Hastings United’s footballers were narrowly beaten this afternoon (Saturday) after playing most of the match with 10 men.
The U’s were edged out 1-0 away to Whitstable Town in Ryman Football League Division One South following the dismissal of full-back Adam Hunt midway through the first half.
United made the better start on a sunny afternoon in north Kent. Taser Hassan was denied by the feet of home goalkeeper Luke Watkins and Arron Hopkinson shot just wide from the edge of the box.
Hunt then picked up two yellow cards in quick succession to leave United with a big task on their hands, but they responded very well. Ade Olorunda cleared the crossbar from close range and headed wide before teeing up Sam Adams for a shot which was saved by Watkins.
Away goalkeeper Josh Pelling did well to thwart Scott Heard from close range in a rare Whitstable chance, while at the other end, Joe Shelley fired narrowly wide and an Adams corner was headed over by Charlie Farmer at the end of a pretty decent half for the U’s.
Pelling produced a super stop from Heard as Whitstable started the second half strongly and the home side grabbed what proved to be the winner in the 55th minute, Conner Coyne scoring with a free header from a well-delivered cross.
Whitstable skipper Ian Pulman spurned a great chance to double his team’s lead by shooting wide after surging clear. Pelling then turned a Heard shot wide of the upright and produced another good save from Nick Treadwell’s firm header.
Hopkinson’s volley was kept out by a diving Watkins, while Pelling again did well to repel a close range effort from substitute Matt Martin, who shortly afterwards shot wide after rounding the United goalkeeper.
United: Pelling, Hunt, Farmer, T. Olorunda (Vickers), Ray, Pullan, Shelley, Adams, A. Olorunda (Woodley), Hassan (Pogue), Hopkinson. Subs not used: Cruttwell, Keehan.
Standings (played-points): 1 Faversham Town 22-46, 2 Merstham 22-43, 3 Burgess Hill Town 17-41, 4 Folkestone Invicta 20-39, 5 Whyteleafe 21-37, 6 Herne Bay 23-36, 7 Tooting & Mitcham United 22-35, 8 South Park 20-32, 9 Sittingbourne 23-32, 10 Whitstable Town 23-32, 11 Corinthian-Casuals 23-31, 12 Chipstead 21-30, 13 Worthing 20-29, 14 Walton & Hersham 21-29, 15 Three Bridges 21-26, 16 Hythe Town 23-25, 17 Carshalton Athletic 22-25, 18 HASTINGS UNITED 22-24, 19 Guernsey 22-24, 20 Ramsgate 21-24, 21 Redhill 19-21, 22 East Grinstead Town 22-18, 23 Horsham 17-13, 24 Walton Casuals 19-10.