Hastings United Football Club came from behind this afternoon (Saturday) to make it four wins in its last five games.
Goals from Davide Rodari, Sam Adams and Jamie Fielding gave Hastings a 3-1 victory away to Chipstead in Bostik Division One South.
Rather like in the recent 2-1 win at Faversham Town, Hastings performed far better in the second half than the first on a hard, lumpy playing surface.
Passes were going astray early on and Chipstead latched on to that. The hosts opened the scoring in the fourth minute through Matthew Warren, who was unmarked at the far post at a corner.
That settled Chipstead down quite a bit and there were a few indecisive moments in an unfamiliar back four which included Fielding at right-back and Adams at left-back. Fortunately for Hastings, Sam Cruttwell had a great game and mopped up quite a lot of Chipstead’s attacks.
Hastings gradually started to work their way back into the contest as the first half progressed, but Chipstead remained a constant threat.
Although the visitors had created little, they grabbed a timely equaliser in the 44th minute. Hastings attacked down the left and an Adams cross was glanced into the corner of the net by the head of Rodari, who got in front of Chipstead’s big number five.
Hastings might have felt slightly fortunate to be on terms at the break, but they began the second period far more strongly and their passing came together.
They didn’t carry too much attacking threat for a while, but the momentum was now with Hastings and they were controlling the game a lot more. The defence and midfield were solid.
Hastings goalkeeper Charlie Horlock produced a great save to deny Warren, while at the other end, Fielding and Sinnkaye Christie headed over from corners, and Chipstead goalkeeper Michael Sibley tipped over a Sonny Dullaway shot.
Hastings, who lost Dayshonne Golding to a back injury, hit the front in the 74th minute. Adams picked up a loose ball inside Chipstead’s half and after a trio of defenders were unable to stop him, he slotted past the advancing goalkeeper into the corner.
Hastings effectively wrapped up the points with a third goal eight minutes later. Adams, who had another good game, delivered a lovely free kick for the unmarked Fielding to head his first senior Hastings goal at the far post.
Rodari impressed with his relentless running and Brian Testolin thought he had added a fourth goal moments after coming on as a substitute only to be flagged offside.
Hastings remain ninth in the table with four matches remaining, the first of which is at home to bottom club Shoreham next weekend.
Hastings: Horlock, Fielding, Adams, Lovatt (Testolin 79), Christie, Cruttwell, Rodari, Dixon, Walker, Janneh (Prichard 46), Golding (Dullaway 59). Subs not used: Climpson, Taggart. Attendance: 90.
Bostik League Division One South top half (played-points): 1 Lewes 42-92, 2 Carshalton Athletic 41-90, 3 Cray Wanderers 43-83, 4 Greenwich Borough 42-83, 5 Corinthian-Casuals 42-82, 6 Walton Casuals 42-77, 7 Hythe Town 42-76, 8 Whyteleafe 42-67, 9 HASTINGS UNITED 42-66, 10 Phoenix Sports 43-65, 11 Herne Bay 41-61, 12 Thamesmead Town 41-59.
Benefit from an ongoing discount on your Observer by joining our voucher membership scheme. Once you’ve subscribed, we’ll send you dated vouchers which can be exchanged for your paper at any news outlet. To save money on your Observer, simply click here (www.localsubsplus.co.uk)