Hastings United’s footballers suffered a third successive defeat yesterday (Saturday).
The U’s went down 4-1 away to Burgess Hill Town in Ryman Football League Division One South with all the goals coming during the second half.
United made one change to the starting line-up from the 3-1 loss at Redhill four days earlier with Olalekan Bankole replacing Tim Olorunda in the holding midfield role. Ade Olorunda was among the substitutes after injury.
Frankie Sawyer fired a dipping volley just over and Sean Ray saw a header from a corner cleared off the line by Pat Harding during United’s best moments of the first half. At the other end, Bryce Masters made a vital intervention to deny Rob O’Toole.
United goalkeeper Josh Pelling made a smart tip over from O’Toole’s header at the start of the second half. The Hillians then took command with two goals in as many minutes just before the 50-minute mark.
O’Toole glanced home the opener at the near post after a move involving Greg Luer and Neil Watts. Luer scored the second, beating Masters down the home left before curling his shot into the far corner.
United swiftly pulled one back through a terrific left-foot shot by Sam Adams from the edge of the area in the 53rd minute. Adams later had a free kick saved, while at the other end, Scott Kirkwood was whiskers away with an effort from distance.
O’Toole restored the hosts’ two-goal lead in the 73rd minute with a stunning chip from wide on the left near the away dugout. Although Pelling saved well from Dan Perry, Harding buried a loose ball inside the box to complete the scoring in the 83rd minute.
Hillians goalkeeper Josh James pulled off a double save from Dave Cook and Sam Cruttwell, while Ade Olorunda’s header deflected just wide. United will be desperate to stop the rot when they host Hythe Town tomorrow (Monday). Kick-off at The Pilot Field is 3pm.
United: Pelling, Masters (A. Olorunda), Rose, Bankole (Hassan), Ray, King, Cook, Adams (Cruttwell), Johnson, Sawyer, Dolan. Subs not used: T. Olorunda, M. Taylor.