Hastings' unbeaten run ends with home loss

Hastings United Football Club saw its five-match unbeaten run brought to an end this afternoon (Saturday).

Frannie Collin scored for the seventh successive game in Hastings United's 2-1 defeat at home to Cray Wanderers. Picture courtesy Scott White
Frannie Collin scored for the seventh successive game in Hastings United's 2-1 defeat at home to Cray Wanderers. Picture courtesy Scott White

United produced an unusually uninspired display as they lost 2-1 at home to Cray Wanderers in Ryman Football League Division One South.

All the goals came in the first half on a dull but mild afternoon at The Pilot Field, with Cray going two-up before United pulled one back in added time.

United's starting line-up showed three changes from the 4-4 draw at East Grinstead Town five days previously, including a debut for new signing Jordan Robins in midfield and an opportunity for Johnny Akoto at right-back.

Brandon Scott rifled an angled shot just wide for Cray in the first 95 seconds and the visitors went ahead in the ninth minute. United couldn't cut out a pass through the centre of their defence and Danny Haynes slotted past Lenny Pidgeley, despite the goalkeeper getting a hand to his shot.

United had a good chance to equalise five minutes later, but Cray goalkeeper Nick Blue made a smart reflex save to repel Kiernan Hughes-Mason's first time shot.

Cray were the better side, though, and doubled their advantage in the 38th minute. The visitors got in down their right and Scott pulled the ball back for Haynes to knock home his second - too easily from United's point of view.

Although they hadn't looked like scoring on the whole, United got one back in the first minute of added time. Frannie Collin netted his 20th goal of the season with a neat finish having been put through by Hughes-Mason.

Cray seemed content to look after their lead during the second half and for once during a prolific season in front of goal, United lacked the spark to conjure up an equaliser.

Collin headed straight at Blue from Bodkin's cross, Bodkin sent an angled shot wide of the far post and Blue held Barry Cogan's long range effort in added time, but United didn't do enough in front of their second highest home league crowd of the season.

At the other end, Haynes missed a golden opportunity to complete his hat-trick towards the end when he missed his kick with the goal at his mercy from Dane Luchford's low cross.

United: Pidgeley, Akoto, Butcher, Cruttwell, Rowe, Robins (Watt 81), Bodkin, Johnson, Harris (Cogan HT), Collin, Hughes-Mason. Subs not used: Dullaway, Pritchard, Nicholls. Attendance: 404.

See our comprehensive sports coverage in the Observer every Friday.

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1 Make this website your homepage

2 Like our Facebook page at facebook.com/pages/Sport-Sussex3 Follow us on Twitter @SportSussex

4 Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!