HEMEL HEMPSTEAD TOWN v BILLERICAY TOWN
HEMEL HEMPSTEAD TOWN
Braintree 3-4 Hemel
National League South
Saturday 31 October 2020
P13 W3 D3 L7 F12 A18
Tuesday 3 November 2020, 7:45pm
National League South
Dulwich Hamlet v Concord Rangers
Thank you to Hemel Hempstead Town, who will be streaming tonight’s match, free, on their YouTube channel.
Apsley End Football Club were founded in 1885, becoming Apsley F.C. two years later.
In 1891 they had become members of the West Herts League, lifting the league title in 1895 and 1898. It was in 1898 that they became founder members of the Hertfordshire County League, which they won in 1900.
After the turn of the century the Hertfordshire League split in to East and West Divisions. Apsley won the Western Division in 1903 and again in 1907. Both times they beat the Eastern Division winners to be crowned as league champions.
In 1922 they joined the Spartan League Division Two, finishing as runners-up in 1924, 1927 and 1932. The second-place finish in ’32 gave them promotion to the Division but they were relegated a year later.
In 1934 they were promoted as champions, and lifted the League Cup
The club competed in the F.A. Cup for the first time during the 1938-39 season. A 4-1 home win against Leytonstone gave them a trip to Bromley in the First Round. The home team won the match 2-1. They would have to wait for 76 years for their next appearance in the First Round.
In 1947 the club changed its name to Hemel Hempstead and were promoted back in to the Premier Division in 1951. In 1952 they moved to the Delphian League and in 1955 they changed their name to Hemel Hempstead Town.
Tooting & Mitcham United were drawn at home in the First Round of the F.A. Amateur Cup during January 1962. The Londoners won the match 3-1 in front of a club record attendance of 3,500 at Crabtree Lane. This record still stands today.
During the 1963-64 season the Delphian League was disbanded and its members formed Division Two of the Athenian League. They were immediately promoted to the First Division and the following season they were promoted as runners-up behind Slough Town.
After three seasons they were relegated, followed by another relegation a season later.
In 1971 they merged with Hemel Hempstead United and became Hemel Hempstead F.C. again. The new club moved in to United’s Vauxhall Road ground. The club stayed as members of the Second Division until 1977 when they made the switch to Division Two of the Isthmian League.
The Tudors first met The Blues on 8 December 1979 in the Isthmian League Second Division. Hemel visited New Lodge as Billericay were in the middle of an unbeaten run.
Paddy Betson had been given the manager’s job at New Lodge after Colin Searle had stepped down as Blues manager in May 1979
Ken Gray struck twice for The Blues in front of 607 fans that afternoon, giving Town a 2-1 win. The club would end the season as Isthmian League Division Two Champions, recording an average home crowd of 656.
Town went on a winning run of 18 matches in all competitions, starting on 13 October 1979 until 1 January 1980. They also went unbeaten for the first 29 league matches of the season, and a total of 39 unbeaten league results going back to April 1979.
Hemel remained as members of the Isthmian League Second Division until 1997, including reorganisation. In that time, they never got further than the Second Qualifying Round of the F.A. Cup but had a run in the Vase during the 1981-82 season.
Wins against Rainham Town and Redhill set up a Fifth Round home tie with neighbours Cheshunt. The visitors won the match 3-1 but were beaten in the Quarter-Finals.
The 1996-97 season ended with a bottom placed finish and relegation to the Third Division. A year later and the Third Division title was lifted at the first attempt as they beat Hertford Town by four points.
In 1999 they became Hemel Hempstead Town again and won the Second Division title with 101 points, but they were denied promotion as their ground was not up to standard.
Another league reorganisation saw them placed in Division One North. A third-place finish in 2003 was followed by a sixth place before they switched to the Southern League Premier Division.
The move was immediately followed by relegation to the Western Division. They ended the 2005-06 season in fourth place, which earned them a play-off place.
Swindon Supermarine were welcomed to Vauxhall Road though the result, a 3-0 win for The Tudors, wasn’t so welcoming. Hemel travelled to Brackley Town in the Final and won 3-2 to earn promotion.
A fifth-place finish in 2009 took them back in to the play-offs. A trip to Farnborough ended goalless, but the Hampshire side won the penalty shoot-out 4-3. Three seasons of avoiding relegation were followed by another push for promotion via the play-offs.
Dean Brennan was appointed as club manager in May 2012.
Chesham United were beaten 2-0 to set-up a final with Gosport Borough at Vauxhall Road. The match went to penalties after a 2-2 draw, and The Tudors went out at the hands of another Hampshire club.
The 2013-14 season saw Hemel Hempstead Town lift the Southern League title, ten points ahead of Chesham United. They reached the Fourth Qualifying Round of the F.A. Cup with wins against Witham Town and Dulwich Hamlet, but a replay against Sutton United ended in defeat.
The clubs first season in the Conference South gave them a creditable ninth place finish and another F.A. Cup run.
Dunstable Town were beaten 2-0 in Hertfordshire, followed by a 5-0 at Chippenham Town. The Tudors left Nuneaton Town after a goalless draw in the Fourth Qualifying Round and won the replay 2-0 for the clubs first appearance in the First Round since 1938.
The club were rewarded with an away trip to Bury, who were then members of League Two. The league club won the match 3-1.
The clubs F.A. Cup run wouldn’t last as long during the 2015-16 season, but it started with a 3-0 against Bury Town.
Another finish in the play-off places extended the 2017-18 season. The Tudors were beaten by Braintree Town, and again by penalties.
Dean Brennan was appointed as First Team Manager at New Lodge on 18 September 2018 but would leave on 16 January 2019.
The Tudors and The Blues met once last season, with Hemel winning the match 3-0. All their goals came in the last 10 minutes as Town were punished.
Ex-Blue Liam Nash opened the scoring for Hemel. Also, in the hosts squad that day were Sam Beasant and Jake Howells.
The Blues had Jordan Parkes and Jake Robinson in the team, both had previously played for The Tudors.
In recent times both clubs were managed by Dean Brennan and represented by Ross Lafayette, Rowan Liburd, Sanchez Watt and Billy Clifford, to name a few.
When last season was suspended Hemel Hempstead were sitting in eleventh place, hoping to make it in to the play-off places again.
Jake Howells is still playing for Hemel and has been joined by Jacob Cook and Ade Cole.
Jake spent the 2018-19 season at New Lodge, making 49 starts for The Blues. His one goal for the club came in the 4-2 home win against Weston-super-Mare in the August.
Cook and Cole were briefly with The Blues last season. Jacob made 10 starts whilst Ade made 3, and 3 sub appearances.