Hastings United pick up three points thanks to Pope double

Ben Pope scored twice for Hastings. Picture by Scott White
Ben Pope scored twice for Hastings. Picture by Scott White

Hastings United began their home fixtures on Tuesday evening with a comfortable 2-0 win against Faversham Town, keeping a second clean sheet in the process.

Manager Chris Agutter kept the same starting eleven that claimed a point at Cray Valley on Saturday, with the returning Sam Adams among the substitutes, replacing the injured Davide Rodari.

United were pretty much in control throughout, although the visitors did have a decent spell midway through the second half.

Faversham had to defend as Hastings went looking for the opening goal. Lanre Azeez and Ben Pope were causing plenty of problems with visiting keeper Luke Watkins making a couple of decent stops.

United opened their account on 26 minutes following a lovely, flowing attack down the right involving Jack Dixon and Azeez. Pope was well placed to receive the cross and tuck home from 12 yards.

The only real threat to the Hastings goal in the opening half came when Anthony Adestite intercepted an under-hit back pass, but he lifted his shot well over the crossbar. The first half was delayed for several minutes for treatment to Rogers who received a kick in the face after diving on a loose ball in the area.

The second half started in much the same fashion, with United having most of the possession and looking threatening whenever they went forward. Dixon had a header cleared off the line just past the hour mark and Sam Beale found himself one-on-one with Watkins who made a great save to keep his side in the hunt.

Dixon and Adam Lovatt were dominant for United throughout while Craig Stone and Gary Elphick were outstanding at the back. Faversham had a spell of possession with Adestite and Michael Freiter working hard, but they seldom managed to get a look in so far as troubling goalkeeper Louis Rogers was concerned.

Hastings made sure of the points in the 81st minute. A spell of pressure led to Daniel Ajakaiye having his shot blocked, but Pope was on hand to turn the ball home from inside the area.

An encouraging start to the campaign by United in front of a decent following which should give the side confidence.

United : Rogers, Black, Elphick, Stone, Elliott, Ajakaiye (Beale 69), Pope (Pogue 81), Pool (Adams 76), Lovatt, Azeez, Dixon. Subs not used : Hull, Janneh.

Attendance 428

Tony Cosens