Hastings United’s footballers produced a poor performance as they were beaten at home this afternoon (Saturday).
The U’s lost 1-0 against bottom half side Three Bridges, failing to score in a Ryman Football League Division One South fixture for the first time since December 5.
United barely even created a clearcut chance during a scrappy contest which was littered with free kicks as their run of 10 points from a possible 12 came to an end.
The decisive moment on a grey and windy afternoon at The Pilot Field came in the 25th minute. Bridges midfielder John Lansdale got the better of United defender Sean Ray in a 50-50 tackle for a bouncing ball before scoring with a precise low shot which went in off the inside of the far post.
United’s best moments of the first half saw Chris Cumming-Bart pull a left-foot shot wide of the near post after stepping inside a couple of defenders and later have a goalbound effort blocked, while Billy Medlock shot just wide after bringing down Liam Wilson’s cross. At the other end, home goalkeeper Harry Girling saved Sam MacVicar’s low shot from the edge of the box.
A big improvement was required by United after the break, but they continued to pose little threat until improving slightly after switching to three up-front for the closing quarter.
Lansdale wasn’t far away with a speculative effort from fully 40 yards and team-mate Hakeem Adelakun sent a low shot from outside the box just wide, while at the other end, Ray had one deflected header from Jack Walder’s free kick clawed away by Bridges stopper Kieron Thorp and a more powerful goalbound header from a Sam Adams corner nodded away by former United player Jamie Crellin.
Even when United did get the ball in the net - Medlock heading home Adams’ hanging centre - the linesman’s flag was already raised.
As the clock ticked towards 90 minutes, Sam Cruttwell’s free kick from the right was turned over by the backpeddling Thorp and Tyrell Richardson-Brown headed just off target from the resulting Adams corner. Jack Walder then drove narrowly over from just outside the D.
Bridges defender Nigel Brake was shown a second yellow card for chopping up Cruttwell in the sixth of eight additional minutes, but it made no difference to the outcome as United were beaten for the second time since Christmas.
United: Girling, Rowe (Attwood 71), Wilson, Johnson, Ray, Walder, Medlock, Cumming-Bart (Richardson-Brown 60), Cruttwell, Adams, Cole. Subs not used: Foster, Temba, Smith. Attendance: 370.
Ryman Division One South top 13 (played-points): 1 Folkestone Invicta 33-79, 2 Worthing 34-65, 3 Dorking Wanderers 33-63, 4 Herne Bay 33-60, 5 Guernsey 33-58, 6 Faversham Town 33-57, 7 Ramsgate 33-55, 8 Molesey 32-54, 9 HASTINGS UNITED 29-53, 10 Hythe Town 31-53, 11 South Park 33-52, 12 Carshalton Athletic 34-52, 13 Corinthian-Casuals 31-51.
* Hastings United are running a coach to their next game away to Molesey on Tuesday night, departing The Pilot Field at 4pm for a 7.45pm kick-off. The cost is £12 for adults, with a £2 discount for supporters’ club members, and £5 for under-18s. Call Dave Russell on 07970 332270 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to save a place.
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