Both teams came into this match on the back of a defeat on the weekend, with Slough making five changes. The Rebels brought in Sean Fraser, Scott Davies, Louie Soares, Chris Flood and Simon Dunn, making his first appearance in almost two months due to injury.
The game had a quiet start which included a stoppage due to a Hemel Hempstead injury, and both teams struggled to get back into the flow of things after that with the ball spending more time in the air than on the ground.
It took until the 20th minute for anything of note to happen as Slough attacked and Flood was fouled with the referee waving advantage, however, the Rebels lost the ball immediately and the referee changed his mind and awarded Hemel a free kick instead. Flood made his protests known and was shown a yellow card.
There was very little action in the first half, with corners providing the best chance for both teams. A few minutes before the break, Slough probably had the best chance of the half as Mark Nisbet played in Stevens but he was forced wide and unfortunately his cross evaded the Slough shirts who had made it into the box.
The final chance of any action in the half came to Slough as a speculative ball into the box was chased by Stevens, but he was denied the chance to reach it due to an apparent shove from a Hemel defender, and despite the appeals no penalty was awarded.
Early in the second half, Hemel were awarded a free kick in a good position, with Jordan Parkes putting in a cross to the back post which was met by James Kaloczi, but he couldn’t put enough power on it to beat Turner. Sam Togwell also found his name taken by referee Jack Packman despite not having committing the foul.
Whilst the first half was fairly even, Slough were much the better team in the second and started to create a few more chances, but each time the final ball wasn’t quite right.
The most controversial moment of the match came around the hour mark. Initially Flood appeared to have been impeded as he tried to go past a defender, and moments later Stevens was clearly fouled inside the box, however after a discussion with his assistant, Packman adjudged the foul to have been just outside the 18-yard line.
From the free kick Slough couldn’t capitalise on the opportunity, Stevens smashing his shot low into the wall with the rebound coming to Davies who shot again but also saw his shot blocked.
Slough were well on top but yet to really test Hemel goalkeeper Laurie Walker. Louie Soares put in a cross from the right which Lee Togwell just about got his head to but couldn’t control the direction of his shot and the ball went wide.
Moments later from a Slough corner, Nisbet found himself with a few inches of space but like Togwell moments later he couldn’t get his header on target with the ball going agonisingly wide.
It took until around 70 minutes for any player to be through on goal with a clear chance. Lee Togwell managed to find Dunn, who had time to shoot whilst on the run but he couldn’t get enough power to beat Walker.
With 81 minutes played and Hemel having just introduced Mendy into the fray, Dunn played a great ball to send Stevens through on goal, and the on-loan striker took a touch to create an angle for a shot which beat Walker to opening the scoring.
It was the first time either goalkeeper had been truly tested and with the best chance Slough had managed to create, they grabbed what they thought to be the all-important goal.
However, four minutes later Hemel levelled the score as Kaloczi crossed in for substitute Mendy to head home – and like Slough, the home side had managed to score their best chance of the game.
As the five minutes of extra time was announced, Slough made their first change of the game with Soares coming off to be replaced by Warren Harris. The final chance of the game fell to Stevens but with a tricky header he couldn’t find the target and the game ended all square.
Both teams will be happy to have not lost this one but Slough will feel they could have won this game of very few chances.
Hemel Hempstead Town Line up
Laurie Walker, Lloyd Doyley, Joe Howe, Jordan Parkes (c), Darren Ward, Ismail Yakubu, Kavan Cotter, Ty Ward, Steve Cawley, Karl Oliyide (Matteo Mendy 80), James Kaloczi. Unused substitutes: Sydney Ibie, Sam Murphy, Tom Dean, George Paulin.