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Hungerford Town 0-1 Hemel Hempstead Town: Crusaders can't find a way past Tudors

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Hungerford Town missed the opportunity to move up to second in the National League South as they lost 1-0 to Hemel Hempstead Town at Bulpit Lane.

A second-half header from Gus Scott-Morriss proved to be the only goal of the contest as the Crusaders, who ended the game with 10-men due to a red card for James Rusby, tasted their fourth defeat of the campaign.

Danny Robinson made just one change from Saturday’s 4-1 win at Billericay as Callum Willmoth replaced Matt Partridge, while Simo Mbonkwi returned to the bench.

Hungerford missed the chance to move second
Hungerford missed the chance to move second

The home side created the games first opportunity when Sol Wanjau-Smith and Ryan Seager linked up before the latter played in Matt Jones, who saw his effort hit the side netting.

Wanjau-Smith then headed inches past the goal from a Jones cross as Hungerford started to grow in the contest.

Robinson’s side did have the ball in the back of the net twice in the first-half, once from Wanjau-Smith and the other from Seager, but both goals were ruled out for being offside.

Former Hungerford player Craig Fasanmade went close on two separate occasions, but Luke Cairney was on hand to make two comfortable saves.

After a chance from Matt Berry-Hargreaves went begging, the closest anyone came to opening the scoring was when Jake Evans’ left-footed effort went inches wide of the post before the break.

The visitors came out strongest in the second-half and they were rewarded with a goal just before the hour mark.

A corner from Sam Mantom was only half-cleared and the cross from Tyrique Hyde was superbly met by the had of Scott-Morriss, who guided his header into the top right-hand corner of the net to give the Tudors the lead.

Rusby and Wanjau-Smith had opportunities to level, while one effort was cleared off the line as Hemel continued to weather a late storm.

The task became even harder for Hungerford, five minutes from time, when captain Rusby received a straight red card for a two-footed challenge on an opponent.

Despite their late flurry of attacks, Robinson’s side were unable to find that equaliser they needed and as a result tasted defeat.

The home side will have little time to reflect on the game as they now prepare to host Ebbsfleet United at Bulpit Lane on Saturday.

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