United beaten at Merstham

Kenny Pogue had a couple of first half efforts saved during Hastings United's 2-0 loss at Merstham. Picture by Terry S. Blackman
Kenny Pogue had a couple of first half efforts saved during Hastings United's 2-0 loss at Merstham. Picture by Terry S. Blackman

Hastings United suffered a third successive defeat in all competitions with a 2-0 loss at Merstham this afternoon (Saturday).

Two first half goals condemned United to a second consecutive 2-0 reverse in Ryman Football League Division One South and they will be desperately keen to put things right at Herne Bay on Tuesday night.

United goalkeeper Josh Pelling had already made one save from Tommy Hutchings before Merstham took a seventh minute lead. Aaron Rhule cut through the United defence on the left and although Tommy Hutchings’s shot was blocked, captain Lee Newman walked in the rebound.

Kenny Pogue was twice denied by home goalkeeper Brannon Daly from balls by Jono Richardson and Sam Adams before Hutchings rattled United’s crossbar with a 20-yard strike from a lightning break by Sam Tucknott.

New United signing Suleyman Bah fired over from the edge of the area, but Merstham doubled their lead in the 39th minute. A long ball from Dean Gunner found a gap in the away defence and Hutchings applied a clinical finish.

Bah’s shot was smothered by Daly, while Rhule headed over at the other end from a Tucknott cross. Into the second half and Joe Holland volleyed wide as Merstham pressed for a third.

Ben Judge headed over for United from an Adams free kick, while Adams shot straight at Daly from 25 yards and Tom O’Connor was narrowly off target with a 20-yard drive. Merstham held on comfortably, though, and were only denied an added time third goal by a good save from Pelling.

United: Pelling, Henson, Richardson, Darby, Kelly, Judge, Ellis, Camara, Pogue, Adams, Bah. Subs: O’Connor, Crone, Olorunda, Maclean, Burbridge.