Chris Agutter backed Hastings United Football Club hot shot Daniel Ajakaiye to learn from a ‘naive’ mistake following his sending-off against East Grinstead Town yesterday (Saturday).
Ajakaiye was shown a straight red card for violent conduct in the 77th minute following an off-the-ball incident with opponent Ryan Johnson and is likely to receive a three-match ban.
Agutter, Hastings’ manager, said: “I think he’s pulled the (East Grinstead) centre-half’s hair. I didn’t think that was a sending-off, but apparently it is. Credit to Ryan Johnson, he’s clever, he’s been around it, he’s probably in Daniel’s ear for 60 minutes and Daniel’s reacted.
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“He’s naive to react, but he’ll learn from it, he’s a good lad. Losing him will be a blow, but we’ll be able to deal with that.”
Ajakaiye had given Hastings an early lead only to fall behind after conceding twice in five minutes. Jack Dixon made it 2-2 at the break, but Grinstead grabbed a winner in the eighth minute of the second half.
“It was an interesting game to try and digest really,” continued Agutter. “I try not to make too many statements after a win or loss, never too high when you win and never too low when you lose.
“I thought we started really well, obviously went a goal up early doors and it looked like we were on it. I think that almost led to a false sense of security, they scored two quick goals and we never really got going.
“We sort of huffed and puffed, and got back to 2-2 off the back of an individual error for Grinstead and some good pressure from Dicko (Jack Dixon, scorer of Hastings’ second goal).
“But I think the third goal summed it up. The lad’s hit one from 25, 30 yards, it’s taken a deflection and rolls in the bottom corner.
“It’s just one of those days really where nothing seemed to go right for us. But credit to East Grinstead, they’re a much-improved side from last season, they were decent and they were well worth the three points.”