Whitehawk 2-2 Hastings United
Whitehawk extended their current run of good form to just 1 defeat in 16 games after a 2-2 draw against top of the table Hastings United.
The Hawks got off to a flyer after just 8 minutes with a Dave Martin free-kick being struck into the penalty area to find Lucas Rodrigues who headed across goal to Fintan Walsh who turned the ball in for a 1-0 lead. The Arrows could and should have equalised after 21 minutes after the ball fell to the usually clinical Ben Pope, but he somehow fired wide from 3 yards out. After 27 minutes Hastings were awarded a penalty after a high foot by Marvin Hamilton against Warren Mfula saw the forward fall down inside the penalty area, up stepped Ben Pope and unfortunately this time he was clinical shooting low inside the far post to equalise. Seconds before half-time controversy occurred with an attempt from Rodrigues hitting the underside of the bar and an ensuing scramble saw Connor Tighe have a shot from 1 yard out which every Hawks player in the penalty area and every Hawks fan at that end of the ground thought crossed the line, however the referee and the assistant were unmoved with the score remaining level at the break.
Whitehawk started brightest after the restart, similar to the first half, with decent build up play resulting in good chances from Lucas Rodrigues and Ahmed Abdulla however these chances were met with equally good defending by Hastings. Rodrigues kept causing Hastings problems and he restored the Hawks’ lead after 61 minutes with a well struck volley going in off the near post following a Dave Martin corner. Just three minutes later, Hastings were level with a Hawks defensive header falling to Ben Pope, who headed in his second to make it 2-2. With the game entering the closing stages Hastings called upon Daniel Ajakaiye and Lanre Azeez from the bench, two players that have caused Whitehawk plenty of problems in their previous meetings this season and they did appear to immediately make a difference with the visitors looking much more dangerous. As the clock hit 90 minutes, Hastings had two golden chances to grab a winner with keeper James Broadbent off his line – firstly the Hawks keeper blocking an Ajakaiye shot then Fintan Walsh crucially clearing a Ben Pope attempt off the line to certainly save what may well be a crucial point for the Hawks
Hawks: Broadbent, Emberson, Banya, Kissock, Walsh, Hamilton, Rodrigues, Abdulla, Muggeridge ©, Tighe (Ofori-Acheampong 82’), Martin – Subs Not Used: Unwin, Torres, Christie, Ramsis
Arrows: Rogers, Black, Aboagye, Elphick, Stone, Elliott, Mfula (Ajakaiye 75’), Pope, Adams © (Worrall 69’), Beale (Azeez 65’), Dixon – Subs Not Used: Pogue, Pool
Goals: Walsh 5’, Rodrigues 61’ (Whitehawk), Pope 28’, Pope 64’ (Hastings)
Yellow Cards: Hamilton, Abdulla (Whitehawk); Dixon, Adams, Black, Stone (Hastings)
Hawks Man of the Match: Lucas Rodrigues