Isthmian League

Hawks Force Replay After Hastings Draw

Kacper Lopata’s header means the Hawks and Hastings United have to replay their FA Trophy Second Qualifying Round tie on Tuesday night.

Connor Tighe put Jude MacDonald’s side ahead, before goals from Jake Elliott and Daniel Ajakaiye efforts saw the tie swing Hastings’ way.

However, the Hawks dug deep to force the equaliser and put them in the hat for Monday’s Third Qualifying Round draw.

Hastings went close to going ahead just five minutes in. Ryan Worrall was teed up from a set-piece and let fly from 25 yards, and his dipping effort beat James Broadbent only to come back off the post, with Jack Dixon then eventually firing wide from the follow up when well placed.

The Hawks then threatened the U’s defence for the first time after 15 minutes when a neat ball through put Connor Tighe through down the right, and his ball in picked out Henry Muggeridge in the centre but he headed off target.

Jake Elliott then headed wide from Worrall’s corner as the hosts started to turn the screw, but it was the Hawks who then went close as Dave Martin’s ball in from the right picked out Duane Ofori-Acheampong, but his header was brilliantly turned around the post by Louis Rogers.

From the resulting corner, Jude MacDonald’s side went even closer as Martin’s ball in picked out Kacper Lopata at the far post, but his header was blocked on the line by Elliott.

Whitehawk then broke the deadlock after 37 minutes. Connor Tighe lined up a free-kick 25 yards out, and his effort took a deflection off the wall to beat Rogers and find the roof of the net.

The hosts looked to respond though, with Dixon cutting in from the left before his drive flew just over the bar before Daniel Ajakaiye burst down the left and Broadbent produced a fine save when one on one.

And they did draw level on the stroke of half-time when Worrall whipped in a corner from the right and picked out the towering Elliott, whose downward header beat Broadbent.

Ajakaiye then forced Broadbent into a smart low save as the U’s went on the front foot early in the second half, before they went in front after the hour. Ben Pope was saved by Broadbent, before Lopata did well on the line to block the second effort. However, Ajakaiye was first to the loose ball and he fired past the defender from inside the area.

The Hawks looked to fight back, with Tighe forcing Rogers into a smart save before the keeper tipped over Rhyle Ovenden’s cross-come-shot.

And the equaliser came when Martin lofted in the resulting corner, and he picked out Lopata whose towering header went beyond the standing Rogers.

Hastings then spurred a great chance to regain the lead with ten minutes to go when Azeez broke down the right and squared the ball to Pope, but he blazed well over.

Both sides looked to win the tie late on, with Martin forcing Rogers into a great save to turn the ball over the bar but neither could find the winner which means we go to a replay on Tuesday night.

Shots: 15-11

On Target: 7-6

Corners: 6-7

Fouls Committed: 8-5

Offside: 0-3

Yellow: 1-1

Red: 0-0

HUFC: Rogers, Elphick (Black 42), Stone, Elliott, Ajakaiye, Pope, Beale, Worrall (Pool 83), Lovatt, Azeez (Chalmers 85), Dixon. Subs: Hull, Rodari, Warren, Pogue.

WHK: Broadbent, Emberson, Banya, Kissock, Lopata, Hamilton, Muggeridge, Ovenden, Ofori-Acheampong, Tighe (Rodrigues 80), Martin. Subs: Walsh, Campbell, Rogers, Deda, Torres, Unwin.

Report by Ant Scott.

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