Hastings United’s footballers must have felt a sense of deja vu after being narrowly beaten last night (Saturday).
Having lost 1-0 after missing a penalty at 0-0 in their previous Ryman Football League Division One South away game against Folkestone Invicta, the same thing happened again against Guernsey.
United were unsuccessful from the spot in the 66th minute and five minutes later Guernsey grabbed the only goal of a scrappy encounter played in dreadful wet and windy weather. The visitors went on to finish the match with 10 men.
Both sides had just one shot on target during the first half, although United came closest to scoring on 40 minutes when Sean Ray’s header was cleared off the line.
Guernsey made a lively start and Marc McGrath went through only to be thwarted by United goalkeeper Josh Pelling. Glyn Dyer wasn’t far away with a long range effort from the left, but both teams were finding it tough to carve out chances in such difficult conditions.
Matt Loaring fired into United’s side-netting from the left-hand side of the box on the half-hour before Ross Allen had a couple of sights of goal for the Green Lions. His first effort was blocked by a United defender and gathered by Pelling before the striker’s second attempt from a tight angle clipped the crossbar.
Into the second half and United came close to drawing first blood when Guernsey goalkeeper Chris Tardif pulled off a super save at his near post from Ade Olorunda.
Dave Rihoy shot too high at the other end after good play from Dom Heaume and Allen as the game started to open up. Heaume’s looping header from a corner during a good Guernsey spell somehow stayed out and Rihoy went close with a curling long range effort.
Then came the decisive six-minute period, during which Tardif saved a United penalty following a foul by Sam Cochrane, who was booked, and then Ryan-Zico Black scored the only goal with a rebound just eight minutes after coming on as a substitute.
United midfielder Tim Olorunda was sent-off five minutes later after being shown a second yellow card and Guernsey duly clinched an eighth win in their last nine outings. United have fallen to 21st in the 24-team division with nine games remaining.
United: Pelling, Brinkhurst, Rose, T. Olorunda, Ray, Hanifan, Richardson-Brown, A. Olorunda, Holden, Cruttwell, Archibald.