HASTINGS UNITED are in the hat with the Premier League big guns for the FA Cup third round tomorrow afternoon after sharing a 1-1 draw at Harrogate Town this afternoon, reports Simon Newstead.
The “U’s” came from behind to earn a fully deserved at Harrogate Town in this second round tie .
In a match which had similarities with the first round tie with Bishops Stortford, Harrogate were the better side in the first half and Hastings held the ascendancy in the second period, so a draw was probably a fair result.
The teams will now meet against at The Pilot Field on Tuesday, December 11 (7.45pm) with Hastings the lowest ranked side left in the competition.
Blue Square Bet North outfit Harrogate opened the scoring in the 40th minute when a deep corner from the left was hooked back across goal by Shane Killock for Tom Platt to score from close range.
But Hastings from the Ryman League Premier Division upped their game in the second period on a muddy pitch which was completely different to the smooth surface they are used to at home.
The visitors equalised on the hour when Matt Whitehead played a good ball in from the left to Bradley Goldberg whose shot on the turn hit the post and rebounded out to Jamie Crellin to knock home the loose ball.
Hobbling United goalkeeper Matt Armstrong-Ford made a good save moments later, but Hastings looked the more likely winners.
Zac Attwood had a great chance to grab a dramatic winner for Hastings with 20 minutes to go but he didn’t get enough on his close range effort from Danny Ellis’s ball across goal and the Hastings goalkeeper saved.
Chiv Chilaka, the man who scored Harrogate’s winner at Torquay in the previous round, headed against the post with 10 minutes of the match remaining in what was a rare attack, and United survived one or two scares towards the end but were good value for the draw and a second bite of the FA Cup cherry.
Harrogate Town: McGillivray, Samuels, Merris, White, Killock, Bolder, Platt, Dean Booked (sub: Clayton, 77), Chilaka, Beesley (sub: Allan, 77), Forrest (sub: Elam, 68). Subs (not used): Veiga, Bloomer, Nowakowski, Ela, Bolland.
Hastings Utd: Armstrong-Ford, Cox, Whitehead, Ray, Jirbandi, Dixon, Carey, Crellin, Attwood, Goldburg, Okijie (sub: Ellis 51). Subs (not used): Winchester, Manning, Richardson, Bachellier, Abbot, Camara
Referee: Mark Brown (Hull).