Relegation scrap ends in another draw

Hastings United midfielder Jamie Crellin holds off a Thurrock opponent. Picture by Steve Hunnisett (eh07011g)
Hastings United midfielder Jamie Crellin holds off a Thurrock opponent. Picture by Steve Hunnisett (eh07011g)
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Hastings United’s run of home league draws extended to eight matches today (Saturday).

But the 1-1 draw at home to fellow strugglers Thurrock was among the most disappointing because it was a game United really needed to win, particularly having led at half time.

The opening half-hour of the Ryman Football League Premier Division relegation scrap was pretty even, although all the chances belonged to United. Matt Whitehead forced a diving save out of the Thurrock goalkeeper and the resulting corner by Lee Carey sailed straight in only for the referee to spot an infringement. Mikel Suarez also had a looping header tipped over.

Thurrock missed a great chance to take the lead when Danny Green stabbed wide from close range and United almost immediately made them pay as Suarez opened the scoring with a thumping 37th minute header into the roof of the net from Carey’s left wing corner.

Having looked in control at the end of the first half, United never got going in the second and Thurrock came back into a scrappy, niggly contest. United goalkeeper Daniel East saved a couple of angled efforts at his near post, but could do nothing about a superb 20-yard strike into the far corner by substitute Jack Paxman which made it 1-1 in the 76th minute.

Thurrock almost snatched a winner in the final seconds of a lengthy added time period, yet Matt Turpin headed over from close range. Although still without a league win since November 6, United have at least moved up to fifth-from-bottom. See Friday’s Hastings Observer for a full report.

United: East, Cox, Whitehead, Carey, Ray, Judge, Ellis, Crellin, Suarez, Attwood, Vickers (Okojie 77). Subs not used: Camara, Richardson, Bachellier, Cruttwell. Attendance: 461.