Hastings United 4 Whitehawk 0
Lubanga 40′, 69′
By George Bryant-Nichols
On Monday the 6th of December, Whitehawk’s U18 side travelled along the south coast to take on Hastings United on a chilly winter night.
Del Tobias’ side started solidly, withstanding substantial early pressure from United, while holding their own with the occasional foray forward. Sam N’cho had a chance resolutely cleared away in the early stages.
As the game continued, Hastings became more and more dominant, with Sam Lomas showing good agility and strength to keep out an effort from Honey with 12 minutes on the clock.
It seemed only a matter of time before United compounded the Young Hawks’ miseries with a breakthrough goal – a scrappy one at best, bundled over the line from a cross by the home side’s stand out player, captain Freddie Legg after 28 minutes. Hastings 1, Whitehawk 0.
Just after the breakthrough, Luke O’Neil unfortunately sustained a back injury after a heavy challenge by Boss the Hastings right back, so had to be replaced by Will Gilbert. Boss was rightly yellow carded.
United again acted on their dominant play, producing a good move down the right for Legg to set up a second goal, courtesy of a half-volley from Alfie Peacock – Hastings 2, Whitehawk 0 after 33 minutes.
Hastings continued to apply pressure to the Whitehawk defensive unit, with Lomas strong in keeping Legg out, after getting past Hawks defender Ossie O’Neill. Legg’s constant onslaught on the Whitehawk goal told just two minutes later, with another attacking run and a cross at the end of it taking a huge deflection off two players (including Lubanga for United) before nestling itself in the corner of the goal. At half time, the score line heavily favoured Hastings, who were three goals to the good.
Whitehawk came out with more positivity than they had gone in for half time with and looked to threaten the Hastings goal at the start of the second period, albeit with the Hastings defence more than equal to it.
Whitehawk’s attacking play was not devoid of chances, with Callum Esnouf disappointed to see his effort from 6 years out brush the side netting rather than pick out the corner of the goal.
With just over 20 minutes Hastings made it four, with a magnificent set piece goal from Lubanga, picking out the top corner from his right-footed free-kick, 20 yards out.
The Hawks continued to push, however with morale low, their best chance of the last 20 minutes came courtesy of Lyon-Monk, who fell victim to a double save from Hastings ‘keeper Holmwood, keeping out two of his close-range efforts, made in search of a consolation goal for the young Hawks.
Despite Whitehawk’s second half push, they came away empty handed with the affair finishing with Hastings 4-up without concession of a goal. The Young Hawks remain 7th in the table.