Hastings United complete unbeaten August after home win against Whyteleafe

Goalscorer Ben Pope in action. Picture by Scott White.
Goalscorer Ben Pope in action. Picture by Scott White.

Hastings United manager Chris Agutter admitted his side still have more to offer after an unbeaten August following a 1-0 win at home to Whyteleafe.

United are yet to concede a league goal this season, but Agutter insists there’s still ‘plenty to come’ from his side despite currently sitting fourth in the BetVictor South East.

A solitary Ben Pope goal was enough to claim Hastings’ second win of the season, maintaining their perfect home record, and Agutter was pleased with the way his team were able to ‘grind the result out.’

Hastings had the better of the chances in the first half, and the breakthrough came after 35 minutes when Ben Pope scored his fifth goal in five games.

The number nine was threaded through and delivered a sublime chip over the Whyteleafe ‘keeper to put the home side 1-0 going into the break.

The visitors dominated the ball in the second half, needing a goal, but struggled to break United down and failed to truly test Louis Rogers in the Hastings goal.

Whyteleafe’s hopes were reduced when Martin Sontan was shown a second yellow card as the game drew to a close, and Hastings held out to keep yet another clean sheet and record back to back home wins.

Boss Chris Agutter was delighted with his side’s defensive display as they once again shut out their opponents, admitting that he always felt ‘pretty comfortable.’

He said: “It had a bit of everything. For the first hour or so we were the dominant side, in control of the game, so much so that we forced them to change formation three times.

“The last half hour we showed the ability to shut up shop and grind the result out with a bit more pragmatic and basic defending rather than being as expansive as we were in the first half.”

He continued: “Our keeper hasn’t really made a save all game. They would have dominated the possession in the last half hour for sure but they never really caused us any problems, so it was pretty relaxed and comfortable.”

However, Agutter knows that his side can still move up through the gears and start ‘ripping it up.’

He added: “I just think the team as a whole is very much ticking over nicely without ripping it up. There’s still plenty more to come from the whole group. It’s all very positive at the moment.”

Next up for Hastings is an FA Cup tie with Worthing on September 7 before league duty resumes on September 14 at home to Three Bridges.