by Richard Lusmore
Having started 2023 with a 7-1 thumping at Holme Rovers, Easington United will be desperate to avoid a similar fate when they end the calendar year against the same opponents at the same venue on Saturday.
The locals will travel to Holme-on-Spalding Moor on the back of a similarly emphatic defeat, away to Scarborough Athletic Reserves last weekend.
The result was the Eastenders’ third league loss in a row and their seventh defeat in 13 league games this season. Although currently safely ensconced in 8th place in the Right Car East Riding County League Premiership, they have played more games than any other team in the competition and as such could do to start picking up points again sooner rather than later.
However, if manager Craig Smalley is in need of some positivity ahead of Saturday’s fixture, he need only look back to when the two teams met at Low Farm in late September. That afternoon, Charlie Ashwell’s solitary strike proved enough to beat a team that had won five of their opening six league fixtures and arrived as league leaders.
What’s more the locals thoroughly deserved their win on the day, showing – as they have done all-too-rarely this term – that they can match the best teams in the division.
Since then Holme have slipped to sixth place in the table, with last week’s 4-0 loss at title favourites Brandesburton their third league defeat in what has become a stop-start campaign.
The game was Rovers’ first in the league since their 4-0 win over Filey Town on October 14.
In the intervening period, aside from a County Cup win at Hemingbrough and a narrow league cup success over Filey, Saturday’s hosts have seen four matches postponed due to the weather or other factors. Should the game go ahead as planned, Smalley will again be forced to shuffle his pack due to injury and absence.
Skipper Liam Murrey is set for another spell on the sidelines having sustained a suspected fractured rib at Scarborough last week. Charlie Clark, Adam Jamieson and Jack Wright also drop out and there is a doubt over Jordan Organ due to illness.
Elsewhere, Adam Smith serves the second game of his suspension, Andy Graham and Matt Adamson are again absent, while Ciaran Collins has rejoined Withernsea.
On the flip side, Brad Bowden and vice-captain Dan Warcup are both available for selection.
The weekend’s other action looks likely to be confined to the reserves who are without management duo Adam Jamieson and Ash Snaith for the trip to face Bridlington Rovers Pandas on the 3G at Gypsey Road in a Division 2.
In theory a win for the stiffs could take them top, especially if Club Bransholme’s home game with Priory goes the same way as much of last weekend’s schedule, including the reserves’ home fixture with Hull United Development, which fell victim to the seemingly never- ending rainfall of recent weeks.
Low Farm resembled a mini-lake at the start of the week, which would suggest that neither of the two “home” games set to take place this weekend will actually do so. On Saturday the EzPats – who last week registered their first win of the season – are set to host Holme Rovers Reserves at Patrington in Division 4, while the following day, the Awd Ezzies are scheduled to meet Oak Road Rangers at home in Hull & District Veterans League Division 6.
For up-to-date news, check out our club website at easington-united.co.uk, along with our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages (@EasingtonUtd). We also have a new TikTok page at @ easingtonunitedafc.