Dire stalemate against promotion hopefuls
By Ciaran Morrison
Hungerford Town and Bath City played out a dire 0-0 draw
Hungerford and Bath didn’t do enough to boost their survival and play-off aspirations respectively with a stalemate at Bulpit Lane. On a warm bank holiday Friday in front of a bumper 547 crowd, neither side broke the deadlock to claim three points in a dire affair. Ian Herring opted to drop Darren Foxley and Danilo Orsi-Dadomo to the bench in replace of Charlie Ten-Grotenhuis and Conor Lynch. The latter used his pace to good effect and gave the visiting defence a tough afternoon. Bath made the brighter start and an Adam Mann corner created the first opportunity for Andy Watkins to fire over. Despite a strong opening period for the visitors they could’ve fallen behind when Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist stung the fingertips of Ryan Clarke from a free kick. The resulting corner was met by James Rusby at the near post but the header didn’t trouble Clarke. Bath began to dominate possession but found it hard to break down a stubborn defensive unit. Tom Smith and Watkins had half chances but once against Hungerford could’ve gone ahead. Lynch, a lone figure up front, turned his marker and was one on one with Clarke. However, the keeper stood tall and denied the striker with his feet.
The Crusaders had another golden opportunity, just before the hour mark, when Mike Jones found Leigh-Gilchrist through on goal. His half volley forced Clarke into an excellent one handed save. Both teams stood firm with the Romans not using their possession to any avail but with 10 minutes to go Robbie Cundy made Michael Luyambula tip his header over the bar. At the other end, substitute Foxley hit a free kick wide. Freddie Hines had the best chance for the visitors when he met a whipped in cross in the box but Luyambula made a good save. Orsi-Dadomo curled a tame effort at Clarke before finding Cameron Hargreaves on a late counter attack. The midfielder failed to hit the target from the edge of the penalty area as the game ended goalless.
With the Somerset based side their for the taking, Hungerford will be disappointed at not collecting all three points. It was an opportunity missed considering they played 24 hours before Truro, Gloucester and Eastbourne. However, the point was enough to take the Crusaders out of the drop zone before their game away to champions Torquay United on bank holiday Monday.