Dr Martens League Eastern Division 1999-00

Season 99/00

Reports 99/00

3/1/00 Hastings Town (0) 2 Ashford Town (0) 0

Vital 3 points - Town still in there!

Yates 54, Simmonds 77

Att:- 553

Having seen out the 1900’s on a real downer, Town started 2000 in much better nick against an Ashford side that have been on a downer of their own since that 4-1 DM Cup defeat at The Pilot Field in November. Remember? Unbeaten in 15 games - a new club record to be set if they avoided defeat that night - top of the league........

Town - minus Shaun Loft who was on the bench after a minor bout of flu - thoroughly deserved the points in front of what is their biggest crowd of the season to date. Had the weather been better - we might’ve looked at 700 odd - but in apathetic Hastings, we should be grateful for what we get The first half was pretty even but Town should really have been at least 1-0 up when Simmo and Macca both found themselves with too much time in the Ashford box - one after the other - both dawdled and the danger was cleared. Terry went close with one of his long range specials and there were a couple of almighty scrambles in the Ashford box. Kess only saw his goal threatened once with Ashford - who included ex Town, Stuart Playford, Paul Tuppenney, Dave Scott and Steve Payne - looking pretty tame in front of goal. Other highlight of the first half - Terry’s magnificent pass from well in Town’s half to Yatesie on the angle of the Ashford box - spot on. WHY do some supporters persist in having a go at Terry?

Town dominated the second half and should have been 2-0 up by the time Yatesie headed in the simplest goal after the Ashford keeper failed to deal with an angled drive across his six yard box. Prior to that Simmo failed in a one on one when the Ashford keeper kicked clear and minutes later Terry registered his third spot kick miss in 4 attempts after Paul Tuppenney brought down Paul Jones - this effort was smothered and cleared. But a minute or two later we went 1-0 up. Best moment of the afternoon was the well worked free kick on the edge of the box that saw Simmo fire home via the crossbar to put us 2-0 up - a spectacular goal in anybody’s book. . .

Excellent value for the three points - and if we can maintain the form shown today and against Fisher recently in those other games against the top 4 - then we’re still in with a shout. But we HAVE to do the business in those games and win our games in hand. Newport, Folkestone and Fisher won today - so the gap remains unchanged apart from getting closer to Ashford who will soon be out of contention.


8/1/00 Raunds Town (1) 4 Hastings Town (2) 3

Roasted @ Raunds

White 2, Simmonds 21, Loft 75

Att:- 90 (if that)

Perhaps we deserved to lose this for sheer complacency and conceit. On our way to Raunds we stopped off at Birchanger Services and Roger, Alan, Dave and I sat round a table and discussed next month's fixtures which see us up against Newport, Folkestone and Chelmsford on consecutive weekends and we agreed that it would be make or break. No mention of Raunds Town.........

And we came home pointless from a game that should've been won by half time. After recovering from going behind in the first minute - cross in from the left, header pushed onto the bar by Kess - rebound put away with ease - we quickly got back on terms when Terry saw the keeper hopelessly out of position with his 30 yard free kick and after 21 minutes we were 2-1 up when Danny ran in from halfway and slotted home from the edge of the box. Apart from a point blank save by Kess, we had little to do defensively - but up front could not finish Raunds off. How we turned around only 2-1 up I'll never know.

The second half started off as well as the first - back to 2-2 almost straight from the kick off when a free kick deep into the box was headed in off the crossbar. It got worse - after an hour we were 2-3 down but were still dominating the game while contriving to look shaky at the back. Raunds went down to 10 men soon after Smudger was himself lucky not to get a red card when the Raunds 8 dramatically collapsed and equally dramatically got up as soon as Smudger was booked. Amazing - the medicinal qualities of yellow and red rectangular bits of plastic - has the NHS thought of using them - just think of all those intensive care beds that could be made available....... Anyway - Raunds down to 10 men like it says - their right back, the lucky recipient of a red card for his second yellow.

Shaun Loft equalised from close in after Danny's header came back off the post but minutes later the Town defence was caught out by a long wind assisted punt from the Raunds keeper - Kess in no mans land and the Raunds 10 headed over him for the decisive goal. We could not get that equaliser - Terry missed the chance of the game with a complete miskick from 6 yards out, Mylie's bomb was somehow kept out and three points were lost - thrown away more like. The only consolation was the knowledge that Newport had lost - but let's face it - that is a big gap now and it'll take an exceptional effort on the team's part.

Oh well - Crawley were in a 7 goal thriller as well - and didn't score any.


15/1/00 Hastings Town (2) 4 Storrington (0) 2 [SSC3]

Storrington stuffed - eventually

Yates 40,88,White ~45, McArthur 57

Att:- 222

Today saw Town in Sussex Senior Cup action with Storrington having agreed to stage the game in Hastings. Earlier comments still stand - how can a club without floodlights be allowed to enter this competition and cause havoc with our league fixtures (Game was originally scheduled to be played at their place with a 1.30 kick off)? Oh well, at least some common sense prevailed and we played the game here with a half decent attendance.

