Battling Crusaders unable to find winner
By Ciaran Morrison
Hungerford huffed and puffed but couldn’t break 10 men Gloucester down as both teams had to settle for an underwhelming point in Evesham.
In Mike Cook’s first game in charge of Gloucester they started the brighter and forced one good save from Michael Luyambula. However the complexion of the game changed when Chris Knowles was sent off for an alleged stamp on Darren Foxley. It meant Hungerford could control proceedings and Alfy Whittingham headed over a good opening. However the hosts should have taken the lead when a perfect cross into the penalty area was pounced upon by an unmarked Zack Kotwica but the striker from close range shot over. Odin Bailey was a lively source of attacking threat for City and tested Luyambula on two occasions before half time. In between striker Danilo Orsi-Dadomo had a half chance when he fired into the side netting following some good passing play from the visitors.
It was a familiar story in the second half as the Crusaders dominated possession but lacked ideas to break down a compact Tigers unit. Little joy in front of goal turned into frustration and the hosts grew in belief of getting a winner as the half went on. Substitute Rhys Kavanagh hit the crossbar with a deflected strike, Charlie Ten-Grotenhuis headed over and Foxley’s palmed away free kick were the closest Hungerford came to a winner throughout the entire second period. Gloucester had plenty of good chances to hit a winner but a lack of ruthlessness in front of goal let them down. Substitute Jake Mawford cut inside but fired over and a Fabian Roberts volley went narrowly wide with the goalkeeper rooted to the spot. Both sides had late penalty appeals as they searched for the winner and we could have had one if Matt Jones hadn't of cleared off the line from City’s first corner of the game in stoppage time. In the end both sides worked hard for a deserved point but showed their attacking frailties in front of goal.