3 December 2023

Easington’s season can’t end soon enough!

by Richard Lusmore

Weather permitting, this Saturday Easington United will bring the curtain down on another disappointing Humber Premier League campaign.

Should the rain that was forecast for most of the week abate in time to allow games to take place, the Eastenders head to bottom club Hessle Sporting Club Reserves looking to arrest a run of six straight league defeats and at least end their campaign on something of a high.

The hosts are well adrift at the foot of the HPL Division 1 table, with just a solitary point from their 16 games to date and have already lost twice to the Eastenders this term. That said, the locals’ run of form and complete lack of confidence means this is far from a “gimme” for Craig Smalley’s side.

The Easington manager was absent due to illness last Saturday and so missed the 6-1 defeat against Scarborough Athletic Reserves at Filey.

Again, as for much of the season, the locals showed up well in patches and many observers would agree that the 3-0 half-time scoreline in favour of the hosts was somewhat at odds with the way the game had gone.

Such is the Eastenders’ fragile nature at the moment that the second half was always likely to see more goals conceded and so it proved.

Smalley had seven of his core squad unavailable for selection at Scarborough and the situation doesn’t look much brighter for the weekend.

From those who played last week, Brad Bowden and David Nolan are confirmed absentees, while Harry Anderson-Richardson is an early doubt due to work. With no return imminent for the likes of Matt Adamson and both Dan Fincham and Billy Symes having played their last league games, Smalley will hope that skipper Liam Murrey, Karl Fitzpatrick, Andy Graham and Jack Wright are all available for a game that is certainly not to be considered a dead rubber.

As always, any absences at the top end are felt as keenly lower down where both the Reserves and Third team could do with picking up points in their respective Right Car East Riding County League fixtures.

The Stiffs’ future in Division 2 looks increasingly precarious following last week’s heartbreaking last gasp defeat by Gilberdyke Phoenix and a win for fellow strugglers Sutton United. Should the locals lose to Saturday’s visitors Hull United Development, they can begin planning for Division 3 football next term.

Prior to their latest league defeat (their 11th of the campaign) the Reserves exited the league’s President’s Trophy (the HE Dean Cup) at the second round stage last Wednesday, courtesy of a 5-0 defeat at Division 2 rivals AFC Skirlaugh.

Rhys Ward struck a hat-trick for the Redmen, with other goals coming from Kallum Findley and Dion Gibbs on a night in which the locals also had plenty of chances but, by their own admission, “couldn’t hit a barn door”!

Although the Third team have no worries about possible relegation, they go to Withernsea Reserves on Saturday looking to halt a run of 10 straight defeats (if you include the docking of points from the “win” over Robin). In addition, having seen three of the last four matches postponed, the EzPats are desperate to play. If they get to do so, Foxx Blyth’s boys will be hoping to atone for a home defeat at the hands of the same opponents, as well as trying to climb away from the foot of Division 5.

The backlog of games caused by the recent wet weather is starting to cause real problems for the League, with the Thirds already looking like having to play several midweek fixtures to get their games in.

The Awd Ezzies also have numerous games to play in Hull & District Veterans Division 5 and they will be hoping that the weather allows for two of them to be completed on Sunday, when bottom club Priory B come to Low Farm to play a double-header for six points.

The locals then repeat the task the following week, with Spartans at Easington under similar circumstances.

Away from the action, the club has announced that its annual presentation evening will take place in the Marquis of Granby on Saturday, June 3.

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).