Rodari makes Bognor Regis Town pay penalty as Hastings United keep play-off hopes alive

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Hastings United were narrow winners at the MKM Arena as Davide Rodari's penalty in the 63rd minute was enough to beat Bognor and take all the points.

United’s Jordy Mongoy was causing early pressure against his old team as Hastings started brightly and the dangerous winger swung in a ball across the goal and only just wide.

Harvey Whyte set up Lucas Pattenden as he won a corner. Matt Burgess stepped up to take it but the ball was knocked out to new signing Charlie Osborne who hit it early from 25 yards out but over the bar on 11 minutes. Then Burgess did well to play it out wide to Pattenden but his cross flew out of play.

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Pattenden was tripped on the run through the middle. Burgess hit the defensive wall and then did the same on the rebound on 16 minutes. On 20 minutes it was a defensive error by Hastings which set Burgess up and he struck it low with his left foot but it was straight at Charlie Grainger, who pushed it away.

The Rocks take on Hastings | Picture: Tommy McMillanThe Rocks take on Hastings | Picture: Tommy McMillan
The Rocks take on Hastings | Picture: Tommy McMillan

Hastings responded with their own chance as Freddie Legg played it short to Adam Lovatt who whipped the ball into the front post but Ansu Janneh diverted it into the near side netting. On 30 minutes it was Burgess who curled in a corner from the right and it found Whyte with his header. He diverted it over the bar though.Mongoy really should have done better as the ball bounced through to him on 32 minutes. He turned well into space but belted it high over the bar on the rise. Then John Ufuah was causing havoc on the left for the visitors. His cross was met by the head of Davide Rodari who diverted the ball just wide.

Long received the ball wide on the right but his ball along the deck into the box was deflected by Oliver Downs and into the grateful arms of Archie Bennett on 41 minutes. To end the half, a long throw by Oliver Black was met by the neat flick of Janneh but it flashed just over the bar on 44 minutes.

On 52 minutes it was Legg again who received a short pass before cutting inside before shooting fiercely off the right post and out. Whyte, who was having an excellent game, played the ball neatly square to Dan Gifford who turned swiftly before shooting wide along the deck.

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Then Pattenden did well to work the ball into the middle in front of goal before Jasper Mather turned with the ball and smashed it high over the bar soon after. Osborne went into the book on 55 minutes after already receiving a warning just moments before. Pattenden did well to speed down the right before crossing low to the near post to Gifford who only just steered it wide.

Hastings put the Rocks under pressure | Picture: Trevor StaffHastings put the Rocks under pressure | Picture: Trevor Staff
Hastings put the Rocks under pressure | Picture: Trevor Staff

Finley Chapman was on the run into the box – Whyte was with him but was deemed to have fouled his man. Whyte was also booked for complaining. Up stepped Rodari to hit the penalty low and under Bennett who dived the right way on 63 minutes. Then Mongoy was twisting and turning before shooting wide of the far left post as Rocks' tired legs started to show.

Joe Rabbetts dug out a clearance to find Alfie Bridgman on the right. He found Tommy-Lee Higgs who hit it low but it was well stopped. Bridgman flashed another effort towards the back post but Gifford couldn't get into the right position to divert it in and then Higgs was blocked with another chance seconds later.

Whyte did well to cut out a clearance by Grainger. He passed it short to Burgess but his long range effort along the deck was comfortably saved on 82 minutes. On 84 minutes it was Burgess who cut out the forward ball to pass to Gifford but Burgess on the overlap was disappointed as his pass rolled out of touch.

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Higgs hit the outside of the post with another low chance soon after. Chapman knocked it over the bar after Ufuah had a chance blocked on 89 minutes. Seven minutes were added to the end as Mongoy was replaced for the visitors.

Pattenden won a late corner. Burgess played the corner ball in and it was met in the air by Whyte who headed it into the turf but it flew up into the grateful arms of Grainger.

Rocks battled until the very end in search of the equaliser but it just did not arrive. The side, now 11th in the table, travel to Carshalton Athletic next on Saturday,

while Hastings, who are seventh and still in with a shout of a play-off place, go to Wingate on Tuesday.

Rocks: Bennett, Whyte, Downs, Yang (Briffa 80), Rabbetts, Robson, Pattenden, Burgess, Gifford, Osborne (Higgs 58), Mather (Bridgman 71). Subs not Used: Holland, Baker.

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