Slough Town hosted Hungerford Town at Arbour Park on Tuesday night in a Berkshire derby between two sides who have had differing starts to the season. Slough went into the game in 12th position in the table with 7 points from their opening 6 games and having lost their previous two matches.
Hungerford, on the other hand, are the division’s surprise package having won 5 of their 7 matches, and despite losing at home to Hampton & Richmond Borough on Saturday, they still sat in an impressive 3rd place.
It was the visitors who started on the front foot, looking sharp, pacey and direct straight from kick-off, and their pressure was rewarded early on when Mike Jones found Craig Fasanmade on the right who charged forward and put a great ball into the box for top scorer Ryan Seager to volley into the bottom corner.
As the first half went on Slough began to see more of the ball but were unable to break down a well organised Hungerford defence, whereas the Crusaders continued to look dangerous when they attacked on the break. However, on 32 minutes the Rebels were back on level terms when they put together their best move of the match. Nice build up play from Max Worsfold found Malachi Linton on the edge of the box and be played a great ball to Dan Roberts who’s dinked finish lobbed the onrushing Luke Cairney and flew into the far side of the net.
It looked like the half would be finishing all square until Rebels substitute Sean Fraser picked the ball up in midfield and tried to pass the ball back to his defence but managed to pick out a grateful Seager who turned away from the home defenders and drilled a shot into the bottom corner from 20 yards to register his and Hungerford’s second goal of the game, and to give his side a well-deserved half time lead.
In the second half, the Crusaders extended their lead with another goal that had a large slice of self-infliction from the Rebels. The tireless Fasanmade chased down a pass back to Jack Turner that had left him under pressure, picked the keepers pocket and fired into an empty net to make the score 3-1 to the visiting side.
For the remainder of the game, Slough struggled to break down the Hungerford defence. They had a golden chance to reduce the deficit on 83 minutes when Paul Hodges, who had been lively since coming on 20 minutes earlier, was brought down in the box by Curtis Angell but Roberts’ penalty was well saved by Cairney down to his left
The game finished 3-1, a deserved victory for Hungerford, who never really looked like dropping the points after going two goals ahead.
A good set of results for the Crusaders in the other Tuesday night fixtures sees them climb back to second in the table, however, their next two fixtures look tough as they travel to St Alban’s on Saturday before hosting league leaders Dartford the following weekend.
Slough slip to 14th in the standings and have similarly tough upcoming fixtures with a trip to Dartford this weekend before they welcome Ebbsfleet to Arbour Park next Tuesday.