by Richard Lusmore
The Humber Premier League (HPL) fixtures for the 2022/23 season have been released and it’s set to be a belated start for Easington United.
With 11 teams in Division 1 (following Appleby Frodingham’s decision to withdraw) the Eastenders have no fixture on 20 August – the day on which the rest of the competition kicks off.
Instead, the locals will begin their campaign the following Saturday (27th), when they host Reckitts 2nds at Low Farm.
At first glance, it’s the latest in a series of perhaps unwanted amendments to what initially appeared to be a well-planned start to the new season for United. However, the week’s grace may well prove a blessing if it means the extra time allowed for final preparations can be put to good use.
Following the loss of last weekend’s proposed friendly against Hessle Rangers and subsequent failure to then secure a midweek alternative, next week’s trip to Hornsea Town also now appears under threat.
The Hessle cancellation came about due to an unforeseen shortage of numbers, and the same appears to be the case for next Tuesday’s game which, ironically, was initially put back a week at the hosts’ request. At time of going to print, a possible switch to Monday (15th) is being looked into.
It’s all a tad frustrating but manager Craig Smalley remains philosophical, stressing that playing games against quality opponents with an unrepresentative squad serves no purpose for either team. Instead, he’s pleased to see continued ongoing improvement at the twice-weekly training sessions currently being held, during which the players have been really put through their paces.
It’s not just the First Team squad’s pre-season that has faced disruption. The Reserves’ scheduled trip to Sands United HEY last Sunday was cancelled by the hosts at short notice and next Thursday’s home game against North Ferriby Sporting may well go the same way, following a mix-up over dates.
Notwithstanding any unforeseen problems, the Reserves will be in action tomorrow evening when they host AFC Skirlaugh at Low Farm in the annual Andy Martin Memorial game (7pm). This is followed on Sunday by another memorial match when the Awd Ezzies play Newland Vets in ‘The Finchy Game’ (2pm).
Reserves boss Sam Outing has named a strong-looking squad for tomorrow night, which includes Stu Campbell’s first game back since rejoining the locals from Roos.
Goalkeeper Kallum Cudbertson is in line for his ‘official’ Easington debut, while the likes of Brad Bowden, Charlie Clark and Dan Lorimer are all included after having played in the recent first team outing at Wetherby. Sam Smith skippers the side.
For the Vets, Sunday’s game will be their second run out of the summer, after a makeshift ‘Awd Ezzies’ line-up went down 7-6 at Preston United Vets on Sunday.
Another team that has actually got to kick a ball in the past week or so was the Academy side. They registered a 4-2 win away at CAST United Community on the 4G pitch at Sirius Academy West (see separate report).
The Academy are set to be in action again at Patrington next Wednesday (17th), when they entertain East Yorkshire United (7pm).
Meanwhile, the loss of two games last weekend resulted in an in-house full-scale training match at Low Farm last Sunday morning, which proved an entertaining affair. Several youngsters were given a first taste of ‘men’s football’ in the 2-2 draw between ‘Team Bowden’ and ‘Team Outing’, with the hope being that they will follow in the footsteps of many of their mates in donning Easington colours on a Saturday afternoon.
Given the amount of disruption already experienced, spectators are advised to check our social media account for updates to all the aforementioned fixtures!
Away from the action, there’s a last chance for people to pledge their support of those club members undertaking the Mount Snowdon challenge this Saturday.
Donations continue to come in, with the online total now beyond the halfway mark and an impressive amount having also been pledged by the paper sponsor form method. The proceeds will be used to fund pitch improvement work at Low Farm, along with forming part of our donation in support of our chosen good cause this season, the WISHH charity for Wards 30 & 32 at Castle Hill Hospital. Online support can still be pledged at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/easington-unitedfc.
There is just over a month to go before the club’s official 75th birthday celebrations, which take place at Hull City AFC’s MKM Stadium on Saturday, 24 September. Guest speaker at the Sporting Dinner is former Newcastle, Liverpool and England star Peter Beardsley MBE, supported by MC/comedian John Gillan.
Tickets are priced £40 each and are available from either Daniel Campbell (07794 572250) or Stuart Campbell (07792 770475).
Our thanks go to Foxx Blyth and Bill Keyworth for their excellent recent restoration work on several of the memorial benches in place at Low Farm. It is very much appreciated, as are the continued efforts of those volunteers who are round there on a regular basis, performing the countless tasks that often go unnoticed by many.
Among them is Eastenders honorary life member Brian ‘Brim’ Biglin who turns 80 tomorrow. The best wishes of all at Low Farm are extended to him on reaching his latest appearance milestone!
Finally, as we approach the new season, a reminder that any business or individual wishing to support the club in any way can do so by emailing us at [email protected].
For up-to-date news, check out our club website at (www.easington-united.co.uk), along with our social media pages on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (@EasingtonUtd).