No way through Tudor wall for Beavers
... as defensive display from Hemel denies Hampton
Despite Christian Jolley and Brendan Kiernan hitting the post and bar respectively, the Beavers couldn't beat a dogged Hemel defence at Vauxhall Road yesterday.
In what was originally thought to be his last game, the Beavers were without Jamal Lowe, who was ill at home; Christian Jolley taking his place.
Neither side could create what could be called a serious chance until the 20th minute when Kiernan's corner to the back post eluded everyone, when only a touch from a Hampton player would have been enough to send it into the net.
Inside the last 10 minutes of the half, and Hemel thought they had a shout for a penalty, believing a shot blocked on the Hampton goal-line was by use of a hand, but the referee waved it away.
2 minute before the interval and the Beavers had the best chance of the half. Brendan Kiernan's pass through the middle released Chritian Jolley, who sprinted clear of the trailing defenders. Facing the onrushing keeper Jamie Butler, Jolley neatly tucked the shot round him towards goal, but to his anguish, the shot struck the post and rolled back toward Butler who managed to prevent anyone in a Hampton shirt latching on to finish the job.
The second half saw Hampton once more have the upper hand and on 55 minutes, the Hemel defence was nearly breached. Kiernan's corner to the near post was flicked on by Nicke Kabamba, but the goal-bound header was cleared off the line by a covering defender.
Just after the hour, the Beavers came close once more as Brendan Kiernan's curling shot from the corner of the box beat Butler but it rattled the crossbar to the home fans relief as the Beavers looked more likely to be the ones to break the deadlock.
Hemel were not making much serious headway coming forward, but midway through the half they caught the Beavers cold. Captain Jordan Parkes found himself down the Beavers right, his cross sped to the back post where Jake Robinson was lurking; stretching, the striker managed to get enough to divert it past Bishop, to give them an unexpected lead.
The Tudors then proceeded to try and defend their way to the final whistle, and they succeeded as the Beavers were unable to pry the route to goal open. The nearest Hampton came was a Kiernan shot in the first minute of added time, Butler diverting it away for a corner.
The two teams will meet again on New Year's Day at Beveree; in front of what could be a big crowd, the Beavers could do with turning that around for 3 points...