White pleased with progress

Hastings United midfielder Olalekan Bankole (centre) tussles with Wes Tate (right) during the first team's FA Cup victory over Eastbourne United AFC on Saturday. Picture courtesy Joe Knight
Hastings United midfielder Olalekan Bankole (centre) tussles with Wes Tate (right) during the first team's FA Cup victory over Eastbourne United AFC on Saturday. Picture courtesy Joe Knight

Hastings United under-21s manager Ben White is pleased with the team’s start to the season.

The U’s have won one, drawn one and lost one of their opening three Ryman U21 League South Division matches.

White said: “I’ve been pleased with the progress that some of the young players have made, especially some of last year’s under-18s who have stepped up and some of this year’s under-18s who have stepped up as well.”

United began the campaign with a 5-4 win away to Three Bridges in what White likened to a basketball match, such was its end-to-end nature.

Former AFC Wimbledon talents Charlie Fayers and Matt Cunnington scored two goals apiece before Ben Phipps grabbed the winner. Cunnington will soon be heading off to university in Bath.

United then showed plenty of character and resilience to earn a 1-1 draw away to a very experienced Burgess Hill Town team last Thursday night.

The Hillians took a first half lead with a header from a corner and then saw a penalty saved, but United equalised after the break through 19-year-old left-sided player Fayers.

United suffered their first defeat of the term in their opening home game with a 2-0 reverse against a good Lewes side last night (Monday).

Lewes took the lead in an entertaining match watched by a decent crowd with a deflected shot and although United had chances to level, the visitors added a second goal right at the death.

Matt Cruttwell looked very assured in the United goal, while Conner Burton and Ben Barton had good games at left-back and centre-half respectively. Kenny Pogue got 90 minutes under his belt following his return to the club and Bright Temba played 70 minutes.

As previously mentioned on the site, tonight’s scheduled first team game away to East Grinstead Town has been postponed because the opposition have an FA Cup replay.