Rebels denied by late Crusaders leveller

Hungerford Town

Hungerford Town

Smith (90+3)
Slough Town

Slough Town

Derry (68)
League Attendance: 456 Michael Edegbe
Rebels were denied a hard-fought victory after a late strike from George Smith gave the hosts a share of the spoils, after Tom Derry gave Slough a deserved lead midway through the second half, writes Sam Pryke.

Slough began the game on the front foot and in the 6th minute Aaron Kuhl whipped in a dangerous cross which was half cleared to Ben Harris, who lashed wide of the target from the edge of the box.

On 14 minutes, Hungerford created their first opening courtesy of a direct long ball out of defence. Ryan Seager pounced onto the long ball and blasted the ball across the Rebels penalty area, only for it to be cleared to safety.

The hosts started asserting themselves on 17 minutes, when a corner from the right found defender Keith Emmerson, who blazed over the bar.

On 25 minutes, the hosts’ pressure finally resulted in a shot on target. Rebels’ goalkeeper Michael Edegbe, who was making his senior debut in the absence of Jonathan North comfortably held onto Warren Bentley’s shot from the edge of the box.

Chances then dried up with the Slough defence restricting the hosts to efforts from distance and in the 31st minute Seager tried an acrobatic effort from 20 yards which went wide.

Slough created the best chance of the game on 37 minutes; a Matthew Lench strike was too hot to handle for Hungerford’s goalkeeper Luke Cairney who palmed the ball into the path of Harris, who then dragged his shot wide from inside the box.

Slough were now in the ascendancy and on 40 minutes George Hunt tried his luck but failed to test Cairney in goal.

After the interval, the hosts went in search of a breakthrough. An effort from Curtis Angell from outside the box stung the palms of Edegbe in the Slough goal.

On the hour mark, Seager found himself with time and space but never looked confident as he struck a tame shot straight at Edegbe’s chest.

As the game moved into the final third, Slough managed to take the lead on 68 minutes. A slick piece of football started with Kuhl breaking between the lines, playing the ball to the right of the box which resulted in an inch-perfect low cross for Derry to tuck away at the near post.

The Rebels were repelling any threat from the hosts, with Josh Jackman making important blocks and skipper Mark Nisbet snuffing out any danger.

On 81 minutes, the impressive Kuhl managed to pick out Derry who shrugged off the defender, finding space to get a shot away which was held by Cairney in goal.

With Hungerford throwing more bodies forward, Slough looked dangerous on the counterattack and could have added a second as a cross from the right was curled into a dangerous area but evaded the runners at the far post.

As the game moved into four minutes of added time, an unlikely equaliser came from the home side. A corner from the right wasn’t cleared by the Slough defence, and George Smith blasted the ball through a pile of bodies and into the roof of the net.

Not long after, the referee blew for full time in what was a spirited display by the Rebels.

Image: Philip Benton

Hungerford Town Lineup

Luke Cairney, Curtis Angell (Matt Jones 79), Keith Emmerson, James Rusby (c), Callum Willmoth, Ryan Seager, Jake Evans (Chris Flood 62), George Smith, Warren Bentley (Sol Wanjau-Smith 75), Rhys Tyler, Kyle Bailey. Unused substitutes: Louis McGrory, Nana Kyei.


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