United upset league leaders

Bradley Goldberg struck twice as Hastings United beat Whitehawk
Bradley Goldberg struck twice as Hastings United beat Whitehawk

Hastings United turned the league table upside down with a 4-3 victory over Whitehawk tonight (Tuesday).

The U’s, who are second-from-bottom of the Premier Division, got the better of the table-topping Hawks in an entertaining Ryman League Cup quarter-final at a freezing Pilot Field.

Both sides had a couple of chances before United drew first blood in the 17th minute when Zac Attwood marked his return from injury by tucking away a penalty awarded for a foul on Jack Dixon just inside the box.

Bradley Goldberg was denied by Hawks goalkeeper Chris Winterton when clean through before player-manager Sean Ray doubled United’s lead on the half-hour with a trademark back post header from Dixon’s right wing corner.

United, who gave a debut to 17-year-old Rory Murphy at left-back, went three-up in the 38th minute. Leading scorer Goldberg raced clear through the inside left channel and this time made no mistake.

Hawks pulled one back in the 57th minute as a Jerahl Hughes shot from the edge of the box proved just too hot for Joe Winchester to handle, but United restored their three-goal cushion six minutes later. Tom Vickers won possession and played in Goldberg, who dinked a lovely finish over Winterton.

The visitors grabbed what appeared nothing more than a consolation in the 88th minute when a left wing cross from Josh Jones looped into the far corner and they snatched another in the third minute of added time, Hakeem Araba turning the ball home from close range at a corner.

Whitehawk also hit the woodwork twice and United once during the closing quarter. The influential Vickers struck Whitehawk’s crossbar with a remarkable lob from fully 40 yards near the end.

United: Winchester, Cox, Murphy, Dixon, Ray, Richardson, Ellis, Crellin (Carey 84), Vickers, Attwood (Camara 56), Goldberg (Beckles-Richards 70). Subs not used: Bachellier, Okojie. Attendance: 289.