Hastings United Football Club produced a decent performance to convincingly see off second-bottom opposition this afternoon (Saturday).
Two second half penalties from Sam Adams and an added time Calum Davies goal gave Hastings a 3-0 victory at home to 10-man Molesey in Bostik League Division One South.
Hastings dominated possession and territory during the opening period on a dully and drizzly afternoon at The Pilot Field, without managing to breach the Molesey defence.
They fashioned two clearcut chances before the break. Dayshonne Golding firstly saw his shot saved by Molesey goalkeeper Craig Bradshaw following Adams’s diagonal ball and later in the half an Adams shot was very well cleared off the line by Ryan David.
The only other real moments of note during the first half were Davide Rodari’s low shot being gathered by Bradshaw at the second attempt and Jack Dixon firing just over, both from outside the box.
Both sides had a couple of promising moments in the first 10 minutes of the second period. Hastings goalkeeper Charlie Horlock made his only save of the afternoon, comfortably clutching a Reis Stanislaus free kick, and home defender Sam Cruttwell effected an important tackle on Ronald Sobowale as he bore down on goal.
At the other end, Dixon’s well-struck goalbound effort was blocked and Rodari’s effort after cutting in from the left bounced up against the post.
Hastings took charge, though, courtesy of two goals from penalties in little more than two minutes, moments after the introduction of substitute Daniel Ajakaiye.
The opener came in the 59th minute. Dixon was bundled over in the box after Golding’s shot from an Ajakaiye cross was blocked and Adams drilled the spot-kick straight down the middle.
Two minutes later, Molesey defender Taylor Roles was sent-off for bringing down Davies, who had been put through by Ajakaiye, and Adams this time dispatched the penalty into the left-hand corner.
Hastings played some terrific football thereafter and carved out a whole host of opportunities. Only a combination of good goalkeeping and ordinary finishing prevented it from turning into a rout.
Davies didn’t get enough on his attempted chip having been put through by Adams, Dixon headed just wide from Sam Beale’s cross and Davies’s angled shot following a good throughball by Golding was well saved.
Golding’s shot following the resulting corner was touched wide by Bradshaw at his near post and the same player had the ball in the net from Ajakaiye’s cross, but the goal was disallowed, presumably for offside.
Davies pulled his shot well wide after an Adams effort deflected kindly into his path and then saw a low shot well saved having turned his man in the box. A long range attempt from the excellent Cruttwell was well held low down by Bradshaw as the shots continued to rain in.
The impressive Adams had a shot from inside the box well saved by Bradshaw low to his right and Davies couldn’t turn home the rebound. A brilliant effort by Ajakaiye from outside the area struck the far post and hit substitute Sinnkaye Christie on the way out.
Davies was let down by a heavy touch when put through by Cruttwell and Beale then went through in added time only to be denied by Bradshaw.
Davies finally found the net in the third minute of added time, turning home a good low cross from the left by Cruttwell to wrap up Hastings’ 13th league win of the season.
Hastings: Horlock, Rowe (Christie 77), Beale, Lovatt, Climpson, Cruttwell, Rodari (Ajakaiye 58), Adams, Davies, Dixon, Golding (Walker 73). Subs not used: Janneh, Pogue. Attendance: 402.
Bostik League Division One South top half (played-points): 1 Lewes 31-67, 2 Cray Wanderers 32-65, 3 Carshalton Athletic 31-62, 4 Greenwich Borough 31-61, 5 Walton Casuals 32-60, 6 Corinthian-Casuals 32-60, 7 Phoenix Sports 32-51, 8 Hythe Town 31-50, 9 HASTINGS UNITED 31-47, 10 Whyteleafe 31-46, 11 Horsham 32-45, 12 Thamesmead Town 30-43.
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