United sunk by Guernsey

Hastings United suffered a 4-0 defeat at home to Guernsey this afternoon (Saturday).

Kenny Pogue hit the post and missed a sitter during Hastings United's 4-0 defeat to Guernsey. Picture by Terry S. Blackman
Kenny Pogue hit the post and missed a sitter during Hastings United's 4-0 defeat to Guernsey. Picture by Terry S. Blackman

The U’s conceded two goals in either half against their fellow Ryman Football League Division One South high-flyers, although the game was much closer than the scoreline suggests.

United probably had the better of a thoroughly entertaining first half in The Pilot Field sunshine, yet found themselves 2-0 down as Guernsey proved the more clinical side in front of goal.

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Tom Vickers had a 25-yard drive well tipped over by Guernsey goalkeeper Chris Tardif and Kenny Pogue hit the post moments later from Bailo Camara’s cross. United goalkeeper Josh Pelling made a brilliant reflex save from Matt Loaring before a defensive intervention prevented Frankie Sawyer converting Pogue’s low centre.

Josh Jirbandey saw a close range header from an Adams corner well saved by Tardif, but Guernsey then went down the other end to take a 24th minute lead. United were badly outnumbered on the counter-attack and Dave Rihoy played in Loaring to shoot past Pelling.

Sawyer saw a deflected shot go just wide as United continued to threaten, yet it was Guernsey who struck again in the 39th minute. Ross Allen brilliantly turned Jirbandey near the byeline and crossed for Dom Heaume to head in from a couple of yards.

Guernsey were content to protect their advantage during the second period and hit United on the break, a tactic they deployed very effectively. That said, Pogue missed a glorious chance to pull one back after a great run and cross by Vickers.

Sawyer then headed over from a Pogue cross which was just too high for him and Trevor McCreadie shot just over moments after coming on as a substitute, but on the whole United didn’t perform to the same level they had in the first half and frustration grew.

Tardif pulled off a good save low to his left from an Adams free kick and moments later Guernsey added a third goal in the 80th minute. Allen evaded a trio of defenders before rounding Pelling and tapping home his 42nd goal of the season.

Marc McGrath chipped over with just Pelling to beat, but did get his name on the scoresheet in the third minute of added time. Allen skinned Jirbandey and although Pelling got a hand to his shot, McGrath knocked the ball home from virtually on the line.

United: Pelling, Henson, Cruttwell, Jirbandey, Judge, Dolan (O’Connor 69), Camara (McCreadie 67), Adams, Sawyer, Pogue, Vickers (Ellis 57). Subs not used: Olorunda, Kelly. Attendance: 435.

Ryman Division One South top six (played-points): 1 Peacehaven & Telscombe 30-68, 2 Leatherhead 30-64, 3 Guernsey 33-62, 4 Folkestone Invicta 30-56, 5 HASTINGS UNITED 29-56, 6 Faversham Town 32-52.