Hemel Hempstead Town fought back from 2-0 down to salvage a point in a 2-2 draw against Sutton United in Saturday’s National League South clash.
In a match that was delayed by an hour after the officials were held up in traffic, the home side were left ruing missed chances and, despite dominating the first hour of the game, they were left to ponder how they didn’t manage to take all three points.
The first period saw Jamie Butler save smartly from Ross Sterne before Dan Fitchett deservedly put them in front after 25 minutes, clipping the ball in at the near post after good work from the lively Craig McAllister.
Kevin Amankkwaah should have added to the score but he somehow put the ball over the bar from close range before Dan Fitchett got his and Sutton’s second when he slotted the ball under Butler and into the net via the post on the half hour.
Ross Stern should have put the game beyond Hemel’s reach either side of half time when he shot over just before the break and then, at the start of the second half he tried to place the ball into the goal rather than blast it and Tyrell Forbes was able to get back and make a headed clearance off the line.
The lack of any real chances for the visitors prompted manager Dean Brennan to make a change, taking off the hard working Oliver Hawkins to add some pace to Hemel’s attack.
With Willy Gnahore and Jamal Lowe on the pitch, the Tudors started to cause Sutton problems and they were rewarded when skipper James Potton slotted home from a Matty Spring cross on 71 minutes.
As Hemel pushed forward they were somewhat susceptible to the counter attack but the game was turned on its head in the 76th minute when Amankwaah was somewhat harshly adjudged to have fouled the tricky Lowe in the box and a penalty was given.
Ben Herd wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to get the sides level and he drilled the ball past the keeper to the delight of the travelling supporters behind the goal.
To add to Suttons woes, Simon Downer was sent off late on after a two footed challenge on James Potton.
Hemel’s undefeated away records holds firm and they will welcome United back to Vauxhall Road on Saturday in the 3rd qualifying round of the FA Cup; a game that will undoubtedly be as tight as this one and Sutton will be very keen to get some revenge after this result.
Tudors: 1: Jamie Butler 2: Ben Herd 3: Jack Smith 4: Josh Hill (Ed Oshodi) 5:Terrell Forbes 6: Matty Spring 7: Dennis Oli 8: Matt Harriott 9: Ollie Hawkins (Willy Gnahore) 10: Michael Richens (Jamel Lowe) 11: James Potton (c).
Tudors Man of the match : Ben Herd