HASTINGS United are celebrating their first win in the FA Cup for six years with a 3-1 success against Chatham Town.
Goals from Jamie Crellin, Tom Vickers and Bradley Goldberg did the trick in this first round qualifying tie on a very warm Saturday afternoon.
A home draw against lower league opposition provided Hastings with the ideal opportunity to end a desperate run in the competition.
Early on, however, the U’ struggled to stamp their supposed superiority over Ryman Division One North visitors and the opening half-an-hour was something of a non event, with the only real talking point being an injury to striker Zac Attwood who appeared to tweak his hamstring.
Hastings needed a goal to calm things and it arrived just before half time when Crellin finished from close range after a scramble in the Chatham box.
Chatham upped their game in the opening 10 minutes of the second half but what efforts they had failed to really trouble Matt Armstrong-Ford in the home goal.
Goldberg then continued his remarkable run of hitting the woodwork in every home game this season when his shot came back off the base of the post.
Not long after, Goldberg helped to create the killer second goal when he refused to give up on Lee Carey’s overhit cross and from Matt Whitehead’s whipped centre there was substitute Tom Vickers to slide home.
Goldberg did get on the scoresheet with a shot which had just enough power to beat keeper Tim Roberts before Chatham grabbed a late consolation through Harry Smith.
The win will see Hastings receive £3,000 in prize-money and the draw for the next round is on Monday.
Hastings (4-3-3): Armstrong-Ford; Cox, Ray, Richardson, Whitehead; Crellin, Carey, Dixon (Vickers 56); Okojie, Goldberg (Ellis 73), Attwood (Upton 27). Subs not used: Jirbandey, Camara, Stapley.
For a full match report read Friday’s Observer Sport.