Hastings United’s footballers continued their excellent record in the cups this season with another victory this afternoon (Saturday).
The U’s won 2-1 away to Chipstead in FA Trophy first round qualifying and have now lost only one of their nine matches in the various knockout competitions so far this term.
A goal in either half from Jerome Smith and Bright Temba put United two-up before Chipstead pulled one back to set up a nervy finish, during which both sides had a player sent-off.
After Jack Harris headed just over from a Sam Crabb cross, United opened the scoring in the 15th minute. Temba’s header from a Sam Adams corner was saved by Chipstead goalkeeper Stojsavljevic and Smith poked home the rebound.
Stojsavljevic pulled off two saves from Harris and Sam Cruttwell was just off target with a 30-yard piledriver, while at the other end, Pelling produced a fine stop to deny Aitken from close range.
Having already brought on Chris Cumming-Bart for a limping Sam Cole during the first half, United made two more changes at the break. Sean Ray and Max Hollobone replaced Smith and Crabb.
Chipstead were much-improved after the interval, although Stojsavljevic had to repel shots from Simon Johnson and Harris before United doubled their lead in the 82nd minute. Hollobone delivered an inch-perfect cross for Temba to head past the goalkeeper.
The hosts - who are bottom of Ryman Football League Division One South and lost 6-0 to United on the opening day of the campaign- pulled one back in the 85th minute. Steve Betancourt volleyed home from a well delivered free kick.
United captain Jack Walder and Aitken were sent-off following an off-the-ball clash before, in the dying moments, Chipstead had loud penalty appeals turned down when Kery Kedze went to ground under the challenge of Ollie Rowe.
United will receive £2,700 from the FA prize fund, in addition to the £2,500 they picked up for beating Wroxham in the preliminary round, and a place in second round qualifying on Saturday November 14.
United: Pelling, Crabb (Hollobone), Cruttwell, Rowe, Smith (Ray), Walder, Temba, Adams, Harris, Johnson, Cole (Cumming-Bart). Subs not used: Richardson-Brown, Medlock. Attendance: 94.
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