Hemel Hempstead Town 1 Ebbsfleet United 1
In an entertaining pre season friendly that saw both sides typically make many changes throughout it was the new look Tudors who caught the eye against their Premier Division opponents.
Ebbsfleet had a former Hemel Nemesis, Nathan Ashmore in goal, who was well remembered by The Tudor Army for saving the crucial penalty for Gosport in the Play Off Final in front of over two thousand at Vauxhall Road some seven years ago and he frustrated them again with a couple of superb stops, denying the excellent Craig Braham- Barrett and Alex Wall as the home side took the game to the visitors in the first period.
It was somewhat against the run of play when Ebbsfleet opened the scoring. There was a blatant foul in the build up with a Tudors defender almost losing his shirt as an Ebbsfleet player clearly had a grasp of it but the officials saw nothing and the ball dropped to James Ball who fired home with a well driven effort from just inside the box.
It was somewhat harsh on Hemel but they kept the constant pace and work rate up throughout, playing some excellent football and were finally rewarded when Liam Nash got onto the end of a superb through ball and cut inside before tucking it home with 15 minutes left on the clock. Nash looked very good throughout and the way he controlled the ball before turning the defender to score was superb.
The Tudors continued to impress and looked the most likely to win the game with the clock ticking down. Connor Essam and Mitch Dickenson looked very secure in the centre of the defence, giving Ebbsfleet’s forwards nothing and Craig Braham-Barrett seemed to be involved with everything.
Alex Wall almost won it for Hemel when he turned his defender before getting a shot away but Harry Palmer, who had replaced Ashmore in United’s goal, did well to save it at his near post.
In the end they had to settle for a draw but all Tudors fans at the game felt they had seen the start of what promises to be a season in which their side can really threaten the promotion positions.
New manager Sammy Moore was delighted with the work out and thought his side just edged it but he feels that they are definitely on the right track, the players look fit and will only get better as the new season start approaches, there were lots of positives to take from the game.
Hemel Squad : Sam Beasant, Jacques Kpohomouh, Craig Braham-Barrett, Luke Howell, Connor Essam © Mitch Dickenson, Tosan Popo, Jake Howells, Tyrone Sterling, Alex Wall, Isaac Galliford, Triallist, Liam Nash, Lucas Perry, Danny Boness, Jack Midson.