Hastings United Football Club manager Chris Agutter said Tuesday night’s victory at home to Carshalton Athletic wasn’t a surprise to him.
Hastings were without a victory for a five-and-a-half weeks and Carshalton were unbeaten in eight Bostik League Division One South games at kick-off, but Hastings ran out 2-0 winners.
Agutter said: “It was a great win and to have beaten them in the way we did was really pleasing, but not a surprising win. I know a lot of people have said ‘I didn’t expect that’, but the previous two performances have been much-improved and with the quality of players we’ve got, we knew the results would come.”
Hastings got bodies behind the ball and made themselves hard to break down as Carshalton dominated possession, something which Agutter said was a planned tactic rather than simply how the game played out.
“That’s exactly how we set up,” he continued. “We watched Carshalton against Ramsgate (on Saturday) and we thought they were most vulnerable when they had the ball.
“They like to dominate the ball and they’ve got good footballers, I just felt they left themselves open when they didn’t have the ball. I just felt if we didn’t give them any space in behind and took away the space for them to run into, we could then force turnovers and hit the space.
“It was a bit of a risk because being at home there’s an expectation to be the aggressor, but not one person put a foot wrong. Rhys Whyborne was an absolute monster at the back, but everyone played their part.”
Agutter was full of praise for the way the players have gone about their business since he took over the managerial reins the weekend before last.
“The players have been brilliant since I’ve taken over,” he added. “They’ve bought into everything that’s been asked of them.
“We’ve banged the drum about the importance of hard work and the bare (that’s required) when they put on a Hastings shirt - and we saw that on Tuesday night.
“The manner of the win shows the players if they’re all together, roll their sleeves up, have a good go and follow a gameplan, they will get results.
“The performances have been decent. We just felt if we tightened up at the back and did the ugly things better than we have been, we would get results. Tuesday night was epitomised by that.”