HUNGERFORD boosted their Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division play-off hopes with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Stratford Town at the DCS on Saturday, writes Bryan Hale.
On a difficult pitch, both sides took time to settle down and it was 18 minutes before the first serious goal attempt when Stratford’s Jamie Sheldon’s speculative effort from distance was tipped over by the Hungerford goalkeeper Paul Strudley.
Hungerford then had a couple of chances from free-kicks in promising positions. Garyn Preen hit the first one well over, although James Clark went a lot closer as he fired the second inches wide of Andy Kemp’s left-hand post.
Hungerford finally broke the deadlock two minutes before the break when Rhys Tyler released Preen down the left and his cross was met by Mark Draycot with a shot which looped off Kemp with Stefan Brown reacting the quickest to head the loose ball into the empty net.
Stratford had an early chance to equalise in the second half when Sheldon latched onto a lofted pass from Tyrone Fagan, only to shoot straight at Strudley.
From then on Hungerford began to take control with Preen seeing more and more of the ball wide on the left.
They duly wrapped up the points with 20 minutes to go when Preen’s corner was headed in by James Rusby.
Only a goal line clearance by Kieren Westwood from Gary Horgan’s 81st-minute header prevented them from making the final scoreline even more convincing.
Town, who have dropped down to 19th in the division, return to action on Tuesday night when they take on Kettering Town at Latimer Park.