first round of group games in the Premier Division of the Thames Valley League at Bisham Abbey.
The team were promoted from last season and in this years competition were paired with Oxford United A, Aylesbury United, Bracknell Town 1, Wokingham & Emmbrook and Watford Walkers.
The team was run by Mike Parkes and Mike took the opportunity to give equal game time to players in preparation for this seasons National Cup.
In the first game we were paired with Oxford United, in the end we were rewarded with a creditable draw as Andy Chance was sent off for swearing at the referee after a dispute about the rules half way through the game and missed the remainder of the days games. Score 0-0
Second up was Aylesbury United and despite having many chances to win the game we ended up on the wrong end of a 0-1 defeat.
We then played Bracknell Town but as in the first game we came away with a 0-0 draw.
At last we scored some goals in our fourth game, against Wokingham & Emmbrook. Hemel took a deserved 2-0 lead with goals from striker Jummy Holmes and Mark Thompson who was making his debut for the team. Unfortunately we let Wokingham back into the game when they were awarded a free kick just outside the penalty area, defensively we switched off and Wokingham scored. Then with just a couple of minutes left they struck again to leave the score 2-2 at the final whistle.
In our final game of the day we faced old foes Watford Walkers and, like most of our previous games both teams cancelled each other out and this resulted in another 0-0 draw.
It was not the start to the competition the squad would have wanted but they did get invaluable experience in to some of the less experienced players. A special mention goes to Mark Thompson who fitted in very well for his first competition and goalkeeper Tony Smith.
The squad pictured:
Updated 14:27 - 12 Mar 2019 by Dean Chance
Back Row – Chris York, Steve Hatchett, Jim Holmes, Mark Thompson, Andy Chance
Front Row – Mark Mannell, Tony Smith, Andy Turner, Dave Woolfrey