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Robinson hails new look side after thumping opening day win

Hungerford Town boss Danny Robinson felt his side’s thumping 7-0 opening day win over Plymouth Parkway can serve as a statement of intent to the rest of the Southern Premier League.

“I don’t think we could’ve imagined that in our wildest dreams,” he said.

“Plymouth were better than us in the first 15 minutes and Ryan Clarke had to pull off a fabulous save, we went up the other end and 10 seconds later the ball’s in the back of their net.

Danny Robinson was delighted with his side’s emphatic opening day win. Pictures by Phil Cannings
Danny Robinson was delighted with his side’s emphatic opening day win. Pictures by Phil Cannings

“That settled us down, we had a lot of new lads but from that point we were much the better side and the result speaks for itself.

“Looking back to 12 months ago, we lost 1-0 to Concord Rangers and we were awful.

“The feeling we’ve got now couldn’t be more different but we’ll still be asking for patience.

“There were a few crazy results about and it usually takes a couple of months for the league to settle down, but this is a good start and we’re announcing ourselves to some of the other teams in this league.

“We’re a new side but it looks like we could go and be a very good side.”

Hungerford, who lost top goalscorer Ryan Seager to National League Dorking Wanderers last summer, had to wait three months before scoring seven National League South goals last term.

This time, the Crusaders took just 72 minutes, with frontman Conor McDonagh scoring a hat-trick, winger Michael Fernandes bagging a brace while defender Luke Carnell and attacker Elis Watts marked their competitive debuts with a goal.

Conor McDonagh celebrates his hat-trick
Conor McDonagh celebrates his hat-trick

Robinson said: “I think it showed we can score goals from all over the pitch.

“Conor’s a special player and gives us that threat up front that we lacked last season.

“We’ve got goals in us, we’re much more of a threat from set-pieces and we scored from two crosses.

“We have to be ruthless to do well and we’ve got players now that are capable of that.”

Young forward Elis Watts made an impression from the bench, scoring a wonderful solo goal from the right flank just minutes after his introduction.

Elis Watts impressed after signing earlier in the week
Elis Watts impressed after signing earlier in the week

Watts, who was signed on Friday following the departure of Karnell Chambers, was part of the Weston-Super-Mare squad that won promotion to the National League South last season and Robinson admits he’s long been an admirer of the 21-year-old.

“I wanted to get Elis here right at the start of pre-season,” he said.

“He became available last week and we’re over the moon to get him in.

“He’s got pedigree, he’s won the league and he’s a direct winger with loads of talent.”

Hungerford face two testing trips up next, with visits to well-fancied Chesham and Bracknell before Beaconsfield Town come to Bulpit Lane on August 19.

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