Solitary goal sinks United

Matt Cruttwell made his Hastings United first team debut against Lowestoft Town.
Matt Cruttwell made his Hastings United first team debut against Lowestoft Town.

Hastings United were edged out 1-0 away to Lowestoft Town tonight (Monday).

Despite making the 330-plus mile round trip with just 12 players, the U’s ran close a Lowestoft side which has risen to fourth in the Ryman Football League Premier Division.

With several players unavailable, United handed a first team debut to goalkeeper Matt Cruttwell, and their back four included Tom Vickers at centre-half, Jack Dixon at right-back and Elliott Cox at left-back.

United’s 4-5-1 formation worked well as they defended superbly during the first half. Lowestoft, 4-1 winners in last month’s reverse fixture, saw plenty of the ball, but posed little threat to the away goal.

The Trawlerboys grabbed the all-important goal five minutes into the second half, however, when United failed to deal with the loose ball after a good save from Cruttwell and Chris Henderson scored.

Sam Adams had United’s first shot on target after an hour and Zac Attwood later had a free kick saved, while Lowestoft went just wide on a couple of occasions at the other end.

United: Cruttwell, Cox, Dixon, Carey (Freeman), Vickers, Judge, Crellin, Adams, Hammond, Attwood, Okojie.

Ryman Premier standings (played-points): 1 Whitehawk 31-63, 2 Wealdstone 29-56, 3 Canvey Island 29-50, 4 Lowestoft Town 26-49, 5 Concord Rangers 26-48, 6 Bury Town 30-47, 7 Margate 28-46, 8 Met Police 27-44, 9 Kingstonian 28-43, 10 Hendon 29-42, 11 Bognor Regis Town 29-39, 12 Leiston 29-39, 13 East Thurrock United 27-36, 14 Hampton & Richmond Borough 26-35, 15 Enfield Town 30-35, 16 Harrow Borough 29-29, 17 Lewes 31-29, 18 Cray Wanderers 29-29, 19 Wingate & Finchley 31-28, 20 HASTINGS UNITED 28-26, 21 Thurrock 24-24, 22 Carshalton Athletic 31-22.