Tudors have golden chance to catch up with second-placed Dartford
Hemel Town managed to come out of the weekend in a healthy position in the play-off race '“ without having to kick a ball in anger.
For the second time in as many weekends the Tudors were left inactive on Saturday after the weather put paid to any action.
The previous weekend Hemel were due to face Welling United at Park View Road but the game was postponed due to the heavy snow.
This time around, Saturday’s home clash against Bath City had to be postponed due to a waterlogged pitch at Vauxhall Road.
Persistent rain rendered the playing surface unplayable.
Hemel went into the weekend in fifth place in the extremely tight National League South standings and exited in exactly the same place – but now with a useful game-in-hand over their play-off rivals.
The Tudors’ league position had been bolstered in midweek after they collected a crucial three points when beating East Thurrock 2-0.
It was Hemel’s first league win in five attempts as they did the league double over the Essex side.
However, the game will be remembered for a remarkable refereeing gaff when the match official sent off Hershel Sanchez Watt after thinking the player was being impertinent when asked for his name.
Luckily, referee DeanHulme reversed his decision when Tudors’ skipper Jordan Parkes explained that the Hemel striker’s surname was ‘Watt’ and he was not back-chatting by saying ‘What’.
Hemel chairman Dave Boggins told the BBC: “It was a human error. The referee was man enough to rectify it.
“I think everybody found it amusing afterwards – including the referee.”
Hemel remained in fifth place in the table after play-off rivals Braintree and Bath drew while St Albans and Weston-super-Mare both lost.
However, Welling United and Truro City won so it’s still exceedingly close at the top, with just six points separating Chelmsford in fourth and Bath in tenth.
Hemel Town face a stern test this Saturday when they travel to Princes Park to take on second-placed Dartford.
It does present an opportunity, though, as a win for Dean Brennan’s men could push Hemel to within four points of the Kent side.
It perhaps comes at a good time as Dartford are coming off the back of a 1-0 loss at home to relegation-threatened Poole Town on Saturday.
Dartford have now lost three of their past five league outings.
The reverse fixture at Vauxhall Road in late August resulted in a 3-0 win for The Tunnellers so Hemel will be well aware of the quality and firepower of the opposition, who are the league’s overall top scorers by some margin and boast two of the league’s top marksmen in Alfie Pavey (17 goals) and Andy Pugh (11).
In other club news this week, defender Dan Spence has now returned to his parent club, Sutton United, after completing a one-month loan spell.
Spence started three games at full-back and another at centre-back.
A re-arranged date has also now been agreed for the Welling United fixture. It will be played on Tuesday, April 10.