Hemel Hempstead Town 2 Billericay Town 1
Vanarama National League South 05/02/2022
Hemel recorded their third home win on the bounce and completed the double over Billericay in the process, the final scoreline not reflecting the Tudors dominance in the game.
New signing Craig Fasanmade looked lively throughout and tested the Ricay keeper early on when he cut inside and shot from the edge of the box.
The game settled down after this, and neither side troubled the goal until the 37th minute when the visitors took the lead; they made a break down the left, and the ball was fired in across the face of the goal. It caught in the wind and cleared everyone but found Tariq Hinds, who had arrived at the back post; he unselfishly laid it back to Josh Wright, who slammed the ball home.
The second half was pretty much all Hemel as they pressed forward, playing some nice football. They got back into the game in the 52nd minute when Josh Castiglione did well down the left, cutting inside before firing in a shot that was blocked, there was an immediate appeal for a penalty as it looked to have struck a hand, and the referee wasted no time in pointing to the spot.
Charlee Hughes stepped up and tucked the ball into the corner to level the scores, and it was nothing more than the Tudors deserved.
Alfie Williams had an excellent game in midfield, and he had a goal-bound shot deflected wide just on the hour mark.
Fasanmade had a chance shortly after when he got in at the back post, but his shot got a deflection, and it looped up into the hands of Oualah.
Hemel finally took the lead on 70 minutes when a superb crossfield pass from Samir Carruthers found Gus Scott-Morriss, who took a touch before smashing the ball past Oualah.
Ricay were offering little at this stage as Hemel continued to dominate.
Hughes could have put the game to bed late on when he drove through the middle of the defence, but he was thwarted by Oualah, who saved with his legs, and there was another chance for Williams who couldn’t quite find the target with an audacious effort from 30 yards that drifted wide.
Manager Mark Jones said after the game that he was pleased with the result and it was an important three points.
He was slightly disappointed with the first-half performance and had to have a word with one of two players, and they responded well in the second half.
He also thanked Chairman Dave Boggins for his help in completing the transfer of Fasanmade, who adds some firepower to the squad.
He is delighted with the way his side is now shaping up, adding that he is grateful to the Chairman for backing him on every signing he has made, and he feels there is no reason his side cannot go on and threaten that final playoff place.
Hemel: Craig King, Gus Scott-Morriss ©, Joash Nembhard, Jack Westbrook, Cole Kpekawa, Dominic Morgan-Griffiths, Samir Carruthers, (Jacob Gardiner-Smith 81), Alfie Williams, Craig Fasanmade, (Alfie Cerulli 85), Charlee Hughes, Josh Castiglione. Subs not used: Dan Wishart, Alex Addai, David Saunders (gk)
Attendance 608 Tudors Man of the Match: Alfie Williams.