Hastings tumble out of FA Trophy

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HASTINGS United’s interest in this season’s FA Trophy competition came to an abrupt end with a 4-0 defeat away to East Thurrock United.

Two goals in each half did for the U’s in this first qualifying round tie at Rookery Hill.

The visitors never recovered after going two-down inside the first 20 minutes as their Ryman Premier rivals eased into the next round, pocketing £2,550 in prize-money in the process.

East Thurrock opened the scoring with a dozen minutes on the clock when Tom Stephens’ deflected cross was headed in at the far post by Kye Ruel.

Not long after they doubled their advantage with another far post header, this time by Hakeem Araba from a right wing Ruel cross.

Only a fine double save by Matt Armstrong-Ford and a missed opportunity by Sam Higgins prevented the home side from going further in front before half time.

East Thurrock added their third inside the hour mark courtesy of Araba’s second of the afternoon following a quick counter-attack.

Bradley Goldberg forced home keeper Richard Wray into first save of the match before Jono Richardson failed to make the most of a great opportunity from six yards.

The scoring was completed by Higgins who rounded off another swift break from a Hastings corner.

Substitute Danny Ellis twice went close to grabbing a late consolation while Dee Okojie also tested Wray.

Hastings: Armstrong-Ford, Cox (Whitehead), Dixon, Carey, Richardson, Jirbandey, Crellin, Vickers, Upton (Ellis), Goldberg, Okojie. Sub not used: Ray.