Own goal condemns Hastings to defeat

HASTINGS United suffered their second successive home defeat of the festive period after going down 2-1 against East Thurrock United.

The U’s had looked on course for a very welcome victory after going in at half time a goal to the good but sloppy defending allowed the visitors to deservedly claim the points from this Ryman Premier tussle.

Hastings, who were beaten 1-0 by Lewes on Boxing Day, got off to a flying start through Zac Attwood’s ninth minute opener.

Lee Carey played a neat one-two in midfield and released Hastings’ leading scorer who made no mistake with a precise finish across the goalkeeper and into the bottom far corner of the net.

East Thurrock then looked the more dangerous without really troubling Matt Armstrong-Ford in the Hastings goal, until just before half time when he was called upon to divert Sam Higgins’ shot past the near post.

The visitors levelled on the hour mark when Kris Newby’s downward header seemed to bounce between Armstrong-Ford and a covering defender.

Not long after, an aimless ball towards the edge of the home box was met by full back Matt Whitehead who got his header completely wrong and it drifted over Armstrong-Ford for an own goal.

Hastings struggled to offer much in the way of a response until the closing minutes when substitute Kenny Pogue’s header was beaten out by the goalkeeper, while, at the other end, Armstrong-Ford saved well from Higgins.

Two poor performances in a row mean Hastings will be looking for a dramatic improvement when they visit Margate on Monday.

Hastings: Armstrong-Ford, Whitehead, Sutton (Ellis 68), Carey, Manning, Jirbandey, Crellin, Dixon, Davisson, Attwood, Woodley (Pogue 77). Subs not used: Medlock, Barham, Gonsalves.

Referee: John Pike (Hurstpierpoint). Attendance: 426