United back to winning ways

Sean Kelly scored his first Hastings United goal in the win over Herne Bay
Sean Kelly scored his first Hastings United goal in the win over Herne Bay

Hastings United made a very welcome return to winning ways with a 2-0 victory away to Herne Bay tonight (Tuesday).

Goals in either half from Sean Kelly and Matt Darby ended a run of three successive defeats in all competitions and inflicted just a second Ryman Football League Division One South loss of the season on their opponents.

United goalkeeper Josh Pelling made a superb save from Jordan Casey following a short corner, while Sam Adams had an effort kept out by Bay stopper Jack Delo at the end of a fairly even opening 20 minutes.

The visitors took a 28th minute lead when Kelly scored his first goal for the club from an Adams corner. Ben Judge made a vital intervention on the stroke of half time following a slip by new signing Charlie Slocombe.

Into the second half and Herne Bay had the ball in the net when Danny Walder drilled home from 20 yards, but the offside flag was up. The hosts threatened an equaliser again as Dean Grant was thwarted by a fine save from Pelling.

After a melee involving players from both sides, Pelling made a splendid save from Casey’s first time shot and Danny Ellis headed the resulting corner off the line. At the other end, Delo did well to tip over an Adams header after good work from Ellis and Bailo Camara.

Darby, who had a good game, effectively sealed the points in the 84th minute with a fine left-foot strike after exchanging passes with Adams. Jordan Woodley might have added a late third goal, but curled his shot wide.

United: Pelling, Slocombe, Fobi-Edusei, Darby, Judge, Kelly, Ellis, Olorunda, Camara, Adams, Bah. Subs: Pogue, Woodley, Richardson, Cruttwell, Burbridge.

Standings (played-points): 1 Walton Casuals 11-27, 2 Crawley Down Gatwick 10-19, 3 HASTINGS UNITED 9-19, 4 Leatherhead 9-18, 5 Redhill 10-17, 6 Faverham Town 10-17, 7 Peacehaven & Telscombe 10-16, 8 Guernsey 9-16, 9 Ramsgate 11-16, 10 Worthing 11-15, 11 Herne Bay 10-14, 12 Burgess Hill Town 10-14, 13 Hythe Town 10-13, 14 Whitstable Town 11-13, 15 Merstham 10-13, 16 Horsham 10-13, 17 Three Bridges 10-13, 18 Walton & Hersham 10-13, 19 Tooting & Mitcham United 11-12, 20 Sittingbourne 10-10, 21 Folkestone Invicta 9-8, 22 Chipstead 9-7, 23 Corinthian Casuals 10-6, 24 Eastbourne Town 10-4.