Hemel Hempstead Town 0 Hungerford Town 0
Hungerford came into this game fresh off a six nil drubbing at home against Chelmsford City so there was always going to be some sort of reaction to that result and they certainly deserved a share of the spoils at Vauxhall Road on Tuesday evening.
Tudors manager Dean Brennan made no less than seven changes to the team that gained a point at Dartford on Saturday and the changed line up certainly seemed to struggle to find any sort of rhythm against a side who desperately wanted to put the previous heavy defeat behind them.
It wasn’t very pretty but Hungerford set their stall out and never wavered in their efforts, even after losing 16 year old Icelandic keeper Jokull Andresson early in the first half after a nasty clash of heads with Hemel’s Tom Hamblin. Ironically, Hamblin missed the Dartford game due to concussion after another head injury against Hampton. Andresson tried to carry on but collapsed shortly after and had to be taken to hospital as a precaution. The good news is that he is now out of hospital and is recovering well. Hungerford didn’t have a keeper on the bench so player manager Ian Herring had to goal in goal.
It all looked very ominous for the visitors but they defended superbly and the new look Hemel side, including the returning Charlie Sheringham just couldn’t find a way through. Indeed, Hemel’s best chances came prior to Andresson leaving the field when Karl Oliyide and Roderick Collins both created crossing opportunities, Oliyide flashed the ball across the face early on, with Sheringham just failing to get a touch and then Collins closed down the full back and managed to block his attempted clearance, but the defender got back and blocked the attempted cross with two Tudors players waiting in the six yard box. That pretty well summed up Hemel’s evening really. Too often good build up play was wasted with a poor final ball and Herring in The Crusaders goal barely had a save to make.
Hungerford made the most of some strange refereeing decisions and were guilty of some blatant time wasting tactics but under the circumstances it was understandable and with only three minutes added on at the end, proved to be crucial. There was a late flurry by the home side as Oliyide, Parkes and Howe all went close but in the end they just couldn’t break the visitors down and the points were shared.
Hungerford did have two close games prior to the shock reverse against Chelmsford and the way the defended in this game suggested that it may have a “one off” Many Tudors fans turned up expecting a comfortable victory but it just goes to show you never can tell and in the end a draw keeps the unbeaten start to the season intact and they face a big challenge as relegated Woking are next up at Vauxhall Road.
Breaking news is that popular midfielder Scott Shulton has left the club, for reason as yet unknown
Hemel 1:Walker 2:Collins 3:Howe 4:Shulton (Parkes) 5:Ward © 6:Hamblin 7:Dymond 8:Kaloczi (Cawley) 9:Oliyide 10:Sheringham (Osborn) 11:McCall Subs not used Connolly and Paulin.
Attendance 489. Tudors man of the Match : Tom Hamblin.