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Crusaders battle to a draw

High-flyers held at home

Malcolm Howe



Crusaders battle to a dcraw

Gareth Thomas - goal ruled out

St Albans City 0 Hungerford Town 0

HUNGERFORD dragged Saints out of the top with a dogged defensive display to add to the home side’s frustration after missing out on an FA Cup first round place last week.

Hungerford’s attacking duties were limited, but defensively they stuck together to thwart the home side’s hopes of taking over at the top.

Goalkeeper Lewis Ward was the busier of the two, and he had to save at the second attempt from Shaun Lucien at the second attempt and the same player put a good chance wide after the ball had fallen to him off Gareth Thomas.

St Albans had penalty appeals turned away when Ward appeared to take down Lucien when he burst through, and Zane Banton set up Sam Merson only to fire against the bar from seven yards out.

Hungerford’s best opening fell to Nicholas Bignall when Stefan Brown headed on James Rusby long ball into the box, but Bignall could only stab the ball wide.

Hungerford saw a little more of the ball going forward after the break and Jordan Simpson hit the post, although the flag was up for offside against Bignall, and Thomas tucked home a shot from James Clark cross but was caught coming back from an offside position.

Otherwise, the home side piled forward but could not break down the Hungerford rearguard as they poached a decent point.

St Albans City: Snedker; Herd, Gardiner (Joseph 73), Bender, Eadie; Lucien, Noble, Sambou, Banton (Pinney 46); Merson (Walker 88), Murrell-Williamson. Subs: Eshun, Kiangebeni.

Hungerford Town: Ward; Tyler, Thomas, Rusby, John; Soares (Whittingham 65), Clark, Simpson, Stonehouse; Bignall (Hopper 65), Brown. Subs: Partridge, Herring, Beauchamp.


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