Unbeaten run comes to a thumping end as Tudors are thrashed by Ebbsfleet

Ebbsfleet United celebrate after netting against Hemel. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard

Ebbsfleet United celebrate after netting against Hemel. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard

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Hemel Hempstead Town endured a day to forget at Stonebridge Road on Saturday as they were hit for six by National League South leaders Ebbsfleet United.

Six different players found the net for table topping Ebbsfleet as Danny Kedwell put them in front midway through the first half, before Stuart Lewis made it 2-0 five minutes after half-time.

Adam Bailey-Dennis challenges for the ball against Ebbsfleet. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard

Adam Bailey-Dennis challenges for the ball against Ebbsfleet. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard

Four goals in 11 second-half minutes then made the game safe for the hosts as Kenny Clark, Matt Fish, former Tudors captain Jordan Parkes, and ex-Hemel midfielder Sean Shields completed the 6-0 rout.

Hemel, who went into the game on the back of a six-match unbeaten run, made just one change from their 1-1 draw with Chelmsford City in midweek as Xavier Vidal made his debut after joining on loan from Welling, with Ibra Sekajja dropping to the bench.

After a fairly even opening to the game, Ebbsfleet started to get the upper hand and Charlie Sheringham almost broke the deadlock when he lobbed Tudors keeper Jamie Butler from a narrow angle but was denied by a goalline clearance from Harry Hickford.

The hosts then took the lead in the 25th minute as Sheringham won the ball on the left-hand side of the box and fed Kedwell to fire past Butler from the edge of the area.

Harry Hickford and Ben Herd challenge for the ball. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard

Harry Hickford and Ben Herd challenge for the ball. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard

A fantastic long-range volley from Graeme Montgomery was well-caught by United keeper Nathan Ashmore at the other end, but it was Ebbsfleet who bagged the crucial second goal in the 51st minute as Lewis beat Butler to double his side’s advantage.

Clark then forced Parkes’ corner over the line to make it 3-0, and a fourth goal followed four minutes later. Fish and Sheringham combined well and it was Fish who got the finishing touch as he slotted the ball past Butler.

The home side continued to pour forward and Parkes fired into an empty net after Kedwell had rattled the post, before former Hemel loanee Shields touched in Fish’s cross from the right to make it 6-0.

Ashmore had to be alert to gather a Sekejja strike from distance, but that was as good as it got for Hemel as Ebbsfleet cruised one step closer to the league title.

Ex-Hemel players Jordan Parkes and Sean Shields were both on target for Ebbsfleet United. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard

Ex-Hemel players Jordan Parkes and Sean Shields were both on target for Ebbsfleet United. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard

Ebbsfleet United: Ashmore, Fish, Van den Bogaert, Lewis (Rance, 88 mins), Acheampong, Clark, Deering (Shields, 71 mins), Parkes, Kedwell, Sheringham (McLean, 71 mins), Kissock. Subs not used: Godden, Miles.

Hemel Hempstead Town: Butler, Herd, Kelly, Bailey-Dennis, Todorov, Hickford, Wellard, Richens (Freeman, 67 mins), Vidal (Sekajja, 56 mins), Potton (Spring, 46 mins), Montgomery. Subs not used: Mitchel-King, Parrott.

Attendance: 1,021.

Jordan Parkes finds the net for Ebbsfleet. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard

Jordan Parkes finds the net for Ebbsfleet. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard