Hastings United’s footballers pulled off easily their best result of the season this afternoon (Saturday).
The U’s ended a three-game run without scoring in spectacular fashion with a stunning 5-1 win away to Ryman Football League Division One South leaders Faversham Town.
After Joe Shelley fired narrowly over, Charlie Farmer gave United a ninth minute lead with his first goal for the club. The defender drove home a loose ball after a Sam Adams free kick caused problems for the Faversham defence.
Another Adams set-piece led to United’s second goal on the quarter-hour mark, Ade Olorunda turning home a left wing free kick at the far post.
United goalkeeper Josh Pelling pulled off two good stops in quick succession before Olorunda had a penalty appeal turned down at the other end. Darren Marsden failed to beat Pelling with a chip when invitingly placed at the start of a good spell for Faversham.
Taser Hassan had a great chance to put United three-up, but was thwarted by home goalkeeper Simon Overland as he tried to round him. United did make it 3-0, however, in the 40th minute through Olorunda’s fine finish after good work from Hassan on the right.
Faversham - comfortably the division’s highest scorers with 47 league goals prior to kick-off - bossed the play early in the second half at a windy Salters Lane and did have the ball in the net only for the offside flag up.
If there was any slight doubt about the outcome at that stage, it was ended by a fourth United goal in the 65th minute. Hassan’s low cross from the right appeared to be diverted into his own net by Faversham captain John Scarborough, although United striker Kenny Pogue is claiming it.
Sam Bewick broke clear for Faversham only to shoot just over. Jack Harris then spurned one opportunity to get Faversham on the scoresheet, but did get one back shortly afterwards in the 81st minute.
United fittingly had the final word with a fifth goal in the closing stages. Hassan scored his first United goal on his 36th appearance by driving the ball home from the edge of the box.
It was the first time United have scored five in a competitive game since a 5-0 win at home to Horsham on October 29, 2011, although they have scored six on two occasions since - at home to Three Bridges two years ago and away to Crawley Down Gatwick in March.
United: Pelling, Rose (Hunt), Cruttwell, T. Olorunda, Pullan, Farmer, Shelley, Adams, A. Olorunda (Archibald), Hassan, Pogue (Boswell). Sub not used: Hand.
Standings (played-points): 1 Faversham Town 19-41, 2 Burgess Hill Town 16-40, 3 Folkestone Invicta 17-35, 4 Merstham 19-34, 5 Whyteleafe 19-31, 6 Sittingbourne 20-31, 7 South Park 19-31, 8 Tooting & Mitcham United 18-30, 9 Chipstead 18-29, 10 Whitstable Town 20-28, 11 Herne Bay 20-27, 12 Corinthian-Casuals 19-27, 13 Worthing 17-25, 14 Three Bridges 18-23, 15 HASTINGS UNITED 18-22, 16 Walton & Hersham 18-22, 17 Guernsey 18-21, 18 Ramsgate 18-21, 19 Hythe Town 18-20, 20 Carshalton Athletic 19-19, 21 Redhill 18-18, 22 East Grinstead Town 20-17, 23 Horsham 17-13, 24 Walton Casuals 17-8.