Tue 24
Hemel Hempstead Town
First Team
J Ward (42')
Fortune Favours The Tudors

Fortune Favours The Tudors

By Scott Hatley
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First half goals from Ed Oshodi and Matty Harriot, and a late strike from Kyle Connolly were enough for Hemel to secure a 3-1 win.

After Ed Oshodi and Matty Harriott capitalised on two favourable deflections, Joe Ward’s individual effort just before the half time interval proved to not be enough to spur Chelmsford towards an equaliser in the second half.

Hemel's three points were then wrapped up deep into stoppage time when sub Kyle Connolly scored with a cushioned volley over the stranded Tom Lovelock to maintain the Tudors' push for a play-off spot.

Clarets boss, Mark Hawkes accepted over the weekend that City’s play-off hopes were over, but Hemel still harboured ambitions of making the top five as they sat just five points off the play-off places with two games in hand on fifth placed Gosport Borough.

With that in mind the hosts made the perfect start by taking the lead after just four minutes. A free kick from the left was whipped towards the far post and headed on by Dennis Oli. The header deflected back across goal leaving Ed Oshodi the easy task of tapping in from inches out.

Despite the early set back, City reacted well with Joe Ward stinging the palms of Laurie Walker with a drilled effort. The ball then found its way back out to Ward who clipped a cross towards the far post which was narrowly headed wide by Mark Hughes.

Ward again tested Walker midway through the half with a low drive that the Hemel ‘keeper had to shovel away, but it was Hemel who stamped home their advantage on the half hour mark when Matty Harriot thundered the ball past Tom Lovelock to make it two.

A clever turn by Oli allowed him to get the wrong side of Marvin Ekpiteta who got his body back in the way before falling to the ground. Despite howls for handball Harriot wasn’t waiting around, smashing the loose ball high into the net to put Hemel firmly in the driving seat.

But just before the break City got themselves a foot hold as Rob Girdlestone played a perfectly weighted ball down the wing into the run of Ward. Ward skipped passed the onrushing Oshodi with ease before finding the bottom corner to half the deficit.

The next goal was going to be of vital importance in this fixture and with a quarter of the game remaining chances began to present themselves for both sides.

Hughes will feel he should have done better with his header from a Ward corner before Hemel’s Luke Allen went agonisingly close with his long range strike that was deflected over the bar by Mark Haines.

Harriot went within a whisker of restoring Hemel’s two goal lead after Lovelock misjudged a high ball into the box, allowing Jordan Parkes to lay the ball off only for Harriot’s effort to be deflected wide.

And Oshodi was denied a second of his own by Lovelock, after the Hemel centre half flicked on a corner from the left which needed a fingertip from the City stopper to stop it from creeping in.

With time running out on City, Hemel continued to create chances to kill the game off, starting with a superbly executed bicycle kick from Parkes which smashed the bar, only for James Simmonds to scuff the rebound.

Marvin Ekpiteta was then required to clear the ball off the line, with Oshodi’s follow-up looking like it was hitting the back of the net before Lovelock sprung to his right.

Despite a late flurry by the Clarets they were unable to produce that final opportunity at an equaliser and in the fifth minute of time added on substitute Kyle Connolly was found unmarked at the far post, cushioning a lovely volley over the head of a stranded Lovelock to rub salt into the Claret's wounds.

Hemel Hempstead Town
1. Laurie Walker
2. Ed Asafu-Adjaye
3. Arthur Lee
4. Jordan Parkes (C)
5. Jorell Johnson
6. Ed Oshodi
7. Dennis Oli
8. Matty Harriot
9. Oliver Hawkins
10. Luke Allen
11. Zane Banton

12. James Potton (On for Zane Banton, 64’)
14. Nicke Kabamba
15. James Simmonds (On for Dennis Oli, 76’)
16. Kyle Connolly (On for Jordan Parkes, 90 + 3')
22. Jamie Head

Chelmsford City
1. Tom Lovelock
2. Rob Girdlestone
3. Michael Toner
4. Mark Hughes (C)
5. Mark Haines
6. Marvin Ekpiteta
7. Lee Sawyer
8. Joe Ward
9. Jack Bridge
10. Michael Cheek
11. Leon Redwood

12. Rohdell Gordon (On for Leon Redwood, 78’)
14. Kabongo Tshimanga (On for Rob Girdlestone, 64’)
15. Harry Morgan
16. Evans Kouassi (On for Michael Cheek, 81’)
17. Kevin Maher

Referee: R Mackay
Assistants: T Ratheram & G Viccars

Hemel Hempstead: Ed Oshodi 4’, Matty Harriot 30’, Kyle Connolly 90 + 5'
Chelmsford City: Joe Ward 42’

Hemel Hempstead: None
Chelmsford City: Marvin Ekpiteta (Foul - 83')

Attendance: 537

City Man of the Match: Joe Ward

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Match details

Match date

Tue 24, Mar 2015






South Division
Joe Ward

Player of the match

Joe Ward