Match Report By Allan Mitchell
Hemel arrived at big spending and Champions Elect Ebbsfleet with a game plan that was carried out to perfection and The Tudors left the Kuflink Stadium with a hard earned point.
The first period saw the home side with lots of possession but little of note when it came to chances. They had a decent opportunity when an overlap down the right saw the ball drilled across the face of the goal but no Fleet player was on hand to get that vital touch.
Hemel created a chance themselves shortly after when Josh Williams made a good run up the edge of the box but his shot drifted wide. With 25 minutes on the clock, Hemel looked as though they had weathered the early Fleet storm and they created another half chance when Josh Hill met a George Williams free kick but his header lacked any real power and Mark Cousins was able to save comfortably.
Craig Cundle then brought a decent save out of Craig King in the Tudors goal after some impressive build up play and Hemel had King to thank again moments later when a freekick caused some confusion in the six yard box, there was a bit of a scramble before the ball landed at the feet of Fleets goal machine, Dominic Poleon, he was only a couple of yards out at the back post and he fired goalwards but the Hemel goalminder saved superbly from point blank range.
There was just time for Nana Owusu to test Cousins up the other end, his well hit shot was saved at full length by the Fleet keeper.
The second period was pretty much one way traffic with Hemel penned into their own box for long periods and the Fleet came close to breaking the deadlock just before the hour mark when Toby Edser managed to break clear of his marker with a smart turn but King read the danger and saved well with an outstretched foot. It seemed to be corner after corner as the home side continued to bash against the door but Hemel’s back line stood firm although Poleon almost opened the scoring in the 74th minute, when he drilled his shot against the crossbar from the edge of the area with King beaten.
The corners and pressure were relentless as the clock ticked down but Ebbsfleet looked to be running out of ideas and in the final minutes, Hemel could have nicked the points when Jeremie Mukendi and Charlee Hughes combined on the edge of the box, there was a second when the two players got in each other’s way somewhat but the loose ball fell to Luke Holness who stabbed it towards goal but Cousins was able to save easily.
All in all, an excellent and hardworking performance from The Tudors that keeps their play-off hopes alive.
Hemel: Craig King; Montel McKenzie, Josh Williams (Andrew Eleftheriou) Josh Hill © Jack Westbrook, Kyle O’Connor-Ajayi; George Williams (Jeremie Mukendi) Bayley Brown, Nana Owusu (Charlee Hughes) Josh Castiglione. Subs not used: Kory Roberts, Dom Morgan-Griffiths.
Attendance 1647 Tudors Man of the Match: Josh Castiglione – covered every blade of grass.