Hemel Town clinch a playoff place and now look for home-town advantage

Hemel skipper Jordan Parkes scored again on Saturday.Hemel skipper Jordan Parkes scored again on Saturday.
Hemel skipper Jordan Parkes scored again on Saturday.
Hemel Town confirmed their place in the National League South playoffs after a comfortable 3-0 home win over Eastbourne Borough on Saturday.

The game had somewhat of an end-of-season feel with the hosts having come off the back of a very hard game on Thursday (1-0 win over Wealdstone) while Eastbourne are in a safe midtable position.

The Tudors had the perfect start when Spencer McCall superbly volleyed a poor clearance into the bottom corner after just four minutes, David Moyo’s first effort was cleared to the edge of the box where McCall was waiting and he took his time to guide the ball past the keeper in the Eastbourne goal.

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They went further ahead when Karl Olyide raced down the left-hand side before pulling the ball back to the unmarked Hemel skipper Jordan Parkes, who had time and space to head home on the half-hour mark.

McCall had a shot cleared off the line moments later and it looked a case of “how many” but Eastbourne slowly got themselves into the game and just before the break Lloyd Dawes almost reduced the deficit but Tudors’ net man Laurie Walker pushed his effort out for a corner.

The second period saw Hemel play very much within themselves and Eastbourne saw a lot of the ball without creating too much. Shaun Okojie really should have scored but he put his header wide from just six yards and that was about it from the Borough.

Hemel were keen to conserve their energy after two games within as many days and the visitors, with nothing to play for, were offering little threat so the game drifted to its conclusion.

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But not before some extra gloss was added by Alex Osborn after good work from Joe Howe down the right. The defender got to the byline before pulling the ball across the six-yard box to Osborn, who made no mistake to make it 3-0.

The Tudors faithful were in fine voice as their team confirmed their playoff place and they will be hoping they can still pinch that all important third-place spot which would mean they would miss the first set of games and they would get a home tie against one of the winners of those clashes.

There’s still lots to be resolved and Hemel travel to midtable Weston-super-Mare next Saturday for their last game of the season.

A win there would give them every chance of that important third-rung place but, whatever happens, this will be their highest-ever finish, in terms of league position in the club’ history, which is credit to boss Dean Brennan and everybody concerned at the club.

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Hemel: Laurie Walker, Joe Howe, Kyle Connolly, Jordan Parkes, Dan Spence, Ismail Yakubu, Michael Cain, Scott Shulton (Alex Osborn), David Moyo (Herschel Sanchez Watt), Karl Oliyide (Darren Ward), Spencer McCall. Subs not used: Will Hoskins and Danny Boness.

Attendance: 583.