Embarrassing cup defeat for Hastings

HASTINGS United crashed to an embarrassing 3-2 defeat at home to lower league AFC Uckfield in the second round of the Sussex Senior Cup.

Former Hastings striker Stafford Browne scored twice from the penalty spot for the visitors who top Division Two of the Sussex County Football League.

The signs didn’t look good early on and after 17 minutes captain Sean Ray was guilty of a foul on Andy McDowell and Browne tucked away the penalty.

The returning Ade Olorunda had twice gone close and Fraser Logan headed over before the Ryman Premier outfit got back on level terms just before the half hour.

Jamie Cade’s raking pass picked out the run of Frankie Sawyer whose cross was met by Logan and his shot fell invitingly for Olorunda to fire home on the turn. Logan then wasted a glorious opportunity to put Hastings in front by blazing over from 12 yards.

The possibility of an upset began to loom large just before half time when Hastings goalkeeper Scott Chalmers-Stevens was shown a straight red card for a foul that gave Browne his second goal of the night. Chalmers-Stevens was adamant the offence had been committed by young defender Glenn Whitaker but his dismissal meant a debut between the posts for 16-year-old Matt Dann.

The U’s hit back almost immediately when loan signing Owen Price rounded off a neat one-two with Sawyer to bury his finish beyond Adam Laundon.

A man down in the second half, Hastings rarely threatened for the rest of the night with their best chance being spurned by Sawyer.

Uckfield also didn’t other much in an attacking sense but the one opening that did come their way was converted by McDowell eight minutes from time.

The Hastings FA Senior Cup tie between Sidley United and Westfield was postponed due to a frozen pitch.