The Academy got off to a winning start in their first competitive game of the season in the FA Youth Cup. The Crusaders are hoping for a good run in the competition having fallen just short of reaching the 1st Round in the last 3 seasons by losing to Football & National League opposition in the form of Forest Green Rovers, Eastleigh & Aldershot.
Hungerford should have opened the scoring from kick-off but the ball just failed to sit in the penalty area for both Josh Elms and Ali Thorp. The game became a lot more open after an early spell of Hungerford pressure but neither side created a clear cut scoring opportunity. The deadlock was broken by Ryan Allen who cut inside from the right and rifled a shot into the top corner from 25 yards after 25 minutes. Clanfield began to exert more pressure and forced a couple of long range shots without really troubling Tommy Rees. They got back on level terms when the forward got in behind the Hungerford defence and was brought down by a combination of Dylan O Sullivan and Rees for a penalty which was converted. Half-Time 1-1.
In the second half Hungerfords fitness began to show as they controlled the game for long periods. They regained the lead on 50 minutes when Clanfield failed to clear a corner and Louis Willis-Falkiner was able to switch the ball to Kye Williams who drove towards goal and slotted home at the near post. 10 minutes later the teams were level when a cross to the back post was headed in from point blank range. Ali Thorp restored Hungerfords lead when he gambled on a flick from Elms after a Williams cross and smashed the ball home from 6 yards. The job was complete when Connor Buckland broke down the right and delivered a inch perfect cross into the front post that Elms dispatched on the volley. Clanfield to their credit never gave up but found centre backs Elliot King and Tommy Lucas in no mood to surrender the lead again.
Next up is Fleet Town at Bulpit Lane on Wednesday 19th September who triumphed over neighbours Thatcham Town on Monday night.
Updated 12:41 - 9 Oct 2018 by Mark Halewood