Hastings United Football Club suffered a third consecutive defeat in all competitions this afternoon (Saturday).
Adam Hinshelwood’s side was beaten 3-0 away to Phoenix Sports in Bostik League Division One South, with all three goals coming in the space of 12 second half minutes.
New signings Charlie Horlock and Sam Adams went straight into Hastings’ starting line-up, but there was no Sam Beale or Simon Johnson, both of whom suffered reactions after returning from injury in last weekend’s Emirates FA Cup defeat at Dulwich Hamlet.
The game got off to a very frantic start and for a while Hastings struggled to cope with the pace of a Phoenix side which played some very good one-touch football.
Hastings gradually grew into the contest and by half time although Phoenix had enjoyed more of the ball, the better chances had probably gone to Hastings.
The closest Hastings came was when Phoenix goalkeeper Steve Phillips made a great save on the line to keep out Billy Medlock’s header.
Phoenix opened the scoring in the eighth minute of the second half. Adams lost possession around 30 yards from his own goal and the ball broke to Jack Barham, who drilled his shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
Barham was at it again just two minutes later, making it 2-0 with a free header at the far post from a free kick played over the defensive wall.
The outcome was effectively settled by a third Phoenix goal in the 64th minute. Hastings were unable to clear a free kick into their box and Jack Hopkins stabbed the ball home.
Hastings woke up a bit after that and substitute Sonny Dullaway caused Phoenix plenty of problems with some mazy runs, bringing a couple of saves out of Phillips.
But Phoenix, whose line-up included former Hastings forward Frankie Sawyer, kept the ball well and did what they needed to in order to see the game out. They should’ve added a fourth on the break at the end, but Horlock, who couldn’t have been faulted for any of the goals, made the save.
Hastings: Horlock, Pritchard, Black, Cruttwell (Gayler), Aziaya, Rowe, Adams, Dixon, Medlock (Carey), Rodari, Janneh (Dullaway). Subs not used: Climpson, Rodrigues-Barbosa.