Hastings United’s footballers failed to score for the first time this season as they were beaten at home this afternoon (Saturday).
The U’s produced a below par display to go down 1-0 against Carshalton Athletic in Ryman Football League Division One South - their second successive home defeat.
In a game where United never really got going, the decisive moment came on the half-hour mark when Carshalton number nine Dan Summers fired a magnificent free kick from more than 25 yards over the defensive wall and into the corner of the net.
The visitors had threatened a couple of times prior to that. Mickel Miller dragged a shot well wide of the far post from an inviting position having been slipped through by Jordan Higgs and Higgs then side-footed Miller’s low cross just wide from the edge of the box. Lee Hall wasn’t far away with an effort from distance five minutes after the goal.
United had scored four goals from set-pieces in their previous two games and their main threat came from dead ball situations as they lacked a creative spark in open play.
Sean Ray headed narrowly over from a Sam Adams corner in the 25th minute and towards the end of the half Ollie Rowe acrobatically volleyed home after Ray got his head to another set-piece only for the offside flag to go up. In between times, Sam Cole’s far post header from a Sam Crabb cross was brilliantly tipped round the post by Carshalton goalkeeper Matt Willard.
United were again unable to mount any real sustained pressure during the second half and, in fact, Carshalton - who were 19th in the table before kick-off - had slightly more of the chances.
Bright Temba had a decent opportunity only a minute after coming on as a substitute, but his half-hit volley was parried by Willard.
At the other end, Josh Pelling pulled off a superb save low to his left to keep out a Summers free kick from just outside the box which was heading for the bottom corner and then did well to tip over a left-foot shot by Higgs.
Miller pulled his shot wide of the far post after dispossesing Rowe and surging towards goal, and Carshalton subsitute Ricky Korboa later saw a shot deflect just wide.
Rowe somehow contrived to head an Adams corner wide at the other end when it seemed easier to score, while an Adams shot from the edge of the box was scrambled aside by Willard.
Carshalton squandered a golden opportunity to double their advantage in the 90th minute. The visitors were awarded a penalty after Jack Walder fouled Korboa near the byeline on the away left, but Summers struck the crossbar with the spot-kick.
United: Pelling, Crabb, Smith (Hall 70), Rowe, Ray, Walder, Adams, Richardson-Brown (Vickers 56), Attwood, Harris (Temba 56), Cole. Subs not used: Hollobone, Rose. Attendance: 455.
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