It’s nearly here – the long wait through summer with no
Hemel Town will get their 2017/18 National League South campaign underway this Saturday when they host Whitehawk at Vauxhall Road (3pm kick-off).
The Brighton-based side finished in 17th place last term, a full 14 points behind the Tudors in the league table and Hemel did the double over them last season, winning 2-0 at Vauxhall Road and 4-1 at Whitehawk’s Enclosed Ground.
But that, of course, counts for nought with a blank slate
When new Whitehawk boss Jimmy Dack took over the managerial hot-seat this summer a 40 per cent budget cut was confirmed.
The loss of several key players will have a knock-on effect on The Hawks this season and they will miss the goals of Danny Mills. The bookies odds give them slim chance of making the top-ten, let alone the play-offs, but with continuing uncertainty on and off the pitch it’s likely to be a tough season for Whitehawk.
Before getting to league action, however, the Tudors were due to face Ware on the road in the Herts Charity Cup last night (Tuesday) as the Gazette was going to press.
The club’s final pre-season preparations included a fun team-bonding trip to Dublin over the weekend, where they took on Bangor Celtic, an Irish association football club based in Crumlin, Dublin, who play in the Leinster Senior League Senior Division.
Hemel fell behind in the second-half but came back strongly to win well 2-1.
Ben Greenhalgh’s strong pre-season continued and he netted a back-post tap-in after good work by Johnny McNamara and Callum Driver.
New signing Tom Hamblin scored the winner with a thumping header from a corner.
It was a good workout, Bangor were a fit side, committed in the tackle and had some technically good players.
Hemel had chances, were denied two clear penalties but were good value for the win.
It was played on a great pitch and the hosts made Hemel very welcome.
The trip included some leisure time and the Hemel lads were able to visit the famous Guinness brewery at St James’s Gate in the city.
The Tudors’ planned friendly against League Two outfit Cambridge United last Wednesday unfortunately had to be cancelled due to the persistent rain.