Hastings United continued their fight against relegation with a useful 1-1 draw at home to play-off hopefuls Canvey Island.
Zac Attwood, pictured, struck 18 minutes from time to give the U’s a deserved share of the spoils after a much improved second half performance at The Pilot Field on Saturday.
Hastings struggled to impose themselves early on and Matt Armstrong-Ford was by far the busier of the two goalkeepers in the opening half-hour, saving well from Bradley Woods-Garness and James Comely.
The hosts then came desperately close to opening the scoring when Scott Manning’s well-struck effort was somehow kept out by James Russell who managed to gather the ball at the second attempt on the Canvey goalline.
Woods-Garness forced another decent stop out of Armstrong-Ford before finally giving Canvey the lead six minutes before half time, lashing home a loose ball past a posse of defenders after the Hastings goalie had failed to get any distance on an attempted punch.
The visitors should have doubled their lead in the second half when Alex Rhodes blazed over from 12 yards after Armstrong-Ford had denied Jason Hallett.
Attwood then missed a glorious chance to level things up by heading over from close range before Joe Barham just failed to provide the finishing touch to a cross from the increasingly influential Jack Dixon.
The goal they deserved finally arrived when a Lee Carey free kick from wide on the left was met by leading scorer Attwood who planted a fine header into the far corner of the net for his 11th goal of the season.
Hastings: Armstrong-Ford, Dixon, Whitehead, Carey, Ray, Manning, Gonsalves (Ellis 46), Crellin, Barham, Attwood, Woodley (Goldberg 46 (Jirbandey 87)). Subs not used: Sutton.
See Friday’s Hastings Observer for a full report.