Jones only focused on next one after Hemel Hempstead Town's dramatic win

Mark Jones wants Hemel Hempstead Town to just stay focused on the next game after they enjoyed a dramatic return to winning ways last weekend.

By Jon Dunham
Wednesday, 30th March 2022, 7:18 am
Updated Wednesday, 30th March 2022, 7:22 am
Hemel Hempstead Town boss Mark Jones celebrates in front of the fans at Vauxhall Road after the dramatic 4-3 win over Tonbridge Angels

Chris Paul scored a dramatic stoppage-time winner as the Tudors beat Tonbridge Angels 4-3 at Vauxhall Road, despite finishing the game with just nine men after both Craig Fasanmade and Joash Nembhard were sent-off.

Hemel sit in 12th place in the Vanarama National League South but are just four points behind Dulwich Hamlet, who currently occupy the final play-off place.

But boss Jones is cooling the play-off talk for the time being and instead just wants his team to concentrate on their next game which is another home clash with Chelmsford City on Saturday.

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Last weekend’s win was most welcome after back-to-back away defeats at Dorking Wanderers and Bath City.

And Jones said: “We had a chat as a group last week and we decided we wouldn’t talk about the play-offs too much and just take it one game at a time.

“We did try to set a few targets before the games at Dorking and Bath and perhaps we were guilty of looking too far ahead of ourselves.

“We were disappointed with the result at Bath but it was nice to be back playing at home and that’s not something we thought we’d be saying three months ago when we were flying away but couldn’t find a win at home.

“But we have now won five out of the last six at home and we have another one on Saturday.

“We will have a few problems with the two boys being suspended this weekend and Sam Mantom had a bit of a hamstring problem as well.

“We will be down to the bare bones but hopefully the late goal will give the boys some confidence and I was delighted for Chris Paul because he has had to be patient and he showed his quality with an assist and a great finish to win it for us.

“Hopefully we can take that good feeling into the next game and we will just try to keep going and see what happens.”

The drama started early at Vauxhall Road last weekend with the kick-off being delayed until 3.30pm after one of the assistant-referees was late arriving after being caught in an accident on the A1.

When the game did get under way, Hemel made the perfect start with Pierre Fonkeu’s first goal for the club putting them in front.

Mantom then saw a penalty saved before the visitors levelled things up but Fasanmade struck to give Hemel a 2-1 half-time lead.

Tonbridge equalised again but, again, Hemel went in front through Jack Westbrook, only for the visitors to make it 3-3 with just four minutes to go.

Fasanmade was sent-off before Paul popped up with the dramatic winner and the Tudors had to see things out with just nine men when Nembhard was also given his marching orders.

“The kick-off was pushed back and we’d had the boys in for a pre-match meal so we had been there a long time before the game started but it didn’t seem to affect us because we got off to a good start,” Jones added.

“But there ended up being a lot of twists and turns in the game. We were up on three occasions and they pegged us back each time.

“But getting a last minute winner is always nice and we needed the win after the last two games.

“You never want to lose three games on the trot. It was good to get three points.

“We weren’t perfect and probably made it a lot more difficult than it needed to be and we do tend to do that. We need to manage the game a bit better and be more ruthless at times.”