The Next Match – Hungerford Town Home

The next match here at Twerton Park will be on Monday 28 December when we will welcome Hungerford Town for a fixture which will be sandwiched between two matches with Chippenham.

The Crusaders have certainly been this season’s surprise package following a dismal previous term and currently sit in 4th position with 22 points from 13 matches. In fact they looked down on the rest of the division after their first six outings which saw only two points dropped.

There has been a dip since then and the recent 1-0 win over Hemel Hempstead was their first in five league matches. They also exited the Trophy following a 2-0 defeat at Dorking which followed a defeat in the Cup, going down 4-0 at Truro.

But all connected with City would be wise to ignore the above as the Berkshire club have an excellent record away from home in the League, winning four of their six matches and losing just the once.

New manager Danny Robinson has clearly worked wonders and one of his key decisions must surely have been to sign striker Ryan Seager from Yeovil during the summer. A player who was given his professional debut at Southampton by current Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman, Seager sits in second place in the League’s charts behind Dorking’s Jason Prior with nine goals already in the bag. This is a player the City defence will have to keep a very close eye on.

The last time City faced Hungerford was back in March when we travelled to Bulpit Lane in 4th place and heading towards the play offs. Although only one point had been secured in the previous matches with Braintree and Weymouth, an Adam Mann goal was enough to secure the three points. This left the home team rooted very firmly at the bottom of the table with some very tough fixtures to come.

But as City fans who were there that afternoon will recall, the match was played in a surreal atmosphere with a widespread feeling that the season was about to be curtailed due to the pandemic. In fact the attendance was boosted by fans of neighbouring clubs who had already apparently played their last match.

As we all know no more football was played apart from our appearance in the play off eliminator and with the decision that there would be no relegation the Crusaders were handed a reprieve.

By coincidence our visit to Hungerford later in the season will come 12 months to the day since that strange match and hopefully fans from both clubs will be able to enjoy it.

This will only be the fifth league match held at Twerton between ourselves and the Crusaders, all since 2016. The visitors have yet to win with the City chalking up three wins. The only other encounter was an FA Cup match way back in 1974 which saw a comfortable 6-1 victory for City on our way to an agonising first round defeat at Wimbledon.