Hemel Town’s unbeaten start to the season came to an end on Saturday when a good Woking side just edged a tight affair at Vauxhall Road.
It all came down to taking chances, with the visitors being more clinical in front of goal.
Woking had the better of the first half-hour. Greg Luer fired in a shot from close range that Tudors’ keeper Laurie Walker did well to save and this was replicated when Kane Ferdinand tried his luck from the edge of the box, but the in-form Hemel custodian just got a hand to the effort.
From the resulting corner, Max Kretzschmar was given a free header but he could only put it into the arms of the relieved keeper.
Hemel mustered their first shot on target after 25 minutes when Billy Clifford fired in from the edge of the box but it was straight at Woking’s German stopper Berti Schotteri, who gathered it easily.
After this, the Tudors came more into the game. A Jordan Parkes free-kick was blocked, with the ball rebounding back to him and the skipper hit it first-time but as it flew goalwards, a defender managed to get a foot to it and divert it wide.
Just after the half-hour mark, Hemel defender Joe Howe got clear on the right after some good build-up play and drove the ball across the face of the goal but there just wasn’t a Hemel forward close enough to get the all-important touch that it needed.
Right before half-time another Parkes free-kick was met by the unmarked striker Herschel Sanchez Watt who not only drilled the ball past Schotteri but also the far post so the sides went in level at the break.
A goal then would have almost certainly pushed the Tudors on to get the three points as it was becoming increasingly obvious that the first goal was going to be pivotal in the game
The second period saw Woking sit back more and rely on the counter attack, while Hemel huffed and puffed to try to break a well-organised defence down.
The two defining moments in the period were when Town forward Steve Cawley raced clear for Hemel just before the hour mark, he lined his shot up only to see it fly agonisingly past the post with the keeper well beaten.
Moments later, on 65 minutes, Kretzschmar made the hosts pay when he put Woking in front. From our position in line with the player, he looked a yard offside when he received the ball but with the linesman some five yards back it wasn’t spotted. Kretzshmar wasn’t going to waste time worrying about a whistle and he slammed a shot past Walker to make it 1–0.
It was a bit harsh on Hemel but it turned out to be the turning point in the game.
As the home side pushed forward the inevitable happened ten minutes later, a long punt down the middle seemed to have been dealt with by Ismail Yakubu at the back, but he allowed the ball to run past him and Duanne Ofori-Acheampong took his chance, fending off the defender to race clear and fire it into the roof of the net past a stranded Walker and it was game over.
Woking moved up to third place in the National League South standings after the win, while Hemel dropped to eighth.
Next up for the Tudors is a trip to tenth-placed Welling United this Saturday.
Hemel v Woking: Laurie Walker, Joe Howe, Kyle Connolly, Jordan Parkes (captain), Tom Hamblin, Ismail Yakubu, Herschel Sanchez Watt, Billy Clifford, Karl Oliyide (Charlie Sheringham, 60 mins), Steve Cawley (Phil Roberts, 72 mins), Reece Prestidge (Alex Osborn, 75 mins). Subs not used: James Kaloczi, Spencer McCall.
Mitch’s man of the match: Jordan Parkes.