HAYLING failed to make the most of a promising start as they slipped to a 3-1 defeat at Hamworthy last night.
After chances for Dan Martin and Josh Case, Lee Paul’s Wessex premier division strugglers went ahead on 38 minutes when Tom Wray was bundled over in the box by keeper Dan Ackerman and Leroy Williams stepped up to thunder home the resultant penalty.
Instead of building on from there, though, Hayling’s night quickly took a turn for the worst.
Their lead lasted barely 60 seconds as Hamworthy’s George Webb fired home a free-kick from what looked an impossible angle way out along the left-hand touchline.
Then, on the stroke of half-time, the Humbugs were reduced to 10 men as Charlie Walker was sent off for picking up a second yellow card.
Moments into the second half, keeper Chris Clarke came to the visitors’ rescue when he saved a Luke Burbridge penalty.
But it proved in vain as in the space of three minutes, he twice had to fish the ball out of the back of the net as, first, Webb and then Ewan took advantage of poor defending to ram close-range shots past him.
Hayling’s miserable night was sealed when boss Paul was sent from the dugout for his long and loud protestations over another debatable refereeing decision.
In the Ryman premier division, Bognor recorded their fifth straight league win after a 4-2 success at Merstham.
Two goals from the in-form Luke Nightingale helped move the Rocks into the top three.
Ben Johnson gave the visitors a 12th-minute lead, while James Crane bagged a rare goal to keep up Bognor’s fine form.