HASTINGS United player-boss Sean Ray has described reaching the first round proper of the FA Cup as “a great achievement”.
The U’s progressed on the back of a 3-0 win at home to Wessex League Blackfield & Langley thanks to goals from Zac Attwood, Bradley Goldberg and Ray.
Hastings did not start too well in this fourth qualifying round tie and had a let off when Ekow Elliott skied a 15th minute penalty.
But two goals in eight minutes from strike duo Attwood and Goldberg put the home side firmly in the box seat before Ray headed the third soon after half time.
“I can’t ask for more than that,” said Ray. “We asked for them to be professional and asked for them not to drop to their level. Three-nil, I’ll take that any day.”
As for the club reaching the first round proper for the first time in 10 years, he went on: “It’s a great achievement. As a group of individuals it’s our greatest achievement, first round proper of the FA Cup is not an easy feat.
“We have had some right rotten draws in the past and some people could say we’ve had some tough draws this one but it doesn’t matter who you play because you’ve still got to beat them.
“They’re (Blackfield & Langley) not in the fourth qualifying round for nothing and now we can look forward to the draw and hopefully we can get our rewards because we deserve it.”
The draw for the first round will be live on ITV1 tomorrow at 1.30pm when Hastings go into the hat along with the 48 teams from Leagues One and Two.