Tiverton Town v Hungerford Town
Pitching In Southern League Premier Division South
The Ian Moorcroft Stadium, 3pm
TIVERTON'S clash with Hungerford will be a telling one: the Yellows’ have had a mini revival recently and Hungerford are one of the form sides in our division.
Leigh Robinson’s men will be taking on a Hungerford side who have no seen defeat since October 10 and any dropping of the standards that have recently been set may well be capitalised on.
Two excellent wins on the road following a home draw have been built on a solid defensive base with just a solitary goal conceded since Robinson and assistant Ben Gerring’s arrival. The Crusaders, who suffered relegation from National League South in the previous campaign, began this term with a 7-0 humbling of Plymouth Parkway, although inconsistent early-season form saw them mid-table and lower mid-table.
However, wins on a ten-game unbeaten run against fellow play-off hopefuls Poole Town and AFC Totton and their FA Trophy success versus Truro imply the arrival of strong opponents. Rallying since losing 4-1 to Walton & Hersham, they are unbeaten in ten games. The eighth-placed side will be looking to extend that run.
Only Poole and Walton & Hersham have scored more goals than Hungerford in our league so far. The Crusaders have notched 39 goals, but have conceded 34, the same amount as Tiverton. The Yellows themselves are finding the net with more regularity, with an impressive return of six goals from the away games at Sholing and Hanwell Town.
Danny Robinson, the Hungerford boss, was recruited from Thatcham Town, where his five years there included an FA Vase victory and promotion to the Southern League Division One South, as Hellenic League title winners. Then, a likely promotion to our division in 2020 was denied his team by the COVID-19 pandemic, His notable success at Thatcham, leading to him joining the Crusaders in May 2020.
Shrewd signings this term like Conor McDonough, a prolific marksman for many years with Swindon Supermarine, and talented and exciting wide man Elis Watts, from Weston-super-Mare, were eye-catching bits of business in the close season. McDonough has 16 goals in all competitions since the commencement of the campaign. Last weekend, they overcame Harrow Borough 2-1.
Tiverton strengthened their squad last weekend and all three of the new signings featured as second-half substitutes. It will be interesting to see if the manager goes with his starting 11 that led 2-0 at half-time or gives starts to any of those players; Joe O’Connor, Mitch Beardmore or Javan Wright.
Jack Rice has been in good scoring form of late and the fans will be enthused by the successive away victories.