Promising start for United

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Hastings United made a fairly encouraging start to their pre-season friendly programme on Tuesday night.

The Ryman Football League Premier Division outfit lost 2-0 away to Blue Square Bet South side Dover Athletic with both goals coming during the second half.

Assistant manager Adam Hinshelwood said: “It was a good first test really and we played some good stuff at times. As first games go, it was always going to be a tricky one, but I thought we gave a good account of ourselves.”

Summer signings Jamie Crellin, Freddie Foreman and Josh Willis were in the starting line-up, while a number of triallists were on show with two of them - Dan Bolwell and Wes Tate - featuring from the start.

“We’re just having a bit of a look at them and I think they’re having a bit of a look at us as well,” continued Hinshelwood. “We like what we see of the pair of them and I think they’ll be two good additions, but we’re not going to rule out anyone at this stage.

“We’re just looking at a small squad of 16 maybe 17 that we’re looking to work with throughout the course of the season and use our contacts in the loan market. We’re not a million miles away, but there’s a couple of areas we’re still looking to improve in.”

Jack Walder, who manager Jason Hopkinson described as the best midfielder in the league after signing him last month, is in the final stages of his rehabilitation from a cruciate ligament injury.

United: Willis, Manning, Bolwell, Crellin, Ray, Jirbandey, Hopkinson, Hall, Tate, Foreman, Billings. Subs (all used): Neil, Dixon, Carey, West, Patten, White, Sutton, Mellia.