Dr Martens League Eastern Division 1999-00

Season 99/00

Reports 99/00

1/4/00 Hastings Town 2 (2) Corby Town 1 (0)


White 13, 45 (pen)

Att:- 253

What should’ve been a comfortable win turned out anything but after Town spurned chances that should’ve seen it all over early in the second half. 2-0 up at half time against a mediocre Corby, Stuart Myall and then Terry going for a hat trick, missed out after good work by Danny Simmonds and Steve Yates respectively.

Terry had fired Town ahead on 13 minutes with a rare right foot effort from the edge of the box. He doubled Town’s lead on half time with his 15th successful spot kick of the season after Paul Jones was tripped in the box. Worryingly, with Tuesday night’s League Cup Final 1st leg at home to Burton around the corner, Jonesie didn’t come out for the second half.

Corby were back in the hunt after a well placed free kick beat Tony Kessell. Smudger had to be at his best a minute or two later when dealing with a low cross fired in at pace from the right. Corby looked very lively after getting back into the game and while Town continued to create plenty of chances - Shaun Loft, Terry and Simmo might all have done better - they had to be alert in defence as Corby pressed for an equaliser.

Steve Yates tormented Corby all afternoon and came in for some rough treatment - yet, bizzarely - was one of only two booked in the second half as it all became very niggly with Corby dealing out plenty of the rough stuff. Town held out for the points and had to survive a late and very vehement penalty appeal for pushing.

Ashford’s 1-0 defeat of St Leonards means we remain 6th. The other results of the sides above us are hardly relevant - we will still be in the Eastern Division next season.



No more is known than a week ago other than what appeared in Friday’s Argus. Apparently, St Leonards have been in touch with the County League about dropping back to the league they left four seasons ago. That is one option - merging with us is still another - but nobody knows for sure right now. When we know - we’ll pass it on!

What if St Leonards do drop into the County League - what will the Council say about that? They have always said there has to be one club representing the town before they do anything about helping to provide modern facilities in Hastings - till now, nobody had thought about two clubs in different leagues which is what could happen. Over to the Town Hall on that one.

8/4/00 Fisher Athletic 4 (3) Hastings Town 2 (0)

Town fried alive

P Jones 72, White 90 (pen)

Att:- 168

I couldn’t make this one - last minute domestic commitments reared their ugly head and, literally, minutes before we were due to go - we didn’t. So this match report is a bit flimsy - for which I apologize.

0-3 adrift at half time - there wasn’t much doubt about where the points were going. Yet, frustratingly, after going two down early in the game. Town had fought back and created chances of their own - and when Steve Portway lobbed Kess from 30 yards on half time it must have been a big blow.

Fisher didn’t take long to get number four in the second half. Town were down and out but at least kept battling and a bright feature was Paul Jones getting a goal instead of creating one. Jonesie’s had a wretched run in front of goal - and this effort was only his second strike in 5 months - truly baffling for someone so talented.

In injury time, Terry gave more respectability to the score with yet another success from the penalty spot. I’ve lost count now - never known a season like it for penalties - I think we’ve been awarded 21 - Terry’s put 15 away, missed 2, had two saved and Simmo’s got the other two. Unreal.

Town have performed miserably against the better sides in the division of late - games against Chelmsford, Ashford, Newport, Folkestone and Fisher have resulted in P 5 , W 0, D 1, L 4, Goals for 4, Goals against 11. Even making allowances for a decent effort at Chelmsford and the refereeing and bad luck factors at Newport - it’s just not good enough.

Especially when you look at the team we’ve got which is the best in this division. Having the best players is only part of the formula, though - and losing 10 matches at this level speaks for itself - and it’s at this level we shall have to start all over again in August. Can we get it right next season?


League Cup Final Washout

It could only happen in England - what’s that - just over a fortnight into British "Summer" Time and the first leg of the League Cup Final is postponed after the pitch is rendered unplayable by the heaviest snow fall - the ONLY snow fall Hastings has seen for months if not years.

We’ll try again on Tuesday April 11th which means - just for a change - that the home Eastern Division game against Newport has been postponed - again. Is it worth contacting the Guiness Book of Records - has a fixture ever been postponed as many times as this one?

