Hemel Hempstead Town 2 Dagenham and Redbridge 3
The Dags just edged this competitive pre-season friendly at Vauxhall Road which was a useful final warm up to the big kick off next week.
D&R took the lead early on after a goalmouth scramble, Hemel were unable to clear their lines and Will Wright was on hand to force the ball home. They went further ahead after 25 minutes when a misplaced pass from a Hemel defender was intercepted by the excellent Michael Cheek who raced through and placed his shot past Laurie Walker in the Tudors goal. Hemel almost got back into it went a mazy run by the lively Sanchez Watt saw him break into the box but his shot went just wide of the far post. Cheek then doubled his tally by just losing his marker in the box and driving the ball past Walker to make it 3-0 just before the break.
In the second period, with the wind now behind them Hemel started to look more dangerous. Just before the hour mark Steve Cawley reduced the deficit when he had an easy tap in, after Jordan Parkes free kick was met by Ismail Yakubu who unselfishly laid the ball back across the goal. After this both Charlie Sheringham and Cawley had good chances to score, Sheringham’s header going over after free kick in from Parkes and Cawley did superbly to control a through ball but his attempted lob didn’t have enough height and Justham saved easily.
Hemel finally got the goal their efforts deserved after another great free kick from Parkes was met by Darren Ward who nodded the ball to Sheringham who neatly headed home to make it 2-3. There was another late chance for Sheringham but he just missed his attempted shot and the ball was cleared and the referee blew his whistle.
After the game Daggers Assistant Manager Terry Harris said he was delighted with the workout and it was the perfect pre-season friendly to finish on. The result was inconsequential as it was all about the player’s sharpness and bringing all the hard work on the training ground together on the pitch. Things like corners and free kicks and the general interplay the lads showed was excellent despite a difficult pitch which he felt the grass was too long but it was a minor problem and he and Manager Peter Taylor are very confident of taking the club forward in the coming months.
Hemel manager Dean Brennan was disappointed to give away 3 poor goals but he was also pleased with his side second half showing and was confident of his side having a good season. Results in pre-season mean nothing, it’s all about fitness and teamwork and his players were working very hard as a unit to make the best possible start.
Star Man : Michael Cheek – Dagenham and Redbridge - Jordan Parkes - Hemel