The rain which had been a constant since late morning, managed to stop to a very slow drizzle as the teams prepare for kickoff. The pitch is looking very well considering the amount of rain that has been in the area over the last few days, and there is not a puddle in sight as the teams come out with grey skies and threatening clouds all around.
The opening minutes are spend in quite a frantic pace although a bit chaotic at times! Dela Verde has a shot which goes over the bar by some distance and at the other end a half-hearted penalty appeal as Ben pope goes down in the box – is turned away by the referee.
A second penalty appeal for Hastings for a chop on Elliott is again turned down, but straight away up the other end Enfield try and penetrate the back line with another long range effort
With the early exchanges well and truly over, the game has settled down with Enfield possibly enjoying more possession in the Hastings half , but have made little impression on the Hastings goal so far. That said, Hastings are industrious when they do get up forward and Pope has the first meaningful chance of the afternoon with a header which just flashes over the top right hand corner of the bar.
It’s then Enfield‘s turn to come close with a close range shot through a packed area just being tipped wide of Louis’ left hand post .
As the half passes its halfway point, the game becomes more open. First Enfield shoot just over the bar and then a chance from Jake Elliott is parried away by the keeper and Jack Dixons follow-up shot is again blocked.
Hastings are beginning to apply some consistent pressure and Ben Pope, battling as always manages to get himself into the referees book for a robust challenge in the Enfield half . Probably s bit harsh that !
As we enter the final five minutes of the half, Enfield are now putting on a lot of pressure. After a series of corners, Hastings manage to clear but then Enfield are awarded a free kick, perhaps inexplicably which is drilled over by Verde. So the half comes to a close, with both teams trying to make a good game of it. Perhaps the conditions have played a part , but nevertheless all level with plenty of effort each way .
As the flood lights come on and pierce the gloom around us the second half is underway. Knory Scott replaces Ben Pope for the second half.
Enfield start the half with a free kick and a corner, but then Hastings manage to get the ball forward and from a Ollie Black throw, Craig stone manages to fizz the ball across the 6 yard line agonisingly wide of the far post. Next , Dixon strangely goes in the book for a 50/50 challenge as the game begins to get a bit feisty.
Meanwhile , Enfield are back on the attack and force a fine block from Rogers . Straight up the other end, and Adams squeezes a neat cross which just evades Tom Chalmers at the edge of the 6 yard area. The game has certainly more life in the second half as both teams play with more urgency with the pitch now much more slippery .
Rogers again with a fine save from close range and within moments Scott is racing forward but gets bundled off the ball right at the point of shooting.
The rain joins us again as 60 minutes pass. The game is certainly opening up with Chances now even both ways. Cass manages to get himself into a good position for the hosts but an attempted chip from the edge of the area is easily gathered by Rogers.
70 minutes and McKenzie comes on to replace Adams . Within moments he races down the left flank, into the area and slots just wide of the far post .
Coker is replaced by Hercules for Enfield as Hastings almost score from a free kick – the rebound is put just wide by Elliot.
Hastings are now causing problems for our hosts as we pass the 75 minute mark , but Enfield again put a cross in that just about evades everyone and falls just past the far post.
Penn finds Scott in the box with an exquisite pass, and Scotts shot is parried for a corner by the keeper. The game is now end to end on an increasingly wet surface.
Hastings are now really rattling the Enfield back line as Scott finds McKenzie who is one-on-one with a keeper but his shot hits the post the ball agonisingly comes out.
But Enfield again forage forward and score on the 87th minute as the ball is cleared from a throw to Knight on the edge of the area who lashes home into the top corner .
Hastings are not giving up though, and neither are the amazing vocal supporters who have sung all afternoon. We force a corner soon after which is cleared and whilst Hastings push to the bitter end, – sadly this is not to be their day.
A game where they certainly put up a great fight, and deserved a point. It can be a cruel game, but we can all take heart on the giant strides this team is taking in the Premier division.