Hastings denied by late leveller
Hastings United Football Club came agonisingly close to what would have been a tremendous win away to top three opposition this afternoon (Saturday).
Chris Agutter’s side drew 2-2 against Greenwich Borough in Bostik League Division One South after conceding a 90th minute equaliser while down to 10 men.
Hastings had earlier come from 1-0 behind to lead 2-1 courtesy of two first half goals in quick succession from Sinnkaye Christie and Antonio Walker.
Agutter made three changes to the starting line-up from last weekend’s 1-0 win at home to Shoreham, with Ollie Rowe, Christie and Sonny Dullaway coming in.
After an early save from away goalkeeper Charlie Horlock, Hastings responded with a Sam Adams shot deflecting just wide, Rodari firing narrowly off target and Jack Dixon having an effort tipped onto the crossbar.
Greenwich drew first blood in the 18th minute. The home side broke quickly and the ball was crossed in for Sam Corne to apply a simple finish.
Hastings were only behind, though, for six minutes. After Walker brought a fine save out of Greenwich goalkeeper Michael McEntegart, some great work by Dullaway led to Christie tapping home the equaliser.
Barely a minute later the visitors were ahead. Sam Beale provided the cross and Walker applied a straightforward finish.
McEntegart produced a great save to deny Christie and Adams had a goal ruled out for offside as Hastings reached half time with a deserved lead having played very well during the opening period.
Into the second half and McEntegart scrambled across to his left to save a free kick, but Hastings suffered a setback midway through the half when the influential Dixon was shown a second yellow card.
Despite their numerical advantage, Hastings continued to look fairly comfortable and almost added a third goal when Walker was put through by Rodari. Christie produced a goal-line clearance at the other end as Greenwich threatened for really the first time since their goal.
Greenwich, who were 5-2 winners in January’s reverse fixture, snatched an equaliser when a fine cross was headed in at the far post by Corne for his second of the afternoon.
Hastings came under pressure in added time and needed some strong defending by Sam Cruttwell to prevent Greenwich grabbing a winner. The hosts also had a goal disallowed for offside before the final whistle sounded.
Hastings’ unbeaten run now stands at seven matches after this decent point, but they will consider themselves unfortunate not to have picked up all three.
They remain eighth in the table and their two remaining games are both at home, starting with the visit of South Park on Tuesday night, kick-off 7.45pm.
Hastings: Horlock, Rowe, Beale, Lovatt, Christie, Cruttwell, Rodari (Testolin 82), Dixon, Adams, Dullaway (Golding 70), Walker (Fielding 90). Subs not used: Pritchard, Taggart. Attendance: 221.
Bostik League Division One South top half (played-points): 1 Carshalton Athletic 45-99, 2 Lewes 45-98, 3 Greenwich Borough 45-87, 4 Cray Wanderers 45-86, 5 Hythe Town 45-85, 6 Walton Casuals 45-83, 7 Corinthian-Casuals 44-83, 8 HASTINGS UNITED 44-70, 9 Thamesmead Town 45-69, 10 Whyteleafe 44-67, 11 Phoenix Sports 44-65, 12 Herne Bay 45-65.
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