Late strike sinks Hastings

Josh Jirbandey was denied by a good save
Josh Jirbandey was denied by a good save

HASTINGS United endured a frustrating afternoon as they went down 1-0 at home to Bury Town.

A goal nine minutes from time condemned the U’s to a harsh defeat in this Ryman Premier League encounter.

The result means Bury have won their last six meetings against Hastings and conceded just one goal in the process.

The home side once again played some nice stuff but as in their only other defeat of the season - away to Hampton & Richmond Borough on the opening day - they failed to work the keeper enough.

Lee Carey stabbed wide with the first effort on goal and not long after Zac Attwood let fly from distance but his shot was always drifting away.

Attwood then flashed a free kick inches past the post before Josh Jirbandey was denied by a flying save from Marcus Garnham.

Unbeaten Bury came more into the game the longer the half went on and Russell Short saw his cross-shot smack against the base of the far post. Billy Clark also tried his luck from outside the box but his drive dipped just too late.

Hastings had the final chance of the opening period with Liam Upton firing off target after good link-up play with Attwood.

The closest the U’s came to scoring was 10 minutes into the second half when Goldberg’s shot-on-the-turn came back off the crossbar with Garnham beaten.

Visiting skipper Tom Bullard so nearly broke the deadlock but not how he would have liked with a sliced clearance which looped over the fast retreating Garnham and bounced over the Bury crossbar.

At the other end, Alicion Blake shot into the side-netting after confusion between Matt Armstrong-Ford and Matt Whitehead.

The goal arrived just moments after Attwood so nearly got on the end of a Goldberg cross. The ball was launched long upfield and after Whitehead had failed to snuff out the danger Sam Reed crossed for Billy Clark to score from close range.

Only a superb save from Armstrong-Ford prevented Reed from doubling the lead before the Bury striker blazed over in stoppage time.

Hastings (4-3-3): Armstrong-Ford; Cox, Carey, Manning, Whitehead; Crellin, Carey, Vickers (Dixon 74); Upton (Okojie 67), Goldberg, Attwood. Subs not used: Ellis, Richardson, Ray.

Referee: Andrew Laver (Portsmouth). Attendance: 340.