‘A few home truths have been told’, says Driver, after Hastings dump hapless Leiston out of the FA Cup
- Credit: Archant
Leiston 3 Hastings 4
This was a shock at Victory Road with the Sussex side victorious, that put the 1066 ‘The Battle of Hastings’ into the shade, as the Bostik League, South East Division side, produced their own bit of history.
Playing one level below that of Leiston and with £9,000 at stake, the embattled visitors, who were reduced to eight men, were worthy winners.
It all left Leiston boss Glen Driver frustrated.
“This was a bad defeat for us,” he said.
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“I always take the back of my players but they have to look at themselves after this. Hastings were excellent but we never got going.
“We defended poorly all over the pitch and if you don’t defend properly you won’t win football matches.
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“It was a nine grand football match and we didn’t turn up. I’m very disappointed.
“As I say, I’m the gaffer and I’ll always take the flak when things go wrong. But, the players know how I feel and a few home truths have been told.”
Hastings fresh from a 9-2 win over East Grinstead in midweek took only five minutes to take the lead when Daniel Ajakaiye tapped home with the home defence in disarray.
Hastings were impressive, playing the ball around with panache, bossing the midfield, but then failed to defend a corner on 14 minutes. Kyle Hammond picked out Joe Jefford who rose majestically to head home.
Leiston then took the lead five minutes later when Matt Blake scored, calmly beating the oncoming keeper Charlie Horlock.
There was then an expectancy that Driver’s side would take control, but it was keeper Marcus Garnham who kept Leiston’s lead intact with two fines saves to foil both Ajakaiye and skipper Sam Evans.
However, a magnificent equaliser came on the half hour.
There appeared no danger as the ball was played into Adams, who with his back to goal 20 yards out, pivoted and struck a terrific shot that gave Garnham no chance.
Hastings continued to control the game, and on half-time Garnham was again the saviour, with a fingertip save to deny James Fielding.
The visitors then regained the lead in the 52nd minute when Kelvin Ogboe drove home from an angle to make it 3-2. To compound matters further two minutes later Leiston’s defensive frailties were exposed again with Adams scoring from the spot, after Patrick Brothers had pushed Ogboe, as the visitors pressed home there undoubted superiority.
Then, controversially, keeper Horlock was adjudged to have handballed outside of the area, arguably a harsh decision, and was sent off. Evans donned the gloves. However, the substitute keeper was powerless as Blake scored his second on 66 minutes.
With 15 minutes remaining the visitors Crutwell was dismissed as the tie grew in intensity, and in added-time Walker-Barth also received his marching orders, but it was hapless Leiston who were banished from the FA Cup as Hastings survived the late onslaught.
Referee Mr Elliott Kaye.