On-song United blast seven second half goals

Simon Johnson scored Hastings United's first two goals in the remarkable 7-0 victory. Picture courtesy Scott White

Simon Johnson scored Hastings United's first two goals in the remarkable 7-0 victory. Picture courtesy Scott White

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Hastings United's footballers scored seven second half goals during a stunning return to form this afternoon (Saturday).

United ended a run of five games without a win in all competitions with a crushing 7-0 victory away to Chatham Town in Ryman Football League Division One South.

Simon Johnson and Harry Stannard led the rout with two goals each, and there was one apiece for Matt Bodkin, Frannie Collin and Jack Harris as United matched their biggest win of the season.

Kiernan Hughes-Mason and fellow new recruit Jaydon Thorbourne went straight into the starting line-up as United contested only their second league fixture this month.

Tom Climpson clipped the top of the crossbar and Collin was denied by a marvellous save late in the first half, while at the start of the second period, Ollie Rowe had a 'goal' chalked off, apparently for a foul.

On a chilly and at times wet afternoon in Medway, United made the breakthrough in the 52nd minute via a terrific 20-yard strike by Johnson into the bottom corner.

Harry Stannard struck twice after coming on as a substitute. Picture courtesy Scott White

Harry Stannard struck twice after coming on as a substitute. Picture courtesy Scott White

The same player doubled United's advantage 20 minutes later by slotting home Bodkin's cut-back and that proved the catalyst for the floodgates to well and truly open.

Bodkin went from provider to scorer in the 75th minute, cutting in from the right before finding the bottom corner. Six minutes after that it was 4-0 as Stannard also picked out the corner of the net within a minute of coming on as a substitute.

Hughes-Mason played a lovely throughball to tee up Collin for number five in the 83rd minute. With 90 minutes on the clock, Hughes-Mason delivered an inviting cross for Harris to head United's sixth.

There was still time for Stannard to add his second and United's seventh with a lovely curling finish from another Hughes-Mason assist.

United move up to 11th in the table and are eight points behind Hythe Town, who occupy the final play-off spot of fifth, with four games in hand. The U's also now boast the best goal difference of anybody in the division.

United: Pidgeley, Climpson, Thorbourne, Cruttwell, Davies, Rowe, Bodkin (Stannard), Johnson, Hughes-Mason, Collin (Harris), Cogan (Pritchard). Subs not used: Jarvis, Nicholls. Attendance: 223.

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