Battling win for Town

Matt Nolan celebrates. Picture by Darren Kelly.
Matt Nolan celebrates. Picture by Darren Kelly.
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Hemel Hempstead Town 2
 Stourbridge 1

Hemel Town kept their place at the top of the Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division table with a hard-earned victory over Stourbridge at Vauxhall Road.

After a goalless first half, Matt Nolan and Jordan Parkes struck either side of a Stourbridge leveller to hand the Tudors all three points.

“I thought it was a good game,” said Hemel manager Dean Brennan. “We kept trying to pass the ball and some of the football we played was excellent at times.”

Centre-back Dave King was at fault for the Stourbridge equaliser, allowing the ball to run under his foot, but Brennan said: “I take responsibility for the defensive errors, because it is me who tells the players to keep trying to pass the ball around.

“We are trying to make the football more attractive, and working to improve the club as a whole.

“It is going to take time to change things, but it is nice to be top of the table and people have to enjoy it.”

Both teams struggled to create chances in a cagey first half on Saturday, but Dave Pearce and Nolan were looking lively for the Tudors in attack.

And it was that duo who combined to give the home side the lead. Pearce got free down the right, and crossed for Nolan to thump the ball home.

The Hemel joy was shortlived, however, as a King’s mistake gave Sam Geddes the opportunity to fire the Glassboys level from the penalty spot.

The game had become much more open, and Parkes was denied by an excellent save, before Geddes hit the crossbar at the other end within a minute.

From then on, Hemel started to dominate proceedings and it came as little surprise when they bagged the decisive third goal.

Livewire Victor Osubu did well to find Parkes, and the midfielder fired home with aplomb to put the Tudors ahead.

Pearce had a chance to wrap the game up late on, but his miss did not prove costly as Hemel took the important three points.