United handcuffed by Police

Jack Dixon put Hastings United ahead against Metropolitan Police
Jack Dixon put Hastings United ahead against Metropolitan Police

Hastings United slid deeper into relegation trouble following a 2-1 defeat at home to Metropolitan Police tonight (Tuesday).

The U’s remain three points adrift of safety in the second and final Ryman Football League Premier Division relegation place after losing a game in which they opened the scoring just before the hour.

On another cold night at The Pilot Field, the first half was a largely forgettable affair with precious little goalmouth incident at either end. Met Police came the closest to scoring in the 35th minute when a left-foot shot by Sam Clayton from outside the box struck the base of the post.

United began the second period fairly brightly with Jack Dixon and Danny Ellis having decent attempts at goal. The same two players combined for the opening goal in the 59th minute as Ellis drove over a corner from the right for Dixon to head home from around eight yards out.

The home side’s advantage, however, lasted only four minutes as, out of nothing, Howard Newton buried a thumping shot past Matt Armstrong-Ford from 25 yards. Police came close to taking the lead in the 77th minute, but Armstrong-Ford produced a great tip over from a Charlie Collins goalbound header.

Seventh-placed Police did grab a winner in the 84th minute. Craig Watkins skipped past Ben Judge with ease and teed up Collins for a simple finish despite the best efforts of Armstrong-Ford. Tom Vickers shot wide in added time, but United never really looked like conjuring up an equaliser.

United: Armstrong-Ford, Cox, Murphy (Okojie 86), Carey, Ray, Judge, Ellis, Crellin (Vickers 85), Adams, Attwood, Dixon. Subs not used: Richardson, Cruttwell. Attendance: 219.

Ryman Premier bottom eight (played-points): Enfield Town 33-35, Cray Wanderers 33-34, Harrow Borough 32-33, Lewes 34-32, Wingate & Finchley 35-31, Thurrock 30-29, HASTINGS UNITED 30-26, Carshalton Athletic 35-25.