Hastings United Football Club slipped a place to third in the table following a 2-1 defeat away to East Grinstead Town this afternoon (Saturday).
Chris Agutter’s side has now gone five Bostik League South East Division away matches without a victory after losing to East Grinstead for the second time this season.
All the goals came during the second half. Jahmal Howlett-Mundle’s first league goal of the season brought Hastings level, but they conceded a winner 10 minutes before the end of the regulation 90.
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Agutter made three changes to his starting XI from last weekend’s 2-1 win at home to Faversham Town. Temi Eweka was back from suspension, Lanre Azeez was fit enough to start and young James Pool was promoted from the bench.
Hastings came agonisingly close to opening the scoring when Grinstead cleared off their goal-line at a corner and Jordy Mongoy struck the follow-up against the post. Mongoy fired over shortly afterwards and later in the half Eweka headed just wide from another corner.
Into the second half and Hastings captain Sam Adams had a shot saved before Grinstead went down the other end and Jerson Dos Santos shot wide from close range.
Grinstead broke the deadlock in the 54th minute. Ben Wilson’s free kick into the Hastings penalty area was headed home by Leo Mazzone.
Ollie Boulding headed just over for Grinstead before Hastings levelled in the 67th minute. Grinstead failed to clear and Howlett-Mundle headed into the top corner.
Grinstead grabbed a winner, though, in the 81st minute. Lee Prescott’s ball found Greg Cundle and he slotted into the bottom corner.
Hastings had one last chance in added time. Charlie Curran, on as a late substitute for Pool, flashed a ball across the face of goal and Mongoy was whiskers away from getting a touch.
Horsham moved above Hastings into second place after winning 3-0 at Whitstable Town, but the six teams immediately below Hastings in the updated table all failed to win.
Hastings: Horlock, Eweka (Black 56), Howlett-Mundle, Cruttwell, Lovatt, Ajakaiye, Adams, Mongoy, Fielding, Pool (Curran 88), Azeez (Walker 76). Subs not used: Climpson, Makwiramiti. Attendance: 166.
Bostik League South East Division top half (played-points): 1 Cray Wanderers 26-65 (+38 goal difference), 2 Horsham 26-51 (+21), 3 HASTINGS UNITED 27-50 (+22), 4 Haywards Heath Town 27-49 (+15), 5 Ashford United 26-48 (+26), 6 Whyteleafe 26-41 (+13), 7 Hythe Town 27-40 (+7), 8 VCD Athletic 25-38 (+2), 9 Ramsgate 27-35 (+5), 10 Phoenix Sports 26-35 (-3).