Hemel Hempstead Town 4 Hungerford Town 1
Vanarama National League South
The new look Tudors made the perfect start to the season by comprehensively beating Hungerford at Vauxhall Road with an excellent performance in front of a very expectant crowd. It’s been some time since the Tudor Army have had that much to shout about but there was an air of excitement around the ground before kick off and Sammy Moore’s side did not let them down with a powerful performance.
After some early exchanges Hemel got into gear and starting creating chances. They had a penalty appeal turned down after just nine minutes when Jack Midson was pushed in the back in front of the referee. The Hungerford defender clearly put both hands into Midson back, taking him out completely but the officials waved away the appeals.
The visitors then let everyone know that they weren’t here to make up the numbers when Louis McGrory found some space on the edge of the box and drove a shot in at Sam Beasant but it drifted just wide of the post.
Ricardo German then repeated McGrory’s effort up the other end, the ball also going wide before Tyrone Sterling saw his shot tipped onto the bar by Adam Siviter in Hungerford’s goal.
The Tudors deservedly took the lead on 23 minutes when Player/Assistant manager Jack Midson did well down the right before crossing for Sam Ashford who nodded it back to an unmarked Liam Nash who drove the ball home.
Hungerford then silenced the home crowd by scoring against the run of play when a corner was headed home by James Rusby on the half hour mark. There had been a scuffle in the area as the corner was due to be taken and the referee had to call the players together for a chat. The delay seemed to unsettle Hemel’s back line and the visitors took full advantage with Rusby arriving unmarked at the back post.
It was a short reprieve however as Hemel continued to push forward and another flick from Midson was taken on by Ricardo German who rounded the keeper to make it 2 – 1 just two minutes after Hungerford’s equaliser. German, who was causing all sorts of problems then hit the post with a great turn and shot and the Tudors had some more near misses before the interval, including a shot come cross by Nash that hit a defender and looped over the keeper towards the goal, it was cleared just before it crossed the line.
The excellent German didn’t come out for the second half but it didn’t seem to affect the home side and they wasted no time increasing the lead when Nash raced clear down the left and drove the ball across the goal to sub Isaac Galliford who tapped home with his first touch after 48 minutes. Hemel rarely looked in trouble after this and they added a fourth in the 85th minute when the excellent Nash fired home after a superb turn and shot across the face of the goal to give manager Sammy Moore the start he wanted.
All Tudors fans agreed that there were a number of contenders for Man of the Match, with Jack Midson winning just about every header and showing a remarkable work rate and Luke Howell pretty much running the midfield popping up everywhere to tidy up, win tackles and set up attacks. In the end it was agreed that Liam Nash just edged it but there wasn’t a player on the pitch that didn’t have a below par performance on the day.
Manager Sammy Moore was pleased with the result but also said that he thinks his side will get better. He was disappointed with the goal conceded but all in all he was very happy with the performance, echoing the supporters opinion that no player had a below “seven out of ten” game. He isn’t sure how bad Germans injury is but they will assess it in the week though he hopes to have Alex Wall back for Tuesday’s game against newly promoted Dorking.
Hemel : Sam Beasant 7 Tosan Popo 7 Craig Braham-Barrett 7 Luke Howell 8 Connor Essam © 7 Tyrone Sterling 7 Liam Nash 9 Jake Howells 7 Ricardo German 7 (Isaac Galliford 7) Jack Midson 8 (Mitch Dickenson 7) Sam Ashford 7 (Jacques Kpohomouh 7) Subs not used : Munashie Sundrie, Danny Boness.
Attendance 416 Match rating 4/5 Man of the Match : Liam Nash (Hemel)