Ebbsfleet 2-2 Hemel Hempstead

Ebbsfleet 2-2 Hemel Hempstead
Vanarama Conference South
Saturday 28th February 2015

Both Ebbsfleet’s and Hemel Hempstead’s Vanarama Conference South promotion odds got a little longer on Saturday when drew 2-2 at Stonebridge Road.

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Goals from Danny Kedwell and the returning Matt Godden had turned the game on its head after Oliver Hawkins had given Hemel an early lead, but a brilliant free-kick from Tudors skipper Jordan Parkes meant it finished all square.

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Ebbsfleet had distributed a thousand free tickets to local schools and businesses and a big crowd was in place by 3pm, but the home faithful were silenced just four minutes into the game. Dennis Oli crossed from the left and Oli Hawkins was left unmarked to send a looping header over Edwards.

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Fleet stayed positive, though, with Kedwell levelling the scores on 12 minutes. Sean Shields burst down the left and delivered a low cross which Kedwell converted from inside the six-yard box.

Ebbsfleet took the lead five minutes before half time, with the visitors appealing for a foul on left-back Brown, Godden got away from the labouring Diarra on the right-hand side of the penalty area. Godden kept his cool and planted a low shot across Walker into the far corner.

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The visitors, having struck early in the first half, repeated the trick in the second. Kelvin Langmead tugged Hawkins back on the edge of the box and Parkes curled a sublime free-kick over the wall and into the top corner.

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It was a deserved equaliser and the momentum was starting to swing the way of the visitors. However, the scores remained at 2-2 and on reflection was a fair result between two teams who had approached the game trying to win all three points.

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Farnborough 2-2 Hemel Hempstead

Farnborough 2-2 Hemel Hempstead
Vanarama Conference South
Saturday 14th February 2015

Hemel Town had to settle for a point in a 2-2 draw at lowly Farnborough and will be kicking themselves for a series of missed opportunities and some lapses at the back.

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Farnborough opened the scoring on 21 minutes when a long hopeful ball upfield was met by the impressive Reece Beckles; Moussa Diarra appeared to have won ball as the two players chased forward but Beckles forced the big defender into an error and he drove into the box and pushed the ball through the oncoming Laurie Walker’s legs.

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Hemel almost equalised when an excellent cross from King was just cleared from the head of Oliver Hawkins by keeper Dillon Barnes from right under the crossbar.

It was only a temporary respite, though, as Hemel piled forward and good work down the right saw Kabamba set up Jordan Parkes, who wasted no time in getting his shot away. Barnes appeared to have the effort covered but the ball bounced in front of him and hit his chest, setting up an easy tap in for the onrushing James Potton who fired home on 27 minutes.

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Both teams had a couple of half chances leading up to the break, with both keepers saving long range efforts easily. Hemel then forced a corner after 42 minutes and Parkes’ delivery caused confusion in Boro’s penalty area. Barnes tried to punch the ball away under challenge from Diarra and Hawkins, but he failed to make a proper connection, with the ball appearing to hit Diarra’s chest before bouncing onto Hawkins back and into the net. Hawkins wasn’t too sure himself who got the final touch.

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The second period saw the home side push forward more, and some of their approach play belied their lowly position in the table. Hemel always looked dangerous on the break, however and chances came and went. Midway through the second half Potton made an excellent break into the box, playing a quick one-two with Dennis Oli who went down under the challenge from Barnes but the referee waved away the visitors’ appeal for a penalty.

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Moments later, some good play by Farnborough saw Phil Page make a run in to the box before shooting from a tight angle. The effort deceived Walker somewhat, as he dived to his near post only to watch the ball skid past his outstretched foot and inside the far post to bring the scores level, just before the hour mark.

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Hemel continued to make and miss chances as the game drew to a close; Hawkins, Oli, Matty Harriott and Potton all failing to find the target, and there was another decent penalty claim when a Boro player appeared to block a shot with both hands, with referee well placed, but once again he waved play on.

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Sub Mo Sharif was causing an increasingly desperate defence problems, but it was Boro who could have nicked the game, when an excellent effort from Beckles seemed to heading for the top corner, with Walker superbly tipping the ball over the bar.

There was still time for Hawkins and Harriott to bring saves out of Barnes and, in the end, both sides had to settle for a share of the spoils.

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