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Hungerford end five year wait for win over old rivals

Luke Hopper - netted the opener at Poole
Luke Hopper - netted the opener at Poole

Poole Town 1 Hungerford Town 2

OFFICIALLY manager-less they may be but Hungerford were hardly rudder-less as they steered a successful path through potentially choppy waters to record their first win over Poole in more than five years on Monday.

Goals from Luke Hopper and Louis Soares were Crusaders’ rewards for showing all their old spirit to end a four-match losing streak and raise a wry smile as they left Bobby Wilkinson’s new Wealdstone charges in the relegation places.

“It’s been a tough week for everyone,” said co-caretaker boss Ian Herring, “but everyone out there was outstanding.”

With management partner Jon Boardman carrying an injury, Herring took his place in the middle of the back four and guided his side from the back, when a second half injury to Matt Partridge left Herring and Rhys Tyler as an unlikely centre back duo against a side known for its set piece threat.

But that was negated throughout as Hungerford eclipsed the home side for long spells in the sunshine.

They went ahead after 15 minutes when Luke Hopper pounced to score when Nick Hutchings could not hold on to Stefan Brown’s shot, and Hopper went on to hit the woodwork twice.

In between, Poole got back on terms early in the second period when defender Will Spetch, pushed up front in a bid to unsettle the visiting defence, found space to hit a shot that bobbled awkwardly past Lewis Ward in goal.

But Hungerford netted the winner after 63 minutes when Ward’s huge clearance found its way to Soares, who threaded his way into the box before leaving Hutchings helpless and Hungerford shrugged off the enforced defensive changes to claim that first harbourside win since Match 2012.

Poole Town: Hutchings; Lindsay, Spetch, Whisken, Moore; Pettefer (Bedford 74), Baggie, Devlin, Dickson; Burbidge (Oxlade-Chamberlain 66), Lee (Balmer 46). Subs: T. Rees, Balmer, Cooper.

Hungerford Town: Ward; Tyler, Partridge (Bignall 67), Herring, Stonehouse; Soares, S. Rees (Clark 61), Ngamvoulou, Willmoth; Brown (Bentley 92), Hopper. Subs: Boardman, Meechan.

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