HASTINGS United clinched a deserved 1-0 win over Sussex rivals Lewes in the second round of the Ryman League Cup.
The only goal came on 12 minutes and what a cracker it was. Reserve team striker Scott McDonald settled this tie with a spectacular overhead kick from 10 yards after Jack Dixon and Dee Okojie had teamed up at a short corner.
On paper, it appeared that Lewes had named the stronger of two under-strength sides but it was Hastings who dictated proceedings for the most part at The Pilot Field with Dixon revelling in his role as captain.
Brett Patton also impressed in midfield, while Okojie looked lively upfront, and Jono Richardson and Scott Manning kept things tight in front of young keeper Joe Winchester as Hastings rested a number of players ahead of this weekend’s big FA Cup tie.
Lewes looked strangely out-of-sorts in the opening half-an-hour before Winchester was called upon to hold a well-struck shot from substitute Karl Beckford.
Okojie forced Kieron Thorp to tip over and from the subsequent corner Manning’s header cleared the crossbar. Thorp then saved well from McDonald and gathered at the second attempt after Sam White had tried his luck from distance.
Chris Breach came closest for Lewes with a header which flashed inches past the far post after Hastings had been caught napping at a quickly-taken free kick.
Hastings (4-3-3): Winchester; Whitehead (Nyathi 74), Richardson, Manning, Hales; Patton (Elgar 82), Dixon, Bachellier; Upton (White 68), Okojie, McDonald. Subs not used: Parris, Ray. Attendance: 157.