22 May 2024

Tough tests in store for Firsts and Reserves

by Richard Lusmore

For the second successive week, only two of our teams are scheduled to be in action on Saturday and both have difficult games.

The first team host current Humber Premier League Division 1 leaders Great Driffield in the second round of the league’s Whiteheads Fish & Chips Cup competition. As for the reserves, they travel to in-form Haltemprice in East Riding County League Division 2.

It is unclear whether Craig Smalley will be fit or mobile enough to oversee proceedings at Low Farm.

However, several of his squad were given the chance to dust off some cobwebs last weekend, courtesy of runs with the second and third strings in their respective County League games.

As always, despite a three-week gap since the last fixture, the regular problem of absenteeism again affects Smalley’s selection. Leading scorer Matt Adamson and fellow forward Harvey Clarke are two early withdrawals who could reasonably have expected to be included in Saturday’s starting 11.

On the flip side, Charlie Clark, Billy Symes and Dan Warcup are all available having all been set to miss out on the recently postponed game at Chaos United.

The locals received a bye through to this stage, while the visitors benefited from a “lucky losers” draw (held following the withdrawal of Reckitts Reserves), having been beaten by Premier Division title hopefuls Sculcoates Amateurs in round one.

Great Driffield, now under the stewardship of Andy Dixon (following Curtis Woodhouse’s departure to Marske United) have already made the trip to Low Farm this season. In September they coasted to a 0-4 win in the league.

Last Saturday, the Woldsmen edged past County League side Middleton Rovers to reach the semi-finals of the East Riding Senior Country Cup. Joe Baxter’s solitary strike proved the difference.

Sam Outing returns to take charge of the reserves at Haltemprice, having missed last week’s hard-fought draw at Beverley.

Unfortunately, like Smalley he too is faced with several changes. Craig Foster (who oversaw team matters last week) is away this week and Outing must also cope without Dan Lorimer and Charlie Ashwell along with a handful of players currently expected to be involved at first team level.

Haltemprice won 0-6 at Patrington in October and they are unbeaten in seven games since a 5-3 loss at leaders Bridlington Rovers Millau on October 29.

Now based at the Sirius Academy, the hosts sit fourth in Division 2, six points off the leaders but with a game in hand on two of the three teams above them in the promotion race.

The third team have no fixture due to scheduled opponents Club De Albion’s recent resignation from Division 5. This will be slightly frustrating for manager Foxx Blyth, not only because the Bridlington side were one of the three teams beaten by the EzPats this term, but also given the fine performance that brought victory against Robin last Saturday.

Last weekend’s action was completed on Sunday when the Awd Ezzies made the long trip to Selby in Division 5 of the Hull & District Veterans League.

Unfortunately, they were on the wrong end of a 6-1 scoreline at the hands of Malt Shovel Vets and their mood was further darkened by the news that Russ Edwards sustained what was later diagnosed as a double fracture of his ankle.

A one of the stalwarts of the team, Russ’s presence will certainly be missed and our best wishes go to him for a full and speedy recovery.

As the season gets going again in earnest, Easington United AFC continues to welcome any form of sponsorship on offer and any business/individual wishing to back the Eastenders can contact us at [email protected].

Finally, our thanks go to Lewis Outing for another impressive haul of pictures from Sunday’s Vets game. Along with Burt Graham’s regular photographic contributions, these can be viewed on our website and Facebook page.

For up-to-date news, check out our website at easington-united.co.uk, along with our social media pages on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (@EasingtonUtd).