Hastings take all three points at Theobalds Lane despite late pressure from the Ambers
Hastings took home all three points after an all-action match at Theobalds Lane on Saturday. The Ambers threw everything at it in the second half but were unable to rescue a point.
Manager Craig Edwards made a total of five changes to the team that lost 3-2 at Wingate & Finchley on New Years Day. Anwar Moutawafiq, Michael Kedman, Samuel Kuffor, Antonis Vasilliou and Isiah Noel-Williams all made way for Finlay Titchmarsh, Enoch Ekongo, Jimmy Wallace, Jamie Reynolds and Andre Godfrinne. Reynolds was making his 101st appearance for the Ambers having joined the 100 club when he came on as a substitute on New Years Day.
Presenting Jamie Reynolds with his 100 Club medal, are fellow 100 club members Andy Cook, John Poole & Jeff Birling, with Chairman Dean Williamson
The first chance of the match fell to the home side. After some great work down the left from Sol Baugh, he worked it centrally to Nathaniel Orafu who fired wide of the mark.
However, it was Hastings took the lead just nine minutes in. A low ball in from Ollie Black from the left was turned in by Tommie Fagg at the near post for his first goal for the club since joining last month.
Hastings were awarded a penalty mid-way through the first half. Fagg went down under a challenge from Nathaniel Orafu just inside the box. It was a controversial decision that surprised almost everybody in the crowd, as consensus was he slipped trying to change direction. Davide Rodari stepped up and smashed it into the bottom right corner for his seventeenth goal of the season.
Cheshunt did get one back after half an hour, After Orafu won the ball back in midfield, Sol Baugh received the ball inside the box, he skilfully tricked his way past the last defender & keeper putting them both on their backsides before calmly slotting home into an open net.
Davide Rodari had yet another chance as he went in on goal unopposed, after a through ball from Fagg found Rodari one on one with the keeper. The Swiss tried to roll it under the keeper, but Joe Rose stayed big, got his angles right and saved expertly with his feet.
Just before half time, a corner from Ollie Black found Fagg at the back post whose header found Rodari two yards from goal, and he poked his side two goals in front for the second time in the match.
Cheshunt continued to pile on the pressure as they looked for the equaliser in the second half, dominating the play & pinning Hastings inside their own half for extended periods. They came close on multiple occasions. A powerful effort from Jamie Reynolds was saved by the goalkeeper before the rebound was put in by Andre Godfrinne, however the linesman had his flag up for offside.
They went close again after almost making the most of the referee’s advantage, Jamie Reynolds was fouled on the edge of the box, but it found its way to Nnamdi Nwachukwu just inside the box, but his effort cannoned off the post and out.
It was defender Jimmy Wallace that gave the Ambers hope. A mix up from a corner allowed him to convert and get his team back in the game with just the additional time added by the referee to go. The Ambers went agonisingly close right at the end as Vas Vassiliou’s effort was blocked off the line brilliantly by Hastings defender Ollie Black.
Unfortunately for the Ambers, this was the fourth defeat by a single goal in as many games. Next up is a huge away trip to Canvey Island to face Concord Rangers on Tuesday night. The Beach Boys currently sit bottom of the table, so it is a huge match for both sides.
Referee: Mr Ross Murphy
Assistant Referees: Mr Dominic Barrow & Mr Andy Bennett
Further pictures are available at Amy Eve Photography in the match gallery
Also at Scott Lear’s ‘LocalBusDriver’ Flickr site here