Mark of a winner
Hungerford keep pressing while Newbury end their lean streak as Hellenic Leaguers all win
Bridgwater Town 0 Hungerford Town 1
HUNGERFORD continued their chasing of leaders Bideford as Mark Draycott's second half goal pocketed three more road points in Somerset on Saturday.
Hungerford were never actually chasing the game itself. They were generally in control and generally patient until the moment appeared to put together the game's best move and bag the decider.
Nicholas Ogbanufe and Diak John combined devastatingly on the left before finding Jon Paul Mills, who resisted the opportunity to turn and shoot by caressing the ball ac cross for Draycott to tuck home a perfect finish.
It was conditions, delivery and Bridgwater's battling that had kept it all square until then. Hungerford should have gone ahead within 10 minutes when they broke three against one, but somehow the entire front three of Ogbanufe, Draycott and Luke Hopper failed to find a way past a despairing dive or two.
Goalkeeper Sam Hutchings did well to deny Draycott when he was set up by his strike partner, and it was 41 minutes before Bridgwater mustered a serious goal attempt when Bradley Middleton let fly with an awkward shot that was met with aplomb by young goalkeeper Stuart Moore.
Draycott's finish after 56th minutes should have led to more, although Bridgewater looked dangerous whenever skipper Danny Wring had the ball.
Luke Brewer had it once, but screwed a clear chance well wide and without that cushion, there was more anxiety than there should have been.
The Hungerford back line was held in uncompromising check by Matt Day while Moore, composed beyond his years, saved from Ollie Barnes' curling free kick, and from Wring.
But Hungerford were on top again before the end when Draycott, Hopper and Ognabufe all had chances to make it more convincing.
The result leaves Hungerford still six points adrift of Bideford, and having played one more game, but the rest are slipping behind with consistency the only marker by which they will be recognised come April.
NEWBURY shook off their shaky spell to return to winning ways with a 3-1 Hellenic league success at lowly Letcombe.
Newbury were coasting along at 2-0 up at the interval, Marc Piper putting them ahead and Rob Panting adding the second.
Letcombe raised their hopes when Paul Jezzard pulled one back, but Piper's second goal, two minutes from time, secured the points.
THATCHAM RESERVES did Newbury a power of good when winning 1-0 away to leaders Highmoor Ibis.
A Shaun Thorp penalty gave Thatcham the points against a Highmoor side that was forced to play with 10 men for 55 minutes following a first half dismissal.
The decisive goal came when Paul Taplin was shoved in the back and Thorp hammered home the spot kick.
A last minute winner from Matt Pedder maintained LAMBOURN SPORTS' good run as they beat visiting Milton United 3-2 at Bockhampton Road.
Paul Davis and Richard Guy had given Lambourn a 2-0 lead in the opening 25 minutes, only for it to be wiped out when Matt Shelton netted 10 minutes before half time and Ben Taylor equalised with 15 minutes to go.