Hemel Town had an excellent chance to pick up three vital points for their playoff chase when hosting East Thurrock last night (Tuesday).
The Tudors, in the seventh and final playoff place in the ridiculously tight National League South standings, beat Thurrock on the road 1-0 back in October.
They were hoping to do the same at Vauxhall Road last night against a side in 13th place and winless in four games.
However, Hemel themselves are also now winless in four league outings.
UPDATE: Hemel won Tuesday night’s game with East Thurock 2-0 after goals from Jordan Parkes and Hershel Sanchez Watt
A difficult run has seen them matched against upper-tier opponents such as Havant, Chelmsford and Braintree in the past six weeks however they have also squandered chances to pick up points against lower sides like Poole and Oxford.
Tudors’ keeper Laurie Walker touched on the issue a fortnight ago in an interview with Gazette match reporter Allan Mitchell.
The netminder admitted that his side have “failed to win games that on paper we should have won”.
However, he still felt the Tudors have a chance at ‘nicking’ the title.
If that is to come to fruition, the Tudors must start snatching three points when hosting sides in the bottom half of the table.
Last night’s game was being played as the Gazette went to press.
See the newspaper’s website for a report on the game.
Another opportunity for points then presents itself this Saturday when Hemel host ninth-placed Bath City.
Bath are undefeated in four league encounters, with two wins in that spell.
Hemel have played City twice already this season – a 3-0 reverse in the FA Cup preliminary rounds back in September and a 0-0 draw in early December.
Both of those games were away from home so this Saturday gives the Tudors a chance to exact some revenge in the friendly confines of Vauxhall Road.
Just two points separate the two sides in the standings so it’s another crucial match with implications for the playoff picture.
*Like much of the football programme last weekend, Hemel’s game on Saturday at Welling United was postponed.
Snow and a frost-covered pitch at the Park View Road stadium in Welling was the cause of the cancellation.
The crucial fixture (seventh versus eighth) will now be pushed back and could end up being a playoff decider further down the line.
A new date for the clash has not yet been announced.