Hemel Town boss Joe Deeney is looking to sign new players to his squad in a bid to stop the Tudors’ league season from fizzling out.
Hemel took a share of the spoils, 1-1, with Hampton & Richmond Borough at Vauxhall Road on Saturday in a game that matched the weather conditions – grey and rather dull.
After the game, Tudors’ boss Joe Deeney told Gazette match-day reporter Allan Mitchell: “It was just one of those games; it was all a bit flat and we couldn’t find another gear, which was in contrast to Thursday’s training session which looked sharp and lively.
“Credit is due to Hampton, who set out their stall to press us at all times, and they were probably slightly unfortunate not to have come away with all three points.”
Asked about any squad additions, he said: “I have been looking at players since I came in and I came close to getting a couple in the week – a forward and a midfielder – but it’s a difficult time of year to do business as most players are on contracts and their clubs don’t want to let them go.
“The forward I was looking at was almost in the bag but his club has had a couple of injuries recently so they weren’t going to allow him to leave.
“It was all very frustrating but we will get there, it’s a long-term plan but we do not want this season to fizzle out, we are only eight points off the play-offs and that remains our ambition.
“The [FA Trophy] cup run is a nice distraction but it will add to an already congested fixture list in the coming months. I’m still hopeful of adding to the squad and have the full backing of the chairman, so be assured that we will be making every effort to get the right players in.”
Hampton had most of the possession in a poor first-half on Saturday, but both keepers were rarely tested with only a couple of long-range efforts to deal with.
It was almost a surprise when a goal came and it was the Tudors who took the lead on 38 minutes when a corner was only half cleared to Rob Sinclair, he looked over his shoulder and then superbly flicked the ball back to an unmarked Jordan Parkes, who had time to wait for the ball to bounce before driving it home for his seventh goal this term.
The visitors had a couple of half-chances before the break but they lacked a cutting edge and the hosts went in a goal to the good.
The second period mirrored the first with Hemel on the back foot and unable to get their normal passing game together but Hampton, despite all their possession, rarely looked like getting back into it.
They forced a couple of corners in quick succession but they were easily dealt with and although Hemel weren’t creating much themselves they looked comfortable at the back.
However, on 76 minutes the increasing Hampton pressure finally told and it was no more than the visitors deserved.
It came from a somewhat soft free-kick in the middle of the park that was quickly taken, Hemel’s back line were slow to react and Craig Dundas managed to find space on the edge of the box and wasted no time getting a shot away, the ball just evading Hemel keeper Laurie Walker’s outstretched hand and the post.
After this the visitors, who were just a place and two points below Hemel in the league table in 16th before the match, looked as though they would end up winning.
And when former Tudors’ striker Karl Oliyide came on as a substitute the script was written for him to get a winner. But it wasn’t to be and Hemel could have pinched it themselves towards the end when Scott Shulton raced clear, evaded a few tackles and had players inside of him but elected to shoot, the ball just curling wide.
The point means Hemel remain in 15th place in the National League South table.
The Tudors are back in action tonight (Tuesday) when they travel to Isthmian League Premier Division side Potters Bar Town in the first round of the Herts FA Charity Cup. Potters Bar are currently in 16th place in their 22-team league.
Hemel’s website has confirmed that tonight’s match is still on despite some light snow flurries in the area earlier in the day.
This Saturday Hemel then travel to Hungerford Town, who are just one point above the dropzone in 19th spot.
Hemel’s side v Hampton: Laurie Walker, Joe Howe, Frankie Musonda, Jordan Parkes, Darren Ward , Ismail Yakubu, Jack Snelus, (Steve Cawley), Scott Shulton, Sanchez Watt, Rob Sinclair, Kyle Connolly. Subs not used: James Kaloczi, Connor Tomlinson, Oliver Swain and George Paulin.
Mitch’s man of the match: Frankie Musonda.