Hastings United’s footballers were beaten for the third successive Saturday today.
The U’s went down 2-0 away to play-off hopefuls Worthing in Ryman Football League Division One South after conceding a goal in either half.
Worthing were well worth their victory and could well have triumphed by a wider margin against a United side which remains 19th in the table.
Kyle Holden was given his first start after an impressive substitute appearance last weekend, Harvey Hanifan made his debut in defence and Bright Temba also started having been recalled from Ringmer. New signing Jamie Strong was among the substitutes.
On an unsurprisingly heavy and slippery pitch, United goalkeeper Josh Pelling made the first save of note by repelling an angled effort from Curtis Gayler, who then pulled another shot wide.
Lloyd Dawes and Sam Adams fired over at either end from just outside the box before Worthing took a 36th minute lead. Will Hendon was brought down by United full-back Sam Cruttwell and Brannon O’Neill drilled the resulting penalty straight down the middle.
Pelling then did well to keep out Gayler’s effort from a free kick after being adjudged to have handled a back pass, and there was still time before the break for Ben Pope to blaze over and be thwarted by Pelling, and O’Neill to shoot too high.
In the second half, Pelling made a fine save from a low shot by Lloyd Dawes in a great chance for Worthing on the break and then foiled Omar Bugiel, while Dawes flashed a shot whiskers wide.
Kenny Pogue’s looping header from a Steve Brinkhurst cross went wide of the Worthing goal and Pogue had United’s best opportunity moments later, but a heavy touch enabled the goalkeeper to make the block.
Pelling made another good stop to repel an O’Neill shot and Ryan Quirke put the rebound over from close range. Bugiel headed wide from an O’Neill free kick, but the same player drove home Worthing’s second in the first minute of added time from Gayler’s low cross.
United: Pelling, Brinkhurst, Cruttwell, Holden, Ray, Hanifan, Hassan, Adams, Pogue (A. Olorunda), Archibald, Temba (Strong). Subs not used: T. Olorunda, Hall, Graff.
Standings (played-points): 1 Burgess Hill Town 26-68, 2 Faversham Town 30-68, 3 Folkestone Invicta 30-61, 4 Merstham 30-60, 5 Worthing 31-52, 6 Whyteleafe 30-47, 7 Whitstable Town 31-45, 8 Tooting & Mitcham United 30-41, 9 Guernsey 30-40, 10 Herne Bay 30-40, 11 South Park 26-39, 12 Chipstead 29-38, 13 Sittingbourne 31-38, 14 Three Bridges 29-38, 15 Carshalton Athletic 30-37, 16 Walton & Hersham 28-34, 17 Corinthian-Casuals 28-34, 18 East Grinstead Town 30-33, 19 HASTINGS UNITED 30-31, 20 Walton Casuals 29-31, 21 Hythe Town 29-30, 22 Redhill 26-25, 23 Ramsgate 28-25, 24 Horsham 27-20.