Hastings United picked up three much-needed points in their battle against relegation on Tuesday night.
The U’s pulled off a splendid 2-0 victory at home to third-placed Lowestoft Town in the Ryman Football League Premier Division.
Scott Manning, pictured, was the unlikely hero, seizing his chance at centre-half in the absence of club captain Josh Jirbandey with two goals in the first 31 minutes.
The first was a stunning volley on the turn from the edge of the box which flew into the top corner after just 85 seconds and the second was a stooping close range header at the far post from Lee Carey’s left wing corner.
In between times United might have had a couple more. Zac Attwood missed from six yards with the goal at his mercy and Tamer Tuna saw a good chance pushed wide of the near post by Lowestoft goalkeeper Andy Reynolds.
Lowestoft saw more of the ball in the second half without really looking like getting back into it, although Matt Armstrong-Ford made one important save with his feet and Matt Whitehead got away with a seemingly clear handball.
A full report will appear in Friday’s Hastings Observer.
United (4-5-1): Armstrong-Ford; Dixon, Ray, Manning, Whitehead; Ellis, Carey, Gonsalves, Davisson (Goldberg 77), Tuna (Barham 89); Attwood. Subs not used: Willer, Sutton, West.
Tonight’s other Ryman Premier results: Bury Town 2 Margate 1; Leatherhead 0 Carshalton Athletic 1.
Standings (played-points): 1 Billericay Town 31-65, 2 AFC Hornchurch 29-60, 3 Lowestoft Town 29-55, 4 Bury Town 30-53, 5 Hendon 31-53, 6 Cray Wanderers 30-51, 7 Lewes 30-47, 8 Canvey Island 30-46, 9 Metropolitan Police 27-45, 10 Kingstonian 31-45, 11 Wealdstone 28-44, 12 Concord Rangers 30-43, 13 Margate 30-41, 14 Carshalton Athletic 30-40, 15 Wingate & Finchley 29-37, 16 East Thurrock United 26-35, 17 HASTINGS UNITED 29-33, 18 Harrow Borough 29-31, 19 Leatherhead 31-27, 20 Tooting & Mitcham United 30-26, 21 Aveley 30-18, 22 Horsham 30-11.