So - we have 11 games to fit in between 8 April and 6 May - 11 games in 29 days. If part time footballers have to fit this all in with full time jobs - shouldn’t THEY be the guys picking up £25,000 a week - or did I miss the plot somewhere?

Final observation on this fixture shambles - much of it could be avoided if the DM League tackled the problem in the first place - i.e telling clubs to re arrange games instead of secretaries ringing around in the hope some other secretary will be willing to change a fixture (which they’ll only do if it suits them). We have a blank Saturday on April 15th but have to play 3 games a week - 8th April, Fisher (a), 11th, Burton (h), 13th, Erith (h) etc, etc, etc. Make of that what you will.

Dr Martens Cup Final (2nd try)

Congratulations again to the lads for getting this far in the league cup. There are some good omens for the final against Burton Albion on Tuesday night:

In the last ten years, the only time we've previously got past the second round we won the cup!

Again we have been drawn for the home leg first in the final.

Last time we also beat Waterlooville in the semi-finals, as well as beating Margate and Ashford earlier on.

Again we are the underdogs.

The shame about this final is that it is over two-legs and therefore it just doesn't attract the interest that the competition deserves. It starts with 66 clubs with some big names like Boston and Bath, and we sometimes pretend that it's a bit of a joke. But in all reality it's a major achievement - perhaps it should be changed in the future to a neutral venue one legged final so it becomes more of a celebration of our level of the game.

Check out the Burton Albion website for a great preview of the game.


ps - message to NC: whatever happened to the Sultans of Ping FC??

11/4/00 Hastings Town 1 (0) Burton Albion 2 (0) [DMCF1]


P Jones 57

Moore 72, Garner 78

Att:- 557

So frustrating - so much of the play - yet Town go to Eton Park for next week’s second leg with that proverbial mountain to climb. For the third time this season, the team showed it can compete with Premier Division sides but on this occasion ended up with nothing to show for some outstanding football - in particular a 10 minute spell after Paul Jones had opened the scoring. The game - if not the whole final - could well have been decided as Town ran Albion ragged but could not apply that final touch in front of goal.

Goal-less at half time - but Town had played some very decent football and should have had at least one goal to show for their efforts against a side currently second in the Premier Division. Nick Goodwin in the Albion goal had an early escape when a miscued punch didn’t bounce for Duncan McArthur - and shortly afterwards. he had to back pedal to tip over one of those Terry White free kicks from near half way. Stuart Playford went inches wide with a fine volley and Stuart Myall’s long throw that was flicked on by Danny Simmonds nearly caught the Burton defence napping. Tony Kessell, in contrast, had little to do in the Town goal, and was not really called on till late in the half when a free kick caused a few missed heart beats in the Town rearguard which performed pretty well all night without the suspended Matt Ball.

Paul Jones had another outstanding game and some of his work down the flanks left his own colleagues flat footed - several occasions when he broke so quickly there was nobody to cross to. Paul it was who opened the scoring just as Town had weathered a period of Albion pressure. Great work down the right by Danny Simmonds resulted in a powerful effort from Stuart Myall being half cleared and Jonesie was on hand to scramble in the rebound. The 10 minutes that followed saw Town play some breathtaking football and how the Albion defence escaped without conceding another goal was beyond belief. Terry White volleyed wide after being set up by Jonesie - a well placed lob was cleared off the Albion line - Duncan McArthur took too long over his chance and put it just wide in a spell where Town looked anything but a side from a lower division.

Albion started to get back into the game and on 70 minutes had what looked like a valid penalty appeal turnned down by referee Curson. But it was just two minutes later that Albion were celebrating when a quickly taken free kick caught Town napping and Christian Moore levelled. The away goal was bad enough - but it got worse when a break down the Town left saw an injured Spencer Mintram trailing and the chance set up was put away by substitute Garner with the help of a deflection.

As much as Town tried - an equaliser would not come. They go to Eton Park as big time under dogs - but they showed plenty of skill and commitment in this first leg and with a bit of luck plus some better finishing - might well have travelled North with a decent lead. As they say - it’s only half time - and so far in this competition - Town have come from behind against Ashford, Margate and Havant to win those ties Who can tell?. .


