More Billericay blues for Hastings

HASTINGS United’s miserable sequence of results away to Billericay Town continued with a 2-0 defeat on Tuesday night.

The U’s have failed to pick up a point or even score a goal in five seasons at New Lodge in deepest Essex.

The heaviest of these defeats was a 6-0 hammering on the opening day of the 2007-08 campaign and but for some wasteful finishing the scoreline for this latest meeting might have well have taken on a very similar look.

Billericay went into the Ryman Premier fixture having won six out of seven, while Hastings were on a four-game unbeaten run in the league.

The home side swept forward from the kick-off and Benson Kpaka somehow headed over from virtually under the Hastings crossbar.

The opening goal wasn’t long in coming and on 13 minutes Sam Berry’s driven free kick was turned into his own net by captain Sean Ray.

Hastings, who played defender Rhys Whyborne upfront alongside Kenny Pogue in a 4-4-2 formation, should have drawn level when Sam Bolwell failed to convert after Jack Dixon’s long range effort was spilled by goalkeeper Nicky Morgan.

Bolwell also had half a chance from Lee Carey’s incisive free kick but the ball skipped across the face of the home goal.

Billericay doubled their lead on 37 minutes through centre half Rob Swaine who headed home from a corner with Hastings manager Jason Hopkinson convinced that his goalkeeper had been impended.

The second half was pretty much one-way traffic as Billericay’s sharp football had the U’s struggling to get out of their own half for long spells.

They failed to make the most of their superiority as David Knight headed wide, James Hawes blazed over and Jay May fluffed a hat-trick of opportunities. Ray also came close to scoring his second own goal of the night.

Ryan Thomson made his debut on the right wing, while Finnish national Jarkko Antonen - another new signing - was an unused substitute.

Hastings: Anderson, Dixon, Manning, Crellin, Ray, Jirbandey, Thompson (Paine 49), Pogue (Foreman 68), Whyborne, Carey, Bolwell (Sutton 49). Sub not used: Antonen.

Referee: Ian Fissenden. Attendance: 273.