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Football: Lack of discipline costs Hungerford Town victory at Braintree in the National League South

Hungerford Town manager Danny Robinson was left ruing “seven minutes of madness” which cost his side dearly at Braintree Town on Saturday.

Revitalised Town went into the game full of confidence, despite the Essex side boasting an 11-game unbeaten home run in National League South.

And things were going to plan when they hit back from a goal down to lead 2-1 midway through the second half thanks to goals from Leighton Thomas and Christie Ward.

But then Matt Berry-Hargreaves conceded a penalty, which Braintree converted, and virtually straight from the kick-off, a mistake in midfield gifted the home side possession and they scored again to snatch the points.

There was more misery for Hungerford in stoppage time as Berry-Hargreaves was sent off following a flare-up involving players from both sides.

Robinson was left frustrated as his side had got themselves into a winning position.

He said: “The sides cancelled each other out in the first half, but we were the better team in the second half and their first goal came against the run of play.

“We did really well to get our noses in front, but then seven minutes of madness cost us.

“It was a stonewall penalty that got them back in it and then you have got to try to keep your discipline and manage the game, but we didn’t do that and paid the price.

“Matt [Berry-Hargreaves] has probably been our best player this season and he is the first name on the teamsheet, but he did not need to get involved and he let us down a bit.”

One positive for Crusaders is that the goals are continuing to flow.

Thomas bagged a hat-trick in the Berks & Bucks Cup win at Shrivenham in midweek and he followed that up with another goal at Braintree.

Robinson said: “Leighton went away to Tiverton Town to get experience and he has come back a different player – he was our best player on Saturday.”

Hungerford will be hoping that Thomas will be on target again on Saturday when they host Tonbridge Angels at Bulpit Lane, kick-off 12.30pm.

Robinson will be boosted by the return of Callum Wilmoth and George Smith from suspension, while keeper Jed Ward is available again.

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