Hemel 3 Lewes 2
Injury hit Hemel had to work hard to get themselves into the First Round Proper of the FA Trophy when a decent Lewes side pushed them to the wire but if they had taken their chances they would have been home and dry by half time, as attack after attack threatened to take the visitors apart.
Despite having several regular first team players out of action The Tudors made a lively start and almost went in front after 15 minutes when new signing Jack Snelus crashed a shot against the post after creating space for himself on the left. He made no mistake minutes later when he received the ball on the edge of the box and fired his shot into the top corner to give Hemel the lead.
It looked a case of ‘how many’ as they poured forward in search of goals, with Lewes offering little resistance at this stage. Tom Knowles could have had a hatrick before the break and the lively Snelus could also have added to his tally. Knowles did well to break into the box and fired in a shot when he maybe could have laid it square to the unmarked Cawley, Lewis Carey in the Lewes goal saving well with his feet. Snelus had another shot saved before Rob Sinclair put Knowles in the clear, this time his effort beat Carey but once again the woodwork came to the rescue. A minute later though, Knowles finally got on the score sheet after a clever pass from Cawley put him through and he bent his effort into the corner to put the Tudors two up.
Lewes had their first shot after 37 minutes that was easily dealt with by Walker and this seemed to liven the visitors up as Sam Karl had another chance minutes after, this time Walker had to be at his best to keep his effort out. The warning signs were there for Hemel and Lewes forced a corner just before the interval and the ball was finally forced home by Karl to put his side back in the tie, very much against the run of play.
The second half saw Lewes introduce Harry Reed and Marcus Elliott who injected some pace into their attack and they started to cause a few more problems. It was becoming apparent that the next goal would be massively important and it was Hemel who got it on 65 minutes. After they had been forced to defend at the start of the second period, they won a free kick on the right, Jordan Parkes fired it in and it found its way to Steve Cawley in the six yard box, his shot hit former Hemel player Tom Day and bounced into the corner to make it 3 – 1.
Any hope of the home side just seeing the game out were quickly squashed minutes later when a quick break from Lewis saw Harry Reed fire in a shot that looked to be going wide but the unfortunate James Kaloczi in trying to intercept the effort, deflected the ball past Walker to make it 3 – 2. There were a couple of chances at either end before the final whistle but Hemel managed to do just enough to see the game out and earn themselves a tough home tie against promotion chasing Eastleigh from the Vanarama Premier Division in the next round.
Hemel 1: Laurie Walker 2:Kavan Cotter 3:Kyle Connolly 4:Jordan Parkes © 5:James Kaloczi 6:Ismail Yakubu 7:Alex Osborn (14:Sydney Ibie) 8:Jack Snelus 9:Steve Cawley 10:Rob Sinclair 11:Tom Knowls
Subs not used: Karl Oliyide, Magloire Muyembe, Joel Nketia, George Nolan. Attendance 137
Man of the Match: Kyle Connolly.