Hastings fail to shut The Gate

Bradley Goldberg scored a cracker of a second goal against Margate
Bradley Goldberg scored a cracker of a second goal against Margate

HASTINGS United let slip a two-goal lead in the closing 11 minutes to draw 2-2 at home to Margate.

The U’s looked to have the points in the bag until they allowed the visitors a route back into the match.

Margate needed no second invitation and after halving the deficit from the penalty spot went on to grab an equaliser.

Until then Hastings were coasting on the back of a fifth minute opener from Zac Attwood and an absolute cracker of a second from Bradley Goldberg.

The Ryman Premier tussle was just five minutes old when Attwood made no mistake after visiting keeper Craig Holloway failed to hold Goldberg’s shot.

Goldberg came agonisingly close to doubling the lead midway through the first half with a thumping drive which smacked against the underside of the crossbar. Jamie Crelllin followed up but was unable to keep his half volley down.

The Gate always looked a threat and the closest they came in the first half was a cross-shot which deflected just past the far post. Sam Long also chanced his arm with a 25-yard strike which forced Matt Armstrong-Ford to palm over.

Goldberg doubled the home side’s advantage two minutes into the second half with a wonderful shot from the left hand edge of the box which curled beyond Holloway and into the top far corner of the net.

Jamie Crellin then volleyed wide after good link-up play between Goldberg and Dee Okojie.

Margate pulled a goal back in the 79th minute after they were awarded a penalty for Tom Vickers’ needless foul. Dan Stubbs apparently slotted home from 12 yards although the far from clear numbers on Margate’s shirts meant it was difficult to make out just who was who.

They levelled five minutes from time courtesy of former Hastings striker Carl Rook who scored from virtually on the goal-line after Hastings had failed to clear a corner.

Margate looked to the team most likely to go on and win it and Armstrong-Ford did well to keep out a well-struck free kick from Long.

Hastings (4-3-3): Armstrong-Ford; Cox, Ray, Jirbandey, Whitehead; Vickers, Crellin, Carey; Okojie, Attwood, Goldberg. Subs not used: Manning, Ellis, Richardson, Winchester.

Referee: Harry Lennard (Peacehaven). Attendance: 349.