On Saturday Concord Rangers welcomed Hemel Hempstead to the Aspect Arena for another match in the Vanarama National League South. The visit saw the return of a few familiar faces who are former beachboys, including manager Sammy Moore.


Concord started with an eleven which included Chris Haigh, Tosin Olufemi, Tom Clifford, Aron Pollock, Lee Minshull, Jack Cawley, Billy Roast, Kreshnic Krasniqi, Decarrey Sheriff, Henry Woods, and Joel Nouble. The substitutes were James Blanchfield, Danny Green, Marcel Barrington, Archie McFadden, and Ben Search.


A lively start to the match saw the beachboys win back to back free kicks just outside of the Hemel Hempstead penalty area, both of which were cleared.


The scoreline did not remain 0-0 for long, however, as in the 6th minute, Aron Pollock sends the ball into the left of the goal after a header from Jack Cawley to put the beachboys one goal ahead.


It didn’t take long for Concord to pose another threat – only 2 minutes after Pollock’s goal, Nouble receives the ball on the edge of the penalty area, plays it to Sheriff who then returns it back to the number 11, who dribbles past 3 defenders before sending the ball back to Sheriff as he slots the ball past the opposition keeper and into the bottom right corner of the goal.


That wasn’t the end of the action in the first half, it would be fair to say that Concord had the better chances of the 45 minutes, with Joel Nouble and Kreshnic Krasniqi both having shots deflected narrowly wide of the goal. Hemel Hempstead came close to scoring in the 40th minute as a free-kick from just outside of Concord’s penalty area was hit over the crossbar.


In the second half, Concord did extremely well to maintain their lead after Hemel Hempstead came out fighting and applying pressure on the beachboys’ defensive line. In the 74th minute, the Tudors got a goal back and narrowed the score to 2-1 after Tosan Popo drives the ball into the bottom right of the net.


Both teams continued to attack – Concord with the aim of extending their lead and Hemel with the aim of drawing level, but it was the beachboys who found the final goal as Joel Nouble dribbles past his defenders and slots it past the keeper in the 2nd minute of additional time.


Goals from Aron Pollock, Decarrey Sheriff, and Joel Nouble secured the first points for the beachboys since the beginning of October. A well-deserved win over a decent Hemel Hempstead side was a fantastic way to end an unfortunate run of results, let’s hope that the boys can continue winning ways and secure a win against East Thurrock United in the BBC Essex Senior Cup on Tuesday.


Millie Hawkins