Nine-man Tudors hang on to beat playoff rivals Concord and stay in the hunt

The Tudors players celebrate Eddie Oshodi's winning goal. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard
The Tudors players celebrate Eddie Oshodi's winning goal. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard

A first half goal from Eddie Oshodi ensured nine-man Hemel Town remain in the hunt for a Conference South play-off position with a 1-0 win away at fellow contenders Concord Rangers.

Oshodi was to later see red along with captain Jordan Parkes, however it was a strong defensive performance from the Tudors which earned them a deserved three points.

On a dry bobbly pitch, Hemel produced one perfect moment through the two men who were sent-off, and that proved to be enough to separate the sides on Easter Monday at the Aspect Arena.

Conditions meant that fluency in possession was hard to come by, but Hemel’s early ascendency was rewarded with a goal midway through the half courtesy of an unlikely source.

Jordan Parkes’ low-drilled corner was met at the near post by centre-half Oshodi, who volleyed home in composed fashion past Concord’s Josh Vickers to the delight of the Tudor faithful.

The away team continued to press after taking the lead, with Dennis Oli having a fizzing volley well saved, while Parkes saw a goal-bound strike blocked by team-mate Dominic Hyam.

Matty Harriott in action for Hemel Town against Concord Rangers. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard

Matty Harriott in action for Hemel Town against Concord Rangers. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard

Full-back Kyle Connolly was the next to test Vickers with a speculative long range effort that he did well to tip over his crossbar as Hemel looked to double their advantage.

Minutes before the break, Hemel were reduced to 10 men, though, as skipper Parkes was given his marching orders. A confrontation with Concord’s Sam Collins saw them both pick up bookings, before a second yellow followed for an alleged dive inside the area.

When you thought it would be backs against the wall in the second for Hemel, this proved not to be the case.

Concord sporadically threatened visiting keeper Laurie Walker, with the Tudors remaining strong and limiting the home side to a few scrappy opportunities.

As expected, the Beach Boys controlled possession with the man advantage but couldn’t find that clinical edge, while up the other end Hemel came close with a couple of set-piece efforts through substitute Billy Gibson.

In the final moments, goal-scorer Oshodi was given a straight-red after reacting to a foul on Jorell Johnson, however it was too late for Concord to make the numerical benefit count as the Tudors ground out a superb three points.

Hemel’s victory means they still sit in eighth position, just four points off the last play-off spot occupied by Whitehawk, who they will play on April 18.

Star Man: Jorell Johnson

Hemel: Walker, Connolly, Hyam, Oshodi, Lee, Harriot, Johnson, Parkes, Banton (Potton), Oli (Kabamba), Hawkins (Gibson).

Not Used: Head, Simmonds.

Sent-off: Parkes & Oshodi.