would be on as persistent rain on the day made a heavy pitch heavier, but the boss was delighted with how his team adapted to what was underfoot and still played something like their normal game.

The tests keep on coming for United and as Elphick takes his side to Whitstable tomorrow, he is again telling them they’ve won nothing yet.

“Conditions were poor and it’s hats off to the volunteers who got the pitch to a state where we could play,” Elphick said.

“In the first ten minutes I was wondering if we’d done the right thing as it was difficult, but we got to grips with it and in fact over the 90 minutes I’d say it’s the best we’ve attacked all year. We scored four, kept a clean sheet and extended our lead to four points – you can’t really ask for more. But we have to keep going.”

Elphick praised attacking duo Knory Scott and Andrew Sesay for their increasingly influential displays – and said the man he brought in to replace himself when he stopped playing, Finn O’Mara, had proved an excellent addition.

“Knory and Andrew both had excellent games and Finn did too and weighed in with another goal,” said the manager.

“Although we can only renew Finn’s arrangement month by month with his club Folkestone we are hoping to sign him permanently.

“He’s only going to get better for us. He’s an athlete, he moves well and can be a great centre-half for Hastings for a long time.”

Sesay was also on target and Ben Pope got two as the goals continue to come from all parts of the team.

He expects a stiff test at Whitstable, where United will be without Jack Dixon, who misses the next two games as he is honeymooning. Sam Hasler is his likely replacement.

United have no game next midweek and Elphick is delighted with the current lack of Tuesday games, which gives him more time on the training ground.