John Maggs began his reign as Hastings United manager with a home victory this afternoon (Monday).
The former Crawley Town and Horsham boss watched his new club win 3-1 at home to Ramsgate in Ryman Football League Division One South thanks to three goals in 12 second half minutes.
United made a fast start in the Bank Holiday sunshine with Jordan Woodley seeing a low shot saved by Rams goalkeeper Darren Hawkes low to his left and Kenny Pogue firing over from the resulting corner.
Andrew Miller wasn’t far away with a decent effort from distance as Ramsgate started to get into the game. Pogue blazed well over for United on the half-hour after turning his man just outside the box, while Tom Chapman flashed a couple of dangerous balls across the face of the home goal.
A Ramsgate side which had won three and lost two of its previous five games drew first blood in the 43rd minute. Woodley upended Chapman in the left-hand side of the box and James Everitt sent Josh Pelling the wrong way with the resulting penalty.
Although Woodley forced a good save out of Hawkes early in the second period, Ramsgate looked in control for the first 25 minutes of the half. Pelling kept out Ian Pulman’s low shot at his near post and Sean Kelly made an important tackle, while Jamie Crone headed over at the other end when well placed.
United equalised with a goal out of nothing in the 71st minute. Hawkes punched Jono Richardson’s left wing cross straight to Matt Derby, who showed good composure to fire home from just inside the box.
Everitt headed over from another well delivered Murray free kick, but United hit the front in the 77th minute. Danny Ellis scooped the ball over the away defence and although Richardson’s header was parried by Hawkes, substitute Matt Maclean nodded in the rebound.
Pelling kept out another Everitt header from a Murray free kick and United added a third in the 82nd minute. Darby did superbly to get the better of his marker and play in Pogue, who beat Hawkes with a low first time shot.
Pogue had a good chance to score a fourth United goal deep into added time when put through by Adams, but couldn’t steer his shot wide of Hawkes. United remain second in the table with 16 points from a possible 18.
United: Pelling, Gilbert (Corrigan 88), Richardson, Darby, Judge, Kelly, Crone (Olorunda 78), Ellis, Pogue, Adams, J. Woodley (Maclean 59). Subs not used: L. Woodley, Burbridge. Attendance: 459.
Standings (all played six matches): 1 Crawley Down Gatwick 16pts, 2 HASTINGS UNITED 16, 3 Leatherhead 14, 4 Walton Casuals 12, 5 Horsham 11, 6 Burgess Hill Town 11, 7 Faversham Town 10, 8 Walton & Hersham 10, 9 Peacehaven & Telscombe 9, 10 Hythe Town 9, 11 Ramsgate 9, 12 Three Bridges 9, 13 Redhill 8, 14 Herne Bay 7, 15 Merstham 7, 16 Guernsey 7, 17 Tooting & Mitcham United 6, 18 Whitstable Town 6, 19 Worthing 6, 20 Folkestone Invicta 4, 21 Corinthian Casuals 4, 22 Chipstead 3, 23 Sittingbourne 3, 24 Eastbourne Town 1.