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Hampton trip key to Crusaders' play-off hopes

Rivals falter but Hungerford need to pounce

Malcolm Howe



Hampton trip key to Crusaders' play-off hopes

Stefan Brown - back from injury

HUNGERFORD TOWN return from an enforced weekend off to face a Hampton and Richmond Borough side immediately beneath them in the Vanarama National League South table.

Last week’s postponement at Poole Town caused no damage to Hungerford’s play-off hopes, as the teams they need to catch could not capitalise, Poole for obvious reasons,while Chelmsford gathered only one point from six.

“We’re only five points behind them and with a game in hand,” said Hungerford manager Bobby Wilkinson, although with things so tight at the top, The Crusaders could do with a win bonus to prop up their challenge in Hampton this weekend.

That is no easy task as Wilkinson rates the home side highly. They impressed when winning 3-1 at Bulpit Lane in September, although since then, they have sold twin strikers Jamal Lowe and Nikke Kabamba to Portsmouth,and it has been understandably difficult replacing the pair who contributed 48 goals before their transfer window departures.

“But they have been in the top six all season,” said Wilkinson. “We watched them last week and they could have beaten Maidenhead. They are a very good club and their manager has done a brilliant job there.”

Borough have brought in Shamir Mullings on loan from Forest Green to lead their front line, while midfielder Brendan Kiernan now heads their goal scoring charts with 14 to his credit.

Hungerford have Stefan Brown back in training to join an otherwise fully fit squad.

THE postponed match at Poole will now be played at Tatnam on Tuesday, April 4.

What’s the odds?

BOROUGH are rated as slight favourites at 6/5 with bookies for Saturday’s clash, with Hungerford priced around 9/5 and a draw at 5/2.

A single goal win for either side is priced at 10/1 and 12/1 respectively and you can get 20/1 on Hungerford repaying the earlier result by scoring a 3-1 win.

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