After all the rain in Hastings driving up to Brightlingsea, everyone thought that we would probably be looking at a swimming pool on the pitch. That wasn’t the case as whilst wet, it’s very very playable and credit to their team for putting this game on.
With threatening clouds around the game started and , as always the opening five minutes started off a bit scrappy, with Brightlingsea putting Hastings under pressure from the start and forcing a fine save from Louis Rogers in the opening minutes.
Hastings began to find their feet and forced a free kick just outside the halfway line with Sam Haslar shooting just wide. Hastings began to grow into the game.
Hastings managed to break through the home defence and a lovely cross and header from Dixon forced a great save from the Brightlinsea keeper. From the following corner. Haslar hit the underside of the bar and the ball rolled away to safety for the hosts
In spite of Hastings efforts, Brightlingsea broke forwards, and Louis Rogers was adjudged to have brought down a player in the area, somewhat harshly. The number nine converts the penalty and it was one – nil to Brightlingsea. Within minutes the hosts doubled their lead , adding to Hastings woes.
Hastings were trying to rally after the second setback, and a Sam Haslar freekick, flew just wide of the Brightlingsea post.
Hastings kept pushing For the remainder of the half without making any headway and at half time found themselves two goals down.
Hastings started the second half with Sam Adams replacing Sam Hasler and with a changed formation they straightaway made an impact with Kane Penn reducing the deficit.
As Hastings continued to press on the 57th minute Penn equalises with a lovely shot across goal that goes in off the post.
The Second-half then became more competitive with Brightlingsea playing the ball around nicely, but Hastings countering well with Louis Collins, firing from some distance just over the bar.
And then straight up the other end Brightlingsea forced a low save from Louis Rogers. Hastings had now grown into the game and were dominating in key areas and soon after Kane Penn got dispossessed in the area with the the ball running to Jack Dixon who fired just wide of the keepers right-hand post
Hastings continued to press though – sending a win , and in the 84th minute, a cross into the box is half cleared, and Jack Dixon fires home.
Hastings saw the final few minutes out and come away with three points.
They gave themselves a mountain to climb, but they climbed that mountain!