Hemel Hempstead Town 2 (Castiglione 2, Greenidge pen 45) Welling United 3 (Payne pen 49,55 Papadopoulos 54) Vanarama National League South 20/08/2022
Match Report by Allan Mitchell Few people at Vauxhall Road could have predicted this scoreline at half time as Hemel went in two goals to the good through a Josh Castiglione header, following up after Ogo Obi had hit the post and a Jordan Greenidge penalty right on the stroke of half time which had put them in control.
Manager Mark Jones welcomed back skipper Godfrey Poku and Josh Castiglione to his starting line-up, with Craig Fasanmade making his first appearance on the bench.
The Tudors made a superb start and after Castiglione’s opener Ogo Obi could have made it two just a couple of minutes later when a corner caused chaos in Welling back line. He found himself in space at the back post but hurried his shot and hit it high over the bar with the goal gaping.
To be fair Welling regrouped after this early onslaught and for the next 35 minutes had most of the possession and created a number of chances. As the clock ticked down Hemel had a couple of breakaway opportunities and as a result of one of these Obi managed to get past his marker down the right, he drove into the box but was unceremoniously brought down and the referee wasted no time in pointing to the spot. Olomowewe should really had seen at least a yellow for the foul but strangely escaped any punishment.
Jordan Greenidge despatched the spot kick sending Roberts the wrong way to give the Tudors an slightly fortunate but welcome two goal cushion at the break.
The Wings manager Warren Feeney responded at the interval making two substitutions and they came out of the blocks forcing the Tudors back in an attempt to get back into the game. Hemel looked to have weathered the storm but gave away a sloppy corner trying to shepherd a harmless through ball out for a goal kick.
As the corner came in the referee spotted an infringement amongst all the pulling and tugging going on in the area and pointed to the spot, giving Stefan Payne the opportunity to reduce the arrears and he made no mistake sparking a horror five minutes for the Tudors. They were guilty of some more sloppy defending minutes later, conceding a soft free kick out on the right. As it came in it was only half cleared and the ball fell kindly for unmarked sub Anthony Papadopoulos who had time to pick his spot to level the scores.
A minute later and Payne made it 3-2, again arriving unmarked just inside the box as Hemel looked completely shell shocked. Payne had time and space again to drive the ball past King to put Welling in front for the first time. It took less than 6 minutes for the score line to go from 2-0 to 2-3.
The Tudors got a boost when Welling lost Olomowewe to a red card just past the hour mark after a late tackle, a straight red looked harsh but the player should have been booked for the penalty incident so maybe justice was done. Most Tudors fans were fully aware that Hemel have an appalling record against ten men, they haven’t beaten a side that have lost a player to a red card in four previous attempts and despite it being a backs against the wall job after this, Welling held out, with only a couple of scares for a deserved victory.
Indeed, with clock ticking down, Welling skipper James Dunne almost added to Hemel’s woes when he hit a looping effort from all of 30 yards that almost dipped under Craig King’s crossbar, the Tudors keeper doing superbly to tip it over the bar.
Next up is a long trip down to Dover Athletic who have not made the best of starts themselves so Mark Jones will be hoping his side can get back on the winning trail after two defeats on the bounce.
Hemel: 5-3-2 King, Dasilva, Westbrook, Lelan, Roberts, Castiglione (Williams) Poku, Dada (Fasanmade 76) Brown, Greenidge, Obi (Hughes 65). Subs not used: Hope, Webb.
Tudors Man of the Match: Jack Westbrook.
Photography by Stephen Fletcher.