by Richard Lusmore
After last week’s disruption due to the weather, Easter holidays would appear to be the biggest obstacle to Easington United’s hopes this Saturday.
First team manager Craig Smalley has no fewer than seven of his core first team squad missing for the trip to Scarborough Athletic Reserves.
Five of those who featured at Bridlington Town Rovers last Saturday are among those absent. Goalkeeper Dan Fincham, skipper Liam Murrey and striker Jack Wright are all away, Harvey Clarke is working and Matt Adamson is sidelined having again aggravated his troublesome hamstring.
In addition, Billy Symes and Karl Fitzpatrick are again unavailable. The locals head up the coast for a second successive weekend having produced a much-improved display at Queensgate, albeit one that yielded no reward. Easington were beaten 3-1 by a team still harbouring outside hopes of clinching the second promotion spot in Humber Premier League Division 1.
Not for the first time this season the locals lost out in a game that was determined by fine margins at both ends, in particular a tale of two penalties (one given, one not). Smalley was pleased with the overall level of performance but obviously disappointed and (again) a little frustrated at specific aspects of the defeat.
Saturday’s opponents Scarborough sit sixth in the table following a recent run of poor form. After knocking Premier Division side Cherry Burton out of the Whiteheads Fish & Chips Cup in early February, the Seadogs have suffered four straight league defeats, including an 8-1 mauling at Brandesburton. In addition, hopes of further progress in the league cup were subsequently ended by top flight side South Cave.
Given the absentees, Smalley will be glad to have Charlie Clark and Dan Warcup back again after both missed last week’s game. In addition, veteran Neil Rutter is again likely to feature at the Filey Community Sports Ground, having added to his 329 first team appearances at Brid with his first HPL outing since September 2016.
The glut of first team absentees couldn’t be worse timed given the “six-pointer” in store at Low Farm where the Reserves entertain Gilberdyke Phoenix in a meeting of the 11th and 10th-placed clubs in Right Car East Riding County League Division 2. The Stiffs, whose home game against AFC Skirlaugh fell victim to a waterlogged pitch last weekend, are below their opponents on goal difference and with bottom club Hull United Development the visitors to Low Farm the following week, it has all the hallmarks of a pivotal period in the Stiffs’ fortunes.
Prior to these two league games, the Reserves were set to face AFC Skirlaugh last night in the HE Dean Cup, a fixture brought forward from tonight at the request of our hosts.
Saturday’s action is completed at Patrington where the Thirds host AFC Tickton in Division 5. As always, worrying glances will be cast upwards in terms of squad availability and selection.
Last Sunday the Awd Ezzies also had numerical issues, which contributed to their first defeat in four games in Hull & District Veterans League Division 5 when losing 5-3 at Gilberdyke Phoenix. The locals now get a week off before facing back-to-back home fixtures on the 16th and 22nd.
Away from the action, the club would like to thank ANDYS charity for their pledge of sponsorship towards 10 of the younger members of the current squad. The support is greatly appreciated.
For up-to-date news, check out our club website at easington-united.co.uk, along with our social media pages on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (@EasingtonUtd).