Tudors get off to a stuttering start

13/8/2011'Hemel Hempstead FC versus Leamington, in blue.'Ryan Blake scores Hemel's first goal.
13/8/2011'Hemel Hempstead FC versus Leamington, in blue.'Ryan Blake scores Hemel's first goal.

HEMEL Hempstead Town have made a disappointing start to the new season – picking up just one point from their first two league fixtures.

Colin Payne’s Tudors were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Leamington on Saturday, before going down 3-0 at his former club Hitchin Town on Monday night.

Hemel will count themselves unfortunate not to have come away with more to show for their efforts, though, having produced some good football over the course of the two games.

The Tudors were two minutes away from making a winning start to the campaign against Leamington, but Michael Tuohy snatched a point for the visitors with a stunning strike.

Both sides had chances in the first half of the game, but it took until the 64th minute for substitute Ryan Blake to put Hemel in front with a fine run and finish.

The Tudors pushed for a second goal, and Marvin Williams had the chance to double the advantage but was wasteful in front of goal.

And Hemel were punished for the miss as Tuohy struck against the run of play to level the scores.

“It was disappointing to concede a goal so late,” said Tudors boss Payne.

“But we put in a good performance against one of the league’s fancied sides.”

Hemel had little time to reflect on the result, however, as they travelled to Hitchin just two days later.

The Tudors dominated large passages of play, but were unable to break down a resolute home defence and were eventually left frustrated once again.

Zak Burke put Hitchin in front after 20 minutes, and a second half John Frendo brace wrapped up the points for the home side. A red card for Hemel’s Liam Malone did not help the Tudors’ cause.

Payne, though, was adamant that he 3-0 scoreline flattered Hitchin. “The result wasn’t a fair reflection on the game,” he said.

“We gave away poor goals from our point of view and had a man sent off – basically nothing went right on the night.”

Despite the club’s first two results, the Hemel manager is positive about his side’s prospects for this season.

“We are a young, exciting team and just need to start converting our chances and not give away sloppy goals.”