It was a disappointing Easter weekend for Hemel Town with back-to-back losses in the space of three days.
With their National League South season dwindling towards a lower mid-table finish, the Tudors lost 2-1 at play-off-chasing Billericay Town on Saturday, then followed that by losing 2-0 in their last home game of the season to bottom side Weston-super-Mare on Easter Monday.
It was difficult to find any positives in Monday’s game as Hemel once again under-performed in front of their own fans at a sunny Vauxhall Road, writes Allan Mitchell.
The one big plus point came from around 150 people who walked the eight or so miles from Watford FC’s ground to Hemel in aid of Spencer McCall, the popular Tudors’ midfielder who is fighting a rare form of cancer.
More than £400 was raised from the walk with more money to come from some of Monday’s gate receipts.
Hemel chairman Dave Boggins pledged that anyone who took part in the walk would only have to pay £5 at the gate and all of that money would go into McCall’s fund.
The 24-year-old midfielder was at the game and he received lots of well-wishes from fans, who have taken his cause to their hearts.
A total of £12,935 has now been raised through his Justgiving website.
Unfortunately, the Hemel players could not put in a performance that would have given everyone a lift after recent poor results.
The hosts were slightly the better team in the first-half and had several decent chances to take the lead with Jordan Parkes, Arel Amu, Joe Howe, Tom Hamblin and Kieran Monlouis all going close.
Weston looked every bit the team that were relegated last week, creating nothing of note in the first period.
However, as has been the case all too often lately, Hemel switched off as the half-time whistle approached and some sloppy defending saw the visitors make inroads down the right, the ball was laid back to Jacob Cane who clipped the ball past Hemel keeper Laurie Walker via a slight deflection to give them an unlikely lead.
As the players came off, even Weston’s keeper Luke Parnell was heard to say “how did that happen?”
If the Tudors’ faithful thought it couldn’t get any worse, it did.
With many fans still making their way back out of the bar after some much-needed refreshment, a long ball downfield was crossed into the box and an unmarked Alex Bray arrived at the back post to tap home for a 2-0 Weston lead.
Weston were ahead having only mustered two shots in anger.
If the home fans were looking for a response, it never came. In fact, Weston could have added to their tally as their confidence grew, sensing the Tudors weren’t up for the fight.
Marlon Jackson, Cane and Gethyn Hall all came close, with Walker doing his best to keep his side in it with some decent saves.
Tudors’ boss Joe Deeney introduced Sydney Ibie and the much-missed forward Rob Sinclair, returning from a long-term injury, and while they made something of a difference, Weston saw the game out comfortably.
Hemel’s supporters were left to reflect on a disappointing end to a season that had promised much after reaching the play-offs last term.
Hemel v Weston: Laurie Walker, Jacques Kpohomouh, Kyle Connolly, Jordan Parkes (captain), Tom Hamblin, Oliver Swain, Keiran Monlouis, Kavan Cotter, Arel Amu, Herschel Sanchez Watt (Rob Sinclair), Joe Howe (Sydney Ibie). Subs not used: Magloire Muyembe, Jake Baker, Danny Boness.
In the 2-1 away loss at Billericay on Saturday, the hosts took a 1-0 lead on 35 minutes via Joe Kizzi, before Hemel pegged them back two minutes after the break through Amu’s fifth goal of the season.
But Moses Emmanuel grabbed what proved to be the winning goal for the home team on 64 minutes.
Hemel’s last game of the league season is a local derby away at Wealdstone this Saturday.
Tudors’ fans will be hoping their side can give it one last go against a side that still has an outside chance of making the play-offs.