The August Bank Holiday Double Header kicks off on Saturday with our first trip over the Dartford Crossing of the season to visit Isthmian North Division Champions Hashtag United.
From The Managers
Micheal Everitt speaking midweek ahead of Saturday’s fixture:
“Like Chatham they’ve come up into this division with momentum as champions and have made a good start. We’ve done our homework on them and are obviously expecting a tough match to start a tough weekend. Their home record is very good and we are going to have to be on it from the first minute. We are hoping to have good news on injuries and Scott Heard will be back for Monday so that will be a boost.”
While we may have visited the Len Salmon Stadium in recent years, this is Invicta’s first ever meeting with Hashtag United.
Who Are Hashtag United?
Hashtag United are far from your normal non-league football club.
The club was founded in 2016 by YouTuber Spencer Owen who had built a large online following playing computer games such as Football Manager and FIFA.
For the first two years the club played exhibition/charity matches against a collection of teams from other YouTubers, sponsors or brands, non-league and Sunday league.
In 2018 the club applied for entry to the National League System, being accepted into the Eastern Senior League Division 1 (South) for the 2018/19 season. Manager Jay Devereux took charge with the club making Haringey Borough’s Cole Park Stadium their home.
The club went on to win promotion to the Essex Senior League in their first season, moving home fixtures to Tilbury, before moving again a year later to their current home at Bowers & Pitsea’s Len Salmon Stadium.
With the COVID19 pandemic denying The Tags the chance of a second straight promotion in 2020, they were eventually awarded promotion to the Isthmian League North Division in 2021 due to their PPG record over the 2 curtailed seasons.
After an 8th place finish in 2022, Hashtag secured promotion to the Isthmian Premier Division last season as a 21-match winning run took them to 97 points and the Isthmian North Division title.
The club boasts a huge online following, including 230k twitter followers, 633k YouTube subscribers and 502k Instagram followers, numbers that dwarf all others in the Isthmian League.
As well as the men’s side, Hashtag have a women’s team that plays its home matches at Aveley and competes in e-sports events.
Hashtag have taken to life at Step 3 well, picking up 5 points from their opening 3 fixtures and remaining undefeated so far. An opening day 2-2 draw at home to Dulwich Hamlet was followed up with a 4-1 win at Concord Rangers before a goalless draw with Bognor Regis Town last weekend.
Former Invicta ‘keeper Alexis Andre signed for The Tags and kept a clean sheet at Bognor Regis but it doesn’t appear we will be coming up against the Frenchman on Saturday.
One well known name that may well line up against us is former Premier League player Greg Halford. The Essex born defender came through the ranks at Colchester United before making appearances in the top flight for Reading, Sunderland and Wolverhampton Wanderers and has also played in Scotland and Ireland.
Manager Jay Devereux has kept most of his title winning side at the club including captain Max Cornhill and top goalscorer Alex Teniola.
Our hosts are unbeaten in 22 home matches, last being beaten at the Len Salmon Stadium in April 2022 by Canvey Island on the final day of the 21/22 season.
Hashtag United currently play their men’s 1st team fixtures at the Len Salmon Stadium, a ground that will be familiar to travelling Invicta fans as the home of Bowers & Pitsea. The ground is situated on the eastern outskirts of Basildon.
Always check rail times/strike action before you travel.
The nearest rail station to the Len Salmon Stadium is Pitsea, a 30 minute walk or a short journey on the B3 bus.
Basildon station is further from the ground but is likely to be a better destination for those wishing to take in some refreshments before the match. Basildon Bus Station is opposite the rail station and the B3 bus is also the quickest way to the ground.
The fixture is pay on the gate with no tickets sold in advance.
|Concessions £7 (12-17, seniors 65+, students with valid ID)||£7|
|U16 must be accompanied by an adult (max 3 under 16 in a party to one adult)|