Hungerford made it three wins on the trot with a 3-0 away win against Hampton and Richmond Borough
Hungerford gave their survival chances a big boost thanks to a decisive 3-0 away victory against fellow relegation battlers Hampton and Richmond Borough. On a warm Spring afternoon near the River Thames just on the outskirts of England's capital this vital game for both sides shacked up the relegation battle once more with only 5 games to play. Hampton made a bright start with Harry Crawford and Jordan Simpson but both their efforts flew over the crossbar. The visitors were still finding their feet but Alfy Whittingham's teasing ball to Darren Foxley set up a shooting chance for the winger but a last ditch challenge from a Beavers defender meant Foxley couldn't get a shot away. Goals were needed to spark the game into life and centre back James Rusby delivered the first on 25 minutes. Cameron Hargreaves's corner was met by Rusby whose header beat Ashley Maynard-Brewer at his near post. Despite lots of play in the Hungerford half the Berkshire side were staying firm with Crawford's blocked shot from a corner the only opportunity of note for the rest of the half.
Craig Dundas came on to add extra physicality to the hosts midfield but it didn't derail the Crusaders march onto three points. The ever energetic Conor Lynch had a sight on goal, after good work from Danilo Orsi-Dadomo to win the ball back, but his half volley didn't dip under the woodwork. Hungerford's high press created another chance this time for Hargreaves but the Bristol Rovers loanee saw his shot deflect over. The hosts top scorer Chris Dickson was relatively quiet throughout and his first attempt on goal curled high and wide, coming just after the hour mark. New signing Noah Chesmain had a composed debut at left back and created a chance to Orsi-Dadomo. His low strike was well stopped by Maynard-Brewer and fellow striker Lynch failed to convert the rebound. Hampton quickly counter attacked with Chesmain having to regain his defensive position to block Dundas's shot inside the penalty area. The resulting corner to the back post was headed over by Rian Bray. Another dangerous set piece threatened the visitors with Chesmain having to block Luke Ruddick's close range shot. With Hampton committing more men forward it left space at the back for the Crusaders to exploit. Rhys Kavanagh used his pace to good effect however he saw his effort saved from Maynard-Brewer. Foxley collected the rebound, crossing to an unmarked Hargreaves who couldn't convert a golden chance. That could've been costly however Dickson missed a gaping goal minutes later. A recycled free kick back into the box fell to an unmarked Dickson who failed to nod the bouncing ball past Michael Luyambula. Hargreaves had another sight of goal only to find goalkeeper Maynard-Brewer saving once again. Dickson had another opportunity to drag the Beavers level but tamely shot into the hands of Luyambula when unmarked in front of goal. Then at the other end A.Whittingham sealed the points with 10 minutes to go thanks to a bending effort that hit the roof of the net. Tyrell Miller-Rodney tried to drag the game by the scruff of the neck with a driving run setting up Ryan Hill whose effort bent just past the left hand post. Richie Whittingham came on to good effect once again, hitting a majestic ball over to Hargreaves however, like on the previous occasions, the midfielder failed to put the ball into the net. Kavanagh scuffed his shot to add a third but Rusby made no mistake from a R.Whittingahm corner to add gloss to the score line.
It was an eventful second half which wasn't expected after an uninspiring first 45. It was a deserved three points from Hungerford who took their opportunities in front of goal even without playing at their best. A third win on the bounce and an unbeaten March means survival is ever closer. The three points moves Hungerford up to 18th, two points above the relegation zone. For Hampton it's a 6th game without a home win which leaves them looking over their shoulder, only 2 points ahead of the Crusaders. Next up for Hungerford is a home match against Slough Town on April 6th.
Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.