Tudors skipper ‘buzzing’ after last-gasp victory against Sutton

Hemel skipper Jordan Parkes celebrates. Picture (c) Cameron Maclean - CM Photography
Hemel skipper Jordan Parkes celebrates. Picture (c) Cameron Maclean - CM Photography

Hemel Hempstead Town skipper Jordan Parkes was ‘buzzing’ after his two-goal display on Saturday earned the Tudors all three points at Sutton United.

Parkes scored a free-kick in the first half, as well as a last-gasp penalty as to earn the Tudors a vital three points and keep their impressive run of form going.

It was another inspirational display from the Hemel skipper, who was not even sure whether his would be fit for the clash after rolling his ankle in training on Thursday night.

“Considering I was a major doubt on the morning of the game I was happy to be able to play let alone grab both goals,” said Parkes.

“Parents watching me coach the Saturday Soccer School in the morning said I didn’t look like I was running well and to be honest I didn’t think I was going to be able to play.

“On Friday morning I was struggling to walk, but I am desperate to play in every game and don’t ever want to miss out so iced it up and made sure I gave myself the best chance to play on Saturday.

“I did a quick fitness test before the game and felt OK; as soon as the game started adrenalin kicks in and I didn’t feel it during the match.

“I was buzzing to score the penalty and another free-kick, which takes me on to four free-kicks for the season and 10 goals in total.

“I practice set pieces a lot and every time there is a free-kick opportunity I always feel like I’m going to score. To score the penalty in the last minute was a great feeling - I have been on penalties all season and can’t believe that this is our first one.”

Parkes believes that his side’s gutsy win shows the spirit that is running through the side at the moment, and the skipper has his sights set firmly on the playoffs.

“The character and belief that we have in this squad is what is winning us games at the moment,” he said. “Teams are restricting our passing style of play and we have to adapt and become more direct as a team.

“But the way that we never give up and keep battling to the end is how we are winning matches at the moment.

“We also had a brilliant win midweek away at Bromley who are again one of the favourites to go up. We just need to take our away form into home games now and get ourselves into those play off positions.”

After an inconsistent start to life in the Conference South, Parkes says that the Tudors are now full of confidence.

“I am very pleased with the way we are building momentum,” he added. “We are becoming a team that others don’t want to play.

“It has taken us some time to adapt to this league as last season we could pass through teams with ease and not worry too much about defending.

“This season we have had to focus more on our shape when we haven’t got the ball and then try and play our football in the final third of the pitch.

“If we can take this momentum into the games running into Christmas we will put ourselves in a strong position and who knows what we might be able to achieve.

“We are all looking forward to Basingstoke on Saturday and hopefully we can do the double over them this season.”