WESTON SUPER-MARE v HHTFC - 28/04/18
By Dean Chance
See below match report by Allan Mitchell
Weston supermare 2 Hemel Hempstead Town 1
Hemel’s final league game before the Play Offs ended in somewhat of an anti-climax as they lost out in a tight affair down in Somerset.
The Tudor Army had turned out in force (and fancy dress) to support their team and they looked the most likely side to score in the early periods. Spencer McCall and Hereschel Sanchez Watt both missing good chances. Skipper Jordan Parkes saw a free kick just go wide and his inswinging corners were also causing problems for The Seagulls backline. Keeper, Luke Purnell almost punched one of them into his own net, the ball spinning backwards before getting cleared off the line. David Moyo had a great chance on 20 minutes when he raced clear of the defence and got a shot away from the angle, it beat Purnell but also the near post, crashing into the side netting, with many Tudor’s fans thinking it had gone in.
Weston almost took the lead with their first real chance but the ball cannoned off the woodwork before rebounding to Jake Lee who tucked it away but unfortunately for him he was in an offside position and the goal was ruled out. It was a bit of a wakeup call for the visitors and showed that they weren’t in for an easy afternoon against a side with nothing other than pride to play for.
Hemel finally took the lead on 35 minutes when another Parkes corner curled in towards the goal, Seagulls full back Danny Greenslade got his head to it but it skimmed off him into the roof of the net.
Minutes later Watt really should have given Hemel a two goal cushion when he evaded the offside trap and raced towards goal but his shot was too close to Purnell and it was saved by an outstretched foot.
Shortly after the Tudors were made to pay when Jacob Cane latched onto a loose ball some 25 yards out before drilling it past Walker to put his side level. It really was a superb strike and it certainly lifted the home side, coming at the perfect time, just before the break.
Weston started to enjoy themselves in the second period and Laurie Walker was called upon on several occasions, as Hemel piled forward leaving him exposed at the back. He was unable to prevent Weston from taking the lead on 56 minutes however when a quick counter attack down the left hand side wasn’t dealt with, the ball was crossed and only half cleared to Jarrad Welch who wasted no time in firing it past Walkers outstretched hand, the ball taking a slight deflection on the way in which gave the Hemel stopper no chance.
The visitors were clearly shocked by this setback and despite making changes they just couldn’t get back into the game. Parkes saw two more free kicks just fly wide and Alex Osborn was put clear late on but once again Purnell stopped the shot with his legs. Meanwhile up the other end Walker was doing his upmost to keep his side in the match saving well, one save on the line even had the home fans applauding.
As time ticked down Tudors fans were well aware that Truro were winning at Hampton and Richmond, and if the scores remained the same they would have had a nightmare journey to Cornwall to look forward to on Wednesday night instead of the home tie that everyone wanted. As news filtered through that Hampton had equalised the tension lifted and with the final score ending up as a draw it meant that Hemel remained in fifth despite this defeat and they now face Braintree at Vauxhall Road in, what is effectively a quarter final playoff game.
Tickets for the game are available from the Football Club, the Greenacres Taverns at Bennetts End and Grove Hill and Underwoods Solicitors in The Marlowes from Monday. £15 Adults £10 Concessions and £5 under 18’s.
Hemel Hempstead Town 1:Laurie Walker 2:Lloyd Doyley (12:Joe Howe) 3:Kyle Connolly 4:Jordan Parkes © 5:Darren Ward 6:Ismail Yakubu 7:Matt Saunders (15: James Kaloczi) 8:Spencer McCall (14:Alex Osborn) 9:David Moyo 10:Herescher Sanchez Watt 11:Karl Oliyyde. Subs not used : 16:Scott Shulton 17:Danny Boness.
Tudors Man of the Match Laurie Walker.