Hastings United need to put end to topsy-turvy spell

Gary Elphick admits Hastings United’s form is ‘topsy-turvy’ – but is convinced a more consistent run is just around the corner.

Kenny Pogue runs to celebrate after opening the scoring against Chichester City / Picture: Scott White
Kenny Pogue runs to celebrate after opening the scoring against Chichester City / Picture: Scott White

The past week has perhaps summed up United’s season so far – containing a forgettable 2-0 defeat at Haywards Heath and a reasonably comfortable 2-0 home win over Chichester City.

Hastings are right on the edge of the promotion race – sitting in sixth place – but have lost five of their 15 games so far. And new boss Elphick knows results must be more consistent if they’re to bid for the title.

The next three league games will tell fans much about those ambitions – they host East Grinstead tomorrow before visiting fifth-placed Herne Bay and hosting Ramsgate, currently fourth, before Christmas.

Elphick said: “I’m enjoying the job but results are a bit topsy-turvy.

“We’re showing glimpses of what we can do but need more consistency and there’s no reason that can’t come.

“We’re working hard to reach the levels we know we are capable of.”

Elphick admitted the display at Haywards Heath on Saturday was hit by ‘dreadful’ goals being conceded.

“It should have been 0-0 but lapses in concentration gifted them two goals,” he said.

“But we were better against Chichester and and finished strongly. I’d have liked us to have taken more of our chances – that’s something we need to address in the upcoming run of games.

“Keeping a clean sheet was a bonus – Louis Rogers made a couple of excellent saves. We must aim for more of those now.”

Elphick’s squad has been boosted by the recent arrivals of left winger Andrew Sesay and centre-half Finn O’Mara, who the boss said had started well. “Andrew gives us pace I think we were lacking while Finn is a big, dominant player who’s finding his feet quickly.”

Elphick is also excited to see forward Lloyd Dawes near full fitness while full-back Marcus Goldsmith will be fit to return soon. But Jack Dixon is suspended on Saturday, while Sam Hasler is a doubt after breaking ribs in the Chi City win.

Tucked in among the league games is a Sussex Senior Cup third round tie at Horsham on Tuesday week. Elphick said of that: “It will be great to test ourselves against a step three side who are in good form.”