Hastings United Football Club recovered from an early Hallowe’en scare to see off lower grade opposition last night (Tuesday).
Bostik League Division One South team Hastings had to come from behind to win 3-1 at home to Macron Store Southern Combination League Premier Division side Hassocks in round two of the Parafix Sussex Senior Challenge Cup.
Hassocks shocked the small home crowd by going ahead inside 15 minutes as James Westlake slid in to meet a cross from brother Lewis.
Ollie Rowe made a brilliant last ditch challenge on Charlie Pitcher, while at the other end, Hastings were frustrated by a combination of poor finishing and the excellence of Nathan Stroomberg in the Hassocks goal.
Tom Vickers fired just over and Davide Rodari missed the target from Kenny Pogue’s cross. Pogue missed a good headed chance and was then denied by Stroomberg.
Hastings equalised five minutes before the break. Hassocks failed to clear their lines and Sam Cruttwell took advantage with a close range finish.
Stroomberg pulled off a super stop from Rodari to ensure the first half ended level. In the second half, Pogue hit the post from a yard out with the goal at his mercy.
Hastings took the lead just past the hour mark. Will Broomfield produced a wild lunge on Rodari, who dusted himself down to convert the resulting penalty.
Stroomberg produced another excellent stop from Adam Lovatt before Hastings scored a killer third goal on 81 minutes. Ansu Janneh fired off a shot which hit the unfortunate Tom Barnes and trickled past the helpless Stroomberg.
Hastings: Rogers; Rowe, Climpson, Whyborne, Black; Vickers, Lovatt, Janneh; Rodari, Pogue, Cruttwell. Used subs: Taggart, Pritchard, Smith.