Late, late show shatters Hemel

Hemel goalkeeper Jamie Butler looks distraught following Ebbsfleet's late winner on Saturday. Picture: Terry Rickeard

Hemel goalkeeper Jamie Butler looks distraught following Ebbsfleet's late winner on Saturday. Picture: Terry Rickeard

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Two late, late goals saw Vanarama League South leaders Ebbsfleet United break Hemel Hempsted hearts at Vauxhall Road on Saturday.

Tudors were left scratching their heads as Ebbsfleet left with all three points after late drama.

Hemel looked to have won the game when Michael Richens bundled the ball home after 83 minutes after a corner wasn’t cleared.

With the away side short on ideas in a difficult swirling wind it looked as though their first away defeat was on the cards with Hemel taking such a late lead.

The conditions, however, ended up playing a massive part in Ebbsfleet’s victory and they were back in it on 89 minutes.

Keeper Brandon Hall hoofed a long ball down the centre of the field, and the ball caught in the wind.

Hemel keeper Jamie Butler did well to parry it, but the ball fell kindly to Matt Godden who rifled home to the relief of the Kent side’s travelling supporters behind the goal.

Hemel would have been dismayed at the loss of two points so late, but it was to get even worse as the drama wasn’t over.

With time running out, referee Richard Hulme decided that a high kick in Hemel’s box was worthy of a penalty, and that gave Ebbfleet the chance to steal the victory and all three points.

The decision was much to the home side’s dismay, and with seconds on the clock, Danny Kedwell stepped up and slammed the kick down the middle to give his side a somewhat fortunate win.

The victory keeps Ebbsfleet clear at the top of the league, as they are seven points better off than second-placed Maidstone United.

It was scant reward for a spirited Tudors performance that almost gave them a much-needed home victory and one their performance probably deserved.

As well as their goal, Hemel hit the bar and made Hall pull off two excellent saves in the first period.

Ebbsfleet only managed one chance of note when former Tudor Jordan Parkes was somehow denied by a block by Jamie Butler on the half hour.

An excellent display by an injury-hit Hemel side just fell short at the death.

The defeat leaves Dean Brennan’s men in 13th in the table, eight points off the play-off pace.