Hemel Hempstead Town 1 Dulwich Hamlet 0
Hemel continued their good start to the season by deservedly beating a strong and previously unbeaten Dulwich side at Vauxhall Road. What made this result all the more impressive was that Sammy Moore had to field another weakened side after losing Luke Howell with a three match suspension and was still without several players who remain on the injury list.
The club had signed exciting Berkhamsted prospect Jonathan Lacey on a dual registration earlier in the week and he was on the bench for this game as Moore found himself down to the “bare bones” for selection.
The players who have come into the side certainly haven’t let anyone down and they produced a performance on the night worthy of the three points, restricting Dulwich to a handful of chances by working hard, keeping their discipline and battling for every ball.
The lively Liam Nash started to cause the visitors problems from the start and after some half chances he set up Sam Ashford when he threaded a superb ball through the middle, Ashford was on to it and as on Saturday, calmly tucked the ball past the keeper to give the Tudors a deserved lead on 15 minutes.
As the half wore on Hamlet started to get a foothold in the game and could have equalised half hour in when a corner was swung into a crowd of players, Sam Beasant couldn’t get to the ball and it dropped at the feet of Christian Smith but it just rebounded off his toes and rolled past the post.
The second half saw Sam Ashford have two chances in as many minutes, the first with a header and the second with a decent shot, both of which went wide as Hemel started the half on the front foot. Hamlet did have the ball in the net on 50 minutes but the linesman had already waved for offside.
To add to Hemel’s injury woes Liam Nash limped off shortly after this, he had received a knee in his lower back in the first half and was clearly struggling with the injury. He was replaced by Jonathan Lacey who didn’t look out of place in a lone striker role. He worked hard at chasing the Dulwich back four down every time they tried to play their way out from the back and he also had a chance to extend Hemel’s lead after good work by Isaac Galliford, he took a touch but his shot, from the edge of the box went straight to Maynard-Brewer who saved well.
With Hemel chasing down and working hard, Hamlet became increasingly frustrated and never really troubled Sam Beasant in the Tudors goal. Indeed, the excellent Lacey almost made it 2 – 0 when he drove a shot in from just inside the box that the keeper just managed to get a hand to, the ball looped up but fell too far in front of the Tudors forwards and it was cleared.
After 4 long minutes of injury time Hemel saw the game out for an excellent win and they left the field to a standing ovation from the crowd.
Sammy Moore will be scratching his head with the amount of injuries his side have and will be hoping that Liam Nash’s back has recovered, along with one or two other of the walking wounded getting fit in time for the visit of former manager Dean Brennan’s Wealdstone on Saturday.
Howell and Josh Wallen will both be suspended for this game which gives Moore an even bigger headache, the manager may even have to dust his boots off for the weekend !
Hemel : Sam Beasant, Jacques Kpohomouh, Craig Braham-Barrett, Munashe Sundire (Sydney Ibie),Connor Essam ©, Tyrone Sterling, Liam Nash (Jonathan Lacey) Jake Howells, Sam Ashford, Jack Midson, Isaac Galliford. Subs not used : Alvin Mugagada, Josh Wallen, Danny Boness (gk)
Man of the Match : Connor Essam Crowd 467 Match rating 4/5