Welcome to a cold dull foggy grey day at The Belmont Ground, home of our hosts Whitstable Town who currently sit 15th in the league having played 22 games and have 22 points.
Hastings United on the other hand sit atop the summit on 47 points having played the same amount of games.
Today’s team sheet features Finn O’Mara featuring after signing his permanent contract at the ‘U’s, more details can be at FINN-ALLY A ‘U’
Hastings United start the game and immediately go on the front foot looking for a quick opener with Sesay shooting just wide in the first minute.
Hastings continue to push forward throughout the first half, Junior Baker of Whitstable Town takes a couple of knocks and ends up substituted in the 12th minute by James Brown.
Hastings United keep the pressure up with O’Mara heading just over the bar from an Ollie Black throw in.
Whitstable Town get a free kick midway through the first half and its got hardly any power thanks to the playing surface, Louis Rogers is able to scoop the ball up with no hassle. Clearly the pitch is causing problems for both teams as the ball doesn’t seem to be falling well for either team.
In the 25th minute Sam Hasler is brought down on the left, he takes the free kick himself, the ball bounces around the penalty area awaiting a perfect tap in but its Whitstable Town who are able to kick the ball clear, Craig Stone is brought down by 2 players in the box but the keeper doesn’t see any wrong doing and eventually play is stopped so Stone can receive treatment.
After the drop ball from the referee Whitstable look to be making a break but Craig Stone is there to make a fantastic sliding tackle much to the applause of the Hastings faithful.
The ‘U’s continue pushing forward looking for an opener but it doesn’t come and the half time whistle is blown and the players depart the field goalless.
HT Whitstable Town 0 – 0 Hastings United
Whitstable Town kick off the second half and start a bit stronger forcing a brilliant save from Louis Rogers who spills the ball in the area but Whitstable are unable to capitalize on the mistake.
In the 64th minute Marcus Goldsmith is replaced by Tom Chalmers, its great to see Tom coming back after his slight injury, his impact is instant and he shows his pace against Whitstable who are unable to keep up with him.
At this point in the game its worth noting Ashford United are currently 2-0 up against Haywards Heath Town meaning they would be just 2 points behind Hastings United with a game in hand.
A couple of free kicks and corners for Hastings United are unable to make an impact with shots going just over or not having enough power to trouble the opposing goal keeper, the playing surface is really not helping the ‘U’s get the vital advantage.
Knory Scott then makes way for Kenny Pogue in the 73rd minute and Hastings continue to push forward for an opener with Tom Chalmers and Kenny Pogue missing headers, TC going over and Kenny’s being saved by the keeper. Whitstable are able to conjure a few chances and the ball is cleared by the Hastings defenders up towards Kenny Pogue, who many thought was offside but not seen that way by the officials, Kenny then is able to slot the ball past the goal keeper and its 1-0 to Hastings United!
Ashford United would now be trailing 3-2 against Haywards Heath Town meaning Hastings United now have a 7 point clearance at the top of the league!!!!
Whitstable seem almost deflated after a positive performance from them this game, Hastings do what they can to hold off any attacks from Whitstable and muster a couple of chances from a free kick and a corner but the score remains 1-0 as the referee blows the final whistle.
FT Whitstable Town 0 – 1 Hastings United
Goal Scorer: Kenny Pogue
- 12′ – James Brown replaced Junior Baker
- 41′ – Jake Mackenzie cautioned
- 58′ – Harry Goodger cautioned
- 64′ – Tom Chalmers replaced Marcus Goldsmith
- 73′ – Kenny Pogue replaced Knory Scott
- 84′ – Kenny Pogue scores
- 85′ – Montrell Deslandes replaced Danny Walder
- 87′ – Stephen Okoh replaced Callum Watts
Remember if you can’t attend the game in person Hastings United Radio is now live, you can listen at the top of the page on match days.