We'll have to be at our best, says Hemel Hempstead Town boss Mark

The Tudors are still searching for their first home league win of the season

By Jon Dunham
Thursday, 16th December 2021, 6:46 am
Updated Thursday, 16th December 2021, 6:50 am
Students from John F Kennedy School raised over £450 for the Hospice of St Francis in Berkhamsted as part of the Dragons Apprentice project at Hemel Hempstead Town's home game with Slough Town last weekend
Students from John F Kennedy School raised over £450 for the Hospice of St Francis in Berkhamsted as part of the Dragons Apprentice project at Hemel Hempstead Town's home game with Slough Town last weekend

Mark Jones knows Hemel Hempstead Town will have to be at their “very best” if they are to finally pick up an elusive home win on Saturday.

The Tudors boss felt an opportunity to claim a first home win of the Vanarama National League South campaign passed his team by last weekend as they drew 2-2 with Slough Town at Vauxhall Road, despite the visitors having their goalkeeper sent-off on the hour mark.

In the end, it took a late Cole Kpekawa goal to secure a share of the spoils after Sam Mantom’s first-half blockbuster had made it 1-1.

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The Tudors will now be hoping to go one better when they host Chippenham Town this weekend.

Hemel won 2-1 at Chippenham at the end of October and Jones firmly believes the visitors will be out for revenge on Saturday.

“It’s another opportunity for us,” the Hemel boss said.

“We played Chippenham not that long ago and we understand they will want to get some revenge on us because we beat them down at their place.

“It’s another tough one. Their away form is pretty good. They went to Oxford City, who are flying at the moment, on Saturday and drew the game.

“It will probably be another tight game. We have to make sure we are at our very best to get something out of it.”

Jones felt his team weren’t quite at their best against Slough last Saturday and he was left particularly “annoyed” by the way they started.

“I didn’t think we played to our full potential, I thought we could have done better,” he added.

“I thought we created the better opportunities in the game and if we had got nothing from it, it would have been a bit unjust.

“On the positive side, it’s a point and we didn’t get beaten so we move on to the next game.

“I would have liked us to start the game a bit brighter, I thought we were a bit sloppy for the first 15 or 20 minutes and that annoyed me to be honest.

“We spent a lot of time talking about the importance of starting the game well and we didn’t really do that.

“We conceded a poor goal to go 1-0 down and I was a bit frustrated with the first part of the game but we came on really strong later on in the first half and got the goal, which was a great strike from Sam Mantom.

“Whenever you play Slough, it’s always tight. They have a great habit of grinding out results, they stick together and make things difficult for you.

“But we conceded another poor goal and, although we have the positive of coming from behind twice in the game, we are disappointed not to have got more from it.”

A team from John F Kennedy School in Hemel Hempstead, participating in the Dragons Apprentice project, attended Hemel Hempstead Town’s home game with Slough Town last weekend and raised over £450 for the Hospice of St Francis in Berkhamsted.

The Dragons Apprentice project is run by Dacorum (Hemel Hempstead) Council and involves teams of local school children being paired with a local charity and a business mentor with the objective of coming up with fundraising ideas to raise money for the local charity.

The JFK team, mentored by Robert Males of Underwoods Solicitors, ran a raffle at the game with the first prize being two season tickets for the 2022-23 campaign, generously donated by Tudors chairman Dave Boggins.

Males said: “This was a great day.

“The team performed brilliantly and it was great to see the supporters of Hemel Hempstead Town and Slough Town giving so generously to the Hospice.”

The Dragons Apprentice team from JFK have also been running a tuckshop at the school which has already raised nearly £1,000 and they have further ideas for fundraising in the new year.