The On-Off Match Which Had A Happy Ending For Hemel

First it was on, then it was off. Then it was on again, before finally on Monday morning they admitted defeat and called it off.

Then, a few hours later, it was back on. The story of Hitchin Town v Hemel Hempstead turned into a bit of a saga.

You won’t find many pre-season matches with so much drama attached to them, but in the end for the Tudors it had a happy ending.

It all started on Sunday when Hemel said that they couldn’t play the Herts Charity Cup final between the sides at Berkhamsted having picked up injuries at that ground days before.

Hemel said that there was no blame attached to the club - they emphasise that there is no criticism of Berkhamsted intended, and the hot weather is to blame for the condition of the dry pitch.

The plan was to switch the game to Top Field but with the Herts FA saying logistically that wouldn’t be possible, National League South Hemel reluctantly withdrew. The two teams decided to meet and play the match as a friendly game instead.

But the issues didn’t end there. Hitchin announced it was cancelled on Monday morning with no referees or assistants available.

But it transpired the plug was pulled too soon - Hemel boss Dean Brennan did some digging and found some officials, and it was game on!

The poor supporters could hardly keep up but all’s well that ends well for the National League South side. They won 2-0 at Top Field, but Brennan could have done without the stress.

“We got there in the end!” Brennan told us this morning. “The Herts FA wouldn’t let us use the referees from the original game so some pals of mine from Bedfordshire eventually stepped in.

“At least we got the game on in the end and it was a good performance from the players.”

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