Seagulls pick up a point at Hemel Hempstead
- Credit: Archant
Weston picked up a point on their first ever visit to Vauxhall Road, home of Hemel Hempstead Town.
HEMEL HEMPSTEAD TOWN 1
WESTON stretched their Vanarama Conference South unbeaten run to three games as they came from behind to pick up a valuable point on their first-ever visit to Vauxhall Road.
From the side that drew against Hayes & Yeading, manager Micky Bell rested Jake Llewellyn and Syd Camper, Aaron Brown slotted into the back four with Clayton Fortune, back from illness, and Joe McClennan played out wide. New loan signing Pierce Mitchell from Bristol Rovers made his full debut in the defence and gave a stirling performance.
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Last season, Hemel won the Southern League Premier Division at a canter, scoring over 100 goals, but were made to struggle against a Weston side that gave a gritty display.
Early on Dayle Grubb went close from Alec Fiddes cross and then Grubb forced the first of Weston’s corner. Minutes later, Jacob Cane tested home keeper Laurie Walker.
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The home side opened the scoring on 16 minutes when Fortune was yellow carded for a foul on James Potton and skipper Jordan Parkes left Luke Purnell rooted to the spot with a superb 20-yard free kick.
From then until the interval, both defences were on top, with Weston forcing four more corners to Hemel’s two.
Weston looked sharper early in the second half, with McClennan, cutting in from the left, forcing Walker to beat out his strong effort. McClennan did better on 54 minutes, making a strong run this time on the right and he slipped the ball inside to Grubb whose low cross eluded Walker for Jamie Lucas to bundle to the net from close range.
After that, defences were again on top, but the home side twice went close with headed efforts and Brown was just off target from Weston’s seventh corner.
Goals: Hemel, Parkes (16). Weston, Lucas (54).
Shots on target: Hemel 2, Weston 2.
Shots off target: Hemel 7, Weston 4.
Corners: Hemel, 7, Weston 8.
Offsides: Hemel 4, Weston 2.
Free kicks conceded: Hemel 6, Weston 5
Referee: Lee Betts. Made some puzzling decisions and was liberal with his yellow card.
Bookings: Hemel, Walker, Murphy, Talbot, Olp. Weston, Fortune.
Weston squad: Purnell, Mitchell, Brown, Mawford, Jordan, Fortune, McClennan, Cane, Lucas (Camper 82), Grubb (Ash 90), Fiddes (Llewellyn 88). Subs (not used): O’Sullivan, Harris.
WESTON have no scheduled game for Saturday, as their intended opponents Salisbury City have been excluded from the league.
However, they are hoping to arrange a friendly against Merthyr Town on Friday evening, subject to the Welsh club’s midweek results.