Darren Hare has urged his Hastings United footballers to go on another run after the disappointment of Wednesday night’s defeat.
The U’s had scored 17 goals in winning their three matches immediately prior to a 3-2 loss away to Walton Casuals - a game in which United led at half time.
United manager Hare said: “It’s how we respond. That was six unbeaten if you take the Margate extra-time (defeat) out of the equation and we need to go on another run of four or five wins.
“They (Walton) are not a bad team and it’s no shame to lose up there, but the manner in which we lost was the disappointing thing.
“We committed suicide I think a little bit. I thought we were so comfortable first half, good (value) for our 1-0 lead, but possibly needed to score another goal with the threat and pace they’ve got, and it proved the case.
“Lenny (Pidgeley, United’s goalkeeper) held his hand up and thinks he could’ve done better with the goals, the first two especially.
“Our midfield went missing and when we went 2-1 down we looked very tired. We didn’t look like we were ever going to get back in the game.
“I’ve not been able to fault the players at all for their effort and application, but we just looked a little bit like we were hoping the final whistle was going to go.”
Three of United’s next four fixtures are in the various knockout competitions, starting with an FA Trophy first round qualifying tie at home to Aylesbury United today (Saturday). Kick-off at The Pilot Field is 3pm.
“Saturday gives us an opportunity to go back to playing without any fear of failure because it’s a cup match,” continued Hare. “We can go and enjoy ourselves and hopefully get our confidence back for the league campaign.”
United are 12th in Ryman Football League Division One South with 21 points from 12 games. Aylesbury are eighth in Southern Football League Division One Central, which is the equivalent of Ryman Division One South, with 23 points from 13 games.
On the injury front, Simon Johnson is likely to be given a bit longer to rest his ongoing heel problem in the hope of resolving the issue and Stephen Butcher is set to miss around a fortnight with a hamstring twinge.
Hare confirmed that Reece Butler is taking a break from football, although the club will retain his registration.
The United boss added that he is still looking to strengthen his squad, saying ‘there’s a couple I’m after’.
TODAY'S FOOTBALL FIXTURES
1st round qualifying (3pm)
Hastings United v Aylesbury United
MACRON STORE SOUTHERN COMBINATION FOOTBALL LEAGUE
Division 1 (3pm)
Bexhill United v Mile Oak
East Preston v Little Common
Division 2 (3pm)
Westfield v Clymping
MACRON EAST SUSSEX FOOTBALL LEAGUE (3pm)
Little Common II v Rye Town
The JC Tackleway v Icklesham Casuals
Hollington United II v Battle Baptists II
West Hill United v Sovereign Saints
Robertsbridge United II v West Hill United II
ESFL PREMIER TRAVEL CHALLENGE CUP
2nd round (2.30pm)
Battle Baptists v Crowhurst
Bexhill Town v Hollington United
Hawkhurst United v Rock-a-Nore
Mountfield United v Northiam 75
Old Hastonians v Westfield II
Ore Athletic v Sedlescombe Rangers
Sidley United v St Leonards Social
Wadhurst United v Eastbourne Rangers
ESFL WISDENS SPORTS CHALLENGE CUP
2nd round (2.30pm)
Bexhill AAC v Hailsham Athletico
Bexhill Rovers v Peche Hill Select
Catsfield v Mayfield
Eastbourne Athletic v Pebsham Sibex
Hastings Rangers v Sedlescombe Rangers II
Orington v Punnetts Town
St Leonards Social II v Westfield III
Ticehurst v Bexhill United II
ESFL CHAIRMAN’S CHALLENGE CUP
2nd round (2.30pm)
Battle Baptists III v Icklesham Casuals II
Bexhill AAC II v Hawkhurst United II
Cranbrook Town v Victoria Baptists
Magham Down v Bexhill Broncos
Northiam 75 II v Hampden Park
Parkfield v Mayfield II
Sedlescombe Rangers III v Sandhurst
Wittersham II v The JC Tackleway II