Hastings United’s progress in the Ryman Football League’s Robert Dyas Cup came to a valiant end last night (Tuesday).
The U’s hit the woodwork three times during a 2-0 defeat away to higher grade Maidstone United in a fourth round tie played at a decidedly foggy Gallagher Stadium.
Division One South leaders United got off to a bad start as Premier Division high-flyers Maidstone took a sixth minute lead. Liam King rode the challenge of Ben Judge before burying a low finish across goalkeeper Josh Pelling.
Former United striker Zac Attwood dragged his shot wide from a great chance to make it 2-0. King did have the ball in the net again only to see his volley ruled out for offside.
Pelling tipped over Rory Hill’s 25-yard drive at a time when one wondered if the fog might prevent the game from finishing, but United gradually worked their way into the contest as the first half wore on.
After King volleyed just wide early in the second period, United went on to enjoy a very good spell. Sean Kelly and Sam Adams forced saves out of the Stones goalkeeper, while Jordan Woodley struck the upright with a shot from outside the area and Adams couldn’t turn in the rebound.
Woodley blazed over when very well placed and Tim Olorunda struck the post after Kelly got his head to an Adams corner. Having just about clung onto their lead, Maidstone doubled it in the 68th minute when King’s heels were clipped and Attwood scored from the resulting penalty.
Pelling made super stops from Charlie Robertson and Hill before diving bravely at the feet of Attwood and turning an Alex Flisher shot round the post. At the other end, Woodley’s late free kick was brilliantly saved and Pogue slammed the rebound against the crossbar from close range.
United: Pelling, Gilbert, Henson (Slocombe 55), Olorunda, Judge, Kelly, Ellis, Cumming-Bart (Woodley 55), Pogue, Adams, Pacheco (Darby 65). Sub not used: Lee. Attendance: 413.