HORSHAM FC boss Hugo Langton has spoken highly of Hastings manager Sean Ray, but says he would like nothing more then to get one over his old friend when the pair lock horns at Gorings Mead on Saturday.
“I know Sean Ray, the Hastings manager, from my time at Ashford Town and I’ve got a lot of time for him,” Langton said. “He was captain at Ashford and a proper captain, he was a leader and demanded hard work from everyone on the pitch and I know he’ll be no different now he’s a manager.
“I’ve got great respect for Ray and Mark (Stapely, assistant manager), and I wish them well, except for Saturday when I hope we give them a torrid time. I hope they leave with zip”
The Hornets suffered a comprehensive 5-0 defeat when the two met at the Pilot Field at the end of October, in what was Langton’s first league game as the then caretaker manager. On that day Horsham had two players sent off against a Hastings side who had also just lost their manager and were also on a poor run of form.
The win saw something of a rejuvenation in Hastings’ form but in recent weeks they have again struggled, and go into Saturday’s match having won just one of their last seven league games to leave them hovering just above the drop zone.
They have not played a competitive match since losing 2-1 away at Hendon on January 28 so could well be rusty, but face a Hornets side rock bottom of the league and without a league win since August.
Langton, though hopes his troops will take confidence from their 2-0 cup win at Pagham on Tuesday night, and has been working his players hard to keep fitness levels up with matches cancelled and training disrupted by the cold weather.
George Landais scored both of the goals in a 2-0 win at The Lions in mid-week and linked up well with Dan Morris, playing his first game back at the club, and Langton hopes the pairing can bring an answer to Horsham’s troubles in front of goal.
“It was nice to see Daniel Morris tonight, you can see why I’ve brought him back to the club,” he said after the win.
“He makes a huge difference, he’s clever, he holds the ball up, he talks to players and encourages and had a hand in both the goals.
“I’ve been saying to George Landais since Daniel’s come back, you’re going to love playing with him.
“George came to the club to score goals and he hasn’t done lately and I know it’s been weighing on him a little bit so I’m delighted to see him get on the score sheet twice tonight.”
Ray Freeman returns to the side having missed the Pagham trip with family commitments, but midfielder and current captain Callum Dunne is a doubt with a groin problem.
If you can’t make the game, at Gorings Mead on Saturday (3pm K/O), you can follow all the action right here on our website and have your say.