Hemel and Berko both continue pre-season preparations on a hot weekend
Hemel Hempstead Town and Berkhamsted both played out tough friendlies in the heat on Saturday as pre-season preparations continued.
Barnet just edged an entertaining first pre-season fixture in front of a decent crowd at a scorching Vauxhall Road as they beat the Tudors 2-0.
A new look Hemel, who will start the new season at home to Farnborough on August 6, gave as good as they got against their National League Premier Division opponents, especially in the first period, and were slightly unfortunate to go in a goal behind after a mistake at the back let in Nicke Kabamba just before the interval. He pounced on a poor clearance before driving into the box and tucking the ball past Craig King.
Just before Barnet had opened the scoring, Hemel’s new signing, Jordan Greenidge, had brought the best out of former Tudor Laurie Walker, who did superbly well to tip his effort over the bar.
Two different elevens took to the field in the second-half and Barnet looked a stronger outfit in the remaining 45 minutes.
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They added a second goal on 68 minutes when the ball was cleared to Ephron Mason-Clark down the right and he showed his pace before chipping to the back post where an unmarked Jamar Loza headed home.
There was a scare for Hemel in the first half when new signing Godfrey Poku limped off but it appeared to be a muscle strain rather than any problem with his troublesome knee, which manager Jones said is always going to happen when a player is returning to full fitness.
Meanwhile, Berkhamsted, who last week confirmed the signing of former Luton Town star Jake Howells, notched a 2-0 win at Aylesbury Vale Dynamoes.
Adam Watkins netted a with a neat lob to put Berko ahead before the half time interval.
Howells appeared for the second-half and looked comfortable on the ball after joining from Kings Langley.
James Verney doubled Berko’s lead in the second half, bringing the ball down and swivelling to shoot home.
Hemel Hempstead and Berkhamsted went up against each other on Tuesday night (12th) after this week’s Gazette had gone to press.
Hemel host Morpeth Town on Saturday while Berko welcome Chesham United next Tuesday (19th)