Ray delighted with U’s response

Hastings United player-manager Sean Ray tussles with an Enfield Town opponent on Saturday
Hastings United player-manager Sean Ray tussles with an Enfield Town opponent on Saturday

Sean Ray was pleased with the response of his Hastings United players to their weekend disappointment.

The U’s bounced back from a disappointing 1-0 defeat away to Enfield Town in the Ryman League Premier Division on Saturday with a 4-3 win at home to table-topping Whitehawk in a League Cup quarter-final last night (Tuesday).

United player-manager Ray said: “We got the response we wanted from the first minute. We didn’t ask for a response from the boys; we just expected it.

“I think the boys knew Saturday wasn’t us and I think it’s been a long time since a first half performance like that was produced (United led 3-0 at half time against Whitehawk).

“The workrate the midfield four put in, the amount of grass they covered, everything they did was different gear. Our shape off the ball was superb, the way we won the ball back, they way we pressed...the boys were immense.

“It was everything that Saturday wasn’t. I was disappointed to concede the goals at the end because that takes the gloss off it, but that was Whitehawk at full strength. They’re 10 points clear at the top of the league and we made them look ordinary. That’s what we can do.”

United are one of two teams currently through to the semi-finals along with Division One North club Thamesmead Town, who beat Thurrock on penalties last night.

The quarter-final between Concord Rangers and Wroxham was postponed, while Dulwich Hamlet beat Wealdstone to set up a last eight clash with Kingstonian.

Although United’s semi-final opponents aren’t yet known, the match is due to take place on Tuesday February 19. The U’s are scheduled to host Met Police in the league that night, but they do have a gap the following week.