Hastings United WF’s undefeated away record continued today with a keenly-contested friendly against Tonbridge Town.
The lads played two matches – a 40-minute epic and then a ten-minute blast to give all the travelling subs a good run out.
The main event ended five-all but Tonbridge were lucky to stay in the match.
In the first half alone, Hastings strikers hit six shots directly at the opposition keeper and failed to find the corners while dominating possession and playing some attractive football.
Magic Wond opened the scoring with a well-taken goal which was quickly followed up by a powerful Massive Mark finish to give the visitors a two-goal lead. The Cat made a good save after seven minutes, coming out to smother Tonbridge’s first shot on target but was then beaten by a shot right into his left corner, inches from his despairing dive. Within minutes Hastings hit back again with a great goal from midfield maestro Iron Russ to make it three-one but sloppy defending allowed the home side another chance on the break which was firmly planted in the same corner as their first.
At the turnaround it was 2-3 to Hastings and we were in full control.
But Tonbridge changed three players at half time and it became a slightly more even battle. Rusty said half his team went to sleep.
Tit-for-tat goals saw MM and Wondy get their second each of the game but Tonbridge scored twice in return. Sadly, The Cat’s only error cost the Burgundians their win. He got a paw to a well-hit shot at his near post, which he turned onto the bar only for it to rebound onto his arm and over the line. It was a cruel blow. Hastings had done little wrong and had shown great interplay between El Jay, Russ and Wondy using MM as the target man. Ian Jean Luc was unlucky not to have got any of his customary stiletto finishes either side of the Tonbridge keeper.
El Jay got a knock on the knee with Cookie Monster (formerly Hairy Brian) coming on. But his appearance was cut short with a kick on the heel which did for his Achilles and Chairman Phil entered the fray for the last few minutes. It finished all square at 5-all but Hastings should have been at least five more up, possibly more.
In match 2, Matty Longshanks got his chance to come on and rewarded his selection with a lovely goal. This was after Scouse Phil had opened the scoring and the Tonbridge defence with a super strike after two minutes.
Matty was unlucky to have his second disallowed for a foot in the box but Wondy stepped up to make it three-nil with his third of the day. And Massive Mark was the only player to complete his hat-trick with a goal that was sadly scored at the wrong end. The Cat was at full stretch to cover a shot to his left when MM put a boot in and deflected the ball into the other corner. Again, not a scrap of luck went our way. The Hastings keeper made a full-length fingertip save to foil another Tonbridge assault on his goal and used his bulk to block a second shot which was goal-bound.
There were one or two suspect challenges from one particular Tonbridge player who was more clumsy than dirty but did enough to anger MM. You don’t want to make him angry my friend; you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.
The squad: Iron Russ, El Jay, Magic Wond, Massive Mark, Ian Jean Luc, the Cat, Chairman Phil, Matty Longshanks and the Cookie Monster. The travelling supported included three Wags, The Nutkin and Granite Bob. The cheerleading with pom poms had to be seen to be believed.
MoM: Rusty turned in another captain’s performance with encouragement, vigour and skill. He took his goal well and his face after scoring it was a picture.