Record-breaking ‘U’s’ next for Lions
DAVIDE RODARI has hardly been a big player in Hastings United’s climb to second spot in the BetVictor Isthmian South East table.
But the ‘U’s’ striker, once of Inter Milan, may well have won himself a place in the starting XI at Footes Lane tomorrow after his remarkable eight-goal haul as Hastings United took out some of their frustration from a couple of recent cup defeats by thrashing East Grinstead 12-3 in their Velocity Sports Trophy group game on Tuesday night.
Rodari had barely scored in the league before the East Grinstead game, a dead rubber for the visitors in what is, in effect, the Isthmian league cup.
GFC’s latest opponents, only the third to come to ‘The Lane’ this season, had recently lost 1-0 away to Weymouth in the FA Trophy, followed by a 2-3 home loss to Brighton U23s in the Sussex Senior Cup.
But Chris Agutter’s team, who lie three points behind leaders Cray Valley PM with two games in hand, went to town against poor old East Grinstead.
Agutter hailed his ‘excellent’ team after what was their biggest ever win and Rodari became the first ever U's player to net eight times in a competitive match,
Agutter has struggled to make sense of the result. ‘We’re not really going to analyse it, it was such a crazy, freak game,’ he told the Hastings Observer.
‘Davide will get the plaudits, and rightly so, but the team supported him brilliantly.’
‘It’s always nice to play a significant part in the club’s history and it’s a record that’s there to be broken now.’
Rodari, who started out as his career as part of the Inter Milan youth set-up, smashed his own record tally of 16 goals in a season with his eight goals taking him to 18 already this campaign, nearly all in cups.
The Hastings manager said: ‘He’s not really played that much this year but whenever he has, he’s scored. It was a good night and I am really pleased for Davide.
‘He made a great impact at the end of last season but at the start of this season he got injured and found himself out of the team thanks to [Ben] Pope’s great start but, to be fair to him, when he’s had his opportunities he’s always taken them.It’s only a matter of time before we start him regularly.’
Whether that is tomorrow against the Green Lions, perhaps only Agutter knows.
But GFC have already kept some very handy strikers quiet this campaign and Jamie Dodd and co. won’t be planning anything different tomorrow.
Hastings won the corresponding game last season 1-0 and Rodari was not playing.