Spot-on Sam earns Hastings a point

Sam Adams scored his 10th Hastings United goal of the season in the 1-1 draw at home to Phoenix Sports. Picture courtesy Scott White
Sam Adams scored his 10th Hastings United goal of the season in the 1-1 draw at home to Phoenix Sports. Picture courtesy Scott White

No team in Bostik Football League Division One South has now drawn more games than Hastings United after they came from behind to draw 1-1 at home to Phoenix Sports today (Saturday).

Sam Adams’ second half penalty earned Hastings their 12th league draw of the season after they trailed to a Jeff Duah-Kessie goal at half time.

The game went ahead after The Pilot Field pitch passed a precautionary morning inspection having been under water yesterday, groundsman Simon Rudkins again doing a terrific job.

Hastings started well and were on top for much of the opening 10 minutes, during which time Davide Rodari whipped a decent effort just wide from outside the area.

The rest of the first half was fairly even, with several attempts at either goal, most of which were half-chances rather than clear ones.

Duah-Kessie clipped the side-netting with a thumping angled drive before home goalkeeper Charlie Horlock had to tip over a looping header at a free kick and then used his feet to block Kweku Ansah’s angled shot.

At the other end, Dayshonne Golding fired off a couple of shots in quick succession. The first, following a superb ball from Sinnkaye Christie, flashed just over and the second was well held by Phoenix goalkeeper Steve Phillips.

Phoenix struck first with a poor goal from Hastings’ point of view in the 29th minute. The Hastings defence seemed to stand around in anticipation of an offside flag which never came, giving Duah-Kessie all the time in the world to control a cross from the away right and find the back of the net.

Hastings came close to an equaliser five minutes later when Golding skipped past his man near the byeline and pulled the ball back to Adams, whose shot was blocked near the line.

The home side needed Tom Climpson to scramble back and clear from near the line at the end, though, after an uncharacteristic mistake by Horlock when out of his goal.

Hastings dominated possession in the second half, but often lacked an end product to their customary neat approach play and didn’t fashion the opportunities they would’ve liked as a result.

Rodari miskicked on the volley when invitingly placed following Sam Beale’s deflected free kick and moments later Golding was thwarted by Phillips at his near post having driven into the left-hand side of the area.

Hastings got back on terms in the 68th minute - barely a minute after bringing on Sonny Dullaway. The referee deemed that Golding had been tripped just inside the box on the home right - to the obvious dismay of Phoenix - and Adams smashed home the resulting spot-kick.

Hastings looked the more likely winners thereafter, but their only attempt of note during the closing quarter was an angled drive into the side-netting by Golding.

At the other end, Ashley Proberts sent a free kick over the crossbar and Tony Robinson missed the target from inside the box as honours ended even.

Hastings remain 10th in the table and have now reached the 60-point mark with six games to go, the first of which is away to East Grinstead Town on Easter Monday (kick-off 3pm).

Hastings: Horlock, Rowe, Beale, Lovatt, Christie, Climpson (Dullaway 67), Rodari, Adams, Walker, Dixon, Golding. Subs not used: Fielding, Pritchard, Taggart, Janneh. Attendance: 371.

Bostik League Division One South top half (played-points): 1 Lewes 41-89, 2 Carshalton Athletic 39-84, 3 Greenwich Borough 40-82, 4 Cray Wanderers 41-81, 5 Corinthian-Casuals 40-81, 6 Walton Casuals 40-76, 7 Hythe Town 40-70, 8 Whyteleafe 40-63, 9 Phoenix Sports 41-62, 10 HASTINGS UNITED 40-60, 11 Herne Bay 38-57, 12 Thamesmead Town 39-55.

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