U’s impress in away draw

Evan Archibald was one of five debutants in the Hastings United squad which earned a 0-0 draw at Whyteleafe this afternoon
Evan Archibald was one of five debutants in the Hastings United squad which earned a 0-0 draw at Whyteleafe this afternoon

Hastings United’s footballers fought out their first goalless draw of the season this afternoon (Saturday).

United had the better of an entertaining Ryman Football League Division One South contest away to high-riding Whyteleafe, but just couldn’t find the winning goal their endeavours merited.

U’s boss Dom Di Paola gave first starts to Evan Archibald, Charlie Farmer and Joe Shelley, while fellow new boys Adam Hunt and Darren Boswell came on as substitutes.

United looked the better side and enjoyed the majority of possession during the first half, although Whyteleafe carved out the two best chances in the Surrey sunshine.

Ade Olorunda headed wide for the visitors from an early Sam Adams corner, while at the other end, Marc Pullan got his head in the way of Roscoe D’Sane’s shot from a good position and Whyteleafe skipper Dylan Merchant headed Ryan Fowler’s corner over the top.

Olorunda - who scored a stunning winning goal when United came from behind to triumph at Church Road in the FA Cup last month - shot just too high before away defender Sean Ray limped off and was replaced by Hunt.

Shelley was denied a debut goal when his header from Hunt’s cross was disallowed for offside as the first half ended goalless. Olorunda and Taser Hassan had attempts at goal as United picked up from where they left off at the start of the second period.

United goalkeeper Josh Pelling bravely halted the run of Jason Henry and D’Sane later sliced wide after the visitors were unable to clear a long ball forward on Whyteleafe’s artificial 3G pitch.

Pelling clutched a curling effort by Greg Andrews before Boswell had a real chance to win it on his first appearance only to shoot straight at the goalkeeper after Hunt’s cross was flicked on by another substitute, Kenny Pogue.

An Adams corner was headed wide by Shelley and Boswell fired over from inside the box either side of Pelling making a super stop at the other end to thwart D’Sane from a tight angle.

United: Pelling, Rose, Farmer, Keehan, Ray (Hunt), Pullan, Shelley, Adams, A. Olorunda (Pogue), Hassan, Archibald (Boswell). Subs not used: T. Olorunda, Dolan.

Standings (played-points): 1 Burgess Hill Town 15-39, 2 Faversham Town 16-35, 3 Whyteleafe 17-31, 4 Folkestone Invicta 15-29, 5 Merstham 16-27, 6 South Park 16-27, 7 Sittingbourne 17-26, 8 Chipstead 15-25, 9 Tooting & Mitcham United 15-24, 10 Whitstable Town 17-24, 11 Corinthian-Casuals 16-24, 12 Herne Bay 17-23, 13 Three Bridges 17-22, 14 Guernsey 17-21, 15 Worthing 15-21, 16 Ramsgate 16-20, 17 HASTINGS UNITED 16-19, 18 Walton & Hersham 16-19, 19 Redhill 15-18, 20 Hythe Town 16-17, 21 Carshalton Athletic 16-16, 22 Horsham 16-12, 23 East Grinstead Town 18-11, 24 Walton Casuals 16-8.