Slough Town 1 Hemel Hempstead Town 0
With both sides sitting in mid table with play-off places looking a distant dream it was probably too much to expect a classic encounter and that is how the game panned out at Slough’s impressive new Arbour Park home.
With neither side getting out of second gear, the first period was very dour, with only three chances of note at either end.
Jordan Parkes saw his well hit shot pushed round the post by Jack Turner in the Rebel’s goal after 10 minutes but that was Hemel’s only effort in the first half. Slough created a couple of half chances before the break, Matty Lench saw his header cleared off the line and a Danny Roberts effort was saved by Laurie Walker after 40 minutes but that was pretty much it as far as goalmouth action was concerned in the first 45 minutes. Just to add to Hemel’s injury list woes, defender Joe Howe limped off on 38 minutes after being flattened by two Slough forwards who attacked a corner, they collided with each other and Howe was next in line as he cleared the ball. His foot appeared to stick in the plastic surface before he was poleaxed by the Rebel’s strikers.
Manager Joe Howe who was absent from the game as he was attending his brother’s wedding, will be wondering when his injury hit squad will start getting some luck in this department. He is still without long term casualties, Rob Sinclair, Steve Cawley, Kyle Connolly and Spencer McCall, Tom Hamblin and Scott Shulton were unavailable for this game too, so another injury will add to the pressure on his squad.
The second half saw Hemel start well but as the game wore on Slough looked the most likely to break the deadlock. Laurie walker had already saved well from twice from ex Tudor Billy Clifford before a lack of concentration allowed Lee Togwell time and space to pick his spot to give The Rebels the lead after 70 minutes. Most Tudor’s fans felt it had been coming as Hemel were getting pushed onto the back foot at this stage.
Minutes later and with almost their first attack of the second half they could have equalised when a great through ball from Ollie Swain found Sanchez Watt in space inside the area, but he was closed down quickly by Turner in the Rebels goal and his shot was saved. This was the last real chance of the half as Slough controlled possession from then on and the game Fizzled out.
At the end of the day it was a disappointing result and performance and all but ends any chance of Hemel making one of the play-off spots. There are still points to play for but it would take a massive change in fortunes for the Tudors to trouble those clubs currently occupying those positions.
Joe Deeney will be hoping to get a few bodies back for Tuesday evening’s tough clash with one of those sides very much in the play-off mix, Dartford FC. He will also be asking for a better performance and knows his side will have to be at their best to trouble the Kent side who are having another good season.
Hemel 1: Laurie walker 2: Jacques Kpohomouh 3: Joe Howe (12: Ollie Swain) 4: Jordan Parkes © 5: Darren Ward 6: Frankie Mussonda 7: Kevan Cotter 8: Kieran Monlouis 9: Leon Lobjoit (14: Jack Snelus) 10: Arel Amu (16: Sanchez Watt) 11: Arthur Read. Subs not used : 15: Matteo Mendy 17: George Paulin (GK)
Attendance 626 Tudors Man of the Match Laurie Walker.