DCSIMG

U’s optimistic over keeper

Hastings United goalkeeper Matt Armstrong-Ford goes down bravely at the feet of Harrogate Town striker Paul Beesley. Picture by Richard Parkes

Hastings United goalkeeper Matt Armstrong-Ford goes down bravely at the feet of Harrogate Town striker Paul Beesley. Picture by Richard Parkes

Hastings United are optimistic that goalkeeper Matt Armstrong-Ford will be fit for the FA Cup third round tie at Middlesbrough on Saturday January 5.

The 23-year-old has just over a fortnight to recover from the knee injury he sustained during the second round clash away to Harrogate Town on December 1.

United player-manager Sean Ray said: “He’s going to be missing for a couple of weeks. We’re getting him all the treatment he needs. He was away getting scans on Tuesday night and he should be ready (for Middlesbrough).”

Ray admitted that Eastbourne-based Armstrong-Ford shouldn’t have played in the replay victory over Harrogate last Thursday night.

He didn’t take any of the goal kicks and was visibly affected by the problem, but managed to get through it and was part of the United side which triumphed on penalties.

The very tall Armstrong-Ford has made 50 appearances and kept nine clean sheets for United since joining from Horsham in October 2011. He previously spent two seasons at Exeter City from the start of the 2009/10 campaign.

Armstrong-Ford is the son of former United custodian Gerry Armstrong, who is well known for his work as a leading tennis umpire. Armstrong-Ford himself has worked as a tennis line judge.

George Howard, the 18-year-old second choice goalkeeper at Bromley, will continue to deputise for Armstrong-Ford over the festive period having played in United’s last two league games.

United enjoy a healthy relationship with Bromley because leading scorer Bradley Goldberg is the son of Bromley boss and former Crystal Palace chairman Mark Goldberg.

 

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