Hastings hold on for home point

Jack Dixon twice went close for Hastings United against Canvey lsland Picture by Terry S. Blackman
Jack Dixon twice went close for Hastings United against Canvey lsland Picture by Terry S. Blackman

HASTINGS United chalked up only their second clean sheet of the season in the league with a goalless draw against Canvey Island.

On the balance of possession a point apiece was possibly a fair result but the visitors most definitely created the better openings in this Ryman Premier encounter at The Pilot Field.

Hastings made two changes to the team that started against Bognor Regis Town in midweek with Scott Manning and Tom Vickers coming in for Elliott Cox and Lee Carey respectively.

And it was the hosts who had the first sight on goal after only four minutes when Jack Dixon forced keeper Ashley Jones to touch his low drive past the post.

The mid-table visitors looked dangerous all afternoon and only a timely tackle by player-boss Sean Ray prevented Louis Dennis from racing clear on goal.

The U’s were then indebted to Matt Armstrong-Ford who did well to beat out a John Curran shot. Moments later, Josh Jirbandey was in the right place to block another effort from Curran.

The closest the game came to a goal was on 54 minutes when Dennis’ shinned deflection smacked against the base of the post after Hastings had been breached through the centre of defence.

Not long after Robbie King did well down the left but his low cross somehow managed to evade two of his team-mates who were waiting for a simple tap-in at the back post.

Although Dixon forced Jones into another save with a 25-yard shot following a rampaging run from right back, it was Canvey who looked the more likely in the closing stages.

Armstrong-Ford did really well to claw out a cross before Harrison Chatting could pounce and then in stoppage time the home keeper bundled out a low shot from King.

Hastings (4-3-3): Armstrong-Ford; Manning, Ray (Carey 46), Jirbandey, Whitehead; Vickers, Ellis (Crellin 67), Dixon; Okojie, Attwood, Camara. Sub not used: Cox. Referee: John Pike (Hurstpierpoint). Attendance: 410.

Ryman Premier standings (played-points): Whitehawk 13-27, Margate 14-26, Wealdstone 12-25, Hampton & Richmond Borough 13-24, Bognor Regis Town 14-23, Bury Town 12-21, Concord Rangers 13-21, Kingstonian 12-20, Lowestoft Town 11-19, Cray Wanderers 12-19, Canvey Island 13-17, Enfield Town 13-17, Metropolitan Police 11-14, East Thurrock Utd 11-14, Lewes 14-13, HASTINGS UTD 12-13, Harrow Borough 14-13, Wingate & Finchley 13-13, Carshalton Athletic 14-9, Thurrock 10-8, Leiston 12-8, Hendon 11-8.