Attwood strike nabs decent draw

Zac Attwood came off the bench to earn Hastings United a point at Thurrock
Zac Attwood came off the bench to earn Hastings United a point at Thurrock

Less than 48 hours on from their FA Cup heroics, Hastings United picked up a very creditable league point yesterday (Saturday).

The U’s came from behind to earn a 1-1 draw away to 10-man Thurrock in the Ryman League Premier Division, making it nine games unbeaten and just one defeat in 15.

Player-manager Sean Ray unsurprisingly made six changes to his starting line-up with George Howard, Scott Manning, Jono Richardson, Jamie Crellin, Dee Okojie and Bailo Camara all coming in.

There was little to trouble either goalkeeper during the opening quarter on a pitch that was muddy in places following all the recent rain.

A third Thurrock corner in quick succession came off the far post and the hosts had a penalty appeal turned down before taking a 40th minute lead when Danny Green latched onto a through ball and slotted past Howard.

Lee Carey had a shot pushed over following a corner at the start of the second period and the same player fired just too high during a decent spell for the U’s.

Thurrock defender Ben Walster was shown a straight red card for a terrible challenge on Manning, who stayed down for several minutes before finally managing to carry on.

Josh Jirbandey had an effort saved at the far post following a free kick, while Ray made an important tackle at other end as Thurrock took their turn to apply some pressure.

United went straight down the other end, though, and after Bradley Goldberg was denied when one-on-one with the goalkeeper, Zac Attwood smashed in the rebound to make it 1-1 in the 78th minute.

Although United were much better after the break, Ben Smith wasted an excellent chance to win it for Thurrock late on. United are 17th in the table and Thurrock 20th.

United: Howard, Manning, Richardson, Carey, Ray, Jirbandey, Crellin, Dixon, Okojie, Camara, Goldberg. Subs: Attwood, Cox, Ellis, Whitehead, Bachellier.