Match Report by Allan Mitchell
Hemel continued their good record against sides at the top end of the table with a fine and deserved win against Havant, which also kept their own faint playoff hopes alive.
Manager Brad Quinton had rung the changes, after a couple of indifferent performances, with new signing Montel McKenzie slotting in at right back for his debut and Nana Owusu who had arrived from Dulwich Hamlet on a loan deal, starting his first game on the wing.
There was sad news regarding striker Kaylen Hinds, who had to be carried off in the previous game against Chippenham. Hinds has a long term Achilles injury which will keep him on the sidelines for a lengthy period so Luke Holness was given a start up front.
The Hawks dominated the early stages of the match but rarely threatened the Tudors goal, but
it was Holness who could have given the home side the lead early on when he cleverly nodded the ball past a static Hawks back line, he broke clear and with just Sharman-Lowe to beat he opted to put the ball across the keeper who reacted superbly, blocking his shot with his outstretched leg.
The Tudors front man more than made up for this just before half time when he turned and lost his marker out on the right before driving into the box, evading several tackles before tucking the ball into the corner with the outside of his foot to give Hemel the lead, another contender for goal of the season.
The Tudors then got the perfect start to the second half when a George Williams corner was fired to the back of the six yard box, Havant had been expecting the ball to come into the near post and they left Tudors skipper Josh Hill unmarked and he headed home to double the lead.
The Hawks had decent amounts of possession throughout the game but rarely troubled Craig King in the Hemel goal. The Tudors keeper did make a couple of superb saves in quick succession, the first saw him tip a Callum Kealy effort over the bar and in the scramble that followed the corner he raced across to his near post to stop a point blank effort, colliding with the woodwork in the process.
The home side always looked dangerous on the counter and George Williams was fouled as he honed in on goal just after the hour mark, Hawks skipper Joe Oastler received a red card for his troubles which didn’t help The Hawks cause but credit to the ten men, they did pile on some late pressure. Hemel do not have a good record when facing sides that have had players sent off in the past but they defended well and saw the game out to take the points.
Hemel Hempstead Town: King; McKenzie, Williams J, Hill (Roberts 78) Westbrook, O’Connor-Ajayi; Williams G, Brown (Lewis 88), Owusu; Holness, Mukendi (Castiglione 65, ) Subs not used: Hughes, Morgan-Griffiths.
Attendance: 507 Tudors Man of the Match: Josh Hill