A first visit to Bulpit Lane for the Football in Berkshire team served up all the elements from above bar snow and a match in which neither side gave an inch.
Hungerford Town and Slough Town both lost their opening Vanarama National League South fixtures on Saturday so had some ground to make up and it was the Crusaders who took the points.
The goal came in the opening five minutes when James Constable guided the ball in to an empty net after Rebels keeper Jack Turner failed to collect the ball in admittedly difficult conditions as the rain hammered west Berkshire.
As you would expect Slough pushed hard for an equaliser and should have had a first half penalty for hand ball (they would have two further appeals in the second half turned down as well) but going in to half time it was the home side who were visibly on top having struck the wood work at both ends.
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Slough weren’t helped by having to use all three subs in the first half due to injury with defender Guy Hollis on crutches at half time.
It was probably a lot more tense in the second half for supporters of either side but for this neutral it just didn’t look like being Slough’s night, almost as much as it did look like being Hungerford’s.
Crusaders striker Liam Ferdinand had the chance to make it 2-0 as the clock ticked down but his side weathered the late pressure which included a Slough header agonisingly wide of the far post.
Elsewhere in the National League, Maidenhead United made it four points from six with a 1-1 draw at home to fancied Chesterfield with a goal on the hour from Remy Clerima before the visitors equalised on 74 minutes.
Ascot United made it two wins in a row in the Combined Counties League Premier Division. Two goals from Usman Lalustani and an opener from captain Louis Bouwers have the Yellamen a 3-0 win at relegated Egham Town.
In the Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup, Wokingham & Emmbrook, Holyport and Woodley United are all through with the latter knocking out Langley 4-2.
An own goal, Sam Guze, Max Laschok and Harry Swabey accounted for United’s goals while Jake White and Luke Scope gave Wokingham a 2-1 win at Penn & Tyler’s Green.
Finally, Holyport advanced thanks to a 6-5 penalty shoot out win over Long Crendon after a 1-1 draw and Lorenzo Medford secured a point for AFC Aldermaston in the Hellenic League Division One East against Wallingford Town.
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Main image: Hungerford Town vs Slough Town by Philip J.A Benton/philipbenton.com