13/4/00 Hastings Town 2 (1) Erith & Belverdere 2 (0)

Ten man Town hold on for point

White 20, 57(p)

Att:- 207

207 - Town’s lowest league gate since 2/5/88 when 202 saw their 3-1 defeat of Thanet United as Margate were then known. The unbeaten run against Erith now extends to 19 games (W 10, D 9) - but once Town had gone down to 10 men in the 75th minute (Stuart Playford off for a verbal assault on the referee) that record looked like coming to an end and they were grateful for a point.

All three should have been secured when Terry White’s 29th and 30th goals of the season had established a 2-0 lead with just over half an hour to go. Terry’s first was a well worked free kick routine with Danny Simmonds who laid the ball off to Terry who fired in a swerving effort that went in off a post. The 10 minutes that followed were a carbon copy of the Burton game with Town playing some exemplary football but unable to get another goal. Stuart Myall went close twice, a Steve Smith cross was hurriedly cleared, Mylo went close again and it was amazing that Town were only 1-0 up at half time.

Town started off in a similar vein in the second half - Luke Watts - deputising at left back for the injured Spencer Mintram - tested the keeper from far out and the keeper was lucky to get away with fumbling a free kick soon afterwards. Terry made it 2-0 on 58 minutes - yet another spot kick after Danny Simmonds was brought down. But within 5 minutes, Erith were back in it when a deep cross from the left was volleyed past on loan - from Gillingham - keeper Shwan Javal, who was standing in for the unavailable Tony Kessell. Shwan had to be at his best to save a powerful header in the 70th minute as a rejuvenated Erith took control of the game.

Controversy in the 75th minute - another deep cross from the left resulted in another volleyeed effort which Shwan seemed to have half saved and scrambled clear - but the linesman indicated it had crossed the line. Stuart Playford saw red at the decision - and after sharing his views with referee Gavin Hoare, saw red again in very short time.

Despite being down to 10 men, Town still went for a winner with Terry and then Steve Yates going close - but the biggest escape was at the other end when Shwan got caught in possession when trying to shepherd the ball out of play and it took a goal line clearance by Luke Watts to save him further discomfort.

Other players missing were Matt Ball who will also miss the 2nd leg of the DM Cup final, and an unwell Paul Jones. 2-2 was a fair result in the end - but Town will surely rue those missed chances in that spell after going 1-0 up. Yes - just like the Burton game all over again.


19/4/00 Burton Albion 4 (3) Hastings Town 1 (0) [DMCF2: 6-2 on agg.]



Yates 60

Att:- 1529

Any hopes Town had of maintining their League Cup form disappeared in a frantic opening 20 minutes which were completely dominated by Burton who played some fine football. Town were just never in it and the gulf between the clogging Eastern Division and the Premier was made very apparent.. Town were under immense pressure from the kick off on a soaking, treacherous pitch and it was no surprise they found themselves 0-2 down after 23 minutes.

The first came on 20 minutes when a corner wasn’t dealt with, and after the ball bobbled around it fell nicely to be blasted past Kess. Three minutes later it was worse when a cross from the right was volleyed home. Town played some decent football of their own for the next 20 minutes but couldn’t make it tell in the opposing area. Frustratingly - having shown they could play a bit themselves - they found the tie decided on 43 minutes when a long range effort saw Burton go 3-0 up - 5-1 on aggregate.

Inevitably - the pressure on Town was relaxed in the second half and they started to play a bit themselves, again, and most of the play was in the Albion half. Shaun Loft was inches away from connecting with a Danny Simmonds cross on 65 minutes - had it been those inches lower, he would surely have scored. As it was - the goal of the game gave the 50 or so Town supporters - who cheered the side throughout - something to shout about. Steve Yates cut in from the left, rounded a defender and fired in a magnificent effort inside the far post,

Kess had very little to do in that second half but did bring off a fine double save as Albion turned the screw again. The final goal of the game came after good work down the Town left - the ball was cut back from the bye line and slotted home past Kess in the 85th minute.

