Hemel Hempstead Town (O’Connor 73) 1-1 Ebbsfleet United (Paxman 29) Vanarama National League South 29/10/2022
Match report by Allan Mitchell
Honours even at Vauxhall Road in an entertaining affair to which both both sides contributed to and a draw was a fair result at the end of 90 minutes.
Kory Roberts had an early chance for Hemel when he got his head to a cross from Josh Castiglione that Mark Cousins saved at full stretch and Dara Dada hit a couple of shots wide as the Tudors made a bright start.
It took the visitors 15 minutes to have an attempt on goal when Gregory Cundle drove his shot wide from the edge of the box.
This seemed to wake Fleet from their slumbers and they almost took the lead when Craig Tanner hit the inside of the post with the ball bouncing into a grateful Craig King’s hands.
A minute later fate wasn’t so kind, when a great run by Jack Paxman saw him feed the ball through to Poleon who laid it back to him, he scuffed his shot somewhat and it clipped a defender, then the woodwork before rolling over the line before King could get back to it, giving Ebbsfleet a somewhat fortunate lead on the balance of play in the first period.
Hemel worked hard in the second half with Fleet relying on the counter and as the clock ticked down, you felt that the visitors could snatch a second as The Tudors pushed forward, Poleon had their best chance of the half when he raced into the box but Craig King did superbly closing him down and blocking his first effort, he then saved the follow up before gathering the ball at the third attempt, with the referee blowing for a free kick as Tanner kicked the ball out of his hands.
Brooklyn Ilunga, who had thankfully recovered from the injury he received on Tuesday night, caused the Fleet defence all sorts of problems throughout as Hemel continued to press forward and they deservedly equalised after a period of pressure. Josh Castiglione chased down a ball that looked to be going out on the left, he crossed to the back post where Roberts met it with his head, Cousins saved superbly but could only push it out wide, Roberts poked it back in and Harris O’connor slotted home, just getting in front of Ogo Obi to level the scores.
Both sides went for the three points as the clock ticked down but despite a couple of goalmouth scrambles at both ends the score remained level and it was honours even at the end of the 90+ minutes.
Hemel: King ; O’Connor, Meade, Lelan, Roberts, Poku, Dada (Greenidge 65) Morgan-Griffiths, Castiglione, Ilunga, Obi (Holness 90) Subs not used: Eleftheriou, Holt, Brown,
Referee Neil Pratt Attandance 625 Match Rating 4/5.
The Tudor's Man of the Match: Brooklyn Ilunga, Congratulation.