Hastings United secure third place with final day win
Hastings United Football Club secured a top three finish by winning its final game of the regular season this afternoon (Saturday).
Chris Agutter’s side triumphed 3-1 at Greenwich Borough to come third in the Bostik League South East Division and earn a home tie in the play-off semi-finals.
Hastings effectively had the game wrapped up by half time as they led 3-0 through a brace of Jack Dixon goals either side of a Sam Adams penalty.
See also: * Hastings United seek final day victory to secure home play-off tie* Dropped goalkeeper set to return for play-off showdown* Hastings United boss: Bank holiday draw was a point gained* 10-man Hastings United draw with fellow promotion hopefulsHastings arrived at the DGS Marine Stadium to see a sign on the entrance gate saying that Greenwich have been evicted from the ground with immediate effect.
But the game did go ahead and Hastings, playing with the strong wind at their backs, started brightly on an awful pitch, pushing Greenwich back from the outset.
The visitors took just seven minutes to open the scoring. A long throw from Ollie Black beat just about everyone and Dixon headed home at the far post.
Dixon received the supporters’ player of the season award on Easter Monday and he caused Greenwich a lot of problems, heading wide from an Adams free kick and sending a free kick of his own off target.
Greenwich were making a bit of a game of it, without really getting into Hastings’ penalty area, and Hastings just had too much for them. It was 2-0 in the 33rd minute when Daniel Ajakaiye was bundled over in the box and Adams buried the resulting penalty.
It wasn’t particularly pretty, but Hastings were doing what they needed to and they went further ahead shortly before the break. After Greenwich half cleared a ball into the box, Dixon unleashed a superb volley from the edge of the area into the roof of the net.
Greenwich, who finished bottom of the table, began the second half strongly and pulled one back in the 58th minute when Luke Leppard scored from a corner.
Although the home side tried to find a second, Hastings remained resolute and never really looked in any danger as they saw the game out. In fact, Ajakaiye was denied from close range and Hastings also had an effort cleared off the line.
There were a lot of good individual performances in a workmanlike Hastings display, but Dixon was certainly the pick of the bunch.
Hastings: Horlock, Black, Elphick, Rodari, Lovatt, Ajakaiye, Adams (Cruttwell 54), Tucker, Fielding, Azeez (Beale 89), Dixon. Subs not used: Howlett-Mundle, Mongoy, Stevenson. Attendance: 152.
Bostik League South East Division top half final standings (all played 36 matches): 1 Cray Wanderers 82pts (+44 goal difference), 2 Horsham 74 (+35), 3 HASTINGS UNITED 70 (+33), 4 Ashford United 68 (+38), 5 Haywards Heath Town 63 (+13), 6 VCD Athletic 62 (+8), 7 Hythe Town 52 (+7), 8 Whyteleafe 49 (+8), 9 Phoenix Sports 49 (0), 10 Sevenoaks Town 47 (-5).