Charlie is the darling as the Crusaders bank a holiday bonus
By Mike Hall
Truro City 2 Hungerford Town 3
Report by Ciaran Morrison
A hat-trick from midfielder Charlie Ten-Grotenhuis was enough for Hungerford to claim six points out of six on the bank holiday weekend as they met Truro City at Torquay's Plainmoor ground.
However the Crusaders got off to the worst possible start when a corner inside two minutes was headed back across goal for Jon Paul Pittman to simply nod in the opening goal for the White Tigers. A positive reaction saw Hungerford come straight back at their hosts and after a couple of spurned chances they were level on the ten minute mark. Darren Foxley's shot was saved but Ten-Grotenhuis followed up to level the scores. Truro could have retaken the advantage from a free kick if it wasn’t for a point black save from Liam Driscoll. Another chance went begging for the Crusaders when Foxley cut inside and his shot deflected into Alfy Whittingham’s path but he couldn’t quite divert the ball on target. The same combination combined again but again Whittingham couldn’t hit the target. In between Truro had a goal disallowed for a push on Driscoll after they put the ball in the back of the net courtesy of another corner.
The frenetic action continued in the second half when Jared Lewington had a header cleared of the line and Nial Thompson forced a palming save from the goalkeeper. The visitors then struck on the break to take the lead as a swift counter attack eventually found its way to Ten-Grotenhuis in the penalty area and he superbly fired home following good work from Foxley and Conor Lynch. With 20 minutes to go Hungerford looked to have sealed the points when Ten-Grotenhuis completed his hat-trick following a horrible mistake from Jojo Wollacott. The goalkeeper played his clearance straight to an umarked Ten-Grotenhuis who ran in on goal and comfortably slotted the ball past the stricken player. Tyler Harvey gave Hungerford the 'jitters' when he nipped in to lift the ball over Driscoll after a miscommunication between defender and goalkeeper to reduce the deficit. But the Crusaders were determined to hang on to their deserved three points and professionally saw out the game as Truro's frustration boiled over and two yellow cards in quick succession resulted in Jordan Copp being sent off in the dying seconds. Ten-Grotenhuis claimed the match ball and the journey back to West Berkshire was very sweet indeed.