Chesham United 2 Hemel Hempstead Town 1
NEW Hemel Town manager Mark Eaton got off to a losing start as his side were beaten by Chesham.
Eaton was appointed by Hemel last week, but he could not make an immediate impact as the Tudors slipped to defeat.
Despite the loss, though, Eaton was upbeat about his team’s display. “There were a lot of positives,” he said. “We got a good response from the players even though we haven’t had much time to work with them.
“I think the players took on board what we wanted. We tried to encourage them to get the ball down more and, in parts of the game, we did that.
“We could have got a point from the game but, on the balance of things, Chesham just about edged it.
“We had a period where we were on top but what was a bit disappointing was that we didn’t really smell blood and turn the screw.
“I’ve spoken to all of the players and asked them to think about where we can improve.”
After nearly three weeks without a game, both teams looked rusty on Saturday in a match affected by strong wind.
Following a scrappy start, Hemel keeper Ross Kitteridge produced a good save from a Steve Wales free-kick after nine minutes, but Chesham took the lead from the resulting corner.
Ryan Moran headed goalwards and Brad Wadkins was on hand to tap home and put the hosts in front.
Chances were few and far between for the rest of the first half, with winger Dave Pearce looking the Tudors’ most threatening player.
Kitteridge was forced into a good stop at the start of the second half, but the Tudors responded well and produced their best spell of the game – resulting in the equaliser.
Marquin Smith was felled in the area by Danny Gudgeon, and Pearce stepped up to dispatch the resulting penalty.
After Hemel’s dominant patch, a quiet spell followed and it was Chesham who eventually bagged the decisive third goal.
Steve Wales played the ball to Simon Thomas who shrugged off a challenge from Barrie Matthews, and set up Chris Watters to net the winner for the hosts.