Give Storrington credit. They never looked two leagues inferior and played a lot of decent football. Town never really got going and it was late in the first half before the first goal came when Yatesie’s long run into the box saw him fire home with the help of a deflection. The second came soon afterwards after the Storrington defence failed to clear and a grounded Terry swivelled to knock in from a yard out.

Storrington were back in the game early in the second half when Kess, having done well to palm an attempted lob onto his crossbar, could do nothing to prevent the rebound being hammered in - bit like Raunds’ first goal last week. The two goal margin was soon restored after good work by Paul Jones set up Duncan McArthur. Jonesie is having a poor run in front of goal lately - he missed from close in when it seemed easier to score. BUT - he’s doing some fine work all the same and deserved his share of the credit for setting up Duncan. Keep it up Jonesie - those goals will come again.

Pulled back to 3-2 thanks to a penalty - that could have set us up for a nervous last 15 minutes but the team coped well with a still lively Storrington and that 4th goal was just what we wanted. Steve Yates again - almost a carbon copy of his first - but he beat more defenders this time and scored from a more acute angle - brilliant effort.

Paul Jones and Steve Yates have both looked short of confidence lately - hopefully Yatesie’s goals will have done him some good.

So - a tough match against opposition that raised their game - but Town deserved to go through. Well played both teams - and hats off to the Storrington supporters who kept behind their lot throughout.


Down a place after Chelmsford won at Bashley - Fisher consolidated their challenge by beating Corby 2-0. None of the others above us played. Good to have Stuart Playford back - could be an interesting centre half combination of him and Matt. Apparently things have gone pear shaped at Ashford - hmmm, reminds you of what happened here recently..........

Simon Stoddart

Playford returns home

We would like to welcome back Stuart Playford back from local rivals Ashford Town. 'George' was sorely missed at the heart of our defence, and will give Dean some much needed breathing space.

If you are popping down to Hastings library in the near future you may be interested to know that they have a copy of the latest Non-League directory 2000 in the reference part (sport's section). Published yearly and edited by Tony Williams of Team Talk fame, it contains a wealth of information about all the major leagues from the Conference down.

Next major update will not be until the 21st of January.


18/1/00 Bashley (0) 1 Hastings Town (0) 3

3 points and back on track

Loft 50, White 63, 66 (2 pens)

Att:- 112

With only 4 DM Eastern games being played - and just fading Ashford of those above us playing - this was a "must win" game. Our previous two games in hand had produced a single point - so this was a crucial win against a spirited Bashley who probably had the better of the first half.

Stuart Playford took his rightful place back in the centre of defence and despite being at fault for the goal conceded - weak back header leaving Kess exposed - looked good alongside Matt Ball. Could be a good centre half combination in the making. No Stuart Myall, though. That troublesome hamstring ruled him out. In a pre match fitness test.

Bashley should have been a goal up after 4 minutes when a header from a corner smacked against the bar and was scrambled clear. Town came back into the game and were themselves unlucky when Shaun Loft’s effort was disallowed for offside. Town had to work hard on an appallingly rutted pitch - some of the bobbles had to be seen to be believed.

Dean’s half time advice certainly did the trick. Town came out a different side and completely dominated the second half. 50 minutes - Lofty volleyed home after the Bashley keeper was unable to hold onto Simmo’s effort. Celebrations didn’t last long - Bashley were level on 52 minutes - but Town continued to look good and nearly regained the lead when Lofty hit the post from the most acute of angles. 63 minutes - Lofty put clear by Jonesie (outstanding second half Paul!), was brought down in the box. Clear cut penalty which Terry put away to the immense relief of all concerned. 66 minutes - Jonesie brought down - and up stepped Terry to tuck away the spot kick. Terry went close to a 5 minute hat trick with a fine volley from a Simmo corner.

Only one side in the game - Bashley couldn’t get back into it. Should’ve been 4-1 when Jonesie looked good for setting up Simmo but he over complicated everything and the ball was hoofed clear. He hasn’t scored for a while now, but his outfield work has been superb and that was a great second half.

So, Ashford drew 0-0 with Tonbridge. We go back to 5th on 41 points and are still in there.


Our game at Newport on 5 February will have to be re-scheduled. They won their FA Trophy replay and will be involved in that competition instead. Deep joy - we now have to go there midweek. The League Cup game against Newport on Jan 25 is also under threat because they’re involved in the Hampshire Senior Cup. Watch this space!

