Hemel Hempstead Town 3 Concord Rangers 1
Vanarama National League South – 19th February 2022
Match Report by Allan Mitchell
After going so long without a home win, Hemel made it four out of four on a blustery afternoon at Vauxhall Road.
They took the lead after just three minutes when Craig Fasanmade took advantage of some hesitant defending to head home from close range after some good work by Charlee Hughes and Gus Scott-Morriss down the right.
After this early setback, Concord stepped up a gear and had a lot of possession, but they created little in the way of chances.
The Tudors always looked dangerous on the counter. They went further ahead just before the interval when Samir Carruthers made a break from the halfway line before laying the ball off to Fasanmade, who cut inside and curled a shot into the far corner on 42 minutes.
The second half started with Concord almost getting back into the game early on when a quick through ball found Danny Green, who took his time and placed his shot past Craig King only to see it hit the post.
Hemel looked in control after this, with Concord struggling to keep the ball on the pitch with the strong wind behind them.
The Tudors went further ahead in the 76th minute when substitute Alfie Cerulli got on the end of a Fasanmade cross; he controlled the ball and smashed it past Roberts to effectively put the game to bed.
Concord had a chance on 78 minutes when a free-kick was driven into the six-yard box and was headed goalwards by a Rangers player, but Craig King leapt across to make a superb point-blank save.
There was still time for a controversial decision with just seven minutes of normal time remaining. Cole Kpekawa looked to have won the ball in a challenge on Temi Babalola inside the box, the big Concord striker went down, and the official saw it as a foul, pointing to the spot.
It looked very soft, but despite some protests, the referee stood firm and up stepped Danny Green, sending King the wrong way to reduce the arrears.
After this, there was little threat from the visitors, and Hemel saw the game out comfortably to move to within six points of the play-off places.
Hemel: King; Scott-Morris, Nembhard, Morgan-Griffiths, Westbrook, Kpekawa, Carruthers, (Paul – 73), Gardiner-Smith, Fasanmade, Hughes,(Cerulli – 62), Castiglione, (Wishart 83) Subs not used: Rosner, Saunders.
Match Rating 4/5 Attendance 406 Star Man: Craig Fasanmade.