So - a 2-6 aggregate which, sadly didn’t reflect in any way, Town’s fine display at the Pilot Field in the first leg. But there could be no arguments - a 4 goal aggregate difference says it all and on the night Albion were too good.

I was proud to be one of those who made the long, 210 mile, trek to Eton Park. The team has responded magnificently to a bizzare sequence of events this last year or so and I take my hat off to every one of them. Talking to Dean White prior to kick off - he summed it all up by looking round at a very decent size crowd (would ‘ve been more, I suspect, had it not been for the weather which was foul) in a nicely upgraded stadium and said "You miss all of this - this is the standard we should be playing at this season". But then Mr Gillard and his rule book know better, don’t they?

Well played lads.


22/4/00 Tonbridge Angels 3 (0) Hastings Town 0 (0)


Att:- 441

What a frustrating afternoon at Longmead where Town were made to pay for not converting their first half superiority into goals. That combined with Dave Arter getting the easiest hat trick he’ll ever score thanks to some non existent marking, saw Town go down comprehensively to a side that should have been out of it at the interval.

Steve Yates, Stuart Myall, Matt Ball and Duncan McArthur all went close in that first half with Matt’s effort being the pick of the chances as he first timed a well laid on pass from Paul Jones against a post with Joe Radford nowhere near. Referee Wooldridge’s display bordered on that of his counterpart at Newport recently - appallingly inconsistent, he seemed to have it in for Jonesie who was being being picked up for the most minor of incidents while other much more blatant fouls went unpunished. Wooldridge really did the business when he waved play on after a nasty penalty box challenge on Paul in the second half - that just about summed up his performance.

That was just after Town had gone 0-1 down - totally against the run of play - when Arter headed in a long cross at the far post. Matt Ball, back in midfield saw a header cleared off the line and Chris Honey who replaced Paul Jones saw a good effort held at the second attempt. But the longer it went on, the more unlikely it looked that Town would score and the game was killed off when Arter got two more as the Town defence went to sleep.

How frustrating to lose a game that could and should’ve been wrapped up at half time and while the performance of the referee was abysmal, you can’t argue with 0-3. Also ironical that the goals be scored by a striker Town have attempted to sign on several occcasions.

Maybe they were saving it all up for the St Leonards game on Easter Monday? Both sides go into that on the back of some superlative form - one win in 16 games between them......


24/4/00 Hastings Town 5 (1) St Leonards 2 (1)

Revenge for Boxing Day!

McArthur 47, 63 Yates 21, Myall 50, White 61

Att:- 778

778. What a lousy attendance and if that’s the best Hastings can do when it comes to following local football, then you have to wonder at the logic that sees such apathy combining with the two club town scenario which is what we will see again next season following the St Leonards decision not to contine merger talks.

Onto the game - and ample revenge for the Boxing Day drubbing up the road. And Town had to come back from conceding an early goal when the defence showed it hadn’t learnt the lessons about marking handed out by Dave Arter on Saturday. St Leonards 1-0 up after 9 minutes - Flanagan unmarked and left to head in a free kick.

Town couldn’t get going initially but started to show more of what they’re capable of and deservedly equalised when Steve Yates superby lobbed the St Leonards keeper. Soon afterwards, Paul Jones saw a good effort beaten out and Yatesie went close with a volley from the edge of the box.

Huge concern amongst all on and off the pitch when Yatesie hit a post - literally - with his head in a scramble for a corner. At first it looked as if he was seriously hurt and seemed to be having a fit - it really was a horrendous impact. Yet - remarkably - after 5 minutes treatment he got up - and got on with it.

Town got off to the best of starts in the second half when good work by Duncan McArthur saw him beat two defenders and curl a well placed effort inside Graham Bannatine’s post. 3 minutes late it was 3-1 when Mylie headed home a Danny Simmonds corner. St Leonards were back in the game soon afterwards when Simon Fox pulled one back but their burden became heavy once agin when Neil Pheasant was sent of by referee Yerby for a professional foul on Paul Jones. Terry White duly put the resulting free kick away - Town’s 4th and his 31st of the season. 63 minutes gone and a break into the box by Steve Yates saw him setting up Duncan McArthur who emphatically fired home his second of the afternoon.

