National League South Sat 25 February The Crucial Environmental Stadium
  • Meekums (36')
  • Pearce (61')
Hungerford Town
  • Rollinson (23')

The Crusaders started the day in the relegation places but Joel Rollinson’s 23rd minute strike had them believing they could upset the league table, however goals either side of half time by Reece Meekums and Ollie Pearce gave the Reds another welcome three points.

Joe Rye had the first opportunity of the game just two minutes in but from Joel Colbran’s flick on he headed straight at Jed Ward.

The visitors looked dangerous early on and were denied the opening goal by an excellent interception by Dan Bowry after Rollinson got free down the right.

The Reds grew into the game and Colbran and Ollie Pearce both had half chance inside the opening period of the game.

The home side clicked into gear in the 15th minute, following a corner a sequence of passes eventually found Bowry in space but his cut back was blasted over by Colbran.

The first big call for the referee came on the 21st minute when Colbran’s long ball was misjudged by Kyle Bailey who compounded his error by tugging back Josh Chambers. Kirsty Dowle deemed it not a goal scoring opportunity and showed the defender a yellow card.

The hosts took the lead just a few minutes later when Rollinson was afforded far too much time and space at the back post to lash past Male.

The equalising goal was one of real quality. Beresford fired it into the feet of Pearce who’s delightful flick sent Chambers through, who steadied himself and unselfishly squared the ball to Meekums to tap home from close range.

The home side started the second half well. First Pearce was denied by a combination of Ward and the post, then Lewis White had a glorious chance at the back post after a good ball in by Colbran but he couldn’t sort his feet out quick enough and the ball squirmed agonisingly wide.

The chances continued to come and the Reds really should have gone ahead when the ball fell to Chambers inside six yard box but he contrived to waste the chance as his finished came back off the post.

Thankfully for Chambers his side were afforded the chance to take the lead minutes later when Ward took out Meekums in the box and Pearce converted from the spot to start his second century of Worthing goals.

Pearce probably should have got his second of the game with twenty minutes to play but he couldn’t keep his effort down after good play by Meekums.

The away side were nearly gifted a way back into the game when sloppy play lead to a chance for Dan Roberts but he screwed his effort wide.

Adam Hinselwood’s side lost their way somewhat after that and the Crusaders enjoyed their best period of the second half putting Harrison Male’s goal under pressure with a succession of long throws and corners.

Roberts then stung Male’s fingertips with a well struck volley as the visitors pushed for an equaliser but that was as good as it got and the Rebels were able to hold out to secure another important three points.

Next up is a trip to Chippenham on Tuesday evening, kick-off 7.45pm.