Preview: Tudors ready to do battle with a familiar foe as Eastbourne head to town

Matty Spring was on target for Hemel against Gosport. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard

Matty Spring was on target for Hemel against Gosport. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard

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Former Hemel Hempstead Town boss Tommy Widdrington returns to Vauxhall Road on Saturday as his Eastbourne Borough side take on the Tudors in a National League South clash.

Hemel go into the game on the back of a 6-2 annihilation of Gosport Borough last weekend, and Tudors manager Dean Brennan says that confidence is high in the camp ahead of Saturday’s fixture (3pm k/o).

Hemel Town FC manager Dean Brennan. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard

Hemel Town FC manager Dean Brennan. Picture (c) Terry Rickeard

“Confidence has been high after scoring six goals last week and training has been excellent this week, so we are really looking forward to Saturday – it should be a good game,” he said.

“Eastbourne are a good side who have a lot of pace up the top end. They are quite a physical side and I know that Tommy likes his teams to be physical.

“He’s an ex-manager of this football club and the supporters know him well so hopefully they’ll welcome him. He’s a good guy, Tommy, and I like him a lot personally.

“Eastbourne Borough are a big club who get big gates and it’s going to be another tough game – there are no easy games at this level, as we know.

Hopefully we can take a little bit of last week’s form into this week and really get after them.

Hemel Town FC manager Dean Brennan

“Hopefully we can take a little bit of last week’s form into this week and really get after them.”

Brennan has always encouraged his Hemel side to play a passing style of football, but he envisages a tough battle on Saturday.

“We will look to play as we always do and we will try to get in between the lines,” he said. “I think Tommy’s team have two good players out wide who can hurt you and two good strong centre-halves.

“They are a good side for this level, and I suppose they play a contrasting style to ourselves. They can pass it as well, though, and mix it up so I know that we have got to be on our game.

“We’ve got to set the tempo and get a buzz about the place and really get after them. The first goal will be very important, as it always is at Vauxhall Road. A lot of teams decide to come here and sit in, and we will see whether Eastbourne decide to do that.”

Seventh-placed Hemel have had a mixed start to the season, with their away form outshining their home record. However, Brennan believes that it is only a matter of time before the Tudors regain the winning habit at Vauxhall Road.

“We tend to dominate possession at home but we have got to find a way to resolve our home form,” said the Hemel boss. “I think we have the players back now to be able to do that. Oli, Slabber and Spring, they are big players for us.

“We just take it game by game – some games at home I think we’ve played reall well and haven’t won. Every game is different and no two games are the same.

“We are confident going into every game, and we want to give the supporters something to sing about because they have been excellent all season.”

Jamal Lowe is not included in the Hemel squad for Saturday, while long-term absentee Ed Asafu-Adjaye remains out but will return to training next week. Jack Smith also misses the game with a minor injury, but Ed Oshodi is available after his red card against Concord Rangers was rescinded.

Speaking about Lowe’s omission, Brennan said: “Jamal Lowe needs to go and play games and I can’t guarantee him the minutes. We just feel that we need to go in different directions.

“He has worked hard and we wish him all the best with whatever he does in his future.”