Hastings United had to settle for a 1-1 draw at home to Worthing in Ryman Football League Division One South this afternoon (Saturday).
Tim Olorunda’s spectacular second half volley earned United a point after their former striker Trevor McCreadie had given Worthing the lead with a first half penalty.
The U’s made one change to the starting line-up from the FA Cup victory away to Eastbourne United AFC last weekend, with Sam Adams replacing Olalekan Bankole in a deep lying central midfield role.
The game got off to a quiet start. Omar Bugiel poked just wide of the far post for Worthing in the only real moment of note until the visitors opened the scoring in the 30th minute.
The linesman deemed that McCreadie had been pulled down by Olorunda just inside the home penalty box and McCreadie - who scored a hat-trick for United in the corresponding fixture last season - converted the resulting penalty, although United goalkeeper Josh Pelling was disappointed not to have got a stronger hand to the shot low to his right.
McCreadie then headed just off target from Brannon O’Neill’s free kick before United went close on several occasions during a dominant five-minute spell near the end of the half.
Adams struck a 25-yard free kick towards the top corner only for Worthing goalkeeper Jack Fagan to make a flying save diving to his left. Fagan just about kept out Dave Cook’s header from the resulting Taser Hassan corner at the second attempt.
The goalkeeper would’ve breathed a sigh of relief shortly afterwards when he allowed a shot from outside the area by Hassan, who was giving the full-back a torrid time, to slip through his legs yet recovered to swoop on the ball just before it crossed the line.
United had a glorious chance to level in the third minute of the second period. Sean Ray brought the ball out of defence and played a lovely pass to put Sawyer through on goal. Fagan got a hand to Sawyer’s shot and the ball dribbbled agonisingly wide.
Other than a looping header by Ray which was nodded off the line by Will Hendon, United weren’t looking particularly threatening during the next 20 minutes or so.
But they got back on terms in the 73rd minute when Olorunda atoned for giving away the earlier penalty by scoring with a powerfully struck acrobatic effort after Cook flicked on a floated cross by Richard Rose.
Both sides went for the winner during a lively finale, although Worthing probably looked the more likely. McCreadie tested Pelling with a firm angled drive before a remarkable passage of play saw Sam Cruttwell clear off United’s goal-line and Ade Olorunda fire wide when clean through at the other end seconds later.
Ray made an important tackle as Lloyd Dawes was about to pull the trigger from an inviting position and a low shot by Will Berry was gathered by Pelling.
United: Pelling, Rose, Cruttwell, T. Olorunda, Ray, Dolan, Cook, Adams, A. Olorunda, Sawyer (Pogue 62), Hassan. Subs not used: King, Bankole, Temba, Fayers. Attendance: 462.