Top spot at New Year for Hastings? It means nothing for boss

Gary Elphick admitted it was a nice feeling as Hastings United went top of the table – but insisted: It means nothing at all – yet.

Dave Martin in the thick of the action at Whitehawk / Picture: Scott White
Dave Martin in the thick of the action at Whitehawk / Picture: Scott White

The Us have hit a great run of form in the past six weeks and Monday’s 1-0 success at Whitehawk was their fifth straight league victory and clean sheet.

It means they’re a point ahead of Cray Valley PM exactly halfway through their 38-match league campaign. But Elphick knows all that counts is where they are after everyone has played all 38 fixtures.

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Finn O’Mara scored his second goal in four games just before half-time at Whitehawk and it was enough for Hastings to return home with the points.

Finn O'Mara's goal goes in for the winner at Whitehawk / Picture: Scott White

As ever at this time of year, the games keep coming and Hastings host improving Lancing at the Pilot Field tomorrow then visit VCD on Monday.

Elphick admitted the Whitehawk game, on a very heavy pitch, was no classic.

“The pitch was playable but it was never going to be a great spectacle,” he told us.

“But we showed a doggedness and togetherness that we have had recently and came through with the right result.

“At the end of the season that could be a key win.

“Getting the three points and going top was satisfying, when you consider that not that long ago we were 13 points off top spot – around the time we played Cray Valley PM.

“To make up that ground has been fantastic, but to me, going top now is not important, not at all.

“The players will get pats on the back but it doesn’t mean anything at the moment. We’re nowhere near what we want to achieve and that’s what we’ll keep on telling the players.

“We have to aim to go on more unbeaten runs, or at least keep this one going, and make sure we win our home games. A lot of sides are proving inconsistent and we have to make sure we’re not.”

Elphick said neither Lancing – who won at Cray Valley just before Christmas – nor VCD, themselves pushing for a play-off place, would be under-estimated. “We have to stay consistent and stay humble,” he said.

The United camp has managed to stay free of Covid cases and injuries of late but Elphick said they could not drop their guard.

“I’m fortunate to have a good-sized squad to select from and we’re trying to give everyone minutes where they deserve them,” he said. “It’s a harmonious group and that will serve us well with a lot of games coming up.”