United game abandoned at half time

Hastings United's game at home to Merthyr Tydfil in the FA Trophy this afternoon was abandoned at half time with the Welsh side leading 2-0
Hastings United's game at home to Merthyr Tydfil in the FA Trophy this afternoon was abandoned at half time with the Welsh side leading 2-0

Hastings United Football Club’s game at home to Merthyr Town this afternoon (Saturday) was abandoned at half time.

The U’s were 2-0 down when the officials called a halt to the FA Trophy second round qualifying tie due to a waterlogged pitch at The Pilot Field.

It means that Merthyr will have to make the approximately 235-mile trip from south Wales to East Sussex for a second time as the game has been rescheduled for Tuesday night. Kick-off at The Pilot Field will be 7.45pm.

Sam Crabb hit Merthyr’s crossbar with an early cross. Josh Pelling pulled off a splendid save from Ryan Prosser at the other end and Guillem Bauza’s follow-up was deflected wide, although the ball might well have gone out of play in the build-up to those efforts.

Merthyr - who play one level further up the non-league pyramid than United in the Southern League Premier Division - took the lead from the resulting corner in the 10th minute. Bauza’s delivery from the left was powerfully headed home by Jarad Wright.

The Welsh side had a penalty appeal waved away when Prosser went down in United’s box before going 2-0 up in the 15th minute. Bright Temba’s pass back to Ollie Rowe fell short after being slowed by some surface water, allowing Ian Traylor to intercept and work space to bury a low drive past Pelling.

Merthyr were reduced to 10 men in the 20th minute when Rhys Baggridge was shown a straight red card for what looked like a head butt on United striker Billy Medlock.

You wouldn’t have known that United had an extra player during the remainder of the first half, though, because Merthyr looked in control. The visitors played good football when they had the ball and got bodies behind it when they didn’t, and United struggled to make an impression.

Tyrell Richardson-Brown blazed well over from just outside the D, while at the other end, Traylor’s cross from the right struck the crossbar in the only other moments of note.

The officials came out with a ball at half time to test the surface, which had certainly become a good deal wetter since the start due to the continuous rain. With the ball slowing up or stopping in places, they called proceedings to a halt before the second half got under way.

United: Pelling, Crabb, Cruttwell, Rowe, Ray, Smith, Medlock, Adams, Richardson-Brown, Johnson, Temba. Subs not used: Harris, Cumming-Bart, Hollobone, Foster, Rose.

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