Those of a nervous disposition should look away now and come back … well, possibly after Hastings have gone to Ramsgate on Easter Monday. After that match we’ll know just how valuable the single goal that decided today’s game in the home side’s favour was. Until then, a quick look at the table will show you that with both Hastings and Ramsgate winning there is one point between them and that the tussle in two days time could well determine which of them ends up in the last relegation spot and enters the world of county football.
But, let us not dwell on things to be, let us, instead, enjoy what we had today. There was a crowd of 392 at the Pilot Field, swelled by two by the presence of me and my chirpy son who has decided that in eleven years time he will, “play for Hastings most of the time and then for England at the World Cup.” I blame the decision to buy him branded trainers. There was also a match that grew from being a somewhat nervy encounter to proper gung-ho frenzy. Herne Bay’s desire for the points can be explained by the fact that they are, as a result of today, now mathematically eliminated from the play-off chase.
There wasn’t a huge amount that would have looked good on Match of the Day but there was plenty of effort from two very committed sides. Obviously that spilled over, especially when Hastings began killing the game through hoofs and corner flags (although still with occasional genuine attacking bursts) within seconds of taking the lead on 71 minutes. The ref didn’t do too bad a job although I doubt any neutral would have been too surprised if he’d felt the need to show a red – he did let a few ball-n-all tackles go as part of a commitment to keep the game moving.
In the end, most people left the Pilot Field happy but even with the sun shining brightly as the full time whistle blew those dark clouds are still on the horizon. Hastings might draw more than virtually anyone else in the league through the gates but they’re not too big to go down. If they want to avoid the drop they’ve got it all to do again on Monday.
How are the nerves?
(I brought along the camera as well as a child. Here are some photos).