Ten-man Hemel Hempstead Town suffered last-gasp heartbreak as they conceded a late equaliser in a 2-2 draw at Dartford, despite having led the game 2-0 at half-time.
Things aren’t going Hemel’s way lately, as they saw their two-goal advantage wiped out following another contentious referring decision, with Ed Oshodi finding himself somewhat harshly sent off at Princes Park at the start of the second period.
The game started badly for the Tudors when striker Dennis Oli had to be replaced before kick-off, but they responded well and were two goals to the good at half-time, with Willy Gnahore firing home after Jamal Lowe had hit the post, before impressive debutant Noor Husin tucked home from close range after good build-up play.
The visitors were in control of the game and seemingly on the way to three points. Indeed, they should have gone 3-0 up early in the second period when Oliver Hawkins rose unchallenged in the six yard box, but could only direct his header straight at keeper Deren Ibrahim, who saved well.
With Hemel on top, a long clearance was chased down by Dartford’s Danny Harris who tussled with Oshodi just outside the box. Referee Lee Venamore decided that Oshodi had fouled Harris, when he was clear on goal.
It seemed harsh, with Harris heading out wide and both players tugging at each other, but the forward went down and with the crowd baying for a red card, Venemore duly issued one, leaving the Tudors down to 10 men with 40 minutes still on the clock.
Manager Dean Brennan was desperate to make a change but Dartford took the free-kick before he could do so, leaving his back four somewhat disorganised, and two minutes later – with the substitute still waiting – the Darts scored and inevitably it was Harris who got on the end of a cross to reduce the deficit.
Once Brennan made the change, with Gnahore going off to be replaced by defender Josh Hill, the Tudors settled and were unlucky again on the hour when Hawkins was clearly pushed in the back as he rose to meet a corner, but Venemore felt it was just a coming together, much to the dismay of the Tudors fans behind the goal.
The impressive Lowe could have settled the game for the Hemel late on when he raced clear but, as he bore down on goal, he decided to shoot rather than square to the unmarked Mo Shariff, scuffing his effort and leaving Ibrahim with an easy save.
Just when it looked like the points were heading back to Hemel, in the first minute of injury time another long hopeful punt down field wasn’t dealt with and the ball ran loose to Ryan Hayes, who fired home via the far post to give The Darts an unlikely share of the spoils.
In the end a disappointing finish to the game for Hemel, but the unbeaten away run continues and it can only be a matter of time before the Tudors get back on the winning trail again.
Man of the Match: Jamal Lowe.
Hemel : 1: Jamie Butler 2: Ben Herd 3: Kyle Connolly 4: Matty Harriott 5: Ed Oshodi (red) 6: Willy Gnahore 7: James Potton © (12: Terrell Forbes) 8: Jack Smith 9: Oliver Hawkins 10: Noor Husin (16: Mo Sharrif) 11: Jamel Lowe. Sub not used: 17: Xavier Comas-Leon.