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Hastings Utd Excites in Quarter Final Encounter

Hastings Utd v Whitehawk, quarter final, Ryman League cup – January 15th 2013.

A bitterly cold evening and Pilot Field played host to an exciting encounter in the quarter final of the Ryman League Cup.  Respectively, Whitehawk lead the Ryman Premier division, with the U’s in 21st place. The U’s have been busy in this transfer window, signing Rory Murphy and Reece Beckles-Richards, both from Aldershot Town and coming to the south coast on work experience. HOT’s Liam Willis feels that a warm welcome to the Pilot Field is in order for them both.

Whitehawk started strongest, with a pass that split the Hastings defence in two.  Hakeen Araba fluffed his chances and sliced horribly wide with a one on one against goalie, Joe Winchester. But soon a chance came to Hastings United though after a pull back to Jamie Crellin in the middle of the penalty area, but a poor shot sent the ball soaring over Winterton’s crossbar.

Jack Dixon gathered the ball up for the U’s in midfield and surged forward, and just as he entered the penalty area, he was clipped – the referee pointed to the spot. Zac Attwood had the chance to put the U’s ahead from the spot after 17 minutes, and dispatched it perfectly right into the bottom right hand corner, out of the reach of Winterton.

Another break from Hastings allowed Bradley Goldberg to receive a pitch perfect pass to split the defence and get clean through with only the goalkeeper to beat. Winterton slipped, but still managed to save what would’ve been a well placed goal from Goldberg. For the next few minutes, the ball was ‘ping-ponging’ from end to end, but with no significant chances for either team.

More pressure from Hastings United saw Goldberg have another shot saved, but a corner was given. The corner was taken by Dixon, and Sean Ray headed in from close range at the far post to give Hastings United a two goal advantage. We didn’t have to wait long for another goal to come, as Bradley Goldberg bore down on goal with only the keeper to beat yet again. No mistake this time, Goldberg made it 3-0 to Hastings United. Further pressure from Hastings saw a volley from Tom Vickers saved and Goldberg go close again from thirty yards.

Half time came and a chance for a walk, a burger and a hot drink for the freezing supporters. Shortly after half time, Balio Camara came on after Zac Attwood left the field to some applause. Shortly after this, Whitehawk’s first chance of the second half resulted in a goal. A shot from Hughes was initially saved by Joe Winchester, who had had little to do in the first half, but his touch sent the ball more up than out, and bounced into the back of the net, reducing Hastings’ lead to two goals. Soon after, an exquisite chip from Bradley Goldberg saw Hastings put their lead back to three goals.

Poor handling from Winterton saw Vickers win the ball back and make a good effort on goal, but Winterton retrieved the situation with a save. Whitehawk created danger from a corner, but a good save from Winchester relieved the U’s supporters .

Bradley Goldberg was replaced allowing  Reece Beckles-Richards’ debut. A direct free-kick was well saved by Joe Winchester and well cleared to give Hastings some breathing space after the pressure.

After Lee Carey replaced Jamie Crellin, Hastings appeared to sit back and give Whitehawk some decent chances, but none were converted until an intended cross from Whitehawk’s Jones, from the edge of the penalty area on the left hand side found its way into the back of Joe Winchester’s net to put Whitehawk only two goals behind.

By this time it was already clear that the Man of the Match award could go to Bradley Goldberg again after a great performance and two goals, but the match was far from over. A bad error from goalie Winterton saw him pass straight to Tom Vickers in front of an open goal from about thirty yards out. He hit it quickly on the half volley over the heads of the defenders and over the top of the goalkeeper, but Whitehawk survived the scare, as it thumped the crossbar and was frantically cleared up field.

An excellent save from Joe Winchester kept the scores at 4-2 from a corner, but not for long, as Araba grabbed a goal by tapping in from close range after United failed to defend a corner to make the scores 4-3. After kick off, Whitehawk came on the attack but a 91st minute goal proved to be too late, as the referee had blown his whistle, sending Sean Ray’s claret-blue army sailing into the Ryman League Cup semi-final. A good performance from the U’s saw them dominate the game, and the two late goals from Whitehawk did not reflect the actual state of play.

Hastings United starting XI: Winchester, Cox, Murphy, Dixon (c), Ray, Richardson, Ellis, Crellin, Vickers, Attwood, Goldberg.
Subs:  Carey, Bachellier, Okojie, Camara, Beckles-Richards.

Whitehawk starting XI: Winterton, Pearson, Rossi-Branco, Armstrong (c), Lawrence, El-Abd, Jones, Walker, Araba, Malcolm, Hughes.
Subs:Fraser, Keehan, McLaughlin, Mills, Knee.

Attendance: 289

Posted 06:31 Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 In: Sport

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