Another win stretches Hastings United’s unbeaten run to eight games. The Arrows now lie in 13th, five points off those coveted play-off places.
Meanwhile, Guernsey drop to 19th and will be looking to turn things round next week against VCD Athletic.
At times it looked like Guernsey would get back into it, but United held onto their 2-1 lead before Kenny Pogue made it three in the dying moments.
The home side started brightly, using the well kept pitch to their advantage by choosing to keep the ball on the deck, even at the back.
Last season in Matt Bodkin, the Arrows had a winger who set Isthmian League South alight. Early on Dayshonne Golding was emulating last seasons star man, causing problems for the Guernsey defence with some fast feet.
But for all of their good football, Hastings got their opener after the goalmouth scramble of goalmouth scrambles. Centre -back Ollie Rowe getting the final touch to put the home side in front.
Unsurprisingly, with Hastings playing a 4-1-4-1 formation, Calum Davies was getting the most chances as the lone striker.
He came close a couple of times in the first half, and arguably would’ve doubled his side lead had he not taken the ball so wide on a one on one.
And Davies came close again soon after. Ansu Janneh did well to win the ball back in midfield before slipping it through to the nineteen-year-old. Unfortunately, the strikers shot across goal ended up hitting the far post.
Cue the most non-league announcement ever; “If there is a locksmith in the ground can they please come to the PA box.” Funnily enough, my housemate had to get a locksmith round earlier in the day after he locked himself out. Maybe he should’ve come with us!
Nevertheless, Sam Adams rounded off a fairly comfortable half, blasting in Davies’ cutback past two Guernsey players on the goal line.
However, in the second half it was all change. Guernsey, who are an amateur side run as a charity, really got themselves sorted and started to pile on the pressure.
Firstly, Alex Le Prevost found enough space in the box for a header which was straight at Horlock. Then Robin Joe-Legg took down a diagonal ball before crashing a half-volley off the crossbar.
And subsequent to Joe-Legg ballooning a 1 on 1 over the bar, Frank Tobin headed in a corner at the back post which seemed to sail past everyone. 2-1. Nothing less than Guernsey deserved in second half.
At this point Hastings were getting penned in their own half. Players like Adam Lovatt and Sam Adams, who dictated the midfield in the first half, were struggling to get a grip on the second.
This prompted Chris Agutter to make changes. Big Kenny Pogue came on up top, while the player with arguably the best name in non-league, Matt Rodrigues-Barbosa, entered the game at right-mid.
It was the former who nearly made an instant impact. Golding beat Simon Geall down the line prior to delivering a ball to the back post which a diving Pogue couldn’t head on target.
By this point the game was getting stretched. However, the islanders couldn’t capitalise.
And it came back to bite them. Simon Geall was in two minds whether to kick the ball out or pass to it back to keeper, but in the end the he did neither. The Guernsey captain was tackled by Pogue who capped off an impressive perfomance from the bench by finding the bottom corner. Game. Set. Match.
Can Hastings United make the play-offs? Well, with their squad of young players quickly adapting to Bostik League South football and plenty of games to go, I wouldn’t bet against it!