United turned over by Leafe

Josh Jirbandey scored Hastings United's goal in the 4-1 defeat away to Whyteleafe this afternoon. Picture courtesy Joe Knight
Josh Jirbandey scored Hastings United's goal in the 4-1 defeat away to Whyteleafe this afternoon. Picture courtesy Joe Knight
  • Hastings United are beaten 4-1 away to Whyteleafe
  • United’s joint heaviest defeat of the season
  • Leafe score three unanswered goals in second half
  • Jirbandey had equalised for United in first half
  • Hastings drop a place to 15th in the table
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Hastings United’s footballers suffered their equal heaviest defeat of the season this afternoon (Saturday).

The U’s lost 4-1 away to mid-table Whyteleafe in Ryman Football League Division One South after conceding three times during the second half.

Matt Cruttwell lined up in goal for United in the absence of the injured Josh Pelling, while Josh Jirbandey made his first appearance of the season in place of injured captain Ollie Rowe.

Whyteleafe goalkeeper Adam Highsted pulled off a super save to prevent an own goal before playing a part in his team taking a 25th minute lead. Highsted’s long kick was flicked on for Roscoe DSane to beat Cruttwell with a low finish.

United equalised in the 41st minute and it was Jirbandey who got it. The defender - who spends the bulk of his time studying in the United States - met Sam Cruttwell’s long throw to the near post with a looping header.

Whyteleafe had a chance to retake the lead before the break when DSane headed over from six yards before the break, but they did hit the front again just after the hour. Shawn Lyle worked space outside the box to bury a fine left-foot shot past Matt Cruttwell.

Things got worse still for United straight from the restart. Sam Adams was dispossessed by Vernon Francis, who then drove forward and beat the away goalkeeper low to his right.

United piled on the pressure in search of a route back into the match only for Whyteleafe to add a fourth goal on the break in the 79th minute. Jamie Byatt played in Sam Clayton to round-off a flowing counter-attack with a powerful finish.

Whyteleafe almost bagged a fifth goal towards the end, but Matt Cruttwell pulled off a terrific save diving to his right to palm away a Brendan Murphy-McVey shot.

United: M. Cruttwell, Crabb, Cole (Cumming-Bart), Jirbandey, Ray, Walder, Medlock (Harris), Adams, Attwood (Richardson-Brown), Johnson, S. Cruttwell. Subs not used: Temba, Wilson. Attendance: 212.

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