HASTINGS United’s lack of an attacking threat was again exposed as two late goals condemned them to a 2-0 defeat at home to Hendon.
The U’s gave as good as they got for more than three quarters of the match against high-flying opposition but the inability to turn possession into chances meant they failed to score for the third game running.
It still looked as though they might hold a Hendon side which had lost only once in the Ryman Premier this season until the 74th minute when loose marking at a corner allowed Michael Peacock to plant a header into the bottom corner of the net.
The North Londoners made sure of the points not long after through Grenadian international Elliott Charles - who had been a Hastings target before joining Hendon. The goal stemmed from hesitant defending by the two centre-halves and the ball eventually found its way to Charles whose thumping finish from 15 yards gave Lloyd Anderson no chance.
The manner of defeat was harsh on a Hastings side which once again had played some nice football with Jamie Crellin and Ryan Thomson standing out in central midfield.
But the U’s need for striking reinforcements was again made blindingly obvious as all the good work petered out around the Hendon box.
There was the occasional dangerous cross but the only really genuine efforts on goal were a Josh Jirbandey 30-yarder which just cleared the crossbar and a Thomson left footed drive which flashed past the post. Scott Manning also headed over when he might have done better from a Fred Foreman corner.
Other than the goals, Hendon didn’t have that many efforts themselves although Greg Nyogi did strike the post in the first half and forced Anderson into a decent save after the interval. Anderson also did just enough to check Carl McCluskey’s raid into the box and Charles had an effort ruled offside.
Hastings: Anderson, Dixon, Bolwell, Crellin (Antonen 81), Manning, Jirbandey, Carey, Thomson, Pogue (Ray 81), Foreman, Sutton (Billings 63). Subs not used: Paine, Jones.
Hendon: Thomas, Parker, Cousins, Peacock, Archer, C. MacLaren (Clarke 81), Busby (Diedhiou 84), McCluskey, Ngoyi (Aite-Ouakrim 81), K. MacLaren, Charles. Subs not used: Carby, Fraser.
Referee: Harry Lennard (Peacehaven). Attendance: 319.