Battered and bruised but the Crusaders earn a valuable point against the Tudors
By Mike Hall
Goalkeeper Jokull Andresson sustains nasty injury at Hemel Hempstead but is okay and recovering well
After conceding six at home to Chelmsford on Saturday Hungerford knew that they had to improve but things looked bleak after only 15 minutes when Andresson was challenged by a Hemel forward at a corner and an unfortunate clash of heads saw both players receive lengthy treatment.
The hosts had started well with some early pressure and a teasing cross across goal from Karl Oliyide, after he spun Tommy Cooney, just eluded the Hemel forwards. Cooney then let in Roderick Collins but James Rusby covered to clear the danger. However on 15 minutes the game changed dramatically for the visitors when it quickly became clear that Andresson could not continue and player-manager Ian Herring donned the gloves whilst Richie Whittingham came on as substitute. After the stoppage the visitors were nearly handed a fortuitous goal when midfielder Connor Dymond forced a great reaction save from his own goalkeeper. Cooney tested Laurie Walker again just ten minutes before half time with his 25 yard drive needing to be pushed away.
After the break the Crusaders had some promising attacks, the best when Alfy Whittingham drove forward and played in new signing Darren Foxley but his shot was excellently saved by the feet of Walker. Whittingham then forced Walker into a save from his own shot low to the keepers left. The Tudors pushed forward in the last ten minutes and nearly forced a goal when a Scott Shulton header was blocked forcing a mass scramble in the penalty area that Hungerford got away with. Herring was largely untested in the away goal but had to make a crucial last minute save to thwart the hosts taking all three points.