Goals from Charlie Sheringham and new man Spencer McCall saw Hemel Town take all three points against Oxford City today (Saturday) in difficult conditions at Vauxhall Road.
It was clear from the start that it wasn’t going to be easy playing slick football with the remnants of Storm Brian lashing across the pitch.
New signing Lloyd Doyley - he of Watford fame who has made some 440 appearances of upper-echelon football - started for the first time in Hemel’s central defence and Joe Howe returned to the back-line following an injury after missing the past four games.
Hemel took the lead on 21 minutes when striker Sheringham turned and fired home from the edge of the area for his fifth goal of the season.
A long pass was brought down by James Kaloczi into the path of skipper Jordan Parkes, who laid it off nicely for Sheringham to finish.
Shortly afterwards, Sheringham, who worked the channels well today, almost set up Tom Day with a cross from the right but the 19-year-old fullback put his header wide.
Parkes then did well to steal the ball in midfield and with City keeper Jack Stevens off his line, the captain lobbed the ball goalwards but the wind just took it wide of the mark.
The Tudors doubled their lead five minutes into the second-half with a well-taken goal by home debutant Spencer McCall who cut inside and tucked away a delightful curled finish past Stevens from the edge of the box.
Minutes later Parkes crashed the ball against the City bar before Oxford were given a lifeline, The referee awarded a penalty to the visitors just after the hour mark, when Hemel keeper Laurie Walker was somewhat harshly adjudged to have fouled Horatio Hurst. Reece Fleet stepped up but Walker saved the spot-kick superbly.
The Tudors saw the game out from here to register back-to-back wins and a second clean sheet in a row to move up to sixth in the National League South standings and leaving City in the bottom three.
It’s congested in the table with Hemel now only two points off the leaders Braintree Town (although the top-four sides now have a game in hand) and just seven points separate the top 11 teams.
Next up for the Tudors is a trip to Essex next Saturday, October 28, to face eighth-ranked East Thurrock United, who drew 2-2 at Eastbourne today.
Hemel: Laurie Walker, Joe Howe, Tom Day, (Matt Spring), Jordan Parkes (Alex Osborn), Lloyd Doyley, Ismail Yakubu, James Kaloczi (David Moyo), Scotty Shulton, Kyle Connolly, Charlie Sheringham, Spencer McCall. Subs not used: Callum Driver and Danny Boness.
Oxford: Jack Stevens, Eddie Jones, Christian Navarro, Godfrey Poku (Miles Welch-Hayes), Lee Henderson, Joe Oastler, Reece Fleet, Matt Paterson (Zac McEachran), Ezra Forde (Horatio Hurst), Dave Pearce. Subs not used: Freddie Grant and Jack Hutton.
Referee: Jacob Miles.
Mitch’s man of the match: Scotty Schulton.