Hastings United match report
On one hand this was another disappointing evening in which Kingstonian's horrid run of losing games and not scoring goals continued, on the other hand it's unfair to make quick judgments on a squad that had six players in it that less than a week ago had not played yet for Kingstonian.
Kingstonian's starting eleven showed three players making their first appearances for the club this season - Darnell Goather-Braithwaite moving from Simon Lane's former club Westfield, Imran Kayani arriving on loan from Slough Town and Matt Drage making a welcome return to the club after roughly eight years away and signing from Hartley Wintney. The subs' bench also had soon-to-be debutant Harun Hamid, who arrived on a work experience loan from Queen's Park Rangers' B team.
The K's started quickly, something not seen for many a game, and pressed for the opening goal. In the early seconds Ibrahim Jalloh's pass found Imran Kayani, and his shot from short distance was well saved by an alert Louis Rogers. The first quarter of an hour or so boded well.
K's suffered a blow when Darnell Goather-Braithwaite was forced off injured in the 19th minute, and ten minutes after that they conceded the lead. David Smith was adjudged to have been fouled not far outside the area by Matt Drage, who certainly disputed the call. The free kick was taken by Jack Dixon, who squared the ball to Ryan Worrall whose shot from silly distance was outstanding and flew into the back of the net.
Hastings' second goal in the 68th minute was one that properly sealed the points and it was a disappointing one for the K's to give away - Danny Dudley mis-hit a clearance straight to Sam Adams as the U's suddenly had a 2-on-2 breakaway. Adams fed the ball through to David Smith, who scored with a fine strike on the edge of the area.
K's tried hard to get themselves back into the game, but chances on goal, as for much of this season, were at a severe premium. Harun Hamid, on as a half-time substitute for substitute Lee Lewis, provided a spark in midfield and produced Kingstonian's best moment of the second half with a mazy run and curling shot that went just wide in the first minute of added time. However, in the fourth minute of added time, the U's added a third when Freddie Legg fired home from close range as Hastings players queued up to finish off an attack that the K's were unable to clear.
So, on one hand this was another improved performance from K's with all the players putting in a serious shift, but on the other hand it was another defeat that kept K's in the relegation zone and a fifth consecutive league game without scoring. Time to break out Ye Olde Booke of Cliches and pronounce that we have thirteen cup finals left beginning with the trip on Saturday to Bognor Regis Town, kick-off at Nyewood Lane is 3pm.
Kingstonian: Rob Tolfrey, Michael Abnett, Ibrahim Bangura, Sean Bonnett-Johnson, Danny Dudley, Tyrese Owen, Imran Kayani, Darnell Goather-Braithwaite, Matt Drage, Jacob Bancroft, Ibrahim Jalloh.
Subs: Harun Hamid (for Lee Lewis, HT), Dwight Pascal (for Imran Kayani, 83m), Lee Lewis (for Darnell Goather-Braithwaite, 19m), Junior Mboglem, Jake Eales.
Hastings United: Louis Rogers, Ollie Black, Ryan Worrall, Craig Stone, Jack Dixon, Ben Pope, David Smith, Alex Brego, Kane Penn, Knory Scott, Jake Elliott.
Subs: Finley Chapman, Kian Moynes (for Ryan Worrall, 87m), Sam Adams (for Ben Pope, 62m), Harvey Mapstone, Freddie Legg (for Ollie Black, 43m).
Goal scorers: Ryan Worrall (25m, 0-1), David Smith (68m, 0-2), Freddie Legg (90+4m, 0-3)