Tudors beaten by classy Reading U21 side in tough pre-season friendly

Hemel Hempstead Town FC club crest
Hemel Hempstead Town FC club crest

Hemel Hempstead Town went down 5-2 to a talented Reading U21 side in the first home pre-season friendly of the season at Vauxhall Road.

The same 11 players started and finished the game for the Tudors, but Reading took control of the game after a bright start by the home team.

They scored after 18 minutes when a slick move down Hemel’s left opened up the defence – the ball crossed to an unmarked forward who made no mistake. Hemel’s first real effort came just after the half hour mark when good work by Jordan Parkes set up new signing Dennis Oli who was tackled just as he was about to shoot. The ball ran through to Lewis Toomey but he shot wide.

Reading’s number 11 then ran at the Hemel back line, cutting inside and unleashing a shot into the top corner to make it 2-0.

Just before half-time, a poor back-pass by Moussa Diarra gifted the third goal as a Reading forward intercepted the pass and rounded keeper Laurie Walker to slot home.

Reading didn’t let up in the second period and went four up after 52 minutes when more good work down the wing caused havoc and again, and a good cross was eventually turned home.

This seemed to stir the Tudors somewhat and they scored just two minutes later when the excellent Oli, making his home debut, drove into the box and forced a fine save out of Reading keeper.

The ball ballooned into the air and was met by Toomey who headed home to reduce the arrears.

Just on the hour mark, the deficit was narrowed further when Parkes set up new signing James Simmonds who drove home from just inside the box.

The final goal of the game came as Hemel pushed forward and were caught on the counter, another break down the right followed by another excellent ball into the box which was finished well.

There was still time for a couple of chances at either end but both keepers made good saves and the game ended 5-2 to the young Royals.

Meanwhile, two more players have committed to Hemel this evening as Dean Brennan continues to add to his squad.

Simmonds, a midfielder formerly of Hampton and Richmond, and Asafu Adjaye, a defender formerly of Forest Green Rovers, have both signed deals with the club.