Hastings United produced a poor performance to suffer their first defeat of the new football season.
The U’s went down 1-0 at home to Chipstead in a dull Ryman Football League Division One South affair at The Pilot Field this afternoon (Saturday).
United’s cause admittedly wasn’t helped by Ade Olorunda pulling out in the warm-up and Sam Adams - who pushed forward from midfield to fill the void left by Olorunda up-front - taking a knock in the first half which forced him off at the break.
Their attacking threat was significantly blunted as a result, but despite the first class playing surface, simple passes went astray far too frequently as frustration mounted both on the pitch and in the stands at a display which brought a few boos at the final whistle.
There was precious little goalmouth activity in an uneventful first half. United captain Frankie Sawyer struck the underside of the crossbar with a brilliant overhead kick and later fired a low angled drive just wide of the far post after latching onto a good ball over the top by Tim Olorunda.
Home goalkeeper Josh Pelling made the only save of note during the opening 45 minutes and a fine reflex stop it was too to deny a very well placed Dan Moody.
Things didn’t really get any better after the break. Kofi Quarty headed just wide of United’s far post from a Sam Charles cross and a Joel Jacobs free kick from the byeline landed on the roof of the net, while at the other end, Sawyer’s free kick was straight at the goalkeeper.
Chipstead - who now have nine points from a possible nine - grabbed their winner in the 69th minute. A wind-assisted long kick from the goalkeeper was missed by the home defence and Quarty lifted a composed finish over Pelling.
The visitors came close to a second soon afterwards when substitute Dan Llacer sent a low shot whiskers wide of the far post after Sam Cruttwell kicked fresh air. United pushed Sean Ray up-front in the closing stages, but rarely threatened an equaliser.
United: Pelling, Rose, Cruttwell (Masters 89), T. Olorunda (Hassan 71), Ray, King, Cook, Adams (Bankole HT), Taylor, Sawyer, Johnson. Sub not used: Dolan.