Jason Hopkinson’s first home game in charge of Hastings United started promisingly but ended in disappointment on Saturday.
The U’s eventually went down 2-1 at home to fellow strugglers Maidstone United in the Premier Division of the Ryman Football League having led 1-0 at half time.
Hastings, who included new signing Josh Klein-Davies, opened the scoring in the 25th minute through a well-taken half-volley by Russell Eldridge from Fraser Logan’s cross and were good value for their lead at the break.
But they lost their way in the second half and had already survived a couple of scares by the time Adrian Stone, who had a brief spell at The Pilot Field last season, headed Maidstone level in the 72nd minute.
Four minutes later and the visitors were ahead, Danny Hockton picking out the corner with a neat finish. Hockton, who had earlier hit the post with a free kick, then had an 81st minute penalty saved by Scott Chalmers-Stevens.
A full report and reaction from Hopkinson will appear in Friday’s Hastings Observer.
Hastings: Chalmers-Stevens, Manning (Davisson), Storrie, Olorunda (Price), Ray, Millwood, Adams, Beautyman, Klein-Davies, Eldridge, Logan (Sutton). Subs not used: Hall, Jirbandey.
Standings (played-points): 1 Sutton United 21-42, 2 Bury Town 20-38, 3 Cray Wanderers 21-37, 4 Kingstonian 20-36, 5 Lowestoft Town 17-35, 6 AFC Hornchurch 20-33, 7 Concord Rangers 20-32, 8 Tonbridge Angels 19-31, 9 Carshalton Athletic 20-30, 10 Harrow Borough 19-30, 11 Billericay Town 20-29, 12 Canvey Island 20-28, 13 Hendon 16-26, 14 Horsham 21-26, 15 Tooting & Mitcham United 23-26, 16 Margate 21-24, 17 Wealdstone 21-23, 18 HASTINGS UNITED 21-18, 19 Maidstone United 21-17, 20 Aveley 20-16, 21 Folkestone Invicta 20-15, 22 Croydon Athletic 21-15.