All Roads Point to Hastings

The celebrations may be on hold but a single point in Sussex tomorrow will guarantee Enfield Town’s playoff place after a hugely impressive campaign that has seen players and management alike constantly rise to the occasion.

Even a defeat at the Pilot Field  would be enough if Billericay fail to win at Carshalton but the emphasis is very much on trying to make it 13 league games unbeaten as we head into final week of the season hoping to secure that all-important home semifinal draw.

Hastings’ own playoff hopes were dashed by last weekend’s home defeat to Whitehawk despite the hosts missing a string of excellent chances. The U’s will be all out to give their fans a performance to remember in what is their final home game of the campaign.

Finishing sixth would be Hastings’ highest ever final league placing – and seventh the joint best – which means they still have plenty to play for.  Their players will also be  looking  for a starting spot in the Sussex Senior Cup final against Horsham.

“Obviously there will be a quiet satisfaction tomorrow if we make it,” said Gavin Macpherson. “But I wont be running around punching the air.”

“We have to acknowledge that we still have work to do. The aim at the start of the season was to give ourselves a chance of promotion but I’m not one of the those managers who goes jumping for joy in the crowd.”

“Hastings are an excellent footballing side, another one of those teams who can cause you problems. Just because they can’t make the playoffs, they’ll still want to finish as high as they can and go out on a high.”

Third-placed Town, as we know, will definitely be without the injured Ollie Knight and the suspended Mickey Parcell – both hugely influential – as well as long-term injury victim James Richmond.

With a couple of others also doubtful the squad could be significantly stretched, meaning a juggling act is potentially on the cards for the management team though Joe Payne is available again.

“It looks like we’re going to have to do it the hard way,” said Gavin. “We’ll have to see who we have available and go from there.”