Preview: Tudors ready to tackle fierce rivals St Albans in crucial crunch clash

Hemel's record-breaking hit-man Ben Mackey. Picture (c) Darren Kelly
Hemel's record-breaking hit-man Ben Mackey. Picture (c) Darren Kelly
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Calor League Southern Premier Division leaders Hemel Hempstead Town take on third-placed St Albans at Vauxhall Road tomorrow in a vitally important Hertfordshire derby showdown.

Marc Willmore writes: The Tudors are now unbeaten in seven league games, winning six during that run.

During midweek we won 2-0 at home to Chippenham Town, with Ben Mackey scoring both goals to take his tally for the season up to 43 in all competitions, making him the highest Tudors goal scorer on record.

By half-time it didn’t look as if it’d be Hemel’s night, having hit the woodwork four times in the opening 45 minutes, but Mackey scored a cracking volley within minutes of the restart before confidently scoring a late penalty having seen a first half spot kick come back off the post.

It was another clean sheet for Tudors number one Laurie Walker – that’s 18 in the league so far this season.

The Saints, meanwhile, go in to the this game on the back of their own good run of form, unbeaten in five games and winning the last three.

St Albans were without a game in midweek, but last weekend they won 5-2 at home to Burnham. Currently positioned in third place, The Saints are enjoying their best form since they were relegated to the Southern League three seasons ago.

This is the fourth time this season the Tudors and the Saints have met. Hemel were knocked out of the Herts Charity Cup but gained revenge in the Herts Senior Cup.

The return league fixture ended in a 2-2 draw with a dramatic late equaliser scored by former St Albans player Moussa Diarra after another former Saint, Lewis Toomey, had scored Hemel’s first goal.

For Hemel stats visit the Tudors Archive at www.hhtfc.co.uk and follow @thearchivehhtfc on Twitter.

> Looking at tomorrow’s fixture, Nick Gelis, owner of football statistics and predictions website betstatz.com, says: “Hemel have a fantastic home form having scored 72 goals in 19 games this season, whilst only conceding 13 -the best home defence in the league.

“However, St Albans are no pushover and their recent form has been strong, taking nine points from their last three games and scoring an average of three per game.

“Running the statistics this weekend suggests that Hemel will win this game by a narrow margin, so the prediction for Saturday is Hemel to win, over 2.5 goals and Hemel to win 2-1, in what should be a great game.”

You can make your predictions on the game online using the betstatz simulator.

> A Tudors club spokesman added: “Please arrive early, a large attendance is expected and long queues at the turnstiles are highly likely to occur.

“Please be considerate to local residents if parking in roads adjacent to the ground. Consider using public transport or parking in nearby public car parks in Adeyfield and Maylands Avenue to avoid local congestion.

“Please co-operate with stewards at all times, they will be ensuring that walkways will be kept clear at all times for the safety, comfort and view of supporters.”

U18s can watch the game for free, courtesy of Underwoods Solicitors. Click here for information