Crusaders receive capital punishment
By Ciaran Morrison
Hungerford paid the price for a poor first half in London
Hungerford dropped back into the bottom three courtesy of a 3-1 loss away to Dulwich Hamlet. The hosts knew a win would all but secure their national league status and they produced an excellent first half performance to get the three points. Despite an even first 10 minutes it was all one way traffic for the rest of the half. Connor Hunte hit the crossbar with a curling effort before Nathan Ferguson’s rocket also hit the woodwork. Despite appeals that the ball had initially gone over the line referee Scott Jackson didn’t give a goal. Top scorer Dipo Akinyemi headed over the crossbar from an Anthony Cook cross when the striker seemed certain to score. Michael Luyambula was then called into action palming away a Ferguson half volley before the deadlock was broken. Hunte fed an unmarked Dan Thompson who passed the ball into the net. The rattled visitors were still trying to find their rhythm and had a good spell of possession only for it to come to no avail. Akinyemi missed another good chance before it was two nil. Cameron Hargreaves gave away a cheap free kick which Cook punished him for with a splendid strike into the top corner. Hunte then added more misery for the Berkshire side with a simple third. It seemed as if everyone had given up, Ian Herring even resigned him to a seat on the bench after barking instructions for the majority of the half. Dulwich had it far too easy, picking the visitors off with ease.
The Crusaders came out better second half and within 30 seconds Darren Foxley had already gone close. Left back Noah Chesmain tried his luck from distance but it sailed wide. A goal was quickly needed but Alfy Whittingham couldn’t convert from a tight angle as Preston Edwards caught his attempt. The midfielder then found himself out wide but to good use as he spun his marker and galloped into the penalty box only for his end product to let him down. Defender James Rusby then headed wide before his centre back partner Marvel Ekpiteta was to score a late consolation goal. It was too little too late. A poor first half had already done the damage. They restricted the Hamlet to very few half chances second half but the South Londoners had already done the businesses. Centre backs Magnus Okuonghae and Michael Chambers had a comfortable afternoon at the heart of the home defence. Their height and power was all touch much for a toothless Danilo Orsi-Dadomo who never got going. On the other hand the striker had little service into him. An improved performance from all eleven players must materialise next Friday if Hungerford are to take anything from a tough home game versus Bath City.