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Crusaders' Christmas crunch clash

Hungerford face local rivals on Boxing Day

Ralph Webb

Reporter:

Ralph Webb

Crusaders' Christmas crunch clash

Harry Goodger scored the winner for Hungerford at Chippenham last season

HUNGERFORD Town boss Bobby Wilkinson knows what he wants for Christmas this year – three points in the Boxing Day showdown with Chippenham Town.
The two local rivals have contested some rough, tough and competitive derbies over the years.
But never has there been so much at stake as this year.
 Hungerford go into the clash in third place in the Evo Stik Southern League Premier Division, just a point behind Chippenham, who have played a game more.
And Wilkinson is confident that his side can come away with all three points.
He said: “It is a big game and my boys have always turned up for the big games.
“We went to watch Chippenham draw 1-1 at Dorchester on Saturday and there’s no doubt that they are a very good outfit.
“We will be going there as underdogs and we will relish that.”
Hungerford may be boosted by the fact that Chippenham currently boast a better away record than they do at home.
And last year Harry Goodger’s goal earned Hungerford a 1-0 win at their rivals.
   But Wilkinson said: “I don’t believe that form comes into it in these games because it is a local derby.
“We have had a few hard games in the last couple of weeks and it should be entertaining.”
 Town are well placed for a real tilt at the play-off places for the second season in a row.
Wilkinson said: “I have never been this high in the league at Christmas before so it is a great place to be.
“The boys deserve all the credit for winning so many games.
“But as I have always said, it doesn’t matter where you are now – it’s where you are at the end of the season that counts.
“We will keep our feet on the ground and see where we end up.
“This is a ruthless game and a ruthless league – the whole league can change in seven days.”
Nevertheless, these are exciting times at Bulpit Lane.
  Looming large on the horizon is an FA Trophy second-round clash at Vanarama National Premier Division side Chester on January 16.
Before then, however, Town face three vital Premier Division games that could go a long way to keeping them in with the promotion pack.

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