United's second half treble sinks Greenwich
Hastings United's footballers made it 50 league goals for the season in a very good 3-0 win at home to Greenwich Borough tonight (Tuesday).
Well-worked second half strikes by Kiernan Hughes-Mason, Frannie Collin and Jack Harris gave United their first victory over a side in Ryman Football League Division One South's top 10 this term.
The result moved United into the top 10 and they remain eight points behind Hythe Town, who occupy the final play-off spot of fifth, with four games in hand.
On a lovely-looking Pilot Field pitch, Greenwich probably shaded a fairly even first half and certainly had the best chance when Mohamed Eisa was denied by a fine save from home goalkeeper Lenny Pidgeley in added time.
Prior to that, Pidgeley had beaten out a near post header by Rob Denness at a corner and later got down low to his right to turn a Lewis Spence shot round the post. Bradley Pritchard's shot was kept out by a crucial block.
At the other end, Matt Bodkin's far post header from a Jaydon Thorbourne cross was straight at Greenwich goalkeeper Jordan Beeney, who also held Simon Johnson's low drive and a Harry Stannard shot from just outside the box.
Collin was also fractionally too high with a free kick for a United side which lost centre-half Steve Watt through injury in the first 20 minutes, meaning Sam Cruttwell dropped into the backline.
Into the second half and Collin flashed a drive whiskers wide from outside the area before the deadlock was broken in the 54th minute. Harry Stannard cut the ball back from the inside left channel for Hughes-Mason to place a precise finish into the bottom corner from just inside the box.
Stannard drove just wide at the end of a neat sequence of passes, while at the other end, Greenwich had the ball in the net only for Charlie McDonald to be penalised for sliding in on Pidgeley, who then pulled off a fine diving save from Jake Britnell's 25-yard strike.
United doubled their advantage in the 76th minute courtesy of a tremendous looping header by Collin, who had to arc his neck backwards to meet Stannard's cross from the right.
The result was put beyond doubt eight minutes later. Bodkin made a brilliant run into the left-hand side of the box and pulled the ball back from the byeline for Jack Harris to slot home.
United: Pidgeley, Davies, Thorbourne, Cruttwell, Watt (Stannard 20), Rowe, Bodkin, Johnson, Hughes-Mason (Harris 77), Collin, Cogan (Ellis 90+4). Subs not used: Pritchard, Nicholls. Attendance: 238.
Ryman Division One South top 10 (played-points): 1 Dorking Wanderers 20-47, 2 Tooting & Mitcham United 20-46, 3 Carshalton Athletic 19-40, 4 Greenwich Borough 19-38, 5 Hythe Town 19-36, 6 Corinthian-Casuals 18-33, 7 Sittingbourne 20-32, 8 Lewes 18-32, 9 Cray Wanderers 17-31, 10 HASTINGS UNITED 15-28.
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