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It's given at last!

Bizarre 'is it or isn't it?' decision sends Hungerford back into the top four

Malcolm Howe

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Malcolm Howe

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It's given at last!

Ian Herring - headed goal finally awarded

Hungerford Town 1 Merthyr Town 0

AN EXTRAORDINARY goal 12 minutes from time sent Hungerford back into the top four in the Evo Stik League Southern’s Premier Division with four games to go to seal a play-off spot.

That goal came after Hungerford had dominated the second half after Merhyr had the better of the opening 45 minutes, althouggh Hungerford’s Nat Jarvis went closest to scoring when he hit the post.

But the vital breakthrough proved to be elusive until Ian Herring met Gary Preen’s corner with a powerful header that Merthyr defender Adam Davies handled.

The well-placed linesman promptly indicated that the ball had crossed the line and awarded the goal, but referee Paul Forrester instead awarded a penalty and sent off Davies for handling on the line, prompting confusion while Merthyr players and Hungerford skipper Matt Day tried to persuade the referee to consult his assistant.

He finally went to the line and after a near-four minute hiatus, walked back before heading to the dressing room to recall Davies, giving him a yellow card instead and awarding the goal.

That left Hungerford to negotiate final minutes that were more worrying than anything that had gone before, although the visitors failed to produce a shot on goal and Hungerford benefited from a win in their penultimate home game while Kettering and Hitchin and Redditch and Leamington denied each other two points and Slough took all three off Chippenham.

Hungerford now have the benefit of a week’s break before going to Histon.

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