Hastings United Football Club made it two wins out of two with a tense away victory this afternoon (Saturday).
Chris Agutter’s side won 3-2 in a see-saw game at Ramsgate to sit top of the embryonic Bostik League South East Division table.
Two Daniel Ajakaiye goals and one from Dayshonne Golding gave Hastings the points from a game in which they performed far better during the second half than the first.
See also: * Hastings boss praises ruthlessness in 5-1 win
* Five-star Hastings get off to flying start
* Hastings United team up with Dom’s Food Mission
Agutter made two changes to the side which won 5-1 at home to Thamesmead Town last weekend. Tom Climpson replaced Tom Vickers in defence and Jack Dixon, back from suspension, came in for the holidaying Sam Adams in midfield.
Hastings were all over the place defensively at times during the first half and could count themselves fortunate to only be trailing 2-1 at the break as it could’ve been four or five.
Ramsgate’s former Hastings player, Harry Stannard, caused all sorts of problems out wide and away goalkeeper Charlie Horlock kept Hastings in the game with several good stops, including a brilliant double save.
Hastings, nonetheless, opened the scoring slightly against the run of play in the 30th minute. The visitors won possession in their own half and Ansu Janneh played a beautiful ball through a crowd of players for Ajakaiye to latch onto and slot past home goalkeeper Luke Watkins.
The lead lasted just two minutes, however. Stannard was again involved and Rory Smith’s shot went in off the post.
Ramsgate hit the front shortly before the interval. Hastings failed to clear their defensive lines and Tom Chapman lashed a shot from the edge of the area into the bottom corner.
Hastings were a different side, though, during the second period. Antonio Walker and Emmanuel Mensah came off the bench and turned the game on its head as Hastings became a slick attacking outfit.
Hastings made it 2-2 in the 56th minute. Ajakaiye won possession on halfway and put Golding in on goal, and Golding - who was as threatening for Hastings as Stannard was for Ramsgate - applied the finish.
The same two players were at the heart of the winning goal 15 minutes later. Golding and Ajakaiye played a lovely one-two, which led to Ajakaiye passing into an almost empty net for his fourth goal in two matches.
Hastings had a couple of chances thereafter to finish things off - Golding shot wide following a great ball from Sam Cruttwell and Walker hit the post.
Ramsgate fashioned a couple of half-chances at the other end and always carried a threat, although Hastings saw the game out fairly comfortably.
Ajakaiye and, in particular, Golding were almost unplayable, while Cruttwell and Horlock also produced fine performances for a Hastings team which has already netted eight goals this term.
Hastings: Horlock, Beale, Cruttwell, Howlett-Mundle, Golding, Lovatt, Ajakaiye, Ogboe (Walker 62), Climpson (Vickers 69), Janneh (Mensah HT), Dixon. Subs not used: Fielding, Christie. Attendance: 217.
Top half standings (played 2 matches unless stated): 1 HASTINGS UNITED 6pts (+5 goal difference), 2 Phoenix Sports 6 (+5), 3 Ashford United 6 (+5), 4 Sittingbourne 6 (+3), 5 Whyteleafe 6 (+3), 6 VCD Athletic 6 (+2), 7 Cray Wanderers (1) 3 (+3), 8 Hythe Town 3 (+1), 9 Horsham 3 (0), 10 Faversham Town (1) 1 (0).
Benefit from an ongoing discount on your Observer by joining our voucher membership scheme. Once you’ve subscribed, we’ll send you dated vouchers which can be exchanged for your paper at any news outlet. To save money on your Observer, simply click here (www.localsubsplus.co.uk)