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Crusaders move out of drop zone

Hungerford picked up three points away to promotion hopefuls Oxford City

Liam Headd

Liam Headd

liam.headd@newburynews.co.uk

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01635 886629

Crusaders move out of drop zone

PLAYER/manager Ian Herring is delighted as his Hungerford Town side have picked up points to match their performances in recent weeks.

The Crusaders collected their fifth win of the National League South season as they beat promotion hopefuls Oxford City 2-1 away from home to move out of the relegation zone.

Goals from Alfy Whittingham and Marcus Johnson-Schuster helped Town move above Gloucester City and start 2019 off with a win.

“I am obviously delighted with the result, but the performance too,” Herring said. “The reverse fixture on Boxing Day [which finished 1-1] could have gone either way and it was another tight affair.

“Oxford City are a very good side, their current form shows that, and it’s a credit to our group that we have managed to end their winning run and their unbeaten run in two games.”

Town bounced back after a heavy 4-1 defeat to Truro City on Saturday and Herring made changes to his squad, which proved to be key.

He said: “The Truro game was disappointing and we didn’t really perform as well as we could have and I take the blame for that.

“We have mixed it up a bit and people have been waiting patiently for their opportunity and we made some changes.”

It's a good headache for Town

Herring now feels challenged when naming his starting 11.

He said: “It’s tough. I am still learning and I’m an advocate that if you do well, you keep the shirt, but sometimes you do have to rest players.

“Like I keep saying, it’s a squad game and there are players that have been waiting for their chance, but the attitude has been great and it’s good that the players are giving me selection headaches.”

Moving out of the drop zone has certainly improved the confidence of the Hungerford players and Herring hopes this can help them move forward in the coming weeks.

“It’s massive,” said Herring. “Confidence is a massive thing in whatever you do, not just football but in life.

“Like I said before, I still believe that performances are improving.

“We’re turning them into points and the lads are starting to learn how to win games, which is key.”

Town welcome third-placed Concord Rangers to Bulpit Lane on Saturday, looking to avenge their 4-0 defeat back in August.
We got beaten heavily at their place,” Herring said.

“We have come a long way since that defeat, but it will be difficult.

“They are a very good footballing side with a great management team, but we’ll try to play football in the right way and hopefully it’ll be a good game.”

The win has seen Hungerford move on to 19 points, one more than Gloucester City, who they face at the Jubilee Stadium, Evesham, on January 12.

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