HHTFC v CHIPPENHAM TOWN - 07/04/18
See below match report by Alan Mitchell
Hemel Hempstead Town 3 Chippenham Town 1
Hemel ran out comfortable winners despite playing the last half an hour with ten men after the influential Ismail Yakubu was somewhat harshly sent off in the second half. The home side took the lead after just 3 minutes when Karl Oliyide drove down the left hand side before cutting the ball back to David Moyo who was left with a tap in from six yards.
Manager Dean Brennan will be relieved that Moyo has fully recovered from the injury he suffered in pre season and he appears to have set up an excellent partnership with the newly arrived Oliyide, which will bode well for the final run in. Scott Shulton, playing in a more forward role could have had a hatrick after 20 minutes but was denied by some good goalkeeping and the inside of the post, his firmly hit shot smashing against the woodwork and bouncing out. David Moyo also hit the frame of the goal from a very tight angle before the Tudors finally extended their lead on 42 minutes. Shulton received the ball out wide and he raced down the line before laying the ball back to Oliyide on the edge of the box and he slammed the ball home, leaving Chippenham keeper Jared Thompson no chance.
The second half saw Hemel remain in control, though Chippenham did almost find themselves back in the game when a header from Jake Jackson looped over Walker and bounced off the top of the bar. Yakubu received his red card on the hour mark, after he was adjudged to have pulled Andy Sandall back, though Sandall appeared to have fouled the Hemel man first. The Chippenham midfielder fell as both were battling for the ball and it looked very much a 50/50 challenge but the referee felt Yakubu had deliberately prevented a goalscoring opportunity and sent the unfortunate Hemel player off. Chippenham wasted the resulting free kick, the ball hitting the wall and off for a corner. Tudors fans were checking their watches to see how long they would have to play with ten men but the fears were eased from the same corner kick. As it came in it was cleared and the in form David Moyo was on to the loose ball in a flash, he raced down the other end before tucking the ball past Thompson for his second of the match and his sixth in the last eight. More importantly it gave the Tudors a three goal cushion to defend.
The visitors just couldn’t get a foothold in the game but were given a great opportunity after 70 minutes when Shulton tripped Sandall in the box. Sandall was having quite an influence on the game, for all the wrong reasons in The Tudors fans eyes and he now had a chance to reduce the deficit. He stepped up and hit his penalty to Laurie Walkers right but the Tudors stopper guessed correctly and saved superbly, pushing the ball away for a corner. The Referee found an extra 5 minutes from somewhere so Tom Hamblin came on to shore things up at the back for the home side and they looked comfortable despite a late consolation from Dean Evans, who took advantage of a rare lapse by Walker who couldn’t quite gather a cross and dropped it invitingly to Evans who turned and drove home via a deflection.
Hemel now move into 5th place with the play offs still very much in their own hands and a very important “six pointer” down in Kent on Tuesday night against fellow promotion rivals Welling United to look forward to.
Hemel Hempstead Town
1: Laurie Walker 8
2: Joe Howe 8
3: Kyle Connolly 8
4: Jordan Parkes © 8
5: Darren Ward 8
6: Ismail Yakubu 8
7: Matt Saunders 8 (16: Tom Hamblin 7)
8: Scott Shulton 8
9: David Moyo 9 (15: Alex Osborn 7)
10: Karl Oliyide 8 (12: James Kaloczi 7)
11: Spencer McCall 8
Subs not used 14: Michael Cain 17: Danny Boness.
1: Jared Thompson 8
3: Curtis McDonald 7
5: Greg Tindle © 7
6: Will Richards 7
7: Alex Ferguson 7
8: Matt Smith 7 (12: Rob Patten 6)
9: Jake Jackson 7 (17: Kaid Mohamed 7)
10: Andy Sandell 8
14: Darren Mullings 7
15: Dean Evans 7
19: Josh Smile 7 (2: John Beedon 7)
Subs not used 16: Karnell Chambers 18: Nick McCootie.
Referee Robert Whitton. Match rating 4/5
Man of the Match David Moyo