Hemel Hempstead Town 3 Eastbourne Borough 2
In a repeat of the previous home game Hemel managed to grab all three points but Eastbourne can consider themselves unlucky to have come away with nothing to show for their efforts.
The visitors could have been two up before the Tudors had created anything of note. The home side went in front after 15 minutes very much against the run of play when Sanchez Watt and Kavan Cotter combined down the right, Cotter found Daniel Rowe in space and he made no mistake with his first time shot, driving it across the face of the goal and into the corner of the net.
Eastbourne had looked the most likely to take the lead before this, a looping header from Stefan Ljubcic dropped onto the bar after just six minutes, then Charlie Walker headed just wide when it looked easier to score. After going behind they still looked dangerous but their finishing continued to let them down. Jordan Parkes almost showed them how to do it when he deflected a cross towards his own goal, fortunately, Laurie Walker was alive to the situation and was able to push the ball away for a corner.
They continued to make chances and were finally rewarded right on half time when a corner was headed home by an again, unmarked Charlie Walker, who wasn't going to miss a second time. Tudors manager Joe Deeney was very unhappy with the decision to award a free kick that led to the corner but was also disappointed with the amount of room Walker was given.
With the second period starting very much like the first it was Eastbourne who continued to push and they deservedly went in front after 57 minutes when Walker was sent clear of Hemel’s back line who had stepped up and he raced through to slot home his second of the game.
The lead was short lived however, Hemel quickly got onto the front foot after going behind and forced a corner. Eastbourne just didn’t deal with it and in an attempted clearance the ball hit one of their own defenders, fell to Arel Amu’s feet and he gratefully poked the loose ball past Mark Smith. It was anyone’s guess as to what way the game would go with both sides now creating chances and it took a moment of genius from Hemel’s record goal scorer Jordan Parkes to settle the contest in the 90th minute. The referee gave the Tudors a free kick just on the edge of the box when the ball struck a defenders raised arm. Up stepped the skipper with one of his trade mark free kicks that looped over the wall and into the top corner to snatch the points.
That’s two 3-2 home win’s on the bounce now and Deeney reflected afterwards that they have played better than they did in both games and lost. He felt the first half today in particular was very poor, almost like a pre-season friendly and they let the players know how they felt at half time. He was pleased with the response and is looking forward to the next game, which is against his old club Oxford City, who he says he has a lot of time for and still remains friends with many of the staff there. It should be another tight encounter, with both sides sitting in mid table with the same number of points.
Hemel : Laurie Walker 8 Kevan Cotter 6 Kyle Connolly 6 Jordan Parkes © 7 Frankie Musonda 6 Jacques Kpohomouh 6 Kieran Monluois 6 (Jason Williams 6) Mark Randall 6 (Joe Howe 6) Arel Amu (Jack Snelus 6) Sanchez Watt 6 Daniel Rowe 6 Subs not used : Tom Hamblin, Danny Boness.
Hemel Sponsors (Alan Morris) Man of the Match : Jordan Parkes.
Referee : Robert Massey-Ellis Attendance 486 Match Rating 3/