United manager calls for heroes

STEVE Lovell is encouraging his Hastings United players to seize their chance to become "heroes" by beating all-conquering AFC Wimbledon tomorrow (Saturday).

The Kingston-upon-Thames outfit are Non-League football's equivalent to Arsenal in light of a 70 match unbroken run that extends back to February, last year. They've dropped just two points from their eight Ryman Division One fixtures to date, won at higher rank Dover Athletic in the FA Cup last weekend, and are rapidly zeroing in on the 75 match sequence without defeat recorded by South Western League champions of the last four years St Blazey.

"Somebody's going to do it (beat them)," Lovell said. "And at the moment you couldn't pick a better time for us to play them. It's a chance to become heroes if you like because Wimbledon haven't lost for 70 games.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

"It's just another game for me but the difference is there'll be 3,500 people there.

"Only time will tell how they react to that but they've got to be looking forward to it. It will be a good benchmark for us. It will be the hardest game we've come up against so far but I think if we keep a clean sheet we will win the game." An unchanged United side entertains Horsham on Tuesday night, kick-off 7.45pm.

Hastings have been drawn away to Southern Conference outfit Carshalton Athletic, whose assistant manager George Wakeling was Steve Lovell's predecessor at the Pilot Field, in the second qualifying round of the FA Cup next Saturday. The Ryman Division One match at home to Burgess Hill Town has been switched to Tuesday October 19.

Meanwhile, the reserves, who entertain Erith & Belvedere tomorrow, require an assistant. Anybody interested should contact the club on 444635.