Thu, 08 Aug 2019
HUNGERFORD Town manager Ian Herring expressed his delight after his side picked up their first win of the National League South season.
The Crusaders edged out Berkshire rivals Slough Town at Bulpit Lane, winning 1-0 with the goal coming from James Constable.
The three points came just three days after they went down 4-1 on the opening day of the season against Hemel Hempstead Town.
Herring said: “I am over the moon. It was a tough battle and it’s the first time we have beaten them in this division because they are a tough side.
“It doesn’t matter how you get those three points, it’s just about getting them when you are at the start of a new season.
“To keep a clean sheet when they have thrown the kitchen sink at us in the second-half, with a new young group who were so resilient in defending the crosses and long balls that have come into the box, is what I am most pleased with.”
Herring was pleased with his side’s reaction after the defeat to Hemel Hempstead.
He said: “I had a few chats with Kev [Watson] and Ian [Hobbs] about Saturday and I was disappointed and upset, mainly because I know the lads can do better.
“I wanted them to put it right as quickly as possible. There have been some lads that have come into the squad – there has certainly been a reaction.
“We could have been out of sight at half-time, let’s not forget that, and in the second half we played excellent because we showed a different side to our game.”
Herring didn’t change his team throughout the game, despite having five players to choose from on the bench.
“We have a competitive squad and a competitive bench and the lads on the pitch were doing so well,” he said.
“They were defending as a group and we were wondering if we should have taken off one of the midfielders because they were tired.
“But we left it as it was and it was a brilliant clean sheet for the players and the club, which was brilliant.”
The Crusaders dealt with a huge amount of pressure in the second half, which can only improve the experience of the players.
And Herring believes it can also help the confidence of his players.
He said: “We know what this league is about. There are a lot of teams that are very direct and our young keeper and back four showed what they’re about.”
Town now prepare for a home game with Maidstone United on Saturday, hoping to carry on the momentum.
Herring said: “We know they have a lot of quality and they have also signed Noah Chesmain, who scored the goal that kept us in the league last season.”
With it being the first Saturday game at Bulpit Lane, the club are hoping to attract a bumper crowd with an initiative called #LoadTheLane.
Herring said: “It is a very good idea.
“We have to aim for a four-figure crowd and both Carl Reader [vice-chairman] and Patrick Chambers [chairman] have done an awful lot of work.
“Carl has been around to a lot of businesses, handing leaflets out and having conversations with people.
“We’re not just trying to get into the community, we want the community to get into us so hopefully we can see as many people as possible at the club.
“If they do come down and they haven’t been here before, I think they’ll be pleasantly surprised and I think we have assembled a group that reflects myself and Kev as people.”
Hungerford's clash with Maidstone United kick's off at 3pm on Saturday afternoon.