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Report 7th January 2023



Hastings O65s 2 Bexhill O68s 0


Turning back the odometer on your car is frowned upon – but if you can turn back your life-clock you’ll be cheered from the rafters.

When the aggregate age of players involved in a six-a-side game of footie is more than a thousand years you’d be forgiven for thinking this match was being played at Jurassic Park.

But pit the senior players from Hastings United WFC against their rivals in the Bexhill Old Boys and this was a match they will all tell their grandchildren about. Probably endlessly.

It finished 2-0 to Hastings at a very windy and biting cold Academy and you can only wonder at the commitment, the cojones and the post-match rollockings from they who must be obeyed at home.

Bexhill travelled with a strong side (including three subs) and faced Hastings’ Magnificent Six who played the 40 minutes right through.

This was a friendly but there was no lack of drive and no quarter asked or given. It started with the visitors swarming all over Hastings getting off seven first-period shots – most of them wide of the mark. Pete the Keep was only called into action once, making a super save down to his right from Old John Martin and then blocking the rebound shot with his ikkle legs.

But at the other end it was Geordie Raz who was putting his geriatric acrobatics to the test. He made an incredible double save on seven minutes keeping out ZZ Nick and then Russ.

And with a minute to go before half-time he used his legs to repel a thumper from Chairman Phil to put the sides in at nil-all.

The Old Boys surprised the H’s with their pin-point passing and a high press but Coach Russ gave his men a talking-to during the break and they came out with more shape, more determination and more ideas.

It was largely a wingless match, but once ZZ Nick and White Cliffs established dominance at the back, it allowed Russ to push forward and he linked up well with Chairs through the centre.

Hastings were turning the screw and it was only a matter of time before Raz’s heroics were brought down to earth.

Ken the Bass had a shot just wide, Nick put one into the housing estate across the road and Cliffy had a beautiful shot superbly saved at full stretch by Raz. Meanwhile Russ was getting his eye in. His first long-range effort was tipped round by Raz, his second was well over but the crowd knew he would be among the goals.

When Bexhill broke and Chris rattled the bar with a fierce drive – although Pete definitely had it covered – it galvanised Hastings. Legendary Bexhill Hardman Roger (who knew the Kray brothers) brought Chairs down 12 yards out; the Scouser slipped the ball into ZZ Nick who walloped it goalwards. A cruel deflection took it past Raz but the home side deserved their lead.

Chairs made two surging walks forward which came to nothing but gave joy to the fans who enjoyed him dancing up the pitch in his new Christmas boots. ( His old pair being displayed in the 1930s Anfield Football Museum.)

Russ was waiting for his moment and it came two minutes from the end. Hastings had effectively parked the bus pass and were stroking it around. This drew the Old Boys out and Russ surged forward. His shot was low, hard and right in the corner and gave Raz no chance. It was a fitting reward for his services on the day. At 68 he could easily be at home with his feet up watching YouTube videos of Harry Winks. Instead he chooses to be our puppet-master, pulling all the strings and was a worthy man of the match for the home side.

Raz’s fabulous display in goal gets him the nod for the visitors.

The match was well reffed by Tall Phil, it was played in great spirit and Carol’s post-match hospitality was enjoyed by all. What an advert for keeping fit and staying mentally alert these lads are! We few. We happy few. We band of brothers.


Men of the match: Russ Small, Raz Carey.