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O'Brien on the wing from Hungerford

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Irish international leaves Crusaders as Partridge flies in

Alan O'Brien - leaves on eve of new seaosn
Alan O'Brien - leaves on eve of new seaosn

HUNGERFORD TOWN have parted company with Irish international winger Alan O'Brien after leaving the club by mutual consent after he failed to agree terms with manager Bobby Wilkinson.

The 32-year old was a close season target for newly promoted Chippenham Town and now brings an end to his five years at Hungerford.

O’Brien’s pace terrified defenders but recent campaigns have been curtailed by injury, the most recent ruling him out of last season’s run-in at a time when the winger was flying after recovering from a previous hernia problem.

“Alan has given so much to the club and on behalf of everyone, I want to wish him well on his next chapter,” said manager Bobby Wilkinson.

Wilkinson, meanwhile, has secured the signing of defender Matt Partridge and the former Reading youngster goes straight into the squad for Tuesday night’s Berks and Buck Senior Cup final with Maidenhead United.

The 23-year old secured his release with Basingstoke Town by mutual consent at the weekend, and he is set to make his debut in the tie at Slough Town’s new Arbour Park Stadium.

Both managers expect to field reshuffled sides, playing on an artificial surface just 10 days before the start of the new Vanarama National League campaign.

Hungerford warmed up on Saturday by suffering their first pre-season defeat when going down to Mo Bettamer’s first half goal at Staines Town.

Luke Hopper went closest to an equaliser when he hit the bar after the break, and manager Bobby Wilkinson also cast an eye over much-travelled midfielder Stephane Ngamvoulou.

The French midfielder or defender played an hour of the match as Wilkinson takes a close look at the player as he ties up the loose needs of his squad.

The tie at Slough kicks off at 7.45pm.

RAIN hit much of the weekend’s pre-season action with Thatcham Town’s game at Milton United and Newbury’s home match with Holyport rained off.

But Tadley Calleva saw action when beating Abingdon United – Thatcham’s opening opponents on August 1 in the Hellenic League – with a 2-1 win in the match played on the 3G surface at Basingstoke’s Everest College.

Tadley’s goals came from Sam Hamilton and second half substitute George Hallahan as they maintained their good pre-season form, which sees its next examination on Tuesday night when Woking Academy are the visitors to Everest College for an 8pm kick-off.

Kintbury Rangers were involved in a three-way derby date at The Recreaition Ground with Charlie Allsop and Harry Way netting for Rangers and AFC replying through Joe Cummuskey and Karl Hanks.

The second game saw a Rangers XI draw 3-3 with Lambourn Sports, Luke Conner, Nick Malcher and Dan Skipworth scoring for Kintbury and Darren Mobey, Chris Tewkesbury and Jake Bailey replying for a reshaped Sports side.

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