‘Late goal should not have stood’

Callum Driver (centre) celebrates after putting Hemel 1-0 up against Wealdstone on Bank Holiday Monday.
Callum Driver (centre) celebrates after putting Hemel 1-0 up against Wealdstone on Bank Holiday Monday.

Tudors boss Dean Brennan told the Gazette on Tuesday that Hemel deserved to get more than a point from the Bank Holiday Monday derby day clash at Wealdstone and felt the equaliser should have been disallowed for a push on Callum Driver in the box.

Hemel were just two minutes away from escaping from the Vale with all three points until an 88th minute leveller dashed their hopes.

“The big decisions didn’t go our way so it’s frustrating,” said Brennan.

He also pointed to an 
elbow that James Kaloczi 
received, which went unpunished, leaving the midfielder with a clear black eye.

A typically tight local derby first-half yielded few golden chances in front of a big crowd of 966, although Taylor Miles forced a finger-tip save from the Stones keeper during injury time as the midfielder’s classily-struck free-kick was just centimetres from sneaking in.

The breakthrough came shortly after an injury to stalwart defender Ismail Yakubu in the 69th minute .

That injury brought Driver to the field and the 24-year-old defender was the man on the spot to bundle home a corner three minutes later to give Hemel the 1-0 advantage.

Brennan would have liked to have brought on experienced defender Phil Walsh to sure things up at the back but he is currently out with a broken hand.

The hosts drew level with two minutes of normal time left when a cross was put into the box, headed back across goal to Daniel Fitchett who stuck it in at the far stick.

The injury news on ‘Yak’ is that he suffered a blow to the head which caused his left eye to swell. He will most likely be a game-time decision for Saturday’s game against Truro City.

Just two days before the derby-day clash Hemel lost to a very good Dartford side who Brennan admitted were ‘just better than us on the day in all departments’.

Despite the Tudors recent run of indifferent form (zero goals in three of the past six, winless in the past three) they are still well-placed in eighth in the National League South standings and host seventh-placed Truro this Saturday.

Truro themselves had been on a three-match losing streak before beating Weston-Super-Mare on Monday.

Brennan knows what to expect: “They will put 10 men behind the ball, defend, and hit on the counter. We’re going to have to be patient and clinical with our chances.

“The first goal will be 
crucial.”

Asked about his current views on the side, he said: “We are missing some key players but that’s football. We’re still very much in the conversation and can make some improvements.

“We’re expecting Matt Saunders and David Moyo back in late September but before then we have to rely on our strength in depth. We’ve got Matt Spring back and he’s been superb.”