Tudors beaten as Whitehawk seal a Conference South playoff spot

Hemel Hempstead Town FC manager Dean Brennan. Picture (c) Darren Kelly

Hemel Hempstead Town FC manager Dean Brennan. Picture (c) Darren Kelly

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Whitehawk secured their place in the Conference South playoffs with a comprehensive victory over Hemel Hempstead Town at the Enclosed Ground on Saturday.

Two goals in quick succession late in the first half dented the Tudors’ bright early start, before they got themselves back into the game through Zane Banton.

However, a late penalty from Sam Deering condemned the Tudors to consecutive league defeats and confirmed a top-five spot for Whitehawk.

After their midweek Herts Senior Cup triumph over rivals Borehamwood, the Tudors went into the game in good spirits, but two brisk goals midway through the first half took the sting out of the affair.

Hemel had asserted themselves well in the early exchanges, but without testing the Hawks keeper Craig Ross, which they would eventually pay for as they were given a lesson in being clinical in front of goal.

Danny Mills broke the deadlock half an hour into the game after neatly swivelling his marker and finishing, before Scott Neilson doubled their advantage with a crisp finish into the far corner.

Zane Banton was on target for Hemel. Picture (c) Darren Kelly

Zane Banton was on target for Hemel. Picture (c) Darren Kelly

The second half was played out in leisurely fashion until a misplaced pass gave substitute Banton the chance to halve the deficit, and he duly obliged to set-up a tantalising finale.

Tudor sub Dennis Oli had a great chance to level minutes later with a free-header that went narrowly wide at the far post, and Hemel were made to rue that missed chance.

Whitehawk’s Deering was brought down inside the area, and he picked himself up to take the resulting penalty; coolly slotting home past Jamie Head to ensure his side’s place in the playoffs.

Attendance: 525

Hemel: Head, King (Lee), Oshodi, Hyam, Connolly, Gibson, Allen, Parkes (Oli), Simmonds, Potton (Banton), Hawkins

Not Used: Harriot, Kabamba