Hastings United notched up back-to-back wins for the first time this season with a 1-0 victory away to Aveley last night (Monday).
Lee Carey grabbed the all-important goal to settle a Ryman Premier encounter that won’t be remembered for its flowing football.
The 73rd minute strike was out of keeping from much of the match as Carey took a Zac Attwood pass across the top of the box in his stride, sidestepped a challenge and rolled a delightful finish into the bottom corner.
Carey was also the hero at the other end with a headed clearance off his own line to deny Spencer Harrison from grabbing a last minute equaliser at a corner.
The caretaker management team of Mark Stapley and Sean Ray unsurprisingly stuck with the starting XI - and the same 4-3-3 formation - which hit five past Horsham two days previously.
Aveley looked the brighter of the two teams early on at Mill Field before the visitors started to get on top with Kenny Pogue scuffing well wide and then having an effort ruled offside before drilling a low cross which only just evaded the incoming Attwood.
The home side’s best moment of the first half saw former Hastings striker Ellis Remy beat goalkeeper Lloyd Anderson to an inviting cross but his back-header looped over the crossbar.
Soon after the restart Jamie Crellin was denied by goalkeeper Dave McCartney who then made something of a meal of Jordan Woodley’s cross before one of his defenders came to his rescue.
Remy caused a rare moment of concern in the Hastings defence with a header which bounced past the far post. One goal always looked as though it might be enough and Carey’s strike saw Hastings move up to 14th in the standings.
Hastings (4-3-3): Anderson; Dixon, Ray, Jirbandey, Sutton; Carey, Crellin, Thomson; Woodley, Pogue, Attwood. Subs not used: Billings, Parris, Elgar, Ellis, Armstrong-Ford.
A full report will appear in Friday’s Hastings Observer.