Tudors close in on the playoffs after vital win at Whitehawk

Nikolay Todarov scored the winner for Hemel. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard
Nikolay Todarov scored the winner for Hemel. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard
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Hemel Town moved to within two points of the National League South playoff places after a hard-fought 1-0 win against Whitehawk at The Enclosed Ground on Tuesday.

Nikolay Todarov got the only goal of the game as the Tudors bounced back in impressive style following Saturday’s 6-0 drubbing at the hands of table-topping Ebbsfleet United.

Whitehawk pressed forward in the second half in search of an equaliser, but the Tudors held firm to record a precious three points and move to within touching distance of Gosport Borough, with a game in hand.

The only downside of the evening for Hemel was a 5-1 victory for Oxford City at home to Concord Rangers – meaning that Oxford maitain their two-point advantage over the Tudors and leapfrog Gosport into fifth spot.

Hemel made a bright start to Tuesday night’s game, with Michael Richens blasting over the bar in the first minute before Ibra Sekajja saw his header cleared away, despite vociferous appeals that the ball had crossed the line.

Whitehawk responded well chances of their own, but it was Hemel who broke the deadlock three minutes before half-time when centre-forward Todarov swivelled in the box and lashed the ball past home keeper Craig Ross.

The hosts came out with renewed vigour in the second half and laid siege to the Hemel goal, but they were consistently thwarted by Hemel keeper Jamie Butler.

The best chance of the half fell to Whitehawk skipper Sergio Torres, but he fluffed his lines when one-on-one with Butler, and the Tudors held on for a valuable three points.