Town held by Stones despite Hawkins double

Oliver Hawkins was on target for the Tudors. Picture (c) Darren KellyOliver Hawkins was on target for the Tudors. Picture (c) Darren Kelly
Oliver Hawkins was on target for the Tudors. Picture (c) Darren Kelly
Hemel Hempstead Town were pegged back twice as they shared a 2-2 draw with Wealdstone at The Vale on Saturday.

Striker Oliver Hawkins struck twice for the Tudors, but goals from Luke O’Nien and Sean Cronin earned a point for the home side.

Hemel completely bossed proceedings in the first half and deservedly took the lead after just three minutes when Hawkins found the net from a corner to put the visitors 1-0 up.

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The Tudors continued to dominate the game for the next 30 minutes, creating a succession of chances but continually being thwarted by impressive Wealdstone keeper Jonathan North.

The visitors looked sharp and it seemed only a matter of time before they extended their advantage, but the Stones hit back against the run of play after 36 minutes when Luke O’Nien beat Hemel keeper Laurie Walker.

Skipper Jordan Parkes gain went close to regaining the lead for Hemel soon afterwards, but Wealdstone held on to go in level at half-time.

The Tudors repeated their first half performance after the interval and they regained the lead when Hawkins pounced on a defensive error and fired home a low shot that gave North no chance.

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To their credit, Wealdstone battled back again and were back on level terms after 56 minutes when Richard Jolly was bundled over in the area and Sean Cronin blasted home the resulting penalty.

Hemel came back and pressed for the winner, but it was North who claimed the plaudits for Wealdstone as he produced a superb late double save to secure a point for his side and send the Tudors home frustrated.

Next up for Hemel is a clash with Concord Rangers in the second round proper of the FA Trophy at Vauxhall Road on Saturday.

The Tudors saw off Sutton United 1-0 in the first round of the competition, while Concord recorded a thumping 6-2 triumph at Barnet FC.

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