Hemel Town’s winless run extended to six games on Saturday after they were held to a 2-2 draw at home by Concord Rangers, despite taking a 2-0 lead after 11 minutes.
The Tudors very nearly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, but despite under-performing in the second period, they saw it out for a share of the spoils.
It was the second consecutive weekend where Hemel squandered a two-goal lead and even though they fielded an injury-ravaged side, hopes were high.
In a reverse of the previous game against then-leaders Woking, Hemel came racing out of the blocks and started superbly.
They went in front after only five minutes when a good move on the edge of the box left new signing Arel Amu with an easy tap-in after the Concord keeper had blocked his first effort.
On 11 minutes it was 2-0 as another great move was finished well when Frankie Musonda fired into the bottom corner from just outside the area.
This was followed by some Concord pressure as the playoff-chasing Canvey Islanders, in eighth place going into the game, looked to get back into the match.
There were a few periods where the Tudors couldn’t clear their lines and the ball was bouncing in and around the area like a game of ping-pong.
Hemel also had chances to extend their lead - most notably when a pinpoint cross from Musonda was met powerfully by Amu, but Concord skipper Sam Beasant reacted brilliantly at close range to block the header.
This was the last of the clear-cut chances in the first-half and the sides went into the break with a two-goal advantage for the Tudors.
The second-half was a bit scrappy - it was Hemel who created openings early on but failed to turn up for the latter stages of the period.
Concord were also looking more dangerous and they knew that one goal would rattle Hemel’s cage. It came in the 57th minute when a header from an unmarked Aron Pollock made it 2-1.
Keeping it tight for a while would have been the best option, but the Tudors completely switched-off, allowing a low cross to be turned home by Juan Luque for the equaliser just two minutes later.
Rangers were certainly a stronger prospect by then and the Tudors faithful began to fear the worst as the visitors forced a flurry of corners.
Hemel’s best chance of the second-half came late on when Amu found himself in the clear with just the keeper to beat but he dragged his shot wide.
There were a few moments when Concord came close, but in the end the game petered out and both sides settled for a point.
It was a somewhat disappointing result having been two goals up, but Concord are a very good side who have been in and around the playoff positions all season, so it was still a decent point, especially taking into account the injury problems that have hit the squad recently.
Hemel welcomed two new faces on the day. Starting was Kieran Monlouis, who is a permanent signing and is described by Hemel boss Joe Deeney as a real box-to-box midfielder, very powerful and extremely athletic - the sort of player Deeney has been looking for since he arrived at the club last autumn.
They had a lot of competition for his signature and Deeney is delighted to have signed him.
The second new man is Arthur Read, who is a highly-rated prospect. He was given a three-year professional contract at the age of 17 and is well thought of at Luton Town. He has signed on a month’s loan and Deeney is hoping the clubs can agree to extend that deal.
Leaving the club are stalwart defender Ismail Yakubu and utility man James Kaloczi, who have both joined former manager Dean Brennan at Isthmian League Premier Division side Kingstonian.
Deeney said the club was approached by Kingstonian with a view to signing the players and he didn’t want to stand in their way as both players expressed a desire to leave to get regular football, which Deeney couldn’t guarantee them at Hemel.
He wished them both all the best for the future and thanked them for their efforts at the club.
The point on Saturday means Hemel remain in 13th place in the National League South standings.
Next up for the Tudors are Isthmian League Premier outfit Potters Bar Town on the road this Tuesday night in a re-arranged clash in the Herts Charity Cup (7.45pm).
They will then visit 12th-placed Slough Town this Saturday in the league. The reverse fixture back in late October ended in a 1-1 draw at Vauxhall Road.
Hemel line-up v Concord: Laurie Walker, Jacques Kpohomouh, Joe Howe, Jordan Parkes (captain), Darren Ward, Tom Hamblin, Kieran Monlouis (Arthur Read), Frankie Musonda, Arel Amu, Leon Lobjoit (Scott Shulton), Kavan Cotter. Subs not used: Oliver Swain, Jack Snelus, George Paulin.
Tudors’ man of the match: Musonda.