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Hastings United 1-0 Kingstonian

All that was missing at Pilot Field was some luck. Maybe K's used it up at Hastings last season grabbing a fortuitous 2-1 win, but the shape and confidence nevertheless seems to have returned to the team. Given recent performances, that was sufficent cause for optimism among the away support.

Hastings scored with one of their two shots of the entire game. Fred Foreman evaded a static defence to strike left-footed across Rob Tolfrey just before half time. No one expected it after watching Ks consistently on the front foot in a bright first half display.

Michael Gordon started to live up to his boots and hair, sending in a series of dangerous crosses from the right, Simon Huckle more than once the target bursting into the box. One header was cleared off the line in the 30th minute while another which hit the back of the net from Tom Hutchinson was ruled out for offside.

With captain Gary MacDonald, Ian Selley and Rocky Baptiste all on the bench, Alan Dowson had gone for the graft of Huckle and Allan Tait in midfield, and the pace of Lynvall Duncan at the back. Though the second half passing began to slacken, and tempers flared more than once, not least when Lee Carey appeared to strike Tait in full view of the referee but only picked up a yellow, Ks still managed to create the best chances of the game.

New loan signing Adam Francis, son of former England captain Gerry (who was watching from the stands), missed a back-post sitter with eight minutes remaining, misjudging the flight of the cross. And the key moment came shortly afterwards when Bobby Traynor shot straight at Hastings keeper Lloyd Anderson after scampering clean through. Sam Clayton came on to encouraging effect, trying his luck from 20 yards in the last minute, but the game drifted away.

Hastings, who are again struggling financially and increasingly frustrated by falling attendances (their programme suggests non-league is bearing the brunt of the recession), celebrated like it was a (Sussex Senior) Cup final. As for Ks, the players were clapped from the pitch. Which is progress.

Tue 13th Sep 2011
The Pilot Field
Isthmian League Premier
Hastings United1
1Rob Tolfrey
2Chris PageCautioned
3Neil Jenkins17
4Lynvall DuncanCautioned
5Tom Hutchinson
6Simon HuckleCautioned
7Michael Gordon14
8Allan TaitCautioned15
9Bobby Traynor
10Bashiru Alimi
11Dewayne Clarke
12Gary MacDonald
14Sam Clayton7
15Ian Selley8
16Rocky Baptiste
17Adam Francis3
Match Report By
Taimour Lay