Crusaders swept aside by rampant Romans

Goals from Dave Sims-Burgess, Tom Smith and Elliott Frear fired City to a timely and thoroughly well-deserved victory Hungerford Town at Bulpit Lane this afternoon. It took the Romans just six minutes to go in front against the play-off chasing Crusaders, Sims-Burgess netting his first goal for the club from Alex Fletcher’s low cross, and they rarely looked like relinquishing this advantage. They doubled their lead on 32 minutes when Smith’s 20-yard free-kick gave Cairney no chance in the Hungerford goal. Ofori-Acheampong headed a great chance over the bar moments later but this was a rare nervous moment at the back for City. Playing down the considerable Bulpit Lane slope after the interval Hungerford would have still harboured hopes of finding a way back into the game but City showed their determination to keep them out with a great defending to deny league top scorer Seager a shooting chance on 48 minutes. Cheered on by the majority of the 646 crowd City were largely restricting the Berkshire side to long range efforts which failed to trouble Ryan Clarke and they looked more likely to add to the scoring with several swift breaks. With 10 minutes to go one such break saw Ben Seymour get the better of Berry-Hargreaves only to be dragged to the ground by the last defender. The inevitable red card followed and six minutes later City sealed their first away league win of 2022 when Cody Cooke’s brilliant back-heel set up Frear to steer home a third goal. Fletcher almost capped the victory in stoppage time, crashing a shot against the underside of the bar, but that mattered little as moments later City could enjoy a massive boost to their chances of retaining their National League South status.