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Hampton & Richmond 2-1 Hemel Hempstead Town

Match report by Allan Mitchell


Hemel’s build up to this difficult fixture against an in-form Hampton side wasn’t helped when defender Josh Williams had to withdraw, literally minutes before the start when he started feeling unwell. Seven minutes into the game, their cause was further hampered when Daniel Powell pulled up with what looked like a hamstring injury, so a further change had to be made.


After a lively start by the Tudors the game became a bit of a stalemate with neither side creating any chances of note.


That changed when a contentious decision by the referee left the Hemel players fuming after he allowed play to continue when Montel McKenzie was struck full in the face from close range by a shot from a Hampton forward. The impact knocked him off his feet and he lay motionless with a clear head injury but The Beavers, with no whistle forthcoming, continued to play on. The ball then hit McKenzie as he laid on the ground and was fed out to the left, it was instantly crossed into the box where Ruaridh Donaldson met it unchallenged to head home. The official was surrounded by Hemel players as he gave the goal and a couple received yellow cards for their protestations. The goal stood despite the complaints, McKenzie needed several minutes of treatment before he could return to the pitch.


This knocked the impetus out of the Tudors and Hampton went further in front on the half hour mark when a corner was met once again by an unmarked Donaldson at the near post, who flicked the ball into an empty net, leaving the visitors with something of a mountain to climb.


Just before the break, Ben Seymour could have put the home side out of sight when he turned his marker on the edge of the box before firing in a powerful drive that Craig King saved well down to his left.


The Beavers looked very comfortable at the start of the second half and looked like they would add to their tally as Hemel offered little up front. Seymour was thwarted twice in succession by King from close range and the same player saw the Hemel shotstopper save another effort as he found himself clear on the hour mark.


Tyrelle Newton never gave up for the visitors and he saw a shot fly just over the bar as he tried to rally the troops. Somewhat out of the blue on 76 minutes, Hemel pulled a goal back when Newton did superbly down the right chasing a lost cause before crossing into the box, it was met by Mathews who flicked the ball toward the goal and Tyrese Briscoe was on had to poke the ball over the line to reduce the arrears.


This woke them from their slumbers and they looked a different side as Hampton tired and started panic. Several balls were launched into the neighbours gardens as they got more and more desperate, this all helped tick the clock down as they tried to waste more and more time.


Montel McKenzie had the best chance to equalise when he ran in behind the advancing defence, the flag stayed down and with just Dembois to beat, he almost had too much time, he drew the keeper before tucking the ball past him but it rolled past the post, much to the agony of the superb Tudor Army support who tried to will the ball home after singing their hearts out all afternoon.


This proved to be the final chance of the game as The Beavers held on to grab all three points, much to the relief of their supporters as the referee blew the final whistle.


Hemel: Craig King, Montel McKenzie, Bradley Roberts (Tyrese Briscoe) Kyle Ajayi, Josh Hill, Chris Smith, Tyrelle Newton, Daniel Powell (Tarelle Whittaker) Arj Krasniqi, Joe Rey (George Williams) Subs not used: Kombe Kawimbe, Miles Judd.


Attendance 1033  Tudors Man of the Match: Craig King


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