Last gasp strike denies United

Sam Adams struck twice for Hastings United in the draw with Leatherhead. Picture by Terry S. Blackman
Sam Adams struck twice for Hastings United in the draw with Leatherhead. Picture by Terry S. Blackman

Hastings United’s 100 per cent home league record was ended by a stoppage time goal last night (Monday).

The U’s conceded in the 93rd minute to draw 2-2 at home to a strong Leatherhead side in a good contest between two of the leading lights in Ryman Football League Division One South.

After United had a penalty appeal for handball turned down, Leatherhead took a 15th minute lead when a good cross from the right by Kevin Terry was met by an equally good header from Tom Bradbrook which went in off the underside of the bar.

United breathed a sigh of relief when Sean Kelly appeared to bring down Joe Obersteller in his own box, but the offside flag was already up. The hosts equalised in the 27th minute as Tim Olorunda’s cross fell kindly for Sam Adams to fire a fine left-foot shot into the corner of the net.

Leatherhead started to look dangerous going forward in the third quarter of the match with number 11 Mohammed Eisa particularly impressive. United goalkeeper Josh Pelling made a good save with his feet from Bradbrook’s header and Ian Draycott wasn’t far away with a lob from fully 45 yards.

Draycott didn’t get enough on his attempted chip from an inviting position having turned Ben Judge and Eisa’s left-foot shot from outside the box was well held by Pelling as the visitors pushed to go back in front.

It was United who struck next, however, in the 68th minute. Akwasi Fobi-Edusei, the sponsors’ man of the match, latched onto a lovely throughball from Matt Darby and was brought down as he attempted to round goalkeeper Denis Ibrahim. Adams sent Ibrahim the wrong way with the resulting penalty.

But Leatherhead certainly weren’t finished. Draycott glanced a header wide of the far post, Obersteller blazed a free kick wastefully over from a dangerous position just outside the box and Pelling made a good stop going to his right to repel a Bradbrook shot from outside the box.

Fobi-Edusei cleared a header from a Leatherhead corner off his own line and a decent left-foot strike by Paul Semakula from approaching 30 yards was well held by Pelling going to his right.

Ibrahim plucked Fobi-Edusei’s header from a Kenny Pogue cross out of the air at the other end, but Leatherhead grabbed a deserved point right at the death when Bradbrook turned and placed a delightful finish into the corner of the net from just outside the box.

United: Pelling, Slocombe, Fobi-Edusei, Darby, Judge, Kelly, Ellis, Olorunda (Gilbert 90), Woodley (Pogue 77), Adams, Bah (Richardson HT). Subs not used: Corrigan. Burbridge. Attendance: 407.

Ryman Division One South top six (played-points): 1 Walton Casuals 12-27, 2 HASTINGS UNITED 11-23, 3 Crawley Down Gatwick 11-22, 4 Leatherhead 11-20, 5 Peacehaven & Telscombe 11-19, 6 Guernsey 10-19.