A somewhat depleted Hemel Town side, missing several first team players, lost out 4-3 to Billericay Town in an entertaining game on Saturday.
With most of the regular first team squad unavailable, it gave Dean Brennan the chance to have a look at some of the fringe players and more trialists, including a Bulgarian called Hagi.
Lewis Toomey will have been happy that he was one of the squad that did make it as he helped himself to a hat-trick, but it wasn’t enough as Billericay scored a late penalty to win the game.
The first half saw Hemel create plenty of chances, with Toomey and Charlie Mpi both coming close, but it was the home side who capitalised on those missed efforts when they took the lead with their first shot after 32 minutes.
Just before half-time, Charlie Mpi was brought down when through on goal and a penalty was awarded but Danny Talbot’s spot kick struck the bar and the half ended at 1-0 to the home side.
The second period started with Talbot testing the keeper early on and, moments later, Talbot found himself one-on-one but he was thwarted once again by a fine save.
From the resulting corner, however, Toomey volleyed home to equalise.
A mistake at the back saw Billericay take the lead again through Javlon Campbell, and both sides had opportunities to score before Talbot was brought down in the box.
This time the kick was taken by Toomey and he made no mistake to level the scores again.
Toomey then completed his hat-trick to give the Tudors the lead for the first time and there was a long delay while Billericay’s Jeffrey Imudia received treatment, after colliding with the post trying to stop Toomey’s effort. He was taken to hospital and found to have badly bruised ribs.
The Blues poured forward after this and drew level through Ricky Stapleton.
Then, in the dying minutes, Hemel conceded a penalty after Connor Clarke was adjudged to have handled in the area. Stapleton stepped up to score his second and win the game.
It was another good workout for Hemel – especially for some of the fringe players – and next up is Dunstable Town on Tuesday night at 7.45pm at Creasey Park as the friendles come thick and fast in the build up to the new season.