Hastings United boss: Players did everything asked of them

Chris Agutter said his Hastings United Football Club players did everything that was asked of them in Saturday’s unfortunate defeat.

Hastings lost 4-2 at home to Bostik League South East Division play-off rivals Haywards Heath Town, despite dominating the match.

Sam Cruttwell in the thick of the action during Hastings United's 4-2 loss at home to Haywards Heath Town. Picture courtesy Scott White

Sam Cruttwell in the thick of the action during Hastings United's 4-2 loss at home to Haywards Heath Town. Picture courtesy Scott White

Agutter said: “I thought we were very good actually, completely dominant and they’ve somehow scored four goals. It’s a weird one really, because I feel like the players followed the game plan to a tee.

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“We created chances. We created more chances in the first half, we obviously didn’t take them, but we still scored two really good goals. I thought we played well, I thought the players did everything that was asked of them, I can’t really fault them.”

Hastings twice came from behind to equalise through Daniel Ajakaiye, but two goals in the final 10 minutes consigned them to only their second home loss of the season.

“The first goal is one of the best team goals we’ve scored all year,” Agutter continued. “Dicko (Jack Dixon) picked the ball up in a great area, played a great ball through and Daniel finished it.

“His second goal was a bit of individual brilliance from Daniel. I think that’s his 31st or 32nd goal of the season. He scored two really good goals today and I thought both goals were on par with the level of performance of the team, so it’s a strange feeling.”

Agutter also felt Hastings ought to have been awarded a free kick for a high Haywards Heath foot in the build-up to the visitors’ third goal.

“It is (a free kick), but I can’t speak about referees any more because they’re not very good,” he went on. “When their centre-forward kicks your centre-half in the head, normally it’s a high foot.

“I think there’s a second foul as well when the centre-forward has shoved our centre-half over in the box. But it is what it is. I’m just accepting the fact that the referees are by and large incompetent at this level, and I just need to get on with it.”

Bostik League South East Division top half (played-points): 1 Cray Wanderers 27-68 (+39 goal difference), 2 Horsham 28-55 (+22), 3 Haywards Heath Town 28-52 (+17), 4 Ashford United 27-51 (+28), 5 HASTINGS UNITED 28-50 (+20), 6 Whyteleafe 27-41 (+11), 7 VCD Athletic 26-41 (+3), 8 Hythe Town 28-40 (+6), 9 Ramsgate 28-36 (+5), 10 Phoenix Sports 27-35 (-4).