Frustrated City fall to late Crusaders strike

City endured a frustrating final home game of 2021 thanks to a late goal that sent Hungerford Town back to Berkshire with the three points. Although keeper Will Fuller had saved a second half penalty from Seager, City had looked the more likely winner but were made to pay for failing to take their chances when Evans thumped the ball home in the 86th minute. After a slow start to the game, where the contrasting styles of the two teams was most apparent, City passing game began to create openings. In the space of five minutes just past the half-hour mark, Mo Touray brought a good save out of Cairney with a low shot, Jordan Dyer headed an Elliott Frear corner narrowly over the bar and Alex Fletcher was also denied by the keeper. The game was halted in the 38th minute for a round of applause by players, officials and supporters for ex-City striker Marvin Morgan who passed away earlier in the week. Four minutes later Cody Cooke’s looping header came back off the bar as City continued to search for an opening goal. The visitors had only rarely threatened – their main weapon long throws from both flanks – Fuller easily gathering an Angell shot in the 14th minute shortly after a corner had flown dangerously across the six-yard box. City continued the second half on top but in the 52nd minute Seager went down just inside the box and the linesman flagged for a penalty. However, Fuller dived to his left to keep out the spot-kick and the game remained level. This wasn’t the last decision by the officials that left City increasingly unhappy, manager Jerry Gill and Joe Raynes seeing yellow in quick succession for comments directed at the referee, and the Crusaders were happy to play on this discontent as much as possible. City still continued to create openings though, Fletcher again testing Cairney with a well-struck shot on 61 minutes. He was then sent clear by Raynes’ pass but couldn’t get his shot away before Raynes tried his luck from 25 yards only for Cairney once more to be equal to the effort. And with four minutes left City were caught by a sucker punch as the latest of numerous long-throws into their box dropped for Evans to give Fuller no chance from 15 yards. City had one final chance to salvage a point but David Sim-Burgess’ cross just eluded Cooke and moments later Hungerford could enthusiastically celebrate the win.