Hastings United boss explains goalkeeper change

Hastings United Football Club manager Chris Agutter explained his decision to change goalkeepers for last weekend’s game against Haywards Heath Town.

Charlie Horlock - an ever-present for the club in the Bostik League South East Division this season - was dropped to the substitutes’ bench.

Hastings United wide player Lanre Azeez in a race for the ball against Haywards Heath Town. Picture courtesy Scott White

Hastings United wide player Lanre Azeez in a race for the ball against Haywards Heath Town. Picture courtesy Scott White

Louis Rogers took Horlock’s place having been recalled from Southern Combination League Premier Division team AFC Uckfield Town, with whom he is dual registered.

See also: * Hastings United boss: Players did everything asked of them
* Hastings United beaten by fellow play-off hopefuls
* Hastings United drop to third after defeat by East Grinstead Town

About the change in goalkeepers, Agutter said: “Obviously the way that we’ve been playing and the brand of football we try to play in terms of playing out from the back, there’s certain expectations from the goalkeeper.

“We just felt that Louis on today’s game would give us a better opportunity to build from the back.”

Although Hastings suffered a very unfortunate 4-2 defeat, Agutter praised the performance of Rogers, who took up positions so far out of his goal that he was almost an auxillary centre-half at times.

Agutter continued: “Charlie’s levels probably haven’t been up to what he would like to be, but it’s also credit to Louis in terms that he’s been playing really well and he suits the way we play - you can see that today.

“I am paid to make big decisions and that had absolutely nothing to do with the result today. All four goals, Louis couldn’t do anything about them to be fair. I thought Louis played well actually.”

Formerly of Eastbourne Borough, Horlock was voted Hastings’ supporters’ player of the season in 2017/18.

Bostik League South East Division top half (played-points): 1 Cray Wanderers 27-68 (+39 goal difference), 2 Horsham 28-55 (+22), 3 Haywards Heath Town 28-52 (+17), 4 Ashford United 27-51 (+28), 5 HASTINGS UNITED 28-50 (+20), 6 Whyteleafe 27-41 (+11), 7 VCD Athletic 26-41 (+3), 8 Hythe Town 28-40 (+6), 9 Ramsgate 28-36 (+5), 10 Phoenix Sports 27-35 (-4).