OXFORD CITY V HHTFC - 06/04/19
By Marc Keinch
See below match report by Allan Mitchell
Oxford City 2 Hemel Hempstead Town 1
After two successive victories It was a disappointing day for the travelling Tudor Army as they watched their side slide to defeat against Oxford City. In what was very much a mid-table, end of season clash neither side had anything other than pride to play for but the early exchanges made for an entertaining first half.
Hemel had a couple of half chances before Oxford started to up their game. The front two of Brandon Thomas-Asante and Luton loanee Kabongo Tshimanga gave the Tudors back line a torrid afternoon but they were guilty of missing decent opportunities and it was Hemel who took the lead after a brief spell of pressure. A free kick from Parkes was played out wide to Kevan Cotter who crossed to the back post where Sanchez Watt arrived unmarked, his header hit the post but dropped to Arel Amu who poked the ball home.
This should have been enough to give the Tudors a half time lead but City attacked straight from the re-start and with Hemel’s back line at sixes and sevens the ball was fed across the face of the goal, Tom Hamblin blocked a shot from Reece Fleet but it deflected to Bobson Balling who had time to pick his spot with what proved to be pretty much the last kick of the half. There was just time for Hemel to kick off before the referee blew his whistle.
The Tudors have made a habit of surrendering leads so whilst it was frustrating to concede with seconds left it wasn’t too much of a surprise for the loyal travelling band of supporters to find themsleves pegged back.
After a bright start to the second period it got worse as they fell behind just before the hour mark. They had been struggling against City’s pace up front all afternoon and Thomas- Asante gave them a warning when he hit the post when it looked easier to score after good work by Tshimanga and it was the Luton prospect who gave City the lead moments later when he robbed Jacques Kpohomouh on the edge of the box before smashing the ball past Laurie Walker.
After this, Hemel huffed and puffed but never really looked like getting back into the game, though Kyle Connolly did have a goal disallowed for offside on 65 minutes. Apart from this they created little, whilst Oxford continued to make and miss chances. Laurie Walker made several excellent saves which helped keep the visitors in the game. City’s Kyran Wiltshire was guilty of a glaring miss when he rose unchallenged to meet a corner but headed the ball high and wide.
City saw the game out comfortably in the end and really should have added to their tally as Hemel ran out of ideas. In the end a disappointing result that leaves them fixed in 14th place and many of the Tudor Army reflecting on a season that promised much but is ending with a bit of a whimper. Joe Deeney will still be looking to get as many points on the board before the end of the campaign and finishing with a flourish to give the faithful something to cheer about.
Hemel: Laurie Walker 9 Kavan Cotter 6 Kyle Connolly 6 Jordan Parkes © 6 Tom Hamblin 6 Jacques Kpohomouh 6 (Joe Howe 6) Kieron Monlouis 6 Mark Randall 6 (Jason Williams 6) Arel Amu 7 Hershel Sanchez Watt 7 Daniel Rowe 7 Subs not used : Jack Snelus Danny Boness.
Crowd 352 Tudors man of the match : Laurie Walker.