Crusaders comeback to stop losing streak
A 90th minute equaliser secures a richly deserved point at St Albans
Hungerford are still fighting to stay up as they came from two-nil down to draw two-two with St Albans. There will even be some disappointment as a dominant second half display and golden first half chances should’ve seen them claim all three points.
Ian Herring made one change from the side that faced Oxford on New Year’s Day. Mike Jones came into midfield at the expense of winger Zidan Akers.
It was a first twenty minutes of little goalmouth action, both sides were feeling their way into the game. It was the hosts enjoying slightly more possession and they broke the deadlock in the twenty second minute. Zane Banton’s cross was poorly cleared by Taofiq Olomowewe straight into the path of Jefferson Louis who ruthlessly punished the mistake. Adam Siviter had no chance as the ball flew past him into the top corner of the net. Matters went from bad to worse when Baboucarr Jarra went down with a hamstring injury. Bradley Webb replaced the centre back and Herring switched to a back three to push his fullbacks further up the pitch. Not long after the goal Hungerford had a big chance to equalise through Liam Ferdinand. Joe Tomlinson whipped in a cross from the right flank which was met by the head of Ferdinand. Dean Snedker pulled off an excellent save to tip the ball over his crossbar. Ferdinand then shot inches wide of a post as they searched for an equaliser before half time. However it was the hosts who would double their lead five minutes before the interval. Jamie Fielding provided Louis with his second goal of the afternoon as he smashed the ball past a rooted goalkeeper. Ferdinand had his third chance of the half flicking a cross past Snedker’s post before the goalkeeper had to pull off a full stretch save to thwart Jose Maturino Da Silva.
The Crusaders controlled the second half and Ralph Graham pulled back a goal on fifty-eight minutes, slotting past Snedker from the edge of the penalty area. The goal gave the visitors wind in their sails and Snedker had to be alert to deny Webb’s strike almost instantly after the goal. Despite the Saints being camped in their own half Louis still posed a threat up top and with ten minutes to go Siviter had to block the strikers shot. At 3-1 the game would’ve been over but failure to take the one second half chance they had and Hungerford were still applying constant pressure at the other end. With just minutes left on the clock, Snedker rescued Saints with another fine reaction save. Matt Jones’ long range effort was spilled by the goalkeeper but he made up for the mistake by denying Ferdinand on the follow-up. When all seemed lost one last corner gave the Crusaders one last chance of equalising. Substitute Zidan Akers took it from the left hand side. Tomlinson leapt highest to win the header which cannoned in off Conor Lynch. Tomlinson was claiming it but Lynch will take the goal.
Hungerford next game is a cup match at home against Bracknell Town on Tuesday 14th January. Kick-off 7.45pm