Battling strugglers Farnborough make it tough for the Tudors

James Potton was on target for the Tudors. Picture (c) Darren Kelly
James Potton was on target for the Tudors. Picture (c) Darren Kelly

Hemel Town had to settle for a point in a 2-2 draw at lowly Farnborough and will be kicking themselves for a series of missed opportunities and some lapses at the back.

The game started fairly slowly but it was the visitors who almost took an early lead when Zane Banton made a quick break down the right and shot across the face of the goal.

Two Hemel forwards were in position but were unable to capitalise as the ball fizzed across the area, just flying past the far post.

Farnborough opened the scoring on 21 minutes when a long hopeful ball upfield was met by the impressive Reece Beckles; Moussa Diarra appeared to have won ball as the two players chased forward but Beckles forced the big defender into an error and he drove into the box and pushed the ball through the oncoming Laurie Walker’s legs.

Walker was then forced into making a smart save at the feet of an oncoming forward who didn’t make any attempt at pulling out of his challenge – Walker feeling the full force of both the strikers’ feet crashing into his chest.

Inexplicably, the referee took no action against the Farnborough player but most Tudors fans felt a yellow card at least should have been produced. The video evidence seemed to confirm how poor a challenge it was.

Hemel almost equalised when an excellent cross from King was just cleared from the head of Oliver Hawkins by keeper Dillon Barnes from right under the crossbar.

It was only a temporary respite, though, as Hemel piled forward and good work down the right saw Kabamba set up Jordan Parkes, who wasted no time in getting his shot away.

Barnes appeared to have the effort covered but the ball bounced in front of him and hit his chest, setting up an easy tap in for the onrushing James Potton who fired home on 27 minutes.

Both teams had a couple of half chances leading up to the break, with both keepers saving long range efforts easily.

Hemel forced a corner after 42 minutes and Parkes’ delivery caused confusion in Boro’s penalty area. Barnes tried to punch the ball away under challenge from Diarra and Hawkins, but he failed to make a proper connection, with the ball appearing to hit Diarra’s chest before bouncing onto Hawkins back and into the net. Hawkins wasn’t too sure himself who got the final touch.

The second period saw the home side push forward more, and some of their approach play belied their lowly position in the table. Hemel always looked dangerous on the break, howeve,r and chances came and went.

Midway through the second half Potton made an excellent break into the box, playing a quick one-two with Dennis Oli; he went down under the challenge from Barnes but the referee waved away the visitors’ appeal for a penalty.

Moments later, some good play by Farnborough saw Phil Page make a run in to the box before shooting from a tight angle.

The effort deceived Walker somewhat, as he dived to his near post only to watch the ball skid past his outstretched foot and inside the far post to bring the scores level, just before the hour mark.

Hemel continued to make and miss chances as the game drew to a close; Hawkins, Oli, Matty Harriott and Potton all failing to find the target, and there was another decent penalty claim when a Boro player appeared to block a shot with both hands, with referee well placed, but once again he waved play on.

Sub Mo Sharif was causing an increasingly desperate defence problems, but it was Boro who could have nicked the game, when an excellent effort from Beckles seemed to heading for the top corner, with Walker superbly tipping the ball over the bar.

There was still time for Hawkins and Harriott to bring saves out of Barnes and, in the end, both sides had to settle for a share of the spoils.

Man of the Match : James Potton.

Hemel - 1: Walker 2: King (Asafu-Adjayi) 3:Lee 4: Parkes © 5: Hyam 6: Diarra 7: Kabamba (Oli) 8 Harriott 9: Hawkins 10:Banton (Sharif) 11: Potton. Subs not used 14: Newman 17: Johnson.

Referee: Ian Fissenden

Assistants: Simon Finnigan and David Smart.

Match rating 3/5