Hemel Hempstead Town 0 Swindon Supermarine 0
HEMEL Town were held to a frustrating stalemate as they went head-to-head with relegation rivals Swindon Supermarine at Vauxhall Road.
Both sides knew a win would have been a massive boost in their attempts to preserve their Southern Premier Division status’ but neither team could force a breakthrough in a dour affair.
The result keeps the Tudors in 20th position in the league table, but Mark Eaton’s side are now only three points adrift of safety having gone unbeaten in their last four games.
“We were disappointed with our performance in a game we felt we should be getting three points from,” said Eaton.
“We didn’t start well and we just never really got going.
“In the end, the draw was a fair result between two teams who looked quite nervous.”
Despite his frustration at the Tudors’ display on Saturday, Eaton is confident his side are on the right track as they look to avoid the drop.
“Four or five weeks ago, if we had played that badly we would have lost,” he said. “But now we’ve shown a real resilience.
“We’ve made up a number of points on the teams above us and we know what we have to do in our last five games in order to stay up.
“I’m confident we can reach our points target and carry on the unbeaten run we are on at the moment, but we will need to play a lot better than we did on Saturday.”
Blowy conditions made things difficult for both sides at Vauxhall Road, but it was Marine who made the brighter start of the two teams.
The visitors looked lively but created little to test Tudors keeper Mike McEntegart.
At the other end, Tudors winger Dave Pearce came the closest to breaking the deadlock for the home side after meeting Ross Lafayette’s flick on, but his header was comfortably palmed away.
Pearce, as ever, was the main threat for Hemel, and he saw two efforts saved before unleashing a superb volley which was tipped away from the danger zone by Swindon keeper Grant Porter.
But neither team managed to create many further opportunities as the game wound to its conclusion.
The best chance of the second half fell to Marine skipper Dave Bampton, however he couldn’t keep his volley down after meeting Ben Wells’ header.
That was the last real action of note, and both sides were forced to make do with a point.
Next up for Hemel is a tough-looking trip to league leaders Brackley Town on Saturday, before the Tudors host second-placed Oxford City on Monday.