Hemel Hempstead Town 2 Gloucester City 1
Hemel just edged this tight encounter played in difficult conditions and both sides should be applauded for their efforts in torrential rain throughout. After a cagey start, City created the first real chance of the game when Joe Parker slid in unmarked after a quick counter, Hemel being guilty of losing possession in the centre of the park. As the ball came across it looked odds on it was going to result in the opening goal but somehow Laurie Walker got in front of Parker and blocked his shot from close range.
The Tudors took the lead after 13 minutes when debutant Rob Sinclair was superbly played in by Steve Cawley, Sinclair raced into the box, out pacing the Tigers backline before tucking the ball into the corner. Walker had to be on his toes after another counter attack caused Hemel problems, the inform keeper closed the attacker down well and blocked the shot with his body. Jordan Parkes almost caught Adam Przybek off his line when he fired in a shot from just inside City’s half. The Tiger’s keeper was very relieved to see it clear the bar as he desperately back peddled.
Just before the break, Przybek was almost embarrassed again when Laurie Walkers long punt down field skidded of the wet turf and bounced over his head, just shaving the post.
The second period was much the same as the first with City enjoying periods of possession but Hemel looking dangerous on the counter and they went two up on 57 minutes when a superb break and cross from the left by Kyle Connolly was glanced in by Steve Cawley and from here on Hemel looked in control. The Tigers did get a consolation right at the end when a Joe Hanks free kick swerved in the wind and deceived Walker, the Hemel custodian managed to get a block on it but rebounded over the line with a Gloucester player waiting to pounce.
In the end a deserved 3 points for the Tudors and that’s four unbeaten now for new manager Joe Deeley who is definitely getting his new side to play with a bit more tempo and its paying dividends. Man of the match Steve Cawley is certainly seeing the benefit of the smarter work rate as his hold up play is superb and it has allowed him to find players more quickly to create openings. The first goal was a good example of this, when he played the perfect pass into the stride of the onrushing Rob Sinclair, who never stopped running and had an excellent debut, endearing himself to the Tudors Faithful with his work rate and striking looks.
Hemel: Laurie Walker 7 Lloyd doyley 7 (Sydney Ibie 7)Joe Howe 7 Jordan Parkes © 7 Darren Ward 7 Ismail Yakubu 7 Sam Murphy 8 (Matteo Mendy 7) Kavan Cotter 8 Steve Cawley 9 Rob Sinclair 8 James Kaloczi 7 (Kyle Connolly 8) Subs not used : Ollie Swain George Paulin.
.Attendance 456 Referee : Richard Gardner Match rating 4/5 MOM : Steve Cawley