Hawks title aspirations hit stumbling block at Hemel

Rory Williams. Picture Ian Hargreaves
Rory Williams. Picture Ian Hargreaves
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The Hawks’ National League South title aspirations hit a stumbling block after they were held to a goalless draw at Hemel Hempstead Town.

Rory Williams and Jason Prior both hit the bar for the visitors, while Bradley Tarbuck also missed a decent opportunity at Vauxhall Road.

Manager Lee Bradbury named an unchanged side from last weekend’s 2-0 win over Hungerford.

However, Lee Molyneaux replaced Alfie Rutherford on the bench.

The Hawks made a superb start and on four minutes Williams grazed the bar from a corner.

A minute later, Hemel keeper Laurie Walker’s clearance hit Matt Tubbs.

The former Pompey striker then picked out Tarbuck, but he put his effort over the bar.

The game was end-to-end and in the 20th minute Williams’ free-kick picked out Theo Lewis on right, whose header was tipped over the bar.

At the other end, home captain Darren Ward headed Dan Spence’s cross wide on 22 minutes.

Rose then nodded Brian Stock’s free-kick off target four minutes later, before Tubbs flashed an effort the wrong wide of the post from 20 yards OUT.

Three minutes before the break Prior should have put the Hawks ahead.

Williams’ cross found the striker but he failed to keep his shot down and it rattled off the crossbar.

Hemel came out strong in the second half and put the visitors under pressure.

However, Bradbury’s troops soon regained their composure and Stock had a free-kick blocked by the wall at the other end.

On 59 minutes Walker’s clearance ricocheted off Tubbs again but the marksman’s cross was gathered by the home keeper.

In the 85th minute, Williams’ free-kick was met by substitute Ryan Woodford but he was unable keep his effort under control.

Towards end Hawks keeper Ryan Young did well to cut out a low drive and was on hand again moments later when he punched an inswinging corner away.

Overall, it was fair result but the Hawks had the better of the chances.