Ten-rific opener

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Hill and Heather star as Hastings begin season with win

Hastings Utd Women started their season with a bang as they defeated Meridian 10-0. Molly Hill stole the show with 4 goals, Sian Heather hit 2, as did Georgia Tibble, and Naomi Corrigan and Faye Williams also weighed in with a goal apiece.

As has been a hallmark of Hastings, they were fastest out of the blocks and reaped the rewards of the good start after 3 minutes. Heather, fresh from nearly opening the scoring a minute before, put pressure on the defence and won the ball, before finishing calmly to set the tone for the day.

The second goal came 10 minutes later, with Georgia Tibble setting a marker of her own (that she would later shatter). A strike from range that flew into the bottom corner and doubled the U’s lead.

A few minutes later Naomi Corrigan got her first of the season, after a Mia Hyland corner was flicked back to her and she got a touch on it to turn home.

Drama followed before goal number 4 – including a terrific double save by the Meridian goalkeeper, and an injury to winger Nicole Baitup, but in the 32nd minute Sian Heather tucked home her second with a composed finish into the far corner.

And, as some people breathe, Molly Hill scores. She bagged the fifth just before the break with an instinctive finish after a save by the Meridian goalie, ensuring that the U’s were halfway towards double digits at the break.

HT : Hastings Utd 5-0 Meridian

After half time, until the dying embers of the game, it was the Molly Hill show. 3 goals in 14 minutes (56, 67, 70), including an fizzed effort in off the post, a top corner pearler, and a finish from the angle which turned the 5 into 8 after 25 minutes of second half football.

2 more goals would follow before the final whistle. Number 9 was courtesy of substitute Faye Williams. A cross alluded everyone before falling to Williams, who more than happily finished into the far corner.

But, Georgia Tibble was to have the last word, and some last word it was. A brilliant long range free kick from the right channel flew into the far corner. Arguably saving the best for last, it was a remarkable effort that really summed up the tone of the day – real quality that showcased the threat that Hastings will present throughout this season and beyond.

FT : Hastings Utd 10-0 Meridian

The Ry-view : Whilst this shouldn’t be seen as a marker for what to expect from the rest of the season, it certainly acts as a boost for the team. An opening day win, 5 different goalscorers and a clean sheet. Whilst Baitup is a loss, Sheppard and Williams (who both started from the bench) more than showed their readiness to step in to fill the void. Not the most competitive game of the season, that I can assure you, but plenty of positives to take moving forward.

Team : Hamilton, Johnson (Williams), Phillips (Reed), Critchfield (Carter), Relf (C)(Sharp), Hyland (Critchfield)*, Tibble, Baitup (Sheppard), Corrigan, Heather, Hill

*Critchfield returned to play courtesy of ‘Roll on Roll off’ substitution system in place.

POTM : Molly Hill

Next match : Herne Bay (H), 2pm, 29/8/21

Ryan Segal