Hastings United’s footballers dropped out of the play-off places after being beaten on their travels this afternoon (Saturday).
The U’s conceded two goals in the final 20 minutes to go down 3-1 away to Carshalton Athletic in Ryman Football League Division One South.
The result leaves United two places and two points outside the play-off spots, although they have games in hand on all of the teams around them.
Mid-table Carshalton started brightly and were rewarded for their superiority with the opening goal in the 17th minute. Tommy Bradford had a simple finish after Michael Campbell played the ball across goal.
Zac Attwood’s shot following a precise Sam Cruttwell pass was saved as United threatened for the first time, while at the other end, United goalkeeper Harry Doherty pulled off a diving stop to deny Bradford and ensure his team only trailed by one goal at the break.
Campbell missed a glorious opportunity to double Carshalton’s advantage early in the second period before United equalised against the run of play in the 67th minute. Attwood squared for strike partner Billy Medlock to pick out the bottom corner.
Carshalton brought on two substitutes and one of them set up their second goal in the 72nd minute. Esteban Salgado got the better of Robin Deen and delivered a cross for Jordan Higgs to head into the net.
Tyrell Richardson-Brown and new boy Jack McLean missed the target for United, who gave a first start to Gillingham loanee Mitchell Dickenson, while Doherty made a smart save from Salgado.
Carshalton sealed their victory - and became only the third club to complete a league double over United this season - with a late third goal, scored by Higgs, on the counter-attack.
United will have to pick themselves up for an important game away to Hythe Town - who have replaced them in the play-off places after today’s results - on Thursday night.
United: Doherty, Deen, Wilson (McLean), Cruttwell (Cumming-Bart), Ray, Rowe, Medlock, Dickenson, Attwood, Richardson-Brown (Temba), Cole. Subs not used: Foster, Smith. Attendance: 291.
Ryman Division One South top 10 (played-points): 1 Folkestone Invicta 39-93, 2 Dorking Wanderers 39-77, 3 Worthing 38-74, 4 Herne Bay 39-69, 5 Hythe Town 37-68, 6 Faversham Town 38-67, 7 HASTINGS UNITED 36-66, 8 Ramsgate 39-64, 9 Corinthian-Casuals 39-64, 10 Molesey 37-64.
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