Dennis Probee HERO

Sussex Dennis Probee Youth Cup Final (Under-18s) Preview

Words by Girvane Bila
Hastings United vs. Whitehawk

The final of the Sussex Dennis Probee Youth Cup (Under-18s) is due to take place on Thursday 6 April 2023 between Hastings United and Whitehawk.

Hasting United vs. Whitehawk
Sussex Dennis Probee Youth Cup Final (Under-18s)
Date: Thursday 6 April 2023
Kick-off: 7:30 PM
Venue: Sussex County FA, Culver Road, Lancing, BN15 9AX

With the two clubs playing in the same league, The Isthmian Youth League South, they are no strangers to one another.

This season, the two have already faced off twice. On October 27, Whitehawk defeated Hastings 3-0 to win the first meeting. With 33 points, the best defence in the division with only 15 goals conceded, and two losses, Whitehawk are in prime position to win the league.

But it is the Whitehawk fans that manager Del Tobias singled out as to what makes them special.

“There’s nothing like the Whitehawk fans,” said Tobias, “I’ve been to Whitehawk games just to be a fan. Just to sit and watch and listen to them, they’re so supportive of the team.

“Even in good times that the club had when we were in the Conference South League to having the relegations they suffered, the fans have always turned out and supported the team.

“If we’re able to get some of the fans to come along and watch the 18s play in the County Cup Final then that’ll be a privilege to have them come down and support the Young Hawks.”

Coincidentally, one of Whitehawk’s two league losses came at the hands of their final’s opponents, Hastings United. On January 30, Hastings triumphed 1-0 away from home to get revenge for their 3-0 loss in their second league encounter.

Despite that loss, Tobias insisted that the team is not seeking vengeance for that league defeat, establishing a mindset that they oversee their own destiny.

“It doesn’t matter who we play in the final, it doesn’t make a difference to us. It’s about us and what we do, how we turn up. Making sure that for us, it’s another football game,” Tobias said.

“As far as I’m concerned, it’s a freebie to get to a cup final. It’s a great experience and it’ll be down to the players to continue the hard work that they’ve put in.”

Despite currently sitting seventh in the league after a difficult spell of results, Hastings United have managed to put that aside and embark on a great run in the Sussex Dennis Probee Youth Cup.

This included a stunning semi-final win against Worthing, that saw Hastings win 4-3 on penalties following a thrilling 2-2 draw in normal time.

Interestingly, their turning point of the season came in the 1-0 win against Whitehawk, a game in which Ben Cornelius felt they needed to keep things simple, while also admitting to perhaps being a bogey team for Del Tobias’ side.

“We had a tough year, and it was partly my fault we had a poor start. I overcomplicated it for the lads,” said Cornelius.

“Since then, we’ve picked up good results, beating Worthing [in the cup] and Whitehawk, two top teams.

“It probably came as a shock to Whitehawk when we played them at their place. When we played them at home, I set the team up to press too much against a top side.

“Then we went to their place, went back to basics, and got the result, which I’d say was probably the turning point.

“Both teams are pretty much even. If you look at the league, they are higher.

“But hopefully, come the final, we beat them, and we’ll be seen as their bogey team, so fingers crossed that’s how it pans out!”

Entry prices are as follows (Cash and Card accepted):

£5.00 Adult (17+)
£3.00 Concession (66+ and students with valid student ID card)
£1.00 Child (16 and under)
£1.50 Official Match Day Programme

For further details about the Sussex Dennis Probee Youth Cup Final (Under-18s) please contact:

T: 01903 753547

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