Saturday, August 4, 2012
United returned to winning ways with a 2-0 victory away to newly promoted Three Bridges this afternoon. The U's fielded a stronger starting line-up than the one that went down by the same score at Faversham in midweek, with boss Sean Ray returning and former player Anthony Storey also having a run out.
There were not many openings for either side in the opening half an hour, as defences generally held the upper hand. Bridges won the Sussex County League title last season and will be looking to establish themselves in Ryman Division One South this year. They have a few useful players, but also one or two who can take care of themselves if play becomes too physical.
Dee Okojie came close to opening the scoring on thirty-two minutes, but saw his well struck shot pushed over the bar by the home keeper. A minute later though, United did open their account. Okojie was brought down as he made his way into the area and Lee Carey tucked away the resultant spot kick.
U's keeper Matt Armstrong-Ford made a fine diving save to keep his side in front shortly before the interval, as Bridges went looking for the equaliser.
The hosts also had more of the game at the start of the second period, but still found it difficult to find a way through. When they did, Armstrong-Ford was on hand, and he pulled off another fine diving save with just minutes to go.
United failed to make the most of several good opportunities in the closing stages, but did add to their tally in the third minute of added time. Zac Attwood, Storey and Jamie Crellin all failed to hit the target, before the game was made safe, when Attwood received on the right and held off two robust challenges, before sending over a delightful cross for Crellin to fire home from eight yards.
Hastings United: 1 Matt Armstrong-Ford, 2 Elliott Cox (George Benner 74), 3 Matt Whitehead, 4 Lee Carey, 5 Sean Ray (Scott Manning 74), 6 Josh Jirbandey, 7 Jamie Crellin, 8 Anthony Storey, 9 Bradley Goldberg (Bailo Camara 65), 10 Zac Attwood, 11 Dee Okojie (Alex Howell 80).
Attendance: 80 (estimated)