Preparations 'far from ideal' as Hemel Hempstead Town's home woes continue

The Tudors' manager and a number of players missed their latest game after testing positive for Covid-19

Tuesday, 21st December 2021, 10:07 am
Hemel Hempstead Town lost out to Chippenham Town and are now turning their attention to Boxing Day

Dan Jones admitted the preparation for Hemel Hempstead Town’s 2-0 home defeat to Chippenham Town last weekend was “far from ideal”.

The Hemel assistant-manager took charge of the team after his brother and Tudors boss Mark tested positive for Covid-19.

He also revealed five players had gone down with the virus in the build up to the game as Hemel’s wait for a home win in the Vanarama National League South this season continued.

Sign up to our daily Hemel Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The Tudors are due to host St Albans City on Boxing Day before heading to Havant & Waterlooville next Tuesday (December 28, 3pm).

And the assistant-boss said: “Full credit must go to Chippenham, I thought they thoroughly deserved the win.

“It was far from ideal for us preparation wise. Obviously Mark wasn’t around to have contact with the boys and we had five boys go down with Covid and there were suspensions and injuries as well.

“We came into the game feeling defeated and it was almost a case of square pegs in round holes for us this week.

“It’s not an excuse. I think that’s the poorest performance we have had since we’ve been here.

“I didn’t think we threatened much but what we have to do now is dust ourselves down and look ahead to Boxing Day.

“We are hoping to bring in another body to help us and hopefully we will have some others back.”

Hemel welcomed Kyle Ajaye back after a long spell on the sidelines but he was short on match fitness while the Tudors missed the creativity of Samir Curruthers who was serving the first game of his three-match suspension after his red card against Slough Town.

Dan Griffiths who had seen an earlier effort cleared off the line by Cole Kpekawa, gave Chippenham the lead just before half-time as he ran through unchallenged before tucking the ball past Nick Hayes.

The Tudors were given a helping hand in the second half when Griffiths was sent-off when he appeared to aim a headbutt at Joash Nembhard.

But the numbers were levelled up in the 70th minute when Nembhard also saw red for a second bookable offence.

And it was Chippenham, having struck the post twice in the second half, who wrapped up the points when Alefe Santos cut into the box and fired a shot in from a tight angle which took a slight deflection past Hayes.