In a thrilling encounter under the floodlights at The Focus Community Arena, the Hemel Hempstead Town Under 18's, etched their names into the club history books with a resounding 5-2 victory over Exeter City Under 18's in the FA Youth Cup.
The cold November evening didn't unfold according to plan as Theo Cutler of Exeter City struck early, putting the visitors in the lead just five minutes into the game. Undeterred, The Tudors retaliated swiftly, with Bradley Smith leveling the score within three minutes. The intensity continued as Cutler notched his second, regaining the lead for Exeter, only for George Still to pull the Hemel Hempstead side level once again at the 22-minute mark.
A first half marked by four goals ended with both teams deadlocked at the halftime whistle, setting the stage for an electrifying second act dominated by The Tudors. The turning point came ten minutes into the second half when Mekhi Roberts unleashed a strike that left everyone questioning whether it was a cross or a shot. The jubilant team, however, cared little for the distinction as they celebrated taking the lead.
Despite facing adversity with a numerical disadvantage, as The Tudors went down to ten men in the middle of the second half, their resilience shone through. George Still capitalised on a penalty opportunity, confidently putting The Tudors 4-2 ahead hitting his penalty down the middle. The stellar performance reached its pinnacle when Sam Ejjayha sealed the victory with a finish from a late corner.
History was made on a crisp Autumnal evening, as The Tudors secured a place in the third round of the FA Youth Cup for the first time in the club's history. Awaiting them in the next chapter of their journey is a clash with Sheffield Wednesday in the third round, set to unfold on away turf. The young guns, with their indomitable spirit and impressive display, have left an indelible mark. The FA Youth Cup journey continues!