Tudors manager Dean Brennan praised the character shown by his side as they ground out a 1-0 win over Weymouth to book their place in the next round of the FA Trophy, despite playing most of the second half with 10 men.
Hemel got the job done with an early goal from Jamie Slabber, before holding on bravely despite the dismissal of Ben Herd – with keeper Jamie Butler making some fine saves.
“Getting through to the next round is all that matters in the cup – in fact all football matches are about winning the game,” said Brennan.
“I’m delighted that we are in the next round because it is a great competition, so overall it’s a good win for us.
“It wasn’t our best performance, and full credit to Weymouth because they had a real go at us, and they should be proud of their performance.
“But I’m proud of how the lads performed in the second half with 10 men, Butler especially was excellent.”
I’m delighted that we are in the next round because it is a great competition, so overall it’s a good win for us.Hemel Town FC manager Dean Brennan
Brennan also singled out goalscorer Jamie Slabber, while admitting it was a relief to have registered a clean sheet at last following a string of leaky defensive displays.
“I thought we scored a very good goal when the game was quite even and that’s why you need players like Slabber at this level – he is the difference.
“But clean sheets get you success, and anyone who knows football properly will tell you that. All the best sides are the ones who can keep clean sheets so it’s good to have done that.”
“It’s not like us to be dominated in terms of possession, and we were out-passed really, but I think the sending off changed the game slightly.”
Looking at Herd’s red card, Brennan continued: “It looked like he left the floor, but I also thought they could have had a red card when their player went over the ball and caught Willy on the shins but Willy didn’t make as much of it as their guy did.
“The referee didn’t see that one but did see the one against us, and that’s just how it has been for us all season really.
“But regardless, I’m delighted that we have won scruffily and showed good character on a cold, wintry and windy day.
“We aren’t where we want to be in terms of performance week-in, week-out but that’s going to take time and we need to get our players back fit – they are dropping like flies.
“We’ve got a massive month coming up and December will be one of the defining months of our season so we have got to make sure we come out on the right end of it.”