Hemel Hempstead Town 1 Hampton and Richmond 0
Vanarama National League South 15th April 2022
Match Report by Mitch
Hemel completed the double over Hampton in a repeat scoreline to the away fixture and are now four games unbeaten as the season draws to a conclusion.
This result takes the Tudors to within two points of seventh place, so it’s all to play for in the remaining five games.
The first half was pretty even, with both sides creating few chances. Hemel skipper Sam Mantom clipped the outside of the post in the first minute, and then David Fisher came even closer for Hampton, volleying his effort onto the bar just a few minutes later.
Hampton came close again when Wassim Aouacharia broke clear just before the half-hour mark; he drove in a shot that Craig King did superbly to tip over the bar.
Both sides found it difficult to get any passing together and were guilty of giving the ball away, something Hemel boss Mark Jones mentioned in his after game comments.
The second period saw Hemel step up a gear or two, and Hampton found it difficult to get out of their own half as the home side pressed for an opener.
Mantom hit the woodwork again in the 54th minute curling his shot onto the frame of the goal before rebounding into a grateful Alan Julian’s arms.
Just before the hour mark, a superb crossfield ball was controlled first time by Josh Castiglione, who took it into the box before laying back to Charlee Hughes, who slightly scuffed his shot, but it was enough to give the Tudors a deserved lead.
You can’t help feeling that if he had made better contact with the ball, the defender on the line might have cleared it, but the miscue completely wrong-footed the unfortunate Hampton player, and it trickled over the line.
Hemel continued to look for a second, but it wouldn’t come. They had a decent penalty shout turned down and found the woodwork again when Kpekawa headed onto the post whilst Hampton made a late surge and had a couple of half-chances, but they never really troubled Craig King, and the points remained at Vauxhall Road.
Next up is Slough on Easter Monday, who have been in decent form recently and are still in with an outside chance of making the final play-off spot.
Hemel do not have a great record at Slough, but it’s as good a time as any to put that to bed. A defeat for either side would almost certainly end their chances of grabbing that seventh place, so it’s very much all to play for.
Hemel: King, Scott-Morriss, Wishart, Kpekawa, Nembhard, Morgan-Griffiths, Paul, (Gardiner-Smith 70), Mantom, Castiglione, (Bunga 90), Fonkeu, (Fasanmade 65), Hughes. Subs not used: Cerulli, Saunders.
Attendance 740 Tudors Man of the Match – Josh Castiglione.