Hemel Town go into Christmas on the back of a fine performance and excellent 4-0 victory in the fog at Bishop’s Stortford on Saturday.
The Tudors made the short journey home with the spoils and a clean sheet bonus that will please manager Dean Brennan, who has seen his side find their scoring boots in their last two away fixtures with nine goals and six points in total.
It sent the Hemel fans home happy and lifted Brennan’s side to 13th in the Vanarama National South table, still within touching distance of the play off places.
If they can get on a decent run then this is certainly achievable and with high flying Hampton and Richmond visiting on Boxing Day the Tudors will be hoping for a big crowd and another three points to further their ambitions.
Both sides had early chances on Saturday with Jake Robinson firing over after just a minute and then Stortford’s Evans Kouassi missing a glorious opportunity moments later, blasting his effort high and wide with the goal gaping.
The possession was equally shared in the first period but it was Hemel who always looked the most likely to score.
Aaron Hayden rose to meet a corner on 15 minutes and his powerful header crashed against the crossbar, then Jordan Parkes curled a free kick narrowly wide a minute later.
Just after the half hour mark another free kick on the edge of the area was taken by Matt Saunders, he curled the ball over the wall only for it to hit the bar again. It fell to Scott Neilson who scuffed his shot straight into teammate Robinson, it rebounded back to Neilson who, under pressure from a defender, then put the ball into the crowd.
Just before the half time interval, Hemel got the breakthrough. After some pressure, a cross hit a defender’s raised arm and the referee decided that it was deliberate and awarded a penalty, much to the dismay of the home side. Jordan Parkes stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way to give The Tudors a deserved lead.
The second half continued in much the same way, with both sides enjoying periods of possession, but it was the visitors who got the all important second goal after 55 minutes. A superb through ball from Parkes split the defence and Jake Robinson tucked the ball past keeper Lefebvre from a tight angle.
Stortford didn’t quite throw the towel in at this point and were denied three times by Jamie Butler in Hemel’s goal in the space of a couple of minutes.
With The Blues pushing forward in an attempt to get back into the game, gaps started appearing at the back and Robinson broke clear in the 70th minute and looked as though he would settle the match but Lefebrve saved his effort with his legs,
It was a short reprieve however as Hemel forced a corner a couple of minutes later. The ball was sent to the back post where it was headed back into the danger area, it was only half cleared to the edge of the box where Matt Saunders was waiting and he wasted no time in drilling the ball back, on the half volley straight into the top corner to make the game safe.
The healthy contingent of Tudors fans behind the goal were in fine voice and were really making some noise. They were rewarded with a fourth goal in the 86th minute when Jordan Parkes was tripped as he lined up a cross from the left side of the area. There was no doubt about this penalty and the Tudors skipper stepped up and repeated his first half effort by sending the keeper the wrong way again for his second of the game.
Hemel 1: Jamie Butler 2:Dave King (17:Tony Diagne) 3:Kyle Connolly 4:Jordan Parkes © 5:Aaron Hayden 6:Reiss Greenidge 7:Scott Neilson (12:James Kaloczi) 8:Matt Saunders 9:Jake Robinson (14:Jonathan McNamara)10:Michael Thalassitis 11:Arnuad Mendy. Subs not used 15: Rohdell Gordan 16:Liam Enver-Marum.
Man of the Match: Jordan Parkes.