Hastings United U21s 1 Whitstable Town U21s 3
Ryman Under 21 League (South)
Monday 17th November 2014
The U21s travelled to Hastings last night to take on a Hastings side rooted to the foot of the table. The game was played in difficult conditions with driving rain throughout much of the game, but credit must go to the Hastings ground staff, first for managing to get the game played, and second for producing such an excellent playing surface even in such conditions.
Whitstable started the brighter and took the lead on 12 minutes. A cross from the right by Adam Woollcott was parried by the Hastings keeper but the ball found its way to Sam Josh on the edge of the area who beat a player before firing a shot in to the back of the net. The lead was deserved as Town were playing some good football, Liam Wilkings, Josh Algar, and Matty Guila dominating the midfield. The lead was short lived however, as following a disputed free kick on the edge of the Town box on 15 minutes the free kick was superbly placed in to the bottom right hand corner of the net, giving debutant keeper Harry Brooks no chance to make the save.
The equaliser certainly raised the spirits of the home side who for the remainder of the half played some good football which belied their league position. A good shout for a penalty was waved away by the ref’ and Brooks made a good save down to his right to keep out a low effort from the edge of the box.
The second half was a different story. Town dominated from start to finish, both full backs Andy McGinty and Cameron George getting forward well and the defence looking solid and composed with Jack Sayer particularly commanding alongside the dependable Healey. Town create several chances and were denied what looked an obvious penalty after the hard working Joe Lester was brought down, but the breakthrough came on 73 minutes. A free kick from 35 yards out was driven in by Woollcott and the Hastings keeper could only watch as the ball bounced back off his chest and was driven home by Guila, following up to stroke the ball in to an open goal. Whitstable continued to press with Aaron Skinner (on for Healey) making inroads down the right, and Nana Baah, making his debut on the left (for Josh) looked lively and threatening.
The game was made safe on 90 minutes when following a surging run from the excellent Wilkins Town were awarded a free kick outside the box. Woollcott stepped up to plant the ball in to the left corner giving the keeper no chance.
A good performance from Town who played some tidy football on a good pitch, and were finally rewarded with 3 points to take back on the long, long, drive home!
Town: Brooks, George, Sayer, Healey (Skinner 62), McGinty, Algar, Wilkins, Guila, Woollcott, Josh (Baah 60), Lester