Hastings end first month with perfect six wins

Hastings United Football Club has pulled off six successive wins during a dream first month of the 2018/19 season.

Chris Agutter’s side has won its opening four Bostik League Division One South matches to sit top of the table, as well as two Emirates FA Cup ties.

Agutter said: “I’m really pleased. I thought it was very important that we started quickly because of our expectations; we had talked it up over the summer and towards the back end of last season.

“And for us to get off to the start we have reinforces what we think is the right way to go in terms of how we’re playing.

See also: * Hastings claim higher level scalp in FA Cup
* Hastings boss praises players for grinding out a result
* Hastings go top after convincing victory

“It’s a relief as well because for so many years Hastings has been talking about putting together a proper challenge and I know how quickly things can change if we had got off to a poor start.

“At the moment the feeling around the club is very positive and the players feed off that. But we haven’t done anything yet. We’ll continue to treat every game as a project in its own right and keep plugging away really.”

Kelvin Ogboe tries to hold off an opponent during Hastings United's 2-1 win at home to Kingstonian last weekend. Picture courtesy Scott White

Kelvin Ogboe tries to hold off an opponent during Hastings United's 2-1 win at home to Kingstonian last weekend. Picture courtesy Scott White

After last weekend’s FA Cup victory at home to higher grade Kingstonian, Agutter said: “We’re winning in different ways as well. Last week against Phoenix (Sports) was our best performance of the season in terms of a purist, dominant display.

“For an hour against VCD (Athletic, in the previous round of the FA Cup) we were very good, but in the other games we’ve sort of scrapped it out and ground it out.

“We’re digging games out in different ways, which is credit to the players really.”

Hastings have scored 19 goals so far and Daniel Ajakaiye has 10 of them.

Adam Lovatt competes for a bouncing ball during Hastings United's Emirates FA Cup win over Kingstonian. Picture courtesy Scott White

Adam Lovatt competes for a bouncing ball during Hastings United's Emirates FA Cup win over Kingstonian. Picture courtesy Scott White

“It’s not so much the importance of the game, it’s keeping the winning momentum that’s really important for us,” Agutter continued. “It’s really important for us that every time we go in we can say we’ve won every game.

“Winning’s a habit as much as losing is so at the moment we’re on that winning run and to keep it going against higher level opposition was really pleasing. The fact that it’s in the FA Cup and there’s all sorts of positive financial implications on top of that makes it even better.”

It’s back to the league today (Saturday) with a trip to seventh-placed Hythe Town, kick-off 3pm.

Agutter said: “If we’re at it and do what we can very well, more often than not we’ll win the game. We’ve won six games and we’ve played well for probably 180 minutes of those six games. The rest really togetherness and physicality has got us through.

Daniel Ajakaiye tries to hold off a Kingstonian opponent. Picture courtesy Scott White

Daniel Ajakaiye tries to hold off a Kingstonian opponent. Picture courtesy Scott White

“If we can recreate what we showed against Phoenix and the first 45 minutes against Kingstonian, I think we should be able to go down to Hythe and put in a positive performance, definitely.

“They’re a good side, they’ve got some good players, good individuals, Zak Ansah is very dangerous, but I think we can go there very confident.”

Jack Dixon’s ankle still isn’t 100 percent, while Tom Vickers is touch and go with a hamstring problem. New signing Hassan Ibrahim, who Agutter describes as ‘a really good player’, is in contention to make the squad.