Mead get stuck in the mud!
The Mead 2-4 Hastings United
A very heavy pitch and a game played at times in pouring rain ended with the Mead wondering what might have been as the points disappeared down the A21 to the Sussex coast.
Cruttwell's free kick gave Hastings the half time lead, before an end to end second half saw four goals in eleven minutes with Hastings establishing a three-goal lead through Rowe and Adams’ penalty before Laurent Mendy replied for the home side, only for Davies to almost immediately re-establish the visitors three goal advantage. Paul Vines then pulled a second back for The Mead which set up an amazing finale where both sides could and should have added to their respective tally’s.
After the midweek demolition of Guernsey, the Mead went into the game with high hopes, but those hopes literally seemed to get stuck in the Princes Park mud as the visitors adapted to the sticky very wet conditions almost like “ducks to water” and as a result bossed the opening half where the Mead were limited and very disappointing. The only “plus” side for the home side was that they were only one down to Cruttwell’s stunning free kick on the quarter-hour.
The home side started the second half almost a different side, and Laurent was denied by a fine block from keeper Hurlock after being fed through by Bode Anidugbe.
Problem for the Mead is that Hastings then netted three times in ten minutes either side of the hour to completely take the game away from home side courtesy of a fluke, a penalty and a goal that wouldn’t have looked out of place on Match of the Day. The visitors fortunate second goal saw Adams shot which was heading for the corner flag clip Rowe and the ball diverted into the bottom corner; their third came from the penalty spot as visiting skipper and best player on the pitch Adams drilled a penalty beyond Lewis Carey after Davies had been brought down in the box before Davies with an exquisite touch netted the fourth from a low cross from the left as the Mead defence switched off after Laurent had brilliantly curled home his eighth of the season – briefly giving the Mead hope – hope that sadly lasted under a minute.
Three behind with 20 minutes left, the Mead could have crumbled completely but that isn’t in this side’s vocabulary and you sensed that if they could get back into the game quickly there would have still been hope. Tom O’Connor led the charge from midfield and had a shot that skidded just wide before Williams Danquah found Laurent who was denied by a fantastic save by Horlock.
The goal the Mead craved arrived ten minutes from time when Vinesy was on hand to stroke home his 17th goal of the season after Bode had been denied by the keeper outside the box. The ball ran to Danny Parish and the Mead’s sub quickness of feet rolled the ball to the club’s top-scorer who netted to set up a final ten minutes that could have produced a further eight goals – but through poor finishing and great goal keeping on both sides kept the score as it was.
For the home side Tom curled a great shot that was turned aside, Bode was denied by a super block before shooting wide and Vinesy was a coat of paint away from his second, whilst at the other end Hastings sub Pogue could have had a hat-trick in ninety seconds as he first shot wide when clean through on two occasions taking advantage of the home side piling forward before Lewis produced a fabulous reflex save to stop Williams sliding a cross into his own net before the Mead stopper stood up brilliantly to deny the luckless Pogue.
In a way the Princes pitch mirrored the afternoon for the Mead – it started looking OK but ended up a muddy mess!
THE MEAD – Carey, Brand, Danquah, Kinch, Smith (Taiwo HT), Denny (Parish 69), Whitely (Green 73), Mendy
Subs – Adelowo & Ovenden