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Warm Welcomes in Freezing February

Monday 3rd February 2014

Hastings Utd 2-1 Walton & Hersham

A warm welcome back to the Pilot Field for Josh Jirbandey, whose scholarship in the USA is over for a while and is back with us until April. United fans’ favourite Frankie Sawyer is Terry White’s latest signing and starts on the bench tonight, along with new signing Josh Oyinsan, who is part of the Nike Footballing Academy.  United lead 3-1 when the game was abandoned in December last year, but this game will restart from 0-0, so will this be more of the same, or something completely different? Liam Willis was there to find out.

United started the game brightly, dominating the majority of here possession and it didn’t take long to have their first significant opportunity. Tom Vickers found himself with space in the middle of the park,  surged forward, twisting in and out of the defenders and managed to find a pocket of space on the edge of the W&H penalty area, but could only fire a shot within reach of Dane Buss, low to his right hand side. It didn’t take much time for United to take a well deserved lead though. Tom Vickers was once again at the centre of the action, finding space down the left and firing a low ball across the six hard box, only for defender Andy Lomas to put the ball in his own net, just on the fifteen-minute mark.

United continued to dominate, and it seemed that a second goal for United was imminent. First, Sam Adams wasn’t too far off target with an effort from twenty-five yards and then Kenny Pogue was caught narrowly offside. Walton & Hersham’s first opportunity came just before half an hour, when a goal kick got the better of United full-back Ben Judge, which gave Drewett the chance to curl one from twenty yards, but he put his shot wide. A quick counter attack from United after a Walton & Hersham freekick saw United double their lead, which had been coming. Vickers again the provider for Danny Ellis who danced his way through a number of defenders before steering his shot past an outstretched Buss.

Walton & Hersham had their best chance of the game just before half time though. A superb bit of play allowed Wedgeworth to fire a low cross, towards Boswell in the centre, who skewed his effort from six yards out. United were two goals to the good at half time.

W&H nearly had the dream start to the second half at Andy Henson’s expense. Henson failed to clear efficiently and gave a wonderful chance to Drewett, who produced the save of the game from United’s Josh Pelling. However, Josh couldn’t be at fault for the rebound, which was buried by Scarlett to put Walton & Hersham back in the game, with forty minutes to play. With the visitors pushing for an equaliser, Andrews drove his shot over from Kelly’s miskick, which turned out to be Kelly’s last involvement in the action before being replaced by Josh Jirbandey.

A rare United opportunity saw Adams blocked off by defenders as he closed down on goal from a ball by Tom Vickers. Frankie Sawyer came on for United, replacing Tom O’Connor. United nearly extended their lead, when Adams intercepted a pass from goalkeeper Buss, and tried to lob him first time, but was just wide. Further United pressure saw Jirbandey head just over from a Sam Adams corner, before Pogue made way for debutant Josh Oyinsan.

With time ticking away, Sawyer’s cross from the right had too much pace for Vickers’  outstretched foot. Straight down the other end, and Walton and Hersham proved to be slightly more of a threat. First, Pelling prevented Thompson’s volley from creeping in, then Jirbandey’s heroic defensive clearance prevented Kazi’s cross being turned in. United were hanging on, deep in to extra time, with Walton and. Hersham coming close again; Drewett headed just wide from a corner. After what seemed like a while coming, the referee blew for full time, to give United an important three points, as they continue their quest for promotion under Terry White.

United starting XI: Pelling, Darby, Henson, Olorunda, Judge, Kelly, Ellis, Adams, Pogue, O’Connor, Vickers
Subs: Sawyer, Oyinsan, Jirbandey, Cruttwell, Dolan.

Walton & Hersham starting XI: Buss, Dean, Lomas, Scarlett, Boswell, Bray, Andrews, Francis, Drewett, Maan, Wedgeworth.
Subs: Glace-Palmer, Kazi, Thompson, Mbaye.

Attendance: 274
Man of the Match, as nominated for by Liam Willis: Tom Vickers

Posted 09:05 Tuesday, Feb 4, 2014 In: Sport

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