Hemel Hempstead Town 1 Wealdstone 0: Stones suffer defeat on trip to Tudors
PUBLISHED: 08:35 20 April 2018 | UPDATED: 08:35 20 April 2018
Vanarama National League Sout: Hemel Hempstead Town 1 Wealdstone 0
Jordan Parkes’ goal was enough to separate the two sides as Wealdstone lost 1-0 to Hemel Hempstead Town on a sweltering April evening at Vauxhall Road.
Tudors keeper Laurie Walker was the busiest of the two stoppers but it was Jonathan North picking the ball out of the net from his ex-Watford teammate Parkes’ rebounded strike.
Stones boss Bobby Wilkinson made two changes from the side that lost 3-0 to Chelmsford City on Monday night with Matty Whichelow and Danny Green replacing Ryan Sellers and Dan Fitchett.
And it was Whichelow who had the first chance of the game, Lloyd Doyley misjudged a long ball which Whichelow latched on to and tried an audacious 30-yard lob over the oncoming Walker, he beat the keeper but the ball just went over, hitting the top of the goal net.
Whichelow again was in the thick of it, heading a cross from David Pratt across goal to Bradley Bubb who headed straight at Walker from close range.
A minute later Bubb almost atoned for that miss, this time his strike deflected away from goal just missing the far post.
Walker’s best save came on 36 minutes. Stones hit Hemel on the break with Bubb playing a through ball into Pratt, he hit it sweetly toward the top near corner but the keeper produced lightning reactions to tip it over.
The keeper produced a near-identical save in the second half. This time Pratt played Whichelow in, he too aimed for that near top corner but the keeper again tipped it over.
Wealdstone had the resulting corner cleared and from that Hemel lead, Karl Oliyide latched onto the cross at the near post, North and Eddie Oshodi did well to prevent it going in but Parkes fired home the rebound as home fans around the ground breathed a sigh of relief.
This perked up the hosts and they almost doubled their lead when David Moyo headed into the ground and saw it bounce across the face of goal and wide.
Parkes almost doubled his tally twice, first with a long range effort going just wide and second heading wide of the goal when he should have done better. But Hemel held out for a vital win as they look to cement their play-off position.