A much-changed Hemel Town side toiled against Hungerford tonight (Tuesday) and only managed a point, despite the visitors’ keeper being replaced by an outfield player midway through the first-half.
The Tudors were unable to find a way past Hungerford as the visitors picked up a thoroughly well-deserved point.
With this being the Tudors fifth game in the space of 14 days, Hemel boss Dean Brennan made several changes to the starting line-up, including leaving skipper Jordan Parkes on the bench, as veteran defender Darren Ward was given the captain’s armband for the night. Charlie Sheringham made his first start of the season after getting international clearance.
On 25 minutes there was a lengthy stoppage after a clash of heads between Hemel’s Tom Hamblin and the Hungerford keeper Jokull Andresson. Both players got back to their feet and the game resumed, but Andresson went to the ground again soon after, still looking dazed.
He had to be replaced and with no substitute keeper on the bench, Hungerford’s number four Ian Herring took the goalie gloves.
Second-half highlights (latest first):
Substitute Alex Osborne got into a shooting position following a Hungerford mistake but he overplayed in traffic and Herring collected it comfortably.
Hamblin gets his head to a corner and there’s a scramble but it’s eventually put out for a goal kick.
Sub Parkes almost puts felloe replacement Steve Cawley through but a Hungerford defender is alert and nicks the ball from his foot.
Hungerford threaten and Hemel keeper Laurie Walker is forced into a one-on-one and the Tudors’ stopper made a fine save to deny the visitors the opener.
Superb from Cawley to bring the ball down and switch the play to Karl Oliyide, who skins his man but places hit shot agonisingly wide.
Hemel break down the left with Spencer McCall but his cross toward Oliyide is massively over hit.
Corner to Hungerford, who are looking dangerous on the counter. Cleared by Parkes.
Half-time: It was a very disjointed first-half from the Tudors.
Seconds before the break Hungerford went close with a rasping effort over the bar.
Shortly before that Oliyide was taken out on the touchline but recovered to get a cross in. Charlie Sheringham went for it but fouled the keeper and picked up a booking. The Hungerford player who made the touchline foul somehow escaped a caution for a rather shocking tackle on Oliyide.
James Kaloczi picked the pocket of a Hungerford midfield and fed McCall, but his effort was weak and straight at Herring.
Just before the half-hour a loose clearance from Hemel teed-up a Hungerford effort, which was dipping inside the bottom corner until Walker scrambled it away for a Crusaders’ corner.
Minutes later, a mix-up at the back for the Tudors meant Walker had to make a low reaction save to prevent an own goal.
Kaloczi and Oliyide both go close early on. Oliyide showed a clean pair of heels down the Hemel right and worked his way into the box, but his low cross evaded everyone.
Next up for the Tudors is a tough test against Woking at Vauxhall Road this Saturday. After five seasons in the National League Premier, they were relegated last term on the final day of the season.
Hemel v Hungerford: Laurie Walker, Roderick Collins, Joe Howe, Scott Shulton (Jordan Parkes), Darren Ward (captain), Tom Hamblin, Connor Dymond, James Kaloczi (Steve Cawley), Karl Oliyide, Charlie Sheringham (Alex Osborn), Spencer McCall. Subs not used: Kyle Connolly, George Paulin.