Tudors held to a draw by Wealdstone in rearranged fixture
Hemel Hempstead Town were pegged back by Wealsdtone as they were held to a 1-1 draw in a rearranged Vanarama Conference South clash.
As many Tudors fans had predicted, Wealdstone picked up a point from this rearranged game after the abandoned match had seen them trailing 3-0 at the break.
Tuesday’s game started in much the same way as that one with Hemel taking an early lead through Dennis Oli, who broke clear down the right and smashed the ball past Jonathan North in the Stones goal with only three minutes on the clock.
The home side had the better of the first period, as in the previous two encounters, but good defending and goalkeeping kept them at bay.
James Potton had two shots blocked by defenders and then Oliver Hawkins met a cross but his header was saved.
Wealdstone’s first real attack saw Jefferson Louis break clear but with only Walker to beat, he dragged his shot well wide.
As the half progressed it became a familiar story for the Tudors as they created several chances without adding to the score.
The impressive Potton had a header and a shot saved, Zane Banton played a quick one-two with Oli but delayed his shot and North was able to parry it away, with Hawkins putting the loose ball wide.
Oli then made a chance for himself with a powerful run into the box but he slipped at the vital moment and North saved again.
Laurie Walker was having a quiet evening as far as saves were concerned but he should have been called into action when Wealdstone skipper Thomas Hamblin was given far too much room just six yards out. He got on the end of a good cross from the left but he somehow managed to put his header way over the bar.
Half-time came with many of the home faithful fearing the worst, going in just one goal to the good.
Sure enough, the visitors stepped up the pace and almost drew level straight away when Louis fired in a long range effort that cleared Walkers crossbar.
It wasn’t all Wealdstone though and Zane Banton had a header saved, but Hemel were attacking somewhat on the counter as the away side started to get a grip of the midfield areas.
Nathan Mavila, Stones loanee from West Ham, made a great run down the left, driving the ball across the face of the goal, but Jordan Parkes was able to tidy up and clear after a bit of a scramble in the six yard box.
Walker’s first real save of note came when he had to deal with a deflected shot and the team in yellow appeared to have left their scoring boots at home as another chance was blazed high and wide.
Up the other end, Hemel finally forced a corner which Parkes curled in under the crossbar in amongst a crowd of players. North rose to collect the ball but his momentum appeared to force him backwards over his own goal line. Some Tudors fans thought the referee had given the goal, but he decided North had been fouled and it remained 1-0.
On 71 minutes, the lively Mavila was brought down by Ed Asafu-Adjaye just by the left hand touchline. The resulting free-kick was superbly fired into the box and was met by Jonny Wright who rose above Hemel’s defence to powerfully head home the equaliser.
Wealdstone seemed to be happy with a point and created little after this, allowing Hemel to push forward looking for a winner.
But the visitors’ defence, marshalled by Corcoran and Hamblin, held firm; only a Parkes free-kick and a Hawkins header caused any real concern.
So that was it, almost inevitable that Wealdstone would get something from the game but the point moves Hemel up to eighth place with Ebbsfleet losing to title chasing Bromley.
Next up for Hemel is a clash with Chelmsford at Vauxhall Road, one of the few sides to have given Dean Brennan’s side a real beating this season when they won 4-0 in Essex.
Tudors fans wont need reminding that Gosport did the same and were beaten in the reverse fixture, so the faithful will be hoping the same happens on Saturday.
Hemel - 1: Walker 2: King (15: Connolly) 3: Lee 4: Parkes (c) 5:Hyam 6: Asafu-Adjaye
7: Oli (14:Newman) 8: Harriott 9: Hawkins 10: Banton (16: Shariff) 11: Potton.
Subs not used - 12: Kabamba 17: Johnson.
Referee - Ian Cooper.
Assistants - Stephen Brown and Philip Rowley.
Man of the match - Zane Banton.
Attendance - 822.
Match rating - 3/5.