Craig strikes late as Hemel Hempstead Town win on the road again
Read Allan Mitchell's report as Mark Jones' side made it five away wins in a row
Hemel Hempstead Town have a decent record against Hampton & Richmond at the Beveree Stadium in the ‘Tudor Derby’ and they came away with the points once again after a 1-0 success in a tight game that they largely dominated, writes Allan Mitchell.
The Tudor Army were out in force once again and they gave a minute’s applause in the sixth minute in memory of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, something that was repeated across the country on Saturday.
Hampton were keen to let Hemel know that they meant business after a couple of recent poor results and there were some feisty tackles flying around which resulted in the referee having to show several yellow cards in the first period.
The first real chance of the game came when Alfie Cerulli spun on the edge of the box before curling a shot goalwards. It looked to be heading for the top corner but Alan Julian just managed to get a hand to it and push it wide.
Craig Fasenmade did well to turn his marker on the half-hour mark but he dragged his shot wide as Hemel continued to press.
Hampton came out in the second period obviously on the end of a half-time rocket from their management team and they started to create some opportunities of their own.
Nick Hayes had to make a superb double save before skipper Charlie Wassmer headed wide from the resulting corner.
With game now more end-to-end, there was a last minute block to deny Cerulli before Hayes did superbly again, coming out to intercept a through ball that had split the Hemel backline.
With the clock showing 86 minutes and the game seemingly heading for deadlock the visitors took the lead when a lovely through ball from Sam Mantom sent Cerulli clear.
He powered his shot in, Julian saved his effort well but he couldn’t prevent it heading goalwards and Fasenmade was on hand to tap it over the line.
Hemel weren’t really troubled after that other than a long punt down the middle that almost caught Hayes out but he recovered well enough to put it out for a corner,
The victory was the Tudors’ fifth away win in a row - matching a record that goes back to the 2005-06 season.
And boss Mark Jones said: “It was a very good away win.
“It was a tight game, there wasn’t an awful lot in it and they were two evenly-matched teams.
“It was one of those games where there weren’t a lot of clear-cut chances and it was a case of making sure we stayed in the game and didn’t giving anything silly away.
“I said to the players at half-time that one goal might be enough to win the game and we wanted it to be us who got it.
“The boys worked very hard to keep a clean sheet and I thought we just about deserved it.”
Hemel are in Herts County Cup action tonight (Tuesday) night when they head to Berkhamsted before they return to Vanarama National League South action on Saturday when they host Slough Town.
Hemel: Hayes, Scott-Morriss, Wishart, Morgan-Griffiths, Castiglione (Simpson) Kpekawa, Carruthers (Robins) Mantom © Cerulli, Fasenmade, Nembhard. Subs not used: Stephens, Jones, Ajayi.
Tudors Man of the Match: Dominic Morgan-Griffiths.