Hemel Hempstead Town 2 Berkhamsted 0
Herts Senior Cup Round 2
Match Report by Allan Mitchell
Hemel overcame a spirited Berkhamsted side and move into the third round of the Herts County cup on a cold and breezy evening at Vauxhall Road.
The game was originally scheduled to be played at Berkhamsted’s Broadwater ground. Still, after a weather forecast that predicted torrential rain all day, both clubs decided it would be better to play the fixture on Hemel’s 3G surface.
The Tudors fielded two academy lads in their lineup, Ethan Holt and Max Rosner making their first-team debuts with assistant manager Dan Jones also starting the game. The Comrades also made a number of changes to their starting lineup as both managers used the fixture to give their squads some minutes on the pitch.
Hemel had the majority of the possession and chances in the first half, but Berko came closest to breaking the deadlock when Cheyce Grant rattled the crossbar with a header after good work by Bangura.
The second half followed the same pattern as the first, with the home side dominating the ball but the Comrades looking dangerous on the counter.
The visitors had unfortunately lost Connor Toomey, who suffered a nasty-looking thumb injury just before the interval and Phil Draycott got injured in a robust-looking challenge on Josh Castiglione and had to be replaced at the break.
Hemel finally broke the deadlock through Aaron Simpson, who had gone close earlier in the game, this time; he was allowed too much time and space on the edge of the box, and he drove the ball past Comas-Leon.
Both sides made changes after this, and the game started to become a bit more open with ex-Tudor Lewis Toomey coming close after he chased down a long ball down the left, he took it wide and drilled his effort across the face of the goal, but it hit the far post.
Ethan Holt almost scored on his debut when he headed onto the underside of the crossbar, but the ball bounced out and was cleared.
Hemel added a second goal with the last kick of the game when Gus Scott-Morriss raced clear down the right after a superb cross-field ball from Reece Robins; he dinked the ball around the keeper, and with a couple of defenders on the line, he smashed it into the roof of the net to bring the game to a close.
So Hemel finally get that elusive home win, and with three games to come in succession at Vauxhall Road, they will be hoping for more of the same in the next couple of weeks.
Hemel: Craig King, Josh Castiglione, (Scott-Morriss), Aaron Simpson, Toby Stephens, Max Rosner, Daniel Emovon, Reece Robins, Dan Jones, (Carruthers), Ethan Holt, Jacques Maghoma, Joash Nembhard, (Cole Kpekawa) Subs not used: Nick Hayes, Alfie Cerulli.