HHTFC v CHELMSFORD CITY - 23/01/18
See below match report from Allan Mitchell
Hemel Hempstead Town 3 Chelmsford City 1
Much closer than the score line suggests but it’s another three excellent points against promotion rivals for Dean Brennan's “patched up” side on Tuesday evening in front of over 500 spectators at Vauxhall Road. It was a contentious penalty award that set the Tudors on their way in the 25th minute when City’s Mark Haines appeared to have won the race for the ball with Will Hoskins, just poking it back to his keeper before the Hemel striker could get to it. As both players collided Hoskins fell and much to the delight of the Hemel fans, the referee decided he’d been fouled and awarded spot kick. It looked very harsh and Chelmsford’s players and coaching staff all vented their anger and frustration at the decision, with City manager Rod Stringer eventually being sent to the stand after he had words with the linesman, who he felt was in
a good position to see the challenge. Stringer said afterwards that it was a game changing decision and the worst he had seen in all the years he had been in football. None of this worried Hemel skipper Jordan Parkes and he stepped up after the long delay and tucked the ball away to give the home side the lead. City were working hard closing down and relying on the counter attack but their front two, especially Chris Dickson kept getting caught offside, which was credit to a well marshalled defence. Hemel kept their patience and almost went two up after 35 minutes when James Kaloczi met Kyle Connolly’s looping cross with his head, the ball spun high into the air and was pushed over the bar by Gartside for a corner. The Tudors went two up from the resulting corner with Parkes netting his second of the game. Jordan has developed a way of curling the ball right under the post recently and he did just that for the second time in two home games. The ball squeezing in before Gartside could reach it at the near post. The City keeper complained that he had been blocked but the goal stood. Parkes then saw a free kick punched away by the now rattled Gartside and from this corner he curled another difficult ball in that was headed away from under the bar by Spillane. Spillane had City’s best chance just before the break when he got on the end of a well worked free kick but he put his shot narrowly wide of Walkers post.
Lloyd Doyley had to be replaced at the break as Hemel’s injuries continued to mount up but it did not deter them and they should have gone three up early in the second period when great work by Kaloczi set up Spencer McCall, who was on his weaker foot but he still managed to bring out a full length save from Gartside. Laurie Walker made a decent stop when Michael West broke clear down the right but City were creating little and Hemel looked comfortable despite losing Hoskins with a shoulder injury and the returning Matt Saunders with a muscle
strain. The visitors had a couple of chances from corners but Haines and Church both headed high and wide when well placed. The goal that sealed the win came in the 84th minute when the excellent Kaloczi twisted and turned his way into the box before cutting the ball back to McCall who looked up and bent the ball past Gartside into the roof of the net. There was still time for some late drama as Thomas Hitchcock was sent off for City for what appeared to be an elbow on Yakubu and to add to Hemel’s injury woes, keeper Laurie Walker had to be led off after he received a nasty cut on his arm when saving at the feet of Giles. Kyle Connolly had to go in goal as the Tudors had used all their subs and he was powerless to stop a pile driver of a shot from Scott Davies in the 94th minute which gave City a consolation goal.
In the end an excellent result for Dean Brennan’s men who continue to defy the odds with the Hemel manager having only 12 fully fit players to choose from before this match. It’ll be a case of who is available for the next game at Vauxhall Road against Poole Town but Hemel fans will be sure that whoever plays they will still be in there fighting for the points on Saturday.
Hemel 1: Laurie Walker 2:Lloyd Doyley (14:Alex Osborn)3:Joe Howe 4:Jordan Parkes
© 5:Kyle Connolly 6:Ismail Yakubu 7:Matt Saunders (15:Ebby Nelson-Addy) 8:Scott
Shulton 9:Will Hoskins (16:Matt Spring) 10:James Kaloczi 11:Spencer McCall subs
not used 12:David Moyo 17:Danny Boness.
Attendance 530 Tudors man of the match – James Kaloczi.