Tonbridge Angels 1 Hemel Hempstead Town 1
Vanarama National League South 22nd January 2022
Match Report by Allan Mitchell
Hemel boss Mark Jones was slightly disappointed not to pick up all three points in a game that certainly saw his side create the majority of chances, with Angels keeper Jon Henly by far the busier on the day.
After a quiet start, the home side took the lead in the eighth minute when everyone missed a harmless-looking cross from the left; it took a slight deflection off Jack Westbrook as he attempted to clear before falling invitingly to Joe Turner who ended up with a tap in.
After this, Hemel took control of proceedings and started to press forward, with ex-Tudor Henly having to be at the top of his game to keep them out.
Gus Scott-Morriss headed over from a corner kick before Charlee Hughes brought the best out of the keeper when he fired in a shot from the right that was well saved. However, Henly couldn’t hold onto the ball and could only parry it out to a waiting Alfie Cerulli, who had more time than he thought, but he hit it first time and put it over the bar with the goal gaping.
It wasn’t long before parity was restored when the returning Alfie Williams played a lovely ball through to Hughes, who took a touch before slotting it into the bottom corner for his fourth goal in four games on 25 minutes.
Whilst Hemel were in control at this point; they didn’t really create too many openings, although Josh Castiglione raced clear down the left before firing in an effort from out wide that flashed across the face of the goal, with Henly just getting a hand on it to push it out for a corner.
There was one last chance before the break when a Samir Carruthers free-kick was knocked back across goal by Cole Kpekawa to Hughes, who couldn’t keep his header down, and it went over the bar.
Tonbridge came out in the second half with an obvious change in tactics, and they looked to knock the ball wide at every opportunity.
Despite a more positive approach from the Angels, Craig King had little in the way of saves to make, although Dominic Morgan-Griffiths made a superb block to stop a marauding run by Harry Hudson, who had opened up the Hemel backline.
As the game drew to a close, there were further chances for Scott-Morriss, who saw his shot well saved by Henly, and he saved again from Hughes and substitute Chris Paul in the dying minutes to earn his side a point.
So Hemel remain unbeaten away under Mark Jones, and they will feel that the spoils were there for the taking.
Still, a point is a point that moves them up a place in the table, and they face Hungerford Town at home on Tuesday evening, another tricky game, but with the home jinx now broken, the Tudor faithful will be hoping to make it two out of two at Vauxhall Road.
Hemel: Craig King, Gus Scott-Morriss ©, Joash Nembhard, Jack Westbrook, Cole Kpekawa, Samir Carruthers (Chris Paul 79), Alfie Williams, (Jacob Gardiner-Smith 64), Alfie Cerulli, (Alex Addai 64), Charlee Hughes, Josh Castiglione. Subs not used: Dan Wishart, Jeanmal Prosper.
Attendance 863 Tudors Man of the Match: Josh Castiglione.