Quickfire double puts Hastings through in FA Cup

Simon Johnson opened the scoring in Hastings United's 2-0 win away to Sheppey United. Picture courtesy Scott White
Simon Johnson opened the scoring in Hastings United's 2-0 win away to Sheppey United. Picture courtesy Scott White

Hastings United saw off lower level opposition to go safely through in the FA Cup this afternoon (Saturday).

Two second half goals in barely a minute from Simon Johnson and Billy Medlock gave Hastings a 2-0 win away to Sheppey United in the preliminary round.

Bostik League Division One South club Hastings were again without centre-halves Ollie Rowe and Tom Climpson, plus left-back Sam Beale, although Johnson returned against a Sheppey side which plays one level below them in the Southern Counties East League Premier Division.

On a lovely looking pitch in north Kent, Hastings saw a lot of the ball during the opening quarter without fashioning a great deal in terms of chances, although Medlock was denied by the home goalkeeper.

Sheppey enjoyed a decent spell towards the end of the first half and away goalkeeper Josh Pelling was forced into a scrambling save, while another effort was blasted over the top.

Pelling pulled off a couple more stops as Sheppey started the second period strongly. Hastings began to step up a gear and took command with that quick double blast.

Johnson opened the scoring with a terrific strike into the top corner from the edge of the box and Medlock swiftly doubled their advantage with a lovely curling effort.

Sheppey squandered a glorious chance to pull one back, while at the other end, Medlock was thwarted by the goalkeeper having been put through by Johnson.

Hastings will be pleased to have come through a tricky away test and will now await the draw for first round qualifying. The next round will be played on Saturday September 2 so the league fixture against Herne Bay will be played at a later date.

Hastings: Pelling, Pritchard (Dullaway), Cruttwell, Carey, Aziaya, Vickers, Dixon, Johnson, Harris, Medlock, Gayler (Rodari). Subs not used: Black, Fielding, Janneh, Rodrigues-Barbosa.