Ray: Win was for the supporters

Lee Carey closes down an opponent during Hastings United's 1-0 win over Kingstonian yesterday. Picture by Terry S. Blackman
Lee Carey closes down an opponent during Hastings United's 1-0 win over Kingstonian yesterday. Picture by Terry S. Blackman

Sean Ray said Hastings United’s win over Kingstonian yesterday (Saturday) was for the supporters.

The U’s were already relegated before their final game of the Ryman Football League Premier Division season, but ended on a high with a 1-0 victory thanks to a first half goal from Alassane N’Diaye.

United player-manager Ray said: “It was important we finished with a win; we owed that to the supporters at least. We wanted to finish on a high and the supporters deserved that. For me that performance sums our season up. We won 1-0, but we probably should’ve won three or four. Today was for the supporters.”

The powerful central defender added that he was “gutted” at the club’s demotion to Division One South, a fate which was confirmed by a 1-0 defeat away to East Thurrock United on Thursday when Ray made his 300th United appearance.

“I’m gutted,” he continued. “It’s heartbreaking, it’s frustrating, it’s hard to take. But it is what it is; league tables don’t lie and for me the reason we finished in the bottom two was because we didn’t score enough goals.

“We weren’t ruthless enough. We took all the praise with the FA Cup run, but when it was tough we were found wanting a little bit in certain areas. The backlog of fixtures certainly didn’t help us, but we weren’t quite mentally strong enough.”

Although United finished bottom of the table, they were only a point behind a Lewes side which occupied the final safe spot of third-bottom. The U’s were the division’s lowest scorers with just 39 goals from their 42 matches, but seven teams, including seventh-placed Bury Town, conceded more.