Hastings United win the Sussex C P Mason Cup (under-14s)

Hastings hammer Bognor to lift C P Mason Cup

Hastings United 4 - 1 Bognor Regis Town

Hastings United won the Sussex C P Mason Cup (under-14s) after a dominant first-half performance put them well on the way to a 4-1 victory over Bognor Regis Town at Culver Road on Sunday afternoon.

Three goals in the first-half of thirty five minutes gave Hastings a commanding lead at the break, and it wasn’t long before they added a fourth after the restart. Bognor did pull a goal back through Joe Middleton and were much improved in the second-half, but Hasting just proved too strong and held on for the victory.

Hastings started the brighter of the two sides, and the warning signs were there for Bognor when Benn Ward rifled a shot from distance just wide of the target, with only four minutes on the clock.

A minute later Hastings went ahead. Isaiah Corrie laid the ball off to Alfie Peacock on the edge of the area and he opened his body up as if to bend his shot into the far corner, but instead cleverly dragged the ball in at the near post sending Bayleigh Wright in the Bognor goal the wrong way – a very neat finish.

Bognor did have a spell of dominance midway through the first-half. 

Luca Di Lorenzo hit a powerful free-kick from distance just over the crossbar and soon after Leandro Lopes Da Silva had a golden opportunity to pull his side level following a mix-up at the back by Hastings, but he could only place his shot just wide of the target.

The West Sussex side were made to rue those missed opportunities as Hastings finished the half strongly.

Ethan Ward had a shot brilliantly blocked by a last ditch tackle from Bognor defender Wictor Nowak, and from the resulting corner Jamal Lubanga struck a cleanly hit volley just over the bar.

On the half-hour mark Hastings did double their lead. The lively Corrie managed to create a little bit of space for himself on the edge of the box before bending his shot through a sea of players and under the unsighted Wright.

Corrie then nearly scored his second and Hastings third two minutes later. His free-kick from wide on the left eluded everyone, including Wright in the Bognor goal, and cannoned back off the angle of post and crossbar.

Into the first minute of injury time at the end of the first-half and Hastings pulled further ahead. A corner from Ward was met firmly by the head of Harvey Mapstone as he rose above his marker to power home from six yards out and send his side in three goals up at the break. 

Bognor had a chance to pull a goal back within thirty seconds of the restart as J. Middleton, who was a threat to the Hastings backline all game, raced through one on one with Cody Craddock in the United goal, but his low strike was well saved by the keeper.

Just two minutes later Hastings looked to have put the game beyond Bognor as Mapstone got the better of his marker inside the penalty area and drilled the ball low into the corner past Wright who was powerless to stop it, to score his second and United’s fourth.

Hastings nearly had another goal to celebrate but for a fantastic goal saving clearance by Bognor’s Jordon Bulbeck. Ward’s sweetly struck free-kick look destined for the top corner, but for the defender who somehow managed to get himself back onto the line in time to head the ball onto the crossbar before sweeping the ball away.

That goal saving piece of brilliance galvanised Bognor and within a minute they pulled a goal back. Archie Largan’s shot low and hard across goal appeared to be heading wide but for the intervention of J. Middleton, who managed to redirect the ball on-target from close range giving Craddock no chance.

Bognor’s tails were up now and they went in search of another goal. J. Middleton struck a shot straight at Craddock which the goalkeeper gathered at the second attempt. 

A few minutes later Mitchell Middleton’s cross to the back post was met by Benji Hall and his looping header was expertly palmed away by the diving Craddock. M. Middleton then went close for himself as corner caused havoc bouncing around in the penalty area before hit fired over when off balance.

On the hour mark a clearance turned shot from inside his own half by Town’s Bulbeck nearly caught out Craddock out, but the goalkeeper managed to quickly backtrack and claw it out from underneath his crossbar before collecting.

Hastings managed to hold on and see out the final ten minutes of the match to etch their name on the prestigious cup. 

After the match triumphant Hastings United manager Adam Hurley said: “The first ten or fifteen minutes was very close and the game could have gone either way, I think whichever team got the first goal that was going to settle their nerves and settle them into the game and fortunately for us, it was us!”

Hastings United lifted the Sussex C P Mason Cup (under-14s)
HIGHLIGHTS - Hastings United vs. Bognor regis Town 
Watch highlights of Hastings United's well-earned 4-1 victory over Bognor Regis Town at Culver Road. 

(A selection of photographs can be found on Facebook - courtesy of Simon Roe Photography)
(Video highlights are available above and also on YouTube - courtesy of FilmMyMatch)

Stats: (Hastings United-Bognor Regis Town)
Goals: 4-1; Shots: 12-10; Shots-on-target: 7-4; Corners: 3-6; Fouls: 4-6; Offside: 2-2; Yellow cards: 0-0; Red cards: 0-0.

Hastings United: Craddock, Fuggle, Winters, Palmer, Jeffries, Lubanga, B. Ward, Peacock, Corrie, E. Ward, Mapstone. 
Subs: Heggie, Gilbert, Reader.

Bognor Regis Town: Wright, Brown, Bulbeck, Nowak, Lee-Jones, Largan, Di Lorenzo, Lewis, Lopes Da Silva, Smith, J. Middleton.
Subs: Hall, Moulson, Brian, Long, M. Middleton.

Match report by Darren Ford