Hastings United 1 v 2 Aveley 2
AVELEY opened their Isthmian Premier campaign in style with a hard fought win at Hastings and even though the gloss was marginally taken off the win by the sending off of winning goal hero Ryan Scott, it was a memorable competitive season’s start for the newly promoted Millers.
There was little between the sides in the first half, with Millers showing strongly in attack but they were unable to breach the home defence.
Scott went close with a six yard header that climbed over the bar and then a scramble saw the Millers hit the woodwork but the ball was eventually cleared.
The home side made the brighter start to the second half and they too hit the woodwork but the opening goal, when it came on 48 minutes went the way of the visitors thanks to their new signing Bryan Ifeanyi, who has joined the Millers from Colchester United.
He capitalised from close range, poking the ball into the bottom left corner after a Benas Vaivada shot was saved but not held by home keeper Louis Rogers.
Millers were looking comfortable at that point and the lead lasted until the 69th minute when Hastings’ Kai Brown, the former Ipswich player who featured for Grays Athletic last season, forced the ball in – though it took a route via both posts before going over the line.
It looked like things might end all square but in the 90th minute Millers’ Garrett Kelly was rewarded for his persistence. A ball drifted over Rogers and looked to be going out as he watched it, but Kelly pounced and hooked it back into the box where Scott was waiting to net a winner.
There was still time, after the celebrations, for Scott to get involved in a midfield tussle and challenge for which he was booked and then, in the aftermath, he picked up a second yellow for his reaction.
Aveley have little time to rest on their laurels after the win, on Monday evening (15 August) they play host to neighbours Billericay Town, who also got their season off to a 2-1 winning start today, coming from behind to beat Cray Wanderers.