Brackley Town 1-2  Hemel Hempstead   19 Sept 2020

Saints slip to unlikely defeat

Saints contrived to lose this pre-season game having dominated for long periods and created sufficient chances to have won by a margin.  But Hemel’s Jake Evans rifled in a long-range effort on the hour to equalise Lee Ndlovu’s opening goal before Harry Flowers received his marching orders and the visitors went ahead from the ensuing free-kick.

Ndlovu buried his 26th minute header set up by Ellis Myles in a half that saw half a dozen goal chances for Kevin Wilkin’s side but just the single goal lead to take into the break.

Substitute Wes York could not find the net in Saints’ best chance of the second period as the game finished in a disappointing home defeat after a performance of so much promise.  Lee Ndlovu and Shane Byrne started the game having missed out due to injury last Saturday and new signing Ethan Coleman played the full 90 minutes.

“Credit to Hemel who never gave up and did what wins games – scoring two goals – whereas we did not take our chances,” Wilkin said.  “But it is not a game we should have lost.  We scored a good goal and needed to build on that.  There were plenty of positives to take from the game but there are some things we have to learn so it was a useful run-out in many ways.”

Saints travel to Oxford City for the final pre-season test next Saturday in another game designated to be behind closed doors. 

Starting XI:  Lewis, Miles, Franklin, Byrne, Flowers, Dean, Walker, Coleman, Ndlovu, Rolt, Armson.