Simon Stoddart

22/1/00 Hastings Town (0) 2 Wisbech Town (0) 0

Town maintain momentum

Yates 47, McArthur 88

Att:- 360

Three more vital points keep Town in 5th spot on a day when only Ashford of the top 6 failed to win - unfortunately their defeat just had to be at Newport, one of those top three we have to keep in touch with. This game was almost a carbon copy of the away fixture at Fenland Park where we dominated but had Tony Kessel to thank for us getting anything. Four fine saves this afternoon plus an almighty goal mouth scramble just before Duncan McArthur's fine effort from the edge of the box wrapped it up. Yet Town were by far the better side for the whole game on a treacherous pitch that was rained on good and hard just before the game. The Wisbech keeper looked vulnerable to just about everything but somehow, it was 0-0 at the interval.

Paul Jones had another outstanding game - for someone who looks so slight - he's very strong and that combined with pace and tenacity meant that the Wisbech defence had a lot on their plates. It was Paul who set up Steve Yates with another of those penetrating runs into the box followed by a spot on cross that Yatesie headed in from inside the 6 yard box. Great move - great goal.

The gane really should have been wrapped up long before Duncan's 89th minute goal (courtesy of good work by Shaun Loft) - good chances falling to Duncan himself and Danny Simmonds. A huge sigh of relief all round when that second one went in - another fine goal. When Duncan gets on the score card it's usually a bit special.

Yes, we stay 5th - just a point behind Ashford who's season is fast falling apart. Still that worrying 10 point gap between us and the top three who all won - and Chelmsford are still breathing down our necks. Looks like a battle between the top six as it stands for those two promotion spots. We have to keep the momentum going and win those games in hand.

Special mention for referee Wooldridge - other than one very good piece of playing the advantage rule - he was utterly inept. How many whistles does he get through in a season?

Simon Stoddart

29/1/00 Burnham (0) 0 Hastings Town (0) 5

Drake hat trick as Town bash Burnham!

P.Jones 59, Loft 61, Playford 69, Myall 80, 87

Att:- 100 or so?

This had all the potential of being a bannana skin waiting to be slipped on. Burnham had a pretty good home record and had to be wound up for this one after that 90th minute fracas at the Pilot Field back in November following Stuart Myall’s late winner. The weather didn’t help either - very windy and the pitch looked pretty heavy too.

The first half was grim - very grim. Paul Jones had a good chance to score early on only for the keeper to block his effort. Jonesie had done exceedingly well to create the chance in the first place - bursting into the box while being sandwiched by two defenders. It looked like another one of those days for Paul - lots of good work outside the box but no luck in it. Highlight of that first half was watching Kess struggle to land his goal kicks on the pitch - the wind was that strong. As to goal mouth incident - just that Jonesie effort and a Burnham header that should’ve tested Kess more than it did.

Now - who is this person, Drake? Keiron Drake - the Burnham keeper - his second game for them having come in on loan after their regular keeper who’d had a good game against Town earlier in the season, had broken a leg. Sadly for Drake - it was his hat trick of fluffed corners that gifted Town three of their goals in an amazing second half. All five came from set pieces - first Jonesie broke his recent duck after the defence half cleared a corner. A minute later, another corner saw Lofty head in from a yard out after Drake fouled up Terry’s kick. It got even better when another Drake failed attempt at dealing with another corner saw Stuart, somehow, with his back to goal, scoop the ball for Town’s third.

This was amazing stuff - and Town weren’t finished. Stuart Myall came on for Duncan McArthur and in the 80th minute was handily placed to tuck in the fourth when Drake completed a hat trick of corner foul ups he will want to forget. This was the pick of the bunch - nobody within two yards of him - he shouted "KEEPER" - went for the ball and promptly let it slip between his hands for Mylo to knock it in - which in turn led to a display of the Myall break dancing routine. 3 minutes left - another set piece, this time a free kick from Simmo, saw Mylo run in completely unmarked to power home the fifth.

Amazing stuff. If Kess had a first half he’d want to forget - that was nothing to the second half experienced by Keiron Drake. What a good result - and the others went for us too. Only Fisher and us in the top six won - Newport and Ashford lost - and the Folkestone-Chelmsford game finished 1-1. We are now 4th and have - amongst others - two very interesting games on the horizon - Folkestone at The Pilot Field followed by a trip to Chelmsford a week later.

Burnham’s ground hasn’t changed since our last visit in 91/92 - er, nothing there to speak of. Another mystery straight out of the DM ground grading book. What Scarborough will think when they go there next week for an FA Trophy tie, after the places they’re used to visiting...................

Simon Stoddart

At just after the half way stage it looks more and more like the top six are in a mini league of their own. How have these teams done against each other?

                          Pl  W  D  L  F   A  Pts   GD
 1 Newport IoW .  .  .  .  5  4  0  1   8   2  12   +6
 2 Hastings Town  .  .  .  3  3  0  0   8   3   9   +5
 3 Chelmsford City   .  .  7  2  2  3  10   9   8   +1
 4 Fisher Athletic   .  .  5  2  1  2   7   6   7   +1
 5 Folkestone Invicta   .  6  1  2  3   6  12   5   -6
 6 Ashford Town   .  .  .  8  1  2  5   7  14   5   -7