United stung by Hornets

Hastings United's play-off hopes suffered another setback with a 2-0 loss away to Horsham this afternoon
Hastings United's play-off hopes suffered another setback with a 2-0 loss away to Horsham this afternoon

Hastings United suffered a second successive defeat with a 2-0 loss away to Horsham this afternoon (Saturday).

A goal in either half condemned United to their seventh reverse in their last 11 Ryman Football League Division One South matches on their travels, although they are still clinging on to the final play-off place.

United were again without Tim Olorunda and Tom Vickers due to injury, while Kenny Pogue was unavailable. Sam Cruttwell and Taser Hassan returned, though, having missed the defeat away to Sittingbourne on Tuesday.

Horsham almost scored in the opening seconds when Jamie Cade latched onto an underhit back pass by Sam Adams and rounded United goalkeeper Josh Pelling only to hit the side-netting with his shot.

Nathan Ferguson had a shot which was heading for the bottom corner well saved by Horsham goalkeeper Mark Zawadski moments later, while Gary Charman headed straight at Pelling during a frantic start.

Horsham opened the scoring in the 28th minute when Charman turned home a low cross by Cade. Pelling saved bravely at the feet of Cade and then gathered a Charman volley as the first half ended 1-0.

Cade lobbed over and Ashley Robinson was denied by Pelling at the end of a solo run. At the other end, Hassan saw a shot saved by Zawadski high to his right and Horsham’s goalkeeper repelled an angled effort from Adams at his near post.

Robinson headed into Pelling’s arms before Horsham sealed a fully deserved victory with a second goal in the 81st minute, Tony Nwachukwu giving Pelling no chance from Ross Morley’s cross. There was still time for Pelling to make two super saves from Charman and Bruno Pacheco to go close to an added time third goal.

United: Pelling, Adams, Cruttwell (Oyinsan), Darby, Judge, Bachellier, Hassan, Ellis, Sawyer, McCreadie (Woodley), Ferguson (O’Connor). Subs not used: Toney, Corrigan.

Ryman Football League Division One South top seven: 1 Peacehaven & Telscombe 42-101, 2 Leatherhead 43-88, 3 Folkestone Invicta 42-79, 4 Guernsey 42-73, 5 HASTINGS UNITED 42-73, 6 Merstham 43-70, 7 Burgess Hill Town 41-69.