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Crusaders go down after a fight

Manager's resignation punctuates third straight defeat

Malcolm Howe

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Malcolm Howe

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Crusaders go down after a fight

Louis Soares - cut the gap

Welling Utd 3 Hungerford Town 2

BOBBY Wilkinson’s resignation may have overshadowed a third straight Vanarama National League South defeat for The Crusaders on Saturday.

But at least his players did their best to give him a rousing send-off  as they did their best to cancel out a sloppy first half showing and end that mini slump.

It may have been different had Stefan Brown’s first minute chance gone in when he threaded his way into the box, but Ben Jefford was able to clear.

And Welling responded by scoring from their first attack in the fifth minute, player-manager Jamie Coyle heading home debutant’s Jack Jebb’s free kick for his fourth goal of the season.

The hosts struck again after 15 minutes when Bradley Goldberg squeezed past Jon Boardman and his shot from distance bounced past Lewis Ward and into the corner.

Four minutes later, and Hungerford were again reeling from another Jebb delivery, his corner into the six-yard box finding Tom Bradbrook unchallenged to head a simple third.

Hungerford did stir and Brown and Louis Soares tested goalkeeper Dillon Barnes before Hungerford got one back after 28 minutes, Rhys Tyler’s cross finding Soares, whose header was parried by the goalkeeper before he slotted home the rebound.

Lloyd Macklin wasted a chance for the home side before the break, hit afterward, most of the pressing came from Hungerford in the wake of their half-time bombshell.

Barnes saved from Warren Bentley, Soares curled a free kick just off target and Tyler was inches off the mark after combining with Callum Willmoth.

Boardman had to clear off the line from Goldberg after a Welling break, but the pressure finally told late on when Ian Herring controlled a loose pass before Matt partridge hoisted the ball into the box for Luke Hopper to control with his chest and tuck past Barnes.

There were four frantic minutes added on, but not enough for Hungerford to give their departing manager a farewell present.

Welling Utd: Barnes; Gayle, Coyle, Parkinson, Jefford; Monakana, Webb, Dymond, Healy; Badbrook, Goldberg. Subs: Nanetti, Macklin, Durojaiye, Pattison, Francis.

Hungerford Town: Ward; Tyler, Partridge, Boardman, Stonehouse; Clark, Willmoth, Herring, Soares; Brown, Bentley. Subs: Ngamvoulou, Rees, Lawrence, Hopper, Meechan.

Referee: Lee Brennan (London). Attendance: 472.

 

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