Canaries up first as Tudors set sights on promotion goal

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

After last season’s play-off final agony, Hemel Hempstead Town FC will be dusting themselves down and getting set to do it all over again with a league campaign that kicks off on Saturday.

A trip to take on Hitchin Town’s Canaries is the first chance for Dean Brennan’s team to put points on the board.

Their first competitive outing of the season ended in defeat, though, with St Albans dumping them out of the Herts Charity Cup at Vauxhall Road.

The two Calor Premier League rivals were evenly matched in the first half.

But the game flared into life after the break when Tudors substitute Ollie Hawkins rose above the City defence on 53 minutes to head home.

Two minutes later the lead was doubled when the lively Dave Pearce netted a fine strike from 12 yards.

But within minutes Aston Goss reduced the arrears when he placed a low shot to the right of home keeper Alex Tokarczyk, which signalled that a fight back by the cup holders was on.

Then the impressive Ben Martin hooked a shot over his shoulder from a corner which the Hemel defence only partially cleared, and Chris Henry was on hand to slam the ball home to level the scores

With penalty kicks looming it was left to John Frendo to score the goal of the game when he curled a stunning, left-footed free-kick around the defensive wall and beyond the despairing dive of Tokarczyk.