Bishop’s Stortford 2-3 Hastings United Match Report

Bishop’s Stortford 2-3 Hastings United Match Report 11/3/23

Hamish Arnold

Bishop’s Stortford surrendered a two-goal lead and their place at the top of the Pitching In Isthmian League Premier Division as Hastings United won 2-3 at the R & D Advisors UK Stadium. The Blues have conceded eight goals in the last three games, and remain winless so far in March, while a win for Hornchurch saw them leapfrog Stortford into first place.

Steve Smith continued with the three-at-the-back system which served Stortford well as they came from two goals down to draw 2-2 at home to Canvey Island on Tuesday, and the Blues made the perfect start with Frankie Merrifield pouncing on a defensive error to dispossess goalkeeper Louis Rogers and slot home into the empty net inside six minutes. Merrifield made a run between defenders and Sam Deering picked him out with a through ball, but Rogers saved the shot from the right side of the box. From the corner, Ryan Henshaw volleyed from 18 yards as the visitors failed to clear, Rogers scrambled to his left to make the save. Ollie Peters timed his run to perfection to beat the offside trap and received the ball from Johnson, but he saw his effort saved while Chris Harris was waiting in the middle for a tap-in. David Smith made a near post run to control Joe Gbode’s right wing cross, his shot from a tight angle was off target. A free kick from near the halfway line was brought down by Ben Pope, he passed to Gbode who laid the ball off to John Elliott, but his strike was always rising over the bar. Harry Beadle – returning for the Blues after an extended period out with injury – saw his speculative long range effort go marginally over the bar, before Darren Foxley curled high of the goal from Harris’ pass. Smith thought he had equalised for the visitors, as he stabbed home from Pope’s header, but he was flagged for offside, Peters curled a shot on target but straight at Rogers, and a near post flick by Henshaw from Johnson’s long throw was nearly nodded home by Ryan Charles, but Rogers saved.

HT 1-0

Merrifield passed to Harris, who dribbled past two defenders, but his low shot went narrowly wide from a tight angle. Charles kept the ball on the left wing, he passed inside to Harris, Deering dummied the ball for Peters on the edge of the box, his shot was deflected into the path of Merrifield but at full stretch he couldn’t divert the ball on target. Harris was rewarded for chasing a long ball near the corner flag with an assist for the second goal, he passed to Foxley who worked some space in the box and shot low through Rogers’ legs to double the lead. Smith then brought on Jay Porter and Tosin Olufemi, reverting to a back-four like Stortford have played mostly this season, but the visitors were energised at going 2-0 down. Freddie Legg fizzed in a low cross from the right, but no teammate was on hand for a tap-in, and Pope’s long range strike was off target. From a left wing corner, Jack Giddens appeared to have been fouled when he came to catch a high ball, but Legg scrambled home to reduce the arrears. Peters’ right footed shot curled just wide of the goal from the left side of the box, and Deering picked out a great through ball into space for Foxley on the left wing, but he fired high and wide of the goal. Giddens produced a great save at full stretch to deny Gbode’s long range strike in the top left corner, before substitute Jonny Giles shot wide with his right foot from Deering’s low cross. A deep cross from the right was volleyed home by Sam Adams, who was given too much space to shoot into the bottom left corner in the 90th minute. Five minutes later, Pope received the ball on the left side of the box from a right wing corner, Blues players were slow to close down the ball and he curled it into the top right corner to seal the three points.

FT 2-3


Bishop’s Stortford XI

1 Jack Giddens

3 Sam Deering (Yellow card 45’)

6 Ryan Henshaw (c)

8 Matt Johnson

10 Frankie Merrifield (Goal 6’) (Porter 65’)

14 Darren Foxley (Goal 61’) (Yellow card 68’)

15 Ryan Charles (Yellow card 45+1’) (Giles 79’)

17 Mark Haines (Olufemi 64’)

18 Ollie Peters

19 Harry Beadle

20 Chris Harris


2 Jay Porter

7 Jonny Giles

9 Donell Thomas

11 Tosin Olufemi

12 Lordon Akolbire

Hastings United XI

1 Louis Rogers

3 Ryan Worrall

5 Craig Stone

7 Kasim Aidoo (Legg 46’)

8 Jack Dixon (c) (Adams 85’)

9 Ben Pope (Goal 90+5’)

11 David Smith (Scott 61’)

12 Alex Brefo

14 Joe Gbode

16 Kane Penn

19 John Elliott


2 Ollie Black

10 Sam Adams (Goal 90’)

15 James Hull

17 Freddie Legg (Goal 73’)

18 Knory Scott

Attendance 563