Three and easy for Hastings

Hastings United's footballers eased to their third league win of the season this afternoon (Saturday).

Saturday, 10th September 2016, 7:59 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 11:38 pm
Jay May put Hastings United ahead against Godalming Town. Picture courtesy Scott White

Second half strikes from Jay May, Harry Stannard and Matt Bodkin gave United a 3-0 victory at home to Godalming Town in Ryman Football League Division One South.

The result moved United - who are still unbeaten this season in all competitions - up to fifth in the early league table with 12 points from their opening six games.

Yesterday's signings Stephen Butcher and Barry Cogan went straight into United's starting line-up, Butcher at right-back and Cogan in an attacking midfield role.

Harry Stannard netted the second Hastings goal. Picture courtesy Scott White

United dominated possession during an uneventful first half, but despite some tremendous passes from Sam Cruttwell, struggled to carve out opportunities against a Godalming side which is now bottom of the table with just one point from six matches.

Bodkin had the ball in the net at the end of a lovely third minute move only to be denied by an offside flag and not long afterwards May saw a far post header from Butcher's cross deflect wide.

United's best chance of the half came in the 37th minute. Cruttwell played a lovely throughball to release Bodkin through the inside right channel, but Bodkin's shot struck the outside of the near post.

U's boss Darren Hare made a double substitution at half time, bringing on Stannard for Simon Johnson in midfield and Reece Butler for Sam Cole at left-back.

Matt Bodkin completed the scoring at The Pilot Field this afternoon. Picture courtesy Scott White

The changes seemed to liven United up a bit. Stannard, who was bright and keen to get involved, flashed a well-struck volley wide of the far post shortly after Cogan volleyed over from a corner.

United took charge with two goals in seven minutes just before the hour. They opened the scoring in the 54th minute when Bodkin delivered an inviting cross from the right and although Cogan couldn't make meaningful contact with a header, the ball rebounded off the gloves of goalkeeper Oneal Garnes for May to nod home.

The hosts then doubled their lead with a lovely goal. The excellent Cruttwell played a good ball through to Stannard, who picked out the far bottom corner with a delightful finish from the left-hand side of the box.

As the rain started to fall, United seemed to lose their way a bit and Godalming began to spend more time in home territory, albeit without looking particularly threatening.

Frannie Collin fired just wide for United from 25 yards and Stannard's crisp drive deflected over before United completed the scoring in the 89th minute. Cruttwell's diagonal ball found Bodkin, who dribbled across the edge of the penalty area before burying an accurate finish into the bottom corner.

Although this was the last game of May's 30-day loan from Maidstone United, fellow forward Jack Harris was back among the substitutes as he nears a return from the ankle injury he suffered on the opening day.

United: Pidgeley, Butcher (Watt 75), Cole (Butler HT), Cruttwell, Rowe, Davies, Cogan, Johnson (Stannard HT), May, Collin, Bodkin. Subs not used: Harris, Nicholls. Attendance: 305.

Top half standings (played 6 matches unless stated): 1 Tooting & Mitcham United (7) 17pts, 2 Dorking Wanderers 15, 3 Corinthian-Casuals 13, 4 Faversham Town 12, 5 HASTINGS UNITED 12, 6 Carshalton Athletic (5) 12, 7 Walton Casuals (5) 12, 8 Hythe Town 11, 9 Greenwich Borough 10, 10 Ramsgate 10, 11 Cray Wanderers 9, 12 Sittingbourne 9.

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