Hungerford Town v Oxford City
When:26th December 2018 (Boxing Day)
Where: Bulpit Lane, Hungerford, RG17 0BE
The first of two meetings in 6 days this is certainly going to be a Christmas cracker. 13 goals in 4 meetings between the sides with 2 wins apiece. Hungerford did the double in 2016-17 but Oxford got revenge last season with two wins of their own. Our visitors have pulled up some good results of late and chasing a play-off place so a tough test for a Hungerford side still needing points down the bottom. However, home form has proved key this season. 11 of our 15 points have come at home including 7 points out of the last 12 available.
Form guide- Oxford have won 6 league games in a row including beating fellow strugglers Weston Super-mere and Truro recently. Their last loss was over a month ago away at Dartford. Hungerford also lost to Dartford which was on Saturday 2-1 but beat Chippenham in their last home game. Bulpit Lane is starting to become a fortress with just one loss in the last 4 at home.
Team news- After a quick succession of games and another coming up this Saturday for both sides it wouldn’t be a surprise if they both rotate their starting elevens. City have defender and Captain Joe Oastler suspended after being sent off in the last game v Weston. Before being sent off he scored one of Oxfords three goals. Ben Jefford, Zac McEachran and Josh Ashby were all absent at the weekend with Bobson Bawling fit enough only for the bench. Hungerford’s Marcus Johnson-Schuster is unlikely to start but may be fit for Saturday’s game v Truro. Rhys Kavanagh sat out of the Dartford game but is likely to be back for this one. Otherwise a full fit squad for manager Ian Herring.
Star man- Captain Joe Oastler is obviously a big miss for the visitors but Kabongo Tshimanga has scored 9 league goals so far this campaign and will be looking to hit double figures at the weekend. The Crusaders left back Matt Jones is an unsung hero and deserves special praise for his consistent performances so far this season. His crossing ability is second to none and with the pace of forwards Tom Anderson, Rhys Kavanagh and Darren Foxley all being able to play on the left hand side it can cause problems for any defence.
Head to head- Last season City won both meetings by 2-0 and 2-1 score lines. In 2016-17 the crusaders emphatically beat City 6-0 after winning 2-0 at home earlier on in the season.