Hastings storm to convincing win

HASTINGS United took a giant step towards avoiding the drop with a commanding 3-0 win at home to Margate.

The victory lifted The U’s above Horsham and up into 17th place - six points clear of Aveley in the final Ryman Premier relegation spot with only four games remaining.

In fact, it was a good day all round for Jason Hopkinson’s side because all the other teams around them lost and even failed to score a goal between them.

Bottom-of-the-table Folkestone Invicta went down 2-0 away to Harrow Borough, as did Croydon Athletic at home to Lowestoft Town and Horsham at Concord Rangers, while Aveley and Maidstone United both slumped to single goal defeats against Billericay Town and Canvey Island respectively.

Hastings were in the driving seat for much of their clash against a mid-table Margate side with little play for.

Sam Adams wasted a great chance to put them in front after only four minutes before Kenny Pogue opened the scoring just past the half hour with a fine finish at the end of a superb move involving George Porter and Harry Beautyman.

Josh Jirbandey all but made sure of the points with a second right on half time and substitute Ben Billings rounded off the scoring in the second minute of stoppage time.

Hastings (4-5-1): Barton; Rowe, Ray, Jirbandey, Manning; Adams (Hall 76), Carey, Beautyman, Eldridge (Billings 76), Porter (Hopkinson 60); Pogue. Subs not used: Sutton, Olorunda.

Standings (bottom six - all played 38): HASTINGS UTD 37pts (-11 goal difference), Horsham 35 (-38), Aveley 31 (-26), Maidstone Utd 28 (-35), Croydon Athletic 28 (-46), Folkestone Invicta 27 (-25).