Hastings held at Whitstable

Trevor McCreadie put Hastings United ahead in the draw away to Whitstable Town. Picture by Terry S. Blackman
Trevor McCreadie put Hastings United ahead in the draw away to Whitstable Town. Picture by Terry S. Blackman

Hastings United’s footballers recorded a rare draw tonight (Tuesday).

United were held to a 1-1 draw away to Whitstable Town - their first stalemate anywhere since Saturday February 15 and first on their travels since way back on Saturday November 16.

Trevor McCreadie gave United a 49th minute lead, but Dan Keyte replied for bottom half side Whitstable to ensure the Ryman Football League Division One South clash ended all-square.

Trevor McCreadie gave United a 49th minute lead in north Kent, but Dan Keyte replied for bottom half side Whitstable to ensure the Ryman Football League Division One South clash ended all-square.

United made three changes to the starting line-up from the weekend defeat away to Eastbourne Town. Josh Jirbandey and Sam Cruttwell missed out with the injuries which forced them off at The Saffrons, and there was no Danny Ellis, but Andy Henson, Tom O’Connor and Matt Darby returned.

Darby couldn’t quite direct an early shot on target from a Sam Adams cross before Taser Hassan’s centre was cut out by a Whitstable defender with Frankie Sawyer waiting to pounce. At the other end, United goalkeeper Josh Pelling made a splendid save from Matt Martin’s left-foot drive following a Steve Hafner free kick.

Although Henson went off injured after 26 minutes, an Adams strike from just outside the box was well tipped over and McCreadie blazed over from an inviting position after Tom Vickers got the better of his marker.

Ben Judge made an important block to deny Martin, while a couple of good United breaks ended with Sawyer and Vickers firing well off target towards the end of a first half in which the visitors looked the better side but Whitstable had the best chance.

Kenny Pogue replaced Sawyer at the break and was quick to make an impact. United’s leading scorer firstly pulled the ball back for Hassan to shoot just over, then had a shot blocked and finally lifted the ball across for McCreadie to put United ahead with a fine finish.

Lawrence Harvey spurned a glorious chance for Whitstable after Tim Olorunda failed to clear a Hafner free kick and Harvey then headed fractionally too high from another Hafner set-piece. Whitstable got back on level terms when Keyte tapped home at the far post from a good cross by Aaron Simpson.

Charlie Smith headed wide for the hosts from another Simpson centre and Pelling then forced Smith wide when clean through. Hassan had a shot saved at one end and Whitstable substitute Steven Munn was just off target from 25 yards at the other as honours ended even.

United: Pelling, Adams, Henson (Bachellier), Olorunda, Judge, O’Connor, Hassan, Darby, Sawyer (Pogue), McCreadie, Vickers (Toney). Subs not used: Oyinsan, Nessling.