Parkes strikes to earn victory for Hemel Town as Sutton United pay the penalty

Jordan Parkes celebrates another trademark goal. Picture (c) Darren Kelly
Jordan Parkes celebrates another trademark goal. Picture (c) Darren Kelly

Captain marvel Jordan Parkes was the hero for Hemel Hempstead Town as he scored a last gasp penalty four minutes into stoppage time to earn the Tudors a valuable three points at Sutton United.

Parkes had already equalised Craig Dundas’ opener for Sutton in the first half, before the Tudors skipper struck at the death from the spot after a foul on defender Moussa Diarra to make it 2-1.

A chipped cross from the right fell to Diarra, who went down under a challenge from a combination of Harry Osborne and Shaun Cooper, with referee John Busby pointing to the penalty spot.

Cooper was shown a yellow card, and Parkes rubbed salt into the Sutton wounds as he slammed the penalty past United keeper Alan Julian to snatch the victory for the jubilant Tudors.

The first chance of the game fell to Sutton’s Michael Spillane, but his effort went over the bar, before Hemel goalkeeper Laurie Walker made a good save from a Charlie Clough header.

The hosts continued to press for the opening goal, and it duly arrived when Billy Medlock chipped the ball to the far post for Dundas to head home into the top corner.

The Hemel response was swift and emphatic, however, as they got back on level terms just six minutes later.

Cooper was penalised for pushing Oliver Hawkins in the back 25 five yards out, and Parkes stepped up to curl the resulting free-kick into the top corner of the net via a slight deflection off the wall.

The Tudors finished the half strongly and created chances for Daniel Talbot and Hawkins, before Parkes flashed a shot across goal just after the interval.

Sutton felt aggrieved when they were denied a penalty after they felt Medlock was pulled back by Oliver Thorne, and soon afterwards a fierce Dundas shot hit Medlock and was scrambled away from the goal-line.

Walker made a good low save from a snap volley by Spillane, while at the other end Julian was off his line quickly to save from Jamal Lowe after an under-hit back-pass from Osborne.

There was still time for late drama when the referee made the crucial call to penalise Cooper, and it was left to Parkes to step up and win the game for his side in dramatic fashion.