Strikers Hit Form

Hastings United 3,
FC Romania 0 

Hastings United scored only one goal and conceded none in their first four games of the season  – three 0-0 draws after a solitary strike by midfielder Jack Dixon defeated Herne Bay on the opening day. But manager Chris Agutter dismissed concerns at an apparent lack of penetration in attack last month, and results in the next four games seem have vindicated his judgment. The disappointment of elimination of the team from the FA Cup on 3rd October after a 2-2 draw with National League side Ebbsfleet and defeat in the penalty shoot-out has been followed by three victories and a heap of goals from the ‘U’s assorted strike force.

Kenny Pogue (in claret and white) in action for Hastings

Captain Sam Adams and veteran striker Kenny Pogue scored in that cup game. Adams then notched two more and Pogue three in a thumping 5-1 league win at Haywards Heath; Adams, again, and young Tom Chalmers were on the scoresheet ten days ago as Hastings beat early league leaders VCD Athletic more emphatically than the 2-1 scoreline would suggest ; and last Saturday they comfortably disposed of FC Romania 3-0 in a qualifying round of the FA Trophy. There was a first goal of the season for Ben Pope, a header from Gary Elphick and another opportunist strike from Chalmers.

Summer recruit Lloyd Dawes, of whom much was expected, suffered serious knee ligament damage before the season started. Agutter has indicated that he will be side-lined for several months at least. But another United striker missing so far through injury is back in contention: Davide Rodari, who missed most of the last two seasons with a knee injury, is reported to be back in full fitness, and indeed made a come-back appearance as a substitute last Saturday.

It seems then that Agutter might have a different kind of problem to resolve: which of several in-form strikers to leave out of the starting eleven. But next fixtures are coming fast – a league match against Three Bridges tonight (Tuesday) at Pilot Field is followed by a trip up the A21 to Sevenoaks Town, who are also unbeaten in the league so far. He won’t mind having a breadth of striking talent to choose from.

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