Town continued to dominate the game but didn’t really threaten to score any more - the closest to another goal was what would have been a spectacular own goal by a St Leonards defender.

5-2. Yes - that’ll make up nicely for Boxing Day.


27/4/00 Hastings Town 2 (2) Newport IoW 2 (0)


Myall 22, Simmonds 41

Att:- 252

Perhaps one should be tolerant of these things - after all it was Town’s 3rd game in 6 days - but it was just the same for Newport and this disappointing result comes too soon after a similar give away draw - the Erith game in which Town also threw away a 2-0 lead. Maybe another factor is the Sussex Senior Cup Final next Monday - who knows.

One thing for sure - the second half display was a sleepy one in which Newport didn’t have to play particularly well to pick up a point that looked unlikely at half time. Town had a good first half and thoroughly deserved their 2-0 lead at the interval. Stuart Myall opened proceedings with an exceptional, long range effort which the keeper didn’t even try to move for - it was hit with unbelievable ferocity. Danny Simmonds doubled the lead on 41 minutes, finishing off from a tight angle - a well taken effort. Newport’s only worthwhile effort was a long range shot that clipped the goal frame.

The second half was a contrast in that Town never recreated their first half form which at times had been exceptional. Newport came back into the game as Town seemed content to defend their lead. Surprise, surprise, - Newport back in it on 70 minutes when a long throw was flicked on and the ball buried from close in. It was nearly all square a minute or so later but Town got away with a goal mouth fright. 78 minutes gone and to nobody’s surprise, it was 2-2 when - again - Town failed to deal with a long throw and theresulting chance was put away.

Town went agonizingly close to winning the game in injury time when Spencer Mintram blasted over the bar from inside the 6 yard box. It has to be said 2-2 is a fair result - but not because Newport were that good. We played far better over 90 minutes - and with 10 men for half an hour at that - in the game on the Isle of Wight where we lost.

Points thrown away tonight - not that it really matters because we’ve known for ages we weren’t going up - but it would’ve been nice to have avenged that unlucky defeat at Newport............


29/4/00 Hastings Town 3 (1) Stamford 0 (0)

A lead retained!

McArthur 10, Yates 65,88

Att:- 283

Every bit as conclusive as the score suggests - Town dominated this typical, end of season Eastern Division game with Deano resting several key players and substituting others ahead of Monday’s Sussex Senior Cup final. Yes - typical; end of season fare - Town knowing they can’t go up and Stamford knowing they’d done enough to avoid relegation.

Glynn Clyde, in the Stamford goal had to be at his best to push round the post a fine, long range effort from Duncan McArthur who was at his best for a long time. Indeed, it was Duncan who put Hastings ahead on 10 minutes - a well placed free kick from the edge of the area after Ballie had been fouled.

Town have had an irritating habit of throwing away leads this season - but never looked in any danger against a mediocre Stamford side. They utterly dominated the second half with Kessell having very little to do in goal. Yatesie - HOW did he ever come back from that head/post butting incident last Monday? - had a fine game and thoroughly deserved his goal on 65 minutes that doubled Town’s lead. A typical run from half way saw him cut in and fire home from the edge of the box.

Other chances fell to Mylie and Chris Honey as Town remained in charge and it came as little surprise when Yatesie got Town’s third on 88 minutes. That came after good work from Smudger Smith and Yatesie duly finished off a competent team performance with another well placed effort.



Monday to look forward to and a Sussex Senior Cup Final against a strong Brighton side at the Langney Sports ground in Eastbourne. Be nice to have some of the luck that deserted us in that first leg of the DM Cup final against Burton.


(Er, Roger Sinden is excused - being in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on St Helena is a feeble reason - a real supporter would charter a plane to be there, but Rog is obviously very busy and just can’t make it).

Directions: Find Polegate, then A27 to Stone Cross, right onto B32104 to Langney Shopping Centre, then left and first right. One mile from Pevensey & Westham railway station (remember it's a bank holiday and so Sunday service).

Kick off at 3pm, five pounds to get in (seven if you want the stand).

Up the Whites!