Dom Di Paola suffered his first league defeat as Hastings United manager last night (Tuesday).
The U’s were unable to turn their possession into goals as they went down 1-0 away to Corinthian-Casuals in Ryman Football League Division One South.
After a near two-and-a-half hour journey to get to the ground in Tolworth due to heavy traffic which delayed kick-off by 10 minutes or so, United were beaten by a 36th minute goal from Carl Wilson-Denis.
The U’s made a couple of changes to the starting line-up from the weekend draw at Whyteleafe. There was no Sean Ray or Ade Olorunda so Adam Hunt and Darren Boswell came in for their first starts.
United looked good in possession, but Casuals had the chances during the first half. Dave Hodges cleared the crossbar from Jamie Byatt’s pass in one notable early opportunity.
After United wide player Taser Hassan fired over from Evan Archibald’s cutback, Byatt headed a Hodges cross wide of the target from an inviting position at the other end.
Casuals goalkeeper Danny Bracken did well to palm an Archibald shot wide of the post before the hosts landed the decisive blow. Byatt and Hodges were again involved, with the latter’s cross being turned in from close range by Wilson-Denis.
Into the second half and Dan Bedford headed just wide for Casuals before Archibald was thwarted by a super save from Bracken having been sent clear by Joe Shelley’s chip.
United goalkeeper Josh Pelling produced a top stop of his own after Byatt and Wilson-Denis combined. At the other end, a cross from substitute Sam Cruttwell hit the far post, Archibald shot wide from a tight angle and Charlie Farmer’s long range effort was dealt with by Bracken.
While Casuals ended their run of seven successive games without a victory, United have now gone three matches without scoring in all competitions having netted seven in two before that.
United: Pelling, Hunt, Rose, Keehan, Farmer, Pullan, Shelley, Adams, Archibald, Hassan, Boswell. Subs: T. Olorunda, Dolan, Hand, S. Cruttwell, Pogue.