Boss so frustrated after Hemel Hempstead Town's FA Trophy exit

They were beaten by a lower-ranked side in a penalty shoot-out

Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 8:04 am
Hemel Hempstead Town manager Mark Jones

Mark Jones admitted “frustration” was the word of the day for Hemel Hempstead Town after their Buildbase FA Trophy hopes were ended at the first hurdle.

The Tudors were looking good against Southern League Premier Central side Stourbridge in the second round tie at Vauxhall Road on Saturday when they took an early lead.

The visitors levelled soon after but were reduced to 10 men in the first half when one of their players saw red.

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However, despite enjoying plenty of possession, Hemel were unable to find another goal and they were then beaten 6-5 in the resulting penalty shoot-out, although they also had the chance to win that when they missed with their fifth kick.

It all added up to make it a frustrating afternoon for Jones and his players.

“It was one of those games,” the Tudors boss said.

“We started very well and for the first 20 minutes we were really quite good, we dominated the game and went 1-0 up deservedly so.

“Unfortunately, we conceded after a mistake between our centre-half and goalkeeper but then they had a man sent-off.

“You would then expect us to go on and win the game with them down to 10 men for more than an hour and I think that was the main frustration everyone felt afterwards.

“You see it a lot in football when a team is down to 10, they make it difficult and they have something to fight for.

“We had a few chances and we didn’t take them and you could see they were happy to take it to penalties.

“But even then, we had the opportunity with our last penalty to win it but we missed.

“It was one of those days where it just didn’t happen for us.

“It was definitely frustrating. We had plenty of the ball but didn’t do enough to break them down.

“When a team from a level below go down to 10 men so early in the game, the expectation is on us to go and win the game and when you don’t you are understandably going to be criticised and I accept that. It wasn’t what we wanted but there’s nothing we can do about it now.”

Hemel will hope to hit back when they return to Vanarama National League South action on Saturday with a trip to Hampton & Richmond.

The Tudors have won their last three league matches on the road and Jones added: “You have to move on.

“Once the initial disappointment subsides, you look towards the next game.

“Hampton are a good team, they have a good set of players and the manager has been there quite a while now so they are a settled team.

“But we have had three straight away wins, we will have some players back and we will go looking for a result.”