Sat 18
Oxford City
1st XI


By Chris Pelling
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by Allan Mitchell

Hemel’s topsy turvey season was pretty much summed up as they fell to defeat
against struggling Oxford City at Marsh Lane on Saturday. The Tudors came into
the game in good form, just off the back of a win against table topping
Maidenhead, with Oxford not having won in five.

It was almost inevitable that City would get the three points, with the scene
being set after just four minutes. Hemel had started at a high tempo and were
awarded a spot kick after a foul in the box, Greenhalgh going down under a late
challenge. Up stepped the normally reliable Jordan Parkes to take the penalty
and he promptly drove it over the bar and almost into the bar behind the goal.

Skipper Parkes looked glaringly at the poor surface, which resembled Morecambe
beach in places, and City supporters breathed a sigh of relief.

After this early set back, Hemel continued to push forward, playing some decent
football on the difficult pitch.

Greenhalgh had an opportunity to give his side the lead after being set up by
Parkes, as he shot, City keeper Hill closed him down and blocked the effort with
his legs.

Parkes had a free kick tipped away by Hill after 15 minutes, the ball looked to
be curling away from the keeper but he made an excellent save to keep the scores
Oxford had shown little in attack as Hemel kept the pressure on but the visitors
just couldn’t find their scoring boots and they were made to pay after 37
minutes when City scored with their first real effort on goal.

A brief period of pressure hadn’t really caused the Tudors any problems but a
needless free kick, conceded on the edge of the area set up a decent opportunity
for the home side. The kick was chipped in but Hemel appeared to have dealt with
it well but the ball was only half cleared and it was knocked back in by Niate,
where it was met by City skipper Lee Henderson who rose unchallenged to head

The healthy contingent of Hemel fans were beginning to think it was going to be
one of those days as the half time whistle blew, bringing to the end a half that
their side had dominated.

Oxford changed their formation at half time and this opened the game up somewhat
but it was still Hemel who were creating most of the chances. Jake Robinson
fired in a shot from fully 30 yards out as City’s defence retreated, the Tudors
fans early celebrations were muted as the ball flew just past the post.

They forced a series of corners in a short period, all of which caused problems
but Robinson, Thalassitis and Saunders all failed to find the target when well
Hemel had sacrificed a defender by this stage replacing Kaloczi with
Thalassitis, leaving just three at the back and this allowed City to cause
problems on the counter.

Most travelling fans felt that Oxford would probably score a second after Hemel
continued to miss chances. Thalassitis saw his header cleared off the line and
Saunders saw along range free kick superbly tipped over by Hill.
In the end The Tudors ran out of ideas and City saw the game out to gain all
three points to end a disappointing afternoon in Oxfordshire.

Hemel take on league leaders and cash rich Ebbsfleet United on Tuesday night at
Vauxhall and supporters will be hoping for a repeat of the game earlier in the
season where they pinched a point to dent the ambitions of the big spending Kent

Unfortunately, skipper Jordan Parkes and loan signings (from Ebbsfleet) Charlie
Sheringham and Reiss Greenidge will not be eligible to play in this fixture
(Parkes as part of the agreement in him coming back to Hemel) so it will be a
difficult task.
A big crowd is expected to get down to Vauxhall Road early, kick off is at 7-45.

Tudors 1:Butler 2:Driver 3:Connolly 4:Parkes © (Spring) 5:Diagne 6:Kaloczi
(Thalassitis) 7:Sherringham 8:Saunders 9:Robinson 10:Greenhalgh (Gordon)
11:Mendy. Subs not used Jackson, Singh.

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Match details

Match date

Sat 18, Feb 2017






National League South

League position

Hemel Hempstead Town
Oxford City