United Getting Closer

Cray Valley PM 1,
Hastings United 2;

Hastings United 2,
Three Bridges 0

Off the field Hastings United may have received a major setback to their future plans last week, but the team’s playing fortunes go from strength to strength. Two further victories over the past fortnight extended their run of successive wins to eight. They are now 12 points clear of the field in the South-East Division of the Isthmian League with just six games to go. Two more wins and a draw will make the divisional league title and promotion mathematically certain.

Finn O’Mara heads ‘U’s second goal
CREDIT: Scott White

The latest successes were achieved in contrasting styles, each a satisfying demonstration of the team’s confidence. Away at Cray Valley, who themselves remain distant challengers for promotion, the ‘U’s struggled to get their passing game going in the first half and reached the interval a goal down. Turning around, they put in a much more composed performance. Cray put through their own goal for the equaliser, then Jack Dixon popped in the winner.

A week later, back at Pilot Field, Hastings dominated Three Bridges from the first whistle, moving the ball smartly through the midfield as if they had one or two extra men on the pitch. After five minutes Ben Pope headed them in front from a cross by Sam Hasler, then had a penalty saved by the visiting keeper. But Hastings went two up in the 20th minute: Craig Stone, staying forward after a United corner was half-cleared, turned neatly to set up his co-defender Finn O’Mara for another emphatic headed goal. 

Surprisingly that’s how the score stayed, with Three Bridges taking the game to their hosts in the second half, but finding no way through the ‘U’s defence.

Tomorrow (Saturday) United travel to East Grinstead, then entertain Haywards Heath on 2 April. 

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