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Maidstone 1-1 Hemel

National League South -Saturday 10 February 2024

Attendance: 2,407 (32 Hemel Hempstead Supporters)

Match Report by Allan Mitchell

A run of defeats was ended as Hemel Hempstead deservedly took a point at the Gallagher Stadium.

The opening 30 minutes were closely contested with Hemel probably having slightly more of the possession early on. But as the half progressed, the Stones started to dominate and with 33 minutes gone, they took the lead. Jephte Tanga did well to drive forwards and he played a neat pass to Sam Corne. Corne’s drive was blocked and it bobbled towards Sam Bone who shot first time and the ball took a slight deflection which was enough to take it past King.

Moments later, Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong slipped Faal in on goal. Faal rounded Craig King but the angle was very tight by this stage and he could only find the side netting.

It started to look somewhat ominous for the Tudors as the home side stepped up and Tanga was involved again shortly after this. He twisted and turned into space close to the edge of the box before lifting the ball over the bar and into the Genco Stand.

Four minutes later and in a rare Tudors counter attack it looked certain that Joe Re would score. His excellent drive from 25 yards was heading for the top right hand corner but somehow Lucas Covolan flung himself high to his left and made a superb save.

The Stones started the second half strongly and a lovely move on 48 minutes nearly brought a second goal. From a Hemel corner, Faal did well to bring the ball out of defence and carry it forward. He then played an inviting low ball into Reynolds. Reynolds kept moving and put it through to Matt Rush who drew a good save from King.

King came to Hemel’s rescue once again six minutes later. The ball fell to Tanga inside the box and his low drive was well stopped by the Hemel keeper.

After this, Hemel had a spell of notable pressure. During this, the excellent George Williams was allowed to roam forwards as Maidstone’s defence backed off and his low effort might have been heading inside the left post but Covolan pushed it behind. From the resultant corner, Michael Folivi and substitute Myles Judd looked to pounce but Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong did enough to make sure that in the melee, the ball went wide.

There was then a 10 minute delay after a nasty clash of heads between Raphe Brown and Michael Folivi. Brown jumped up quickly but unfortunately Folivi left the game on a stretcher.

When the game resumed, there was a free-kick from just outside the area for Hemel. This was taken by George Williams and his effort took a fortuitous nick which sent it inches wide with Covalan helpless.

It looked like it wasn’t going to be Hemel’s day but in the 96th minute, they got a deserved equaliser. Josh Hill did superbly well to head the ball down to Hemel’s top goal scorer, George Williams just inside the box and he lashed it past Covolan into the bottom corner.

The Stones were sparked back into action and Sam Corne did well to win the ball deep in the visitors half.  He played it to substitute Manny Duku who could only find the side netting.

Then with a 103 minutes on the clock, George Williams went close to grabbing the winner. He let fly from the edge of the box and the ball flew just wide when it looked to be heading in.

So a much deserved point against a very good Maidstone side which stops the run of defeats and it’s Weston supermare up next at the Focus.

Tudors Boss, Brad Quinton will be looking to get that much needed win to get the clubs play off ambitions back on track.

.Hemel Hempstead: 1. Craig King, 2. Montel McKenzie (26. Josh Oyinsan 77), 3. Joshn Williams, 4. Kyle O’Connor-Ajayi, 5. Josh Hill, 7. George Williams, 10. Kaylen Hinds, 11. Jack Bates, 14. Joe Re, 19. Michael Folivi (12. Tarelle Whittaker 90), 23. Vladimir Paternoster (22. Myles Judd 45). Subs not used: 15. Kombe Kawimbe, 21. Sam Carmna

Tudors Man of the Match: George Williams


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