Carshalton Athletic’s eight game unbeaten run was halted in comprehensive fashion as they fell to defeat on the Sussex coast, writes James Barrett.
The travelling faithful might of been relieved before kick-off to see Hastings defender Steve Watt, the hat-trick scoring defender in the reverse fixture back in November, named only as a substitute.
The game remained goalless during the opening exchanges, thanks in the main to two good saves by Joe Tupper, but Hastings took the lead on 24 minutes as Frannie Collin, whom saw his first headed effort blocked, stabbed the loose ball home.
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And that lead was doubled on the half hour as an unchallenged Harry Stannard eventually curled home a left-footed shot.
We struggled to get a foothold in the game, despite entering it off the back of six straight wins, and disappointingly finished the first-half without testing home keeper Lenny Pidgeley.
HALF-TIME: 2 – 0
We were grateful to both Tupper and the linesman’s flag for denying Hastings a third as our hosts kept up their onslaught after the break, but a third goal did arrive when Jack Evans powered home an impressive volley following a corner kick delivery.
And they added a fourth just four minutes later, via another corner kick, as defender Jerome Sobers rose highest to power home a header.
Ryan Healy and Josh Phillips were thrown on as the clock ticked down and we enjoyed our best attacking spell of the game during the last 15 minutes, but Tommy Bradford fired wide from a good position and both Jordan Hibbert and Mickel Miller were denied by Pidgeley.
But our miserable night was compounded in the 86th minute as substitute Kieran Hughes-Mason scored perhaps the pick of the goals – an angled left-footed curler which cut across Tupper and dropped inside the top far corner.
That was our heaviest league defeat of the season and, while we remain currently third in the league table, we have now played two more games then most of the clubs around us.
Next up: We travel to South Park on Saturday 25th February before Greenwich Borough arrive at ours on Saturday 4th March.