Hastings net comfortable home victory
Hastings United's footballers continued their unbeaten start to the season with a comfortable win this afternoon (Monday).
A goal in either half gave United a 2-0 victory at home to an East Grinstead Town side still seeking its first point of the Ryman Football League Division One South campaign.
After the drama of Saturday's rollercoaster 3-3 draw away to Chipstead, this was a pretty uneventful affair in which United got the job done, albeit without looking particularly impressive.
U's boss Darren Hare made four changes to his starting line-up. Steve Watt and Reece Butler returned in defence, while Frannie Collin and Bright Temba made their first starts of the season in attack.
Temba, in fact, had an early sight of goal as he latched on to a good ball over the top by Sam Cruttwell, but a heavy touch allowed Grinstead goalkeeper Pawel Szemelej to smother.
Jay May headed over from beyond the far post at a corner before United took a 32nd minute in somewhat fortunate and comical fashion.
May flicked on a long free kick and as Collin tried to bring the ball under control, Suliaman Bangura's attempted tackle only succeeded in sending the ball into the top corner.
Cruttwell, who had a decent game, fired Sam Cole's square pass over the top from just inside the box in the only other effort of note during the first half. Watt hobbled off five minutes before the break to be replaced by Richie Welch.
United started the second half pretty slowly, although Cole struck the crossbar with a looping right-foot volley from the edge of the box and Collin saw his close range finish from Welch's low cross ruled out for offside.
The U's just needed a second goal to kill the game off and it duly arrived in the 66th minute thanks to a piece of quality from man of the moment May.
Seconds after the impressive Simon Johnson was denied by a reflex save, May neatly stepped inside a couple of defenders and picked out the corner of the net with a splendid finish for his sixth goal already this season.
It was all very straightforward for United after that. Cole's angled strike was just too high and May couldn't direct his volley on target from a Wayne Wilson cross.
United goalkeeper Lenny Pidgeley barely had a save to make all afternoon, with Grinstead's best effort probably a shot from outside the box by substitute Alex Goggin which dropped just over.
United lie seventh in the fledgling league table with eight points from their first four games - two fewer than early leaders Corinthian-Casuals.
United: Pidgeley, Rowe, Butler (Wilson 80), Cruttwell, Watt (Welch 41), Smith, Cole, Johnson, May, Collin, Temba (Stannard 63). Sub not used: Nicholls. Attendance: 383.
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