The ten men of Hemel gained a deserved point against play off hopefuls Dartford
with a contender for goal of the season by centre back Tony Diagne.
The visitors had the better of the early chances but failed to trouble Butler in
the Tudors goal. The nearest the home side came was when Suanders chanced his
arm with a long range free kick that flew wide.
Dartford took the lead on the half hour when the referee awarded a penalty after a clumsy challenge in the
box, the Darts player making the most of the minimal contact, Elliott Bradbrook stepped up and sent Butler the wrong way.
Hemel equalised almost unexpectedly in the 38th minute when Callum Driver
launched an early pass forward after the visitors had been pressing, this caught
their back four pushing up and Charlie Sheringham raced clear, the in-form
striker making no mistake, tucking the ball past Deren Ibrahim.
As the half time break approached, Tudors Rohdell Gordon was somewhat harshly
punished for a soft foul, receiving a yellow card and then getting second for
another similar challenge moments later, leaving his side to face the second
half a man down.
The home fans feared the worse after more than matching their opponent’s in the
first period but the Darts onslaught never really came and Hemel were always in
the game, not content to defend despite their disadvantage.
Just when Hemel fans were thinking that the points were there for the taking
Dartford took the lead. A corner was only half cleared to Luke Wanadio who
appeared to handle the ball before firing home from the edge of the box, Hemel’s
complaints were waved away by the official. This didn’t deter the home side and
they continued to push forward and forced a couple of corners on 73 minutes
which caused problems for the Dartford defence.
They failed to clear their lines and as the ball was clipped back across the goal it found Tony Diagne
who had pushed up on the left hand side, he wasted no time, hammering it across the
keeper into the top corner to draw the sides level again.
There were two late chances that could have nicked the points for The Tudors,
the first came when Ben Greenhalgh made a great driving run down the left, as he
cut the ball back it was just blocked with Sheringham waiting to pounce and then
from the resulting corner, Jordan Parkes had his effort saved.
In the end an excellent effort from a depleted Tudors side, once again with four
academy players on the bench and Singh making his full debut. They left the
field to a standing ovation from the home supporters.
Hemel Hempstead Town
1: Jamie Butler 2: Callum Driver 3:Bradley Singh 4:Jordan Parkes © 5:Tony Diagne
6:Matt Spring 7:James Kaloczi 8:Matt Saunders 9:Ben Greenhalgh 10:Charlie
Sherringham 11:Rohdell Gordon.
Subs (none used) 12:Kai Stonnell 14:Colm Parrot 15:Callum Brooks 16:James Tiller
1:Deren Ibrahim 2:Danny Harris 3:Tom Wynter 4:Tom Bonner 5:Keaton Wood 6:Alex
Brown 7:Lee Noble (12:Andy Pugh) 8:Elliott Bradbrook © 9:Duane Ofori-Acheampong
10:Alfie Pavey (14:Ryan Hayes) 11:Luke Wanadio (16:Tom Murphy)
Subs not used 15: Richard Sexias 17: Tony Coxall
Referee : Andrew Laver
Man of the match Tony Diagne (Hemel)