Boxing Day football has a charm. I know I’m not alone in this opinion because today’s game was watched by 702 people, which is more than double Hastings United’s average gate. And not all of the extra folk were from Lewes. Which is just as well because what could have been a proper festive fight for Sussex supremacy was, for most of its duration, just a mite one-sided.
It finished 3-0 with all of the scoring over and done inside the first fifty minutes. Hastings took the lead through a smasher from the edge of the box from Harry Stannard. There was a decent bit of ebb and flow to the game from then on but it was definitely Hastings who were getting the better chances and growing in confidence. When Lewes gave up a free kick not too far out which was then converted beautifully, combined with the second yellow meaning a red that went with it, it meant they had a mountain to climb in the second half. But they never got the chance. Jack Harris finished a sweeping move on 49 minutes and, with only occasional sparks from then on, that was that.
Hastings showboated a little in the second half but never so much that Lewes wanted to kick them too hard. They could have had a couple more. It was only really towards the end that the sky blue clad visitors started to click in any meaningful way and, by then, it was all far, far too late.
So, for Hastings, a pretty successful day and a nice run of form heading into 2017. Lewes will look to bounce back at home to Three Bridges on New Year’s Eve. The two sides next meet at the end of April and there’s every chance there could be the serious matter of play off football to fight over. Let’s hope that one’s more of a contest.