Video: Agutter praises ‘exceptional’ first 20 minutes

Chris Agutter praised an ‘exceptional’ first 20 minutes during Hastings United Football Club’s victory on Saturday.

Hastings won 2-1 at home to Ashford United in Bostik League Division One South, with Jack Dixon scoring a second half winner after Calum Davies’s early opener was cancelled out just before the break.

Hastings United goalkeeper Charlie Horlock gathers the ball as Sinnkaye Christie is pushed into him against Ashford United on Saturday. Picture courtesy Scott White

Hastings United goalkeeper Charlie Horlock gathers the ball as Sinnkaye Christie is pushed into him against Ashford United on Saturday. Picture courtesy Scott White

Agutter, the Hastings manager, said: “I think the first 20 minutes we were exceptional; I think that was as good as we’ve been.

“We got the early goal, which was great, but when you miss two, three, four (chances), a bit of anxiety creeps into the way you play and before you know it, you give them a little bit of momentum because they’re still in the game when they shouldn’t be.

“Performance-wise, the first 20 minutes excellent. The rest of the game was much of a muchness, I thought we played well, and were the better side and created a lot of chances. For me the first 20 minutes was the standout definitely.”

In keeping with the trend of recent matches, Hastings could have things easier for themselves had they been more clinical in front of goal.

“I sound like a broken record when I talk every week about missed chances,” continued Agutter. “I think we could’ve been four or 5-0 up at half time and ended up coming in at 1-1.

“They scored at a frustrating time just before half time and it just changes the team-talk really. But I’m delighted, as I’ve said previously, we’re getting the chances and cutting teams open.

“Unfortunately we’re not killing them off, which makes it a bit more nervy than we we would like it to be. However what we did today was we went on to get the second and defend half-sensibly towards the end to make sure that we stayed in a winning position.”

The result moved Hastings up a place to ninth in the table with a dozen matches remaining.

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