Eastbourne Borough manager Tommy Widdrington was delighted with the character of his players following their roller-coaster FA Trophy victory.
Borough looked to have the match all sewn up 3-0 up but the Hemel Hempstead responded with four goals make it 4-3 with just 15 minutes remaining.
Borough, playing against the wind, hit back in style to progress 7-4. Speaking after the match a relieved Widdrington said, “If you are an attacking connoisseur you would have loved it. Two very different styles going at it with pace energy and movement and doing what they should do in the wind and putting the ball into dangerous areas and capitlising on the non-defending.
“Talk about up and down emotions. But the over-riding emotion for me is that it questioned one or two of the lads morale fibre at times. I think when you are 3-0 up you think the game is finished.
“We did say at halftime as long as we keep them quiet for 10-15 minutes after the break it might have been over. But in fairness to them they got up for it and scored before I had even got back to the dugout!
“They then got the momentum and it’s a very difficult thing, it’s not just like a tap where you can turn it off.
“I kept my calm, I could have easily gone mental and made silly changes but the substitutes we did make, I thought had a massive effect. Jack (Evans) came on and calmed things down in the midfield and obviously (Nat) Pinney’s come on and showed people what he can do with his finishing. It was a hell of a game.
“People sometimes feel that when they have played us with the the wind, they feel as though the job is done. But I know we are as much of a threat against the wind or even more because teams will play with a higher line.
“If you play with a higher line against my strikers you are going to get turned around and you will be running towards you own goal and that’s how we got our goals.
“I thought Darren Lok, Elliott Romain and Gavin McCallum were absolutely superb and then Pinney helped them do the job. All four strikers were involved and all four scored, that’s almost a dream for me.”