Hastings United Football Club was victorious for the third consecutive Saturday after defeating Guernsey 3-1 at The Pilot Field this afternoon.
Goals from Ollie Rowe, Sam Adams and Kenny Pogue extended Hastings’ unbeaten run to seven Bostik League Division One South matches and nudged them up a place to 13th in the table.
In a game strikingly similar to the previous weekend’s success over VCD Athletic, Hastings dominated the first half and opened up a two-goal lead before letting their opponents back in during the second period.
Hastings made one enforced change to their starting line-up. With central defender Tom Climpson away, Sam Cruttwell shuffled across to centre-half and the fit-again Sam Beale came in at left-back.
The home side played some very good football during the first half and went ahead after an almighty goalmouth scramble in the 12th minute.
Following a well-worked short corner involving Dayshonne Golding and Davide Rodari, Calum Davies and Ansu Janneh couldn’t quite turn the ball home, but Rowe eventually did force it over the line.
Adams then played a good ball over the top to put Davies through, but a heavy touch made the chance more difficult than it should have been and Guernsey goalkeeper William Dennis made the save. Seconds later, Rodari volleyed just wide from a good cross by Bradley Pritchard.
Hastings were whiskers away from a second goal in the 18th minute. Janneh did well to win possession and tee up Davies, whose angled shot struck the base of the far post.
Adams volleyed over from outside the area and Rowe’s header from a Golding corner was tipped over before Hastings scored a nicely-worked second goal in the 44th minute.
Sam Cruttwell played a delightful ball through to Rodari, who rounded Dennis in the left-hand side of the area and pulled it back for Adams to drive a splendid shot into the roof of the net from around 16 yards.
Hastings looked in complete command at the break and they weren’t far away from extending their advantage within five minutes of the restart as Golding’s well-struck free kick was tipped onto the roof of the net by Dennis.
Home goalkeeper Charlie Horlock made his first genuine save of the afternoon when he held Alex Le Provost’s far post header as Guernsey started to get on top.
Guernsey twice came close to scoring in a matter of minutes around the hour mark. Robin-Joe Legg’s powerful shot from just outside the box crashed against the crossbar before Dave Rihoy blazed over with just Horlock to beat.
Guernsey pulled one back in the 72nd minute with a goal that had been coming. Harry Tobin’s deep corner from the right was volleyed home by Frank Tobin.
Hastings stepped up a gear thereafter, though, and saw the game out with few alarms. Golding saw a decent strike from outside the box parried, Adams fired over following Cruttwell’s quickly taken free kick and Pogue was off target with a diving header from Golding’s cross.
Hastings made sure of the points through a fine solo goal from Pogue in the second minute of added time. The forward dispossessed Simon Geall by the touchline on the Hastings left and drove into the box before picking out the far corner with an accomplished finish.
Hastings: Horlock, Pritchard, Beale, Lovatt, Rowe, Cruttwell, Rodari (Rodrigues-Barbosa 77), Adams, Davies (Pogue 77), Janneh (Dixon 63), Golding. Subs not used: Vickers, Taggart. Attendance: 272.