Issue 145    Dec 1st   to   March 1st   2020

Hungerford Football Club……….

Although we just avoided relegation at the end of last season, we looked forward to another year in the National League South, well  aware that we again faced  difficult season ahead.

It is the highest level the club has ever reached, the second tier of non-league football, only two divisions below the Football League and teams like Swindon Town.

No other West Berks team has reached this level, which is several divisions above  the teams which have been our traditional opponents  over past years, and one in which will always be difficult for us to survive, especially when we are meeting clubs backed by populations of ten or twenty times that of Hungerford.

However, we were boosted by the election of new Chairman, Patrick Chambers and his hard-working wife Nicky, together with a new Vice-Chairman Carl Reader and the committee have backed them wholeheartedly

On the playing side, we have had some new signings, along with many of our previous squad and manager Ian Herring soon had them working hard at pre-season training.  We also had a number of pre-season friendly matches, including one against the  Kuwait National team which was played at Bisham Abbey, where we lost by the only goal of the game.

However, as soon as we saw the new league   fixture list, we realised that the task was even harder than we had imagined. We were scheduled with  eight league games during  August, the first month of the new season, a daunting programme which included away games  against some of the league’s top teams, such as Hemel Hempstead, Bath City, Wealdstone, Billericay and Dulwich Hamlet ,  and, although we beat Slough Town in our first home game, it was over month before we recorded our next victory, a remarkable 3-2 win at Dulwich Hamlet in front of over  2,000 fans.

Although many of our games were fairly close, we failed to turn them into points and by the beginning of October we were at the bottom of the league, but a good performance and a 2-0 win at Concord Rangers after the long trip to Canvey Island, saw us climb out of the relegation zone , although we were back at the foot of the table all too soon, after losing to Hampton & Richmond when the conditions could hardly have been more different.

In sharp contrast to the warm sunny afternoon at Concord, there was torrential rain throughout the day  and the players had to battle hard against the weather. The visitors  scored in the first half, and  any chance of salvaging a point disappeared when they scrambled a second goal near the end to leave us with nothing to show for our efforts and a mountain to climb in the weeks ahead.

However, the pitch stood up well to the hammering on a day when there were many postponements.

We obviously have tough times ahead at this level but the committee, players  and supporters will continue to give everything.  

The club is now 133yearsold and we owe it to our predecessors not to let them down.  

Ron Tarry.  President. Hungerford Town Football Club      

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