Dorking defeat leaves Hemel Hempstead Town boss Mark feeling 'down'

The Tudors were unable to use an early numerical advantage in their favour as they lost to the league leaders

By Jon Dunham
Thursday, 17th March 2022, 9:18 am
Updated Thursday, 17th March 2022, 9:20 am
Hemel Hempstead Town manager Mark Jones
Hemel Hempstead Town manager Mark Jones

Mark Jones admitted he felt “genuinely down” after Hemel Hempstead Town were unable to use a numerical advantage at Vanarama National League South leaders Dorking Wanderers last weekend.

The Tudors were given a boost inside the first two minutes when home goalkeeper Dan Lincoln was sent-off for tripping new striker Pierre Fonkeu.

Dorking were forced to put striker Alfie Rutherford in goal for the remainder of the game but it didn’t stop them from claiming a 2-1 success with Joash Nembhard on target for the Tudors after they trailed 2-0.

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Hemel pushed hard for an equaliser and Fonkeu hit the crossbar late on but the leaders saw things out.

And it all left Tudors boss Jones thoroughly frustrated.

“I must admit I think it’s the first time I have been genuinely down after the game with how it all unfolded,” he said.

“When the opposition go down to 10 so early and the fact it was the goalkeeper and they had to put an outfield player in goal, you would expect us to cause them more problems than we did.

“It’s not just this occasion. We’ve had it three or four times this season when our opponents have gone down to 10 men and we haven’t capitalised on it.

“I don’t know if it’s a mental block or something. We had a situation earlier in the season when we were struggling to win games at home but the next one seems to be trying to win a game against 10 men.

“There are no excuses. I could go into an in-depth analysis of the game but the fact of the matter is we have got to do better than that.

“We needed to test the goalkeeper more, we needed to create more opportunities but we also have to give them credit because they defended well and made it difficult for us.

“They are a good side and they are top for a reason but we have to look at ourselves and if we want to try to establish ourselves as a top six or seven team moving forward we have to look at certain parts of our game and say we need to do much better.

“We haven’t been good enough in the final third recently, we seem to be snatching at the opportunities and we have missed the target too often.

“We did keep going until the end and we had a lot of possession and we hit the crossbar late on. “We were fighting to get something but this has happened to us before this season and on no occasion have we capitalised on it.

“It wasn’t so much the fact we lost the game, it was just the circumstances of the game that left us feeling disappointed.”

Jones insists Hemel will pick themselves up in time for this weekend’s trip to Bath City.

The chances of the Tudors making a late surge for the play-offs are thinning but the manager isn’t giving up the ghost just yet.

He added: “We will pick ourselves up. We will get together and prepare for Bath.

“I said before the game on Saturday that we would need to win eight out of the 11 games and now we have to win eight out of 10.

“The next few games are against teams who are below us in the table so we have to look at it as an opportunity to get points on the board.”