It's '˜cup final football' for the Tudors as battle for the playoffs hots up

Hemel Hempstead Town manager Dean Brennan believes his side are in a '˜seven team title race' as they look to secure a National League South playoff place.

Sunday, 3rd April 2016, 2:20 pm
Updated Sunday, 3rd April 2016, 3:26 pm
Ben Herd scored the winning goal for Hemel Town against Gosport. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard

The Tudors earned a 1-0 win over Gosport Borough at Vauxhall Road this weekend – moving them to within a point of fifth place, with a game in hand.

Hemel were good value for the victory over their out-of-form visitors, with Ben Herd’s first half penalty proving to be the difference between the two sides.

Speaking after the game, Brennan said: “It was a gritty, gritty performance from us. We had loads of chances and you’re starting to wonder whether it is going to be one of those days.

Graeme Montgomery was a constant threat for Hemel. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard

“We were a threat throughout, and we deserved to win the game because we were the better team. I’m not too bothered about the performance, we just needed to make sure we won the game. It’s cup final football now, with six games to go.

“We should have won by more really, because goal difference could come into it. We are in a seven-team title race, with the title for us being the fourth and fifth playoff spots.”

While the win was a crucial one for Hemel, it was not all good news for the Tudors as centre-backs Reiss Greenidge and Adam Bailey-Dennis were both forced off injured at half-time.

“Im proud of the lads today, but the two centre-backs both had to go off at half-time,” Brennan continued. “Our squad is short and I said this a while ago - you need a big squad in the run-in if you are going to have success. At the moment we just don’t have the squad.

Morgan Ferrier earned the match-winning penalty for Hemel. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard

“We’ve got eight players out now which is frustrating, but I’m proud of the way the players dug in and won ugly today. We did the basics well and we learned from the errors we made last week.

“Gosport are in a difficult place financially, I understand that it is difficult for the fans and players, but we got the job done as we had to. I love clean sheets.”

Hemel strikers Morgan Ferrier and Ibra Sekajja looked lively up front for the Tudors, but Brennan has told the duo that they need to start scoring more goals.

“Ferrier is a threat and he has lots of natural ability, but I told him and Ibra (Sekajja) after the game that they have got to score goals,” said the Hemel boss. “When scouts and managers are looking at the results tomorrow, they have got to see Ferrier and Sekajja’s names on the goalscoring sheets.

Graeme Montgomery was a constant threat for Hemel. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard

“It might be a little bit harsh on them because they worked hard, but they are there to score goals. It’s something that we will keep working on with them.”

Next up for the Tudors is a visit to Wealdstone tomorrow night, and Brennan continued: “Wealdstone is a great club with great fans and it is a local derby for us. They are hard to beat, they draw a lot of games, but anything can happen in a derby.

“It will be a tough game because we will need to patch the team together again, but we will just keep taking it one game at a time.”

Morgan Ferrier earned the match-winning penalty for Hemel. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard