Hemel Town’s new manager has started his Tudors’ career in fine style with the club’s first-ever win at Twerton Park to slay bogey side Bath City on Saturday, followed by a home victory in the cup over Colney Heath last night (Tuesday).
Joe Deeney, who was appointed as the new Tudors’ boss last Thursday night, took his new charges to top-five side Bath on Saturday and came away with a 1-0 victory thanks to a classy 74th-minute goal from Steve Cawley.
A long, lofted free-kick from the left was flicked on by Darren Ward just outside the box and Cawley, with back to goal, brought the ball under control with his right boot and flicked it over his head in one motion, before turning and stabbing the ball home.
After the final whistle, the new manager celebrated the victory with a passionate display of emotion.
It was Hemel’s first-ever win at Bath’s Twerton Park ground and moved the Tudors up three places in the National League South table to 13th.
Meanwhile, last night (Tuesday) the Tudors’ new boss ensured his troops progressed to the next round of the Herts Senior Cup with a 2-1 home victory over Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division side Colney Heath.
Young keeper George Paulin and centre back Joel Nketia were given senior debuts and other Hemel Academy players featured in the match-day squad.
The game also saw the return of Scott Shulton to the side, while recent signing Ollie Swain made his debut.
Hemel’s two goals were netted by Muyembe and Matteo Mendy, before Colney pulled one back.
New boss Deeney spent 13 years at Luton Town as an academy and youth development coach, before moving to Oxford City in December 2016 to become their assistant manager.
Tudors’ fans will be familiar with the sort of robust side Deeney can help to develop as Hemel have had three tough games against Oxford this season in the league and the FA Cup.
He had been Mark Jones’ right-hand man since he took over at Oxford and was alongside the City boss for two memorable FA Cup campaigns, including a historic victory over Colchester United before holding Notts County until the 94th minute in the second round-proper last season.
In a statement on the club’s website, Hemel said: “The club are pleased to announce that Joe Deeney has been appointed as manager.
“Joe moves to the Tudors from his assistant manager post at Oxford City, who fans will remember well from our three challenging encounters this season.
“We urge you to get behind Joe and the lads as we enter an exciting new era in the club’s history.”
As reported in the Gazette last week, club sources had hinted that a managerial change could be in the offing after two heavy losses to Oxford City (5-0) and Eastbourne Borough (3-0). On Tuesday at 5pm caretaker player-manager Jordan Parkes stepped down to concentrate on the playing side of his game.
It meant Matt Spring, helped by academy director Steve Boone, stood in for Tuesday’s night’s home league fixture with Slough Town while Parkes once again donned the captain’s armband.
Hemel earned a welcome point when substitute Matteo Mendy levelled with just five minutes left, following Mathew Stevens’ 80th minute opening goal for Slough.
A superb ball into the six-yard box by James Kaloczi was met by the unmarked Mendy, who headed the ball home.
Hemel had been without a permanent manager since mid-September when ex-boss Dean Brennan departed to join Billericay Town.
Following Deeney’s appointment, the officers of the club thanked Parkes for stepping into the breach following the sudden resignation of Brennan.
“Jordan’s hard work and dedication over this period to the club that he loves made the transition smooth, controlled and disciplined,” the club said.
“Jordan has expressed his excitement at working with Joe [Deeney] and will now focus on captaining the team and accomplishing further achievements on the pitch.
“Jordan is currently on 99 goals for Hemel, so a major celebration will come soon,” the club added.
In a busy week for the club, the new boss has already made two new signings.
Within hours of being appointed, Deeney captured Ollie Swain from Bedford Town.
Swain is a highly-rated young central defender and was on the bench for the Bath City match.
Deeney followed that on Monday by signing midfielder Rob Sinclair, a player the boss knows well from his time at Oxford. He is a veteran with a great knowledge of the game at this and higher levels. His previous clubs include Forest Green Rovers.
Next up for Hemel is a home league clash this Saturday with Gloucester City, who are just outside the bottom three in the table.