Danilo's late strike sinks play off chasing Ricay
By Ciaran Morrison
Two late goals from striker Danilo Orsi-Dadomo secured a vital three points for the Crusaders
Danio Orsi-Dadomo stepped up with two late strikes to condemn Billericay to a fourth straight defeat and boost Hungerford's survival chances. On a mild, overcast afternoon in Essex the visitors left it late but deservedly took the three points back to Berkshire with only their third away success in 18 games. The hosts, on the back of three straight losses, produced an underwhelming display which damages their hopes of securing the last play off place. Jake Robinson was suspended and the lack of cutting edge up front for the hosts was evident throughout as despite the visitors hard work and endeavour they failed to create many clear cut chances. Hungerford themselves were missing loaness Rhys Kavanagh and Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist plus left back Matt Jones who was replaced by winger Darren Foxley.
Ricay's Adam Coombes hit an early free kick over the bar before his low effort went agonisingly wide of the post. Moses Emmnanuel created an opening when attacking make shift left back Darren Foxley. His deep cross hit the post which created a goal mouth scramble, only kept off the line by some last ditch defending. The Crusaders were well organised and nearly caught the hosts on the counter. Cameron Hargreaves collected a cleared corner and swiftly passed it across to Conor Lynch who picked out Alfy Whittingham on the edge of the area. The midfielder was pushed from behind however the resulting free kick by Foxley was well blocked by a tall wall. Lynch then had an opportunity of his own but could only shoot straight into the gloves of Alan Julian, on the half volley, when well placed. The experienced shot stopper then denied Orsi-Dadomo's curling effort just before the half hour mark. Billericay's Jamar Loza glided by Marcus Johnson-Schuster and put in a inviting cross not pounced upon from anyone else in a coloured blue strip. They continued to apply some late first half pressure, firstly Jake Howells free kick was flicked on by Coombes wide of the post. The next free kick by Howells found Cole Kpekawa who forced an outstanding save by Luymabula who mostly played spectator throughout a lively first half. Ian Herring would've been the happier manager based on performance but disappointed that a half controlled by his team didn't merit any reward. A sluggish home side had attacking moments but failed to apply constant pressure to the third leakiest defence in the league and handed confidence to their relegation threatened opponents.
After the interval Billericay earned a controversial penalty within minutes of the half re-starting. Loza stormed into the penalty area and Marvel Ekpiteta, trying to stop a shot from an acute angle, needlessly came into contact with the winger who went down easily when feeling the contact. The penalty was tucked away into the corner by Coombes despite Luyambula stretching to his right hand side, nearly keeping the ball out of the net. Ekpiteta nearly made amends minutes later but couldn't divert his header beyond Julian when unmarked at the back post. Danny Waldren rose above his marker but, when unmarked although leaning back, headed over the bar. With time ticking away the Crusaders needed a moment of inspiration or luck. The latter came three minutes from time when substitute Richie Whittingham went over easily in the penalty area however referee Steven Hughes pointed to the spot. After missing his last penalty versus Welling last month striker Orsi-Dadomo stepped up. This time he made no mistake calmly slotting behind the goalkeeper who guessed the wrong way. 4 minutes of added time were indicated and when the match seemed to be heading for a draw Orsi-Dadomo striked late from outside the penalty area to silence the APG arena, apart from the jubilant away fans at one end of the ground. It saw another lively half lacking attacking quality in the final third however it ended with the correct score line, on the balance of play, with Hungerford claiming a deserved three points with a controlled display.
The end of an intriguing contest saw Billericay end the day nervously looking over their shoulders to Wealdstone who sit one point behind 7th placed Ricay. For Hungerford it proved to be a vital three points as Gloucester came from behind to beat mid table St Albans 2-1 at Clarence Park. Wins for both sides saw Truro drop into 19th place just a point above Hungerford after a 3-0 home loss to Chelmsford.