Hawtin and Humphreys send United youngsters through
Goals from Aidan Hawtin and Sam Humphreys (2) earned United a semi-final place in the Oxfordshire Senior Cup as they beat Easington Sports 3-1 at Abingdon United's Northcourt Road tonight.
It proved an excellent test for the United youngsters with first year pros Hawtin, Humphreys and Josh Shama, joined by eight scholars against a hard working Easington side who soaked up early pressure from the U’s. Striker George Jeacock sent a lob on to the roof of the net after just 30 seconds while visiting keeper Darren Booker made two excellent saves from the lively Humphreys and Shama inside the first 25 minutes.
It was far from one-way traffic though, with United keeper Jack Stevens making early saves from Steve Howkins and player-manager Craig Pearman but on 38 minutes skipper Hawtin opened the scoring with a superb goal. A great through ball from central midfielder Seth Humphries sent Hawtin inside the left back. Hawtin cut inside a further defender and then blasted an unstoppable effort past the keeper from 20 yards to make it 1-0.
It looked as though the U’s had done enough for a half-time lead but right on the break Sports drew level as Howkins found a suspicious amount of space on the edge of the box, advanced two steps and rattled a low shot across Stevens and into the bottom left corner to make it 1-1 at half time.
The second half opened with Jordan Graham, on as a sub for AJ George at half time, seeing a good effort tipped over and tackles starting to grow stronger as the game, always competitive, became a true cup tie. Shama almost made it 2-1 with a clever flick well saved by Booker at his near post after 68 minutes but Easington were never out of the game and always looked capable of causing a shock on the break.
However United always had the edge and on 81 secured the win as Hawtin burst forward and slipped the ball through to Humphreys who cut inside his man and crashed in a right-footed effort which somehow sneaked beyond both the keeper and a covering defender on the line.
To cap a good evening Humphreys converted a penalty with the last kick of the game to make it 3-1 after the adventurous Freddie Grant had been felled after a typical surging run.
A good game and excellent experience for United's young guns who now go on to face North Leigh in the semi-final.
Stevens, Diaz-Benitez, Cundy, McCormack, Grant, A Hawtin, Humphreys, Humphries, Shama, George (Graham 46